States can now award subgrants from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund...

States can now award subgrants from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund for Zonar EVIR and Z Pass.

File photo courtesy Zonar

Smart fleet technology supplier Zonar announced on Wednesday that two of its school bus safety solutions — Zonar EVIR and Z Pass — now qualify for special grant funding.

The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund), under the CARES Act, enables states to award subgrants to local education agencies such as school districts. These subgrants fund solutions, supplies, and technologies to address difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release from the supplier.

"We are extremely honored to be able to provide critical school bus safety solutions to school districts in need during this unprecedented time," said H. Kevin Mest, Zonar’s senior vice president of passenger services. "Safety, which has always been Zonar's key focus, is now more important than ever. Zonar will continue to put safety above all else as we work with school districts across the nation to develop new best practices and safety technologies that address the challenges COVID-19 presents."

Eligible Technologies

•    Electronic Verified Inspection Reporting (EVIR): Zonar's patented EVIR system is designed to ensure each pre- and post-trip inspection is done properly. The solution includes a configuration for verifying and standardizing how to follow COVID-19 sanitization procedures.

•    Student Tracking (Z Pass): Zonar's contactless, card-based rider verification solution can enable schools to find out who rode which bus and when so that, if a rider tests positive for COVID-19, schools can quickly notify the driver and parents about potential exposure.

Grant Funding Support

To access ESSER Fund subgrants, school districts must apply to the relevant state educational agency (SEA), which will monitor the use of the funds after awarding them, according to the supplier.

Zonar offers a professional grant writing assistance program, along with Learn Design Apply Inc., that will work with school districts to support the grant application process from start to post-award management.

Learn Design Apply has secured over 1,000 successful awards, totaling $200 million in funding over a 20-year history with a 95% success rate, according to Zonar.

Zonar's professional grant writing assistant program can also help identify other opportunities outside of the CARES Act and ESSER Fund.

To learn more about your school district's eligibility for funding under the CARES Act and ESSER Fund, and Zonar's grant writing assistance program, go to Zonar’s grant assistance website page.