School starts in Jefferson County

By Matt McCutcheon - e-mail | bio

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Thousands of kids across Louisville have said their goodbyes to summer, as they've traded fun in the sun for the classroom.  Tuesday morning, August 17, was all about getting acclimated to getting up early and heading to school.

Of course one of the first concerns was getting the more than 100,000 kids to schools.  More than 900 buses in the Jefferson County Public School district were started up for the first day, transporting nearly 63,000 of those 100,000 students, with others either driving to school or getting dropped off.

The Wilhoit Bus Compound at 4305 Murphy Lane holds about 80 of those buses.  Shortly after 5:00 Tuesday morning, the first bus left the depot.

After that, dozens of bus drivers arrived at the depot to begin their day.  They started by popping the hood, to make sure that everything was running smoothly, but to also make sure that no one had played any pranks to prevent the bus from making it to its destinations on time.

Drivers then made sure all the exterior and interior lights worked on the bus, and then it was off to pick up the kids.

School officials report that the first day was relatively smoothly, with only a few instances of late buses, which they said can be normal on a first day.

There was a very minor fire at Conway Middle School.  A water fountain inside the school at 6300 Terry Road caught fire before 6:00 Tuesday morning, but was quickly put out and no one was hurt.  As school hadn't started yet, there wasn't a disruption.

Elementary students will receive a lanyard in class if they haven't already received one.  It contains pertinent bus info and who to call or talk to if they miss their bus.

Kindergartners will receive a red one; while first through fifth graders will receive a black one.  Administrators want students to wear them at least for the first two weeks so that they don't get lost or miss their bus in all the hustle and bustle.

The school day for middle and high school students run from 7:40 am to 2:20 pm, while elementary students will be in school from 9:05 am to 3:45 pm.

Officials say that there are lessons to be learned from the first day.

"We'll assess things like did we have to many students on a bus, do we need to reduce ride times, or do we have some buses overcrowded?  We take it one bus at a time so we may have a few buses overcrowded for five or six days before we get to that but we take a little bit each day, we can't fix every problem the first day of school," said JCPS Rick Caple, Director of Transportation.

Parents with questions about transportation can call a special hotline with questions about a late bus or which bus their child is supposed to ride.  That number is 502-485-3470.  If you have questions about schools or classes, you can call 502-485-3228.

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