Superintendent pleased with 2nd day of school; no bus troubles

Dr. Sheldon Berman
Dr. Sheldon Berman

By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - After major transportation issues for hundreds of JCPS students on the first day of school, Superintendent Dr. Sheldon Berman seemed pleased with the efforts by the school district to correct those issues in time for the second day of classes.

Two principals were suspended after 400 kids did not have their bus identification tags. Dr. Berman said all the critical information was available ahead of time and blamed the issues on the lack of preparation at King, Chancey, and Lincoln.

According to Berman, there were 200 kids who had not made it home on Tuesday by 6:30 p.m. By 7 p.m., 50 kids had not made it home. When 7:30 rolled around, only 12 kids were left to be dropped off. The final three made it safely home by 9 p.m.

"Last night was absolutely unacceptable and we accepted responsibility and apologized for the frustration they experienced," Berman said.

Berman made no excuses for the busing troubles. He said the district worked quickly to fix any issues. By 6 p.m. on the second day of school, Berman said there were only 25 kids which needed to be dropped off. He said every student was home by 6:45 p.m.

"I think we're past the crisis," said Berman. We're in pretty good shape at this point."

Berman pointed out that the transportation plan went smoothly Tuesday at all schools except three - Lincoln, Chancey, and King.

"There are going to be issues and a child may not get on the right bus and we are going to do our best to prevent that, but when you're transporting 63,000 students sometimes that doesn't happen," said Berman.

Berman said about 30 staff members were added at King Elementary on Wednesday to help implement the transportation plan. He said JCPS is looking at their call-in system when a parent calls with questions about their child.

"We'll be able to respond and know that now accurately because there are a couple of concerns and I think we should be more responsive in that area," he said.

Moving forward, Berman believes things will iron out.

"My hunch is within a week or two, which is usually normal {and after} all the routes settle down, people will find that their children are dropped off faster," he said.

JCPS indicated that last year on the first day of school, kids were home by 7:30 p.m. and on the second day by 7:15 p.m. Berman believes this new plan will get kids home a lot sooner than previous years.

On Wednesday, Berman announced that the said the principals at King and Lincoln have been suspended as the school system investigates what happened.  He said the principal at Chancey took corrective action immediately the day of the incident.

"You can always look in retrospect and say, sure I would have liked it to have worked yesterday just like it worked today," Berman said.

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