JCPS: Some minor glitches, but overall good first day - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

JCPS: Some minor glitches, but overall good first day

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Dr. Donna Hargens Dr. Donna Hargens
Rick Caple Rick Caple

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Students, parents, and district leaders are giving Jefferson County Public Schools a passing grade for it's first day of the school bus plan.

JCPS says the last two students were dropped off around 7:15 p.m. Wednesday night because one bus driver forget to pick them up at Wheatley Elementary, but overall administrators say it was a good day.

At Brandeis Elementary School, administrators were determined to make sure kids got on the right bus. "It went wonderful, better than we expected," said Diane Leach-Staton, family resource coordinator.

Last year about 400 students did not arrive home in a timely manner, some students even arriving home after nine. The problem was attributed to a lack of preparation at a few schools.

This year, a new tagging system, digital radios on buses, and a transportation hotline made for a much smoother day.

"The changes that we're putting into place really paid off this morning," said Leach-Staton.

Nearly 98,000 students enrolled this year. 66,000 depend on transportation. Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens knew the day would come with some flaws.

"We had some minor glitches, those were solved quickly, nothing out of the ordinary for the first day of school in a district this large," said Hargens.

Many parents sounded off on our Facebook page and for the most part, they were pleased.

Amy writes, "My kids were home on time. No problems at all today. Smooth transition."

But not everyone had the same experience. Amber writes, "It's worse, my five year old was on a bus for an hour and half."

JCPS transportation director Rick Caple says bus ride times should not be that long. "Our goal is to have all our kids between 60 and 75 minutes, but the majority of kids will be 60 minutes or less," said Caple.

As for the two kids dropped off after seven, Hargens says that should get better. "We were hoping to have all the students home by actually 6:30 or earlier, so no that should be different tomorrow for those two students," said Hargens.

More than 1100 calls came into the transportation hotline on the first day. JCPS says it appreciates the questions and feedback.

That hotline number is 485-RIDE. It will be up and running Thursday and Friday during business hours.

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