JCPS staffers answering the Bus Hotline on August 19.
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Expect the roads to be crowded Tuesday morning as the school bell rings for a new year at Jefferson County Public Schools. This year, there are some changes in store for those who ride the school bus and school officials say there is an important lesson for parents and students.
JCPS officials say the key to a successful first day of school is for everyone from employees to families to all work together. That means parents need to do their homework before sending their children out the door.
Inside the C. B. Young, Jr. Service Center phones were ringing off the hook Monday. JCPS staff fielded calls on the Bus Hotline all day to help ensure that come Tuesday morning parents and students get the school year rolling on the right school bus.
"We do have a new plan; the student assignment plan," said Ben Jackey, a JCPS spokesperson. "The board voted to add more clusters which should cut down in the future on ride times."
With the new plan comes came changes in bus routes and bus stops. District staff members are urging all parents to double check their students' bus assignments.
"We have 485-RIDE [phone line] and we have bus finder," said Jackey. "What we're encouraging people to do is go to one or other."
Terry Parrish is one parent who checked with JCPS to make sure everything was proper with his child's ride. Parrish said the bus route for his son, an incoming freshman, is intact.
Parrish's son is one of about 70,000 students who depend on JCPS buses for a ride to school.
"Transportation varies," said Parrish. "I don't have any transportation to get him back and forth to school and TARC is so high, so since he's in JCPS it's adequate."
In the ten years his son has been a JCPS bus passenger, Parrish said he hasn't dealt with any issues.
"I don't have any problem with them catching the bus and coming from the school," said Parrish.
That's the way JCPS staff hopes to keep it, but they say it will take teamwork.
"If they do their homework before the first day and we do our homework before the first day, we do believe it can be a very good first day," said Jackey, "and if you have a first good day, that really sets the tone for the rest of the school year."
The number to call the JCPS bus hotline is 485-RIDE (485-7433). It will be in operation from are 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Parents can check their student's bus routes and stops online by using the JCPS Bus Finder.