JCPS buses dropping off students on opening day of the 2014 school year. (Source: Rick Miller, WAVE 3 News)
Students at Camp Taylor Elementary School get their bus identification wrist bands. (Source: Rick Miller, WAVE 3 News)
Dr. Michael Raisor (Source: Rick Miller, WAVE 3 News)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It was back to school for Jefferson County Public Schools students. The bell rang early for more than 100,000 JCPS students and, in some cases, their entrances were enthusiastic. While the ride to school on day one went smoothly JCPS said don't be surprised if the return trip home is delayed.
"You know we're telling people 30 to 40 minutes," said Dr. Michael Raisor, chief operations manager for JCPS. "We want to make sure we get the right kids on the right buses and just make sure everyone understands the process."
All bus riders are given tags that are double checked on the bus. Those students going to bus depots will be supervised to ensure they get on the right bus. JCPS eliminated six bus depots this year to reduce ride time.
Fewer bus depots are not the only change for JCPS. Free breakfast and lunch has been expanded for all students in 95 schools and a low testing school is now an academy for 6th grade students.
The start of the new school year kicked off with a grand entrance at Robert Frost 6th Grade Academy. Faith Stroud, principal at Frost, the students attending there "will go to college and they will graduate college."
"6th grade really is a crucial time in a child's life," Stroud continued. "It's a time where they're finding their way they're becoming young adults. We're going to be able to look at data, analyze, almost like a medical approach, analyze, assess, diagnose and prescribe advancement and enrichments to truly empower them to be successful."
"We knew that we had to do something different at Frost to get different results," said Dr. Donna Hargens, JCPS superintendent, "so doing a 6th grade academy really lets 6th graders focus on academics."
The 7th and 8th graders that once attended Frost now go to Valley Traditional High School.
Hargens said education continues outside of school and she offered the following advice for parents.
"Ask your child what they learned and what do they need to be ready to learn tomorrow," said Hargens.
Aug. 13 was also the first day of school for students in Shelby and Spencer counties.