The impact missing class has on students

JCPS students will miss at least six days of school by the time they make it back into the classroom.
Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 11:37 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - JCPS students will miss at least six days of school by the time they make it back into the classroom.

A recent report shows they need as much class time as possible.

One of the main driving forces behind the new transportation plan and multiple start times for schools was to keep kids in the classroom.

However, for the first week of school, it’s had the opposite effect.

“We have had 20,000 students miss class due to a late bus,” JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said in February. “Three million minutes of instruction have been lost.”

That’s a stat Pollio threw out multiple times earlier this year when talking about adding staggered start times and overhauling the transportation plan.

The superintendent and his team developed a new plan to fix the problem.

“This will require us to do as many other districts have done over the past two decades,” he said in January. “Which is to add more start times with multiple bus fleets being used.”

Fast-forward to last Wednesday, when we got the transportation disaster. It led to pushing classes back six days for some kids and seven for others.

“It was like reliving the whole school shut down during COVID all over again,” parent Sara George said.

The missed days is something Pollio is very concerned about.

“That’s a main indicator of success, being in the classroom,” he said.

The idea behind the plans was to keep kids in the classroom. Something the numbers say is needed.

The Kentucky Department of Education’s School Report Card said for the 2021-2022 school year, JCPS schools received a grade of medium and low performance in just about all areas.

That means reading, math, science, social studies, writing, proficiency in English, and even quality of schools and safety.

That’s all capped off by a nearly 85% graduation rate, which is the highest it’s ever been for the district, but it’s still considered a “very low” grade according to the report.

“The schedule changes have had a detrimental impact on everyone,” Bailey Kaiser said.

Kaiser is a Sophomore at Ballard High School. At Tuesday’s school board meeting, she addressed the board about how the new plans were affecting students.

“By not allowing students to go to school to fix these problems, you are preventing them from getting a proper education,” she said. “And JCPS either needs to change times back or let UPS or other big companies help with bus routes to prevent a repeat of the first day.”

After the meeting, WAVE News asked. Pollio his thoughts on what Kaiser said.

“Yes, we have to take stakeholder feedback,” he said. “But when research is very clear about the mental health needs of students, the doctors and pediatricians are extremely clear about the negative effects on adolescent kids getting up too early and not getting enough sleep.”

Pollio has been clear that going back to the old system is not an option.

It’s still early in the process, and JCPS leadership is still working on making up these lost days.

The board is looking at forgiving as many days as legally possible.