Voicemail to parents warns of late bus stop arrival for 5-year-old child

One JCPS mother was hoping that the second-first day of school was going to be smoother. Her hopes soon vanished.
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 3:38 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2023 at 4:27 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Like many others, one Jefferson County Public Schools mother was hoping that the second-first day of school was going to be smoother. Last time, her 5-year-old was three hours late getting to his return home bus stop.

Her hopes soon vanished after she got a voice mail from her son’s school. They were letting her know, they didn’t have an exact time for when her son would get to the stop. The school warned her it might be late and that she should try to find an alternative way to get him home.

“We were just informed that this bus will not show up to the school to pick up these children until 7 p.m.,” the school employee said in the voice mail. “Leaving them getting home very late.”

The phone call wasn’t what she had hoped for since only elementary and middle schoolers attended class Friday.

“They’re telling us in the media that everything is being handled and then you get a call from the school saying that it’s not handled,” the mother said. “I mean it’s just confusing and it’s terrible.”

A letter from the district’s Chief Operations Officer to bus drivers and compound staff dated August 17 stated they hoped to clear the compound at 7:10. He called the time “ambitious.”

The letter explained protocols, and the theme for the next several days was “staying on time.”

Thursday was to be “just like an athletic scrimmage,” the letter said, trying to simulate the first day back to school as much as possible.

If a child’s parent was not at the stop, the letter instructs drivers to continue on their routes and take the child to their next school after their route is complete. It then states that there will be communication about the child’s whereabouts between the receiving school and the child’s actual school.

The child would remain at the receiving school until the student’s school arrives to resolve the transportation issue, it states.

It adds they have added staff to the command center from a dozen to nearly 50 people to help implement the new transportation plan.

“I think it’s an absolute mess,” the mother of the 5-year-old child said. “My son wanted to go to school and now he just has no interest. It’s sad, our kids are supposed to be in school learning and they can’t even get there.”