Kentucky school district to restart school year after busing fiasco cancels classes

Kentucky’s largest school district is scheduled to return elementary students to school following chaotic busing problems on the first day

Dylan Lovan
Friday 18 August 2023 06:01 BST

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Louise Thomas

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Kentucky's largest school district is scheduled to return elementary students to school Friday, more than a week after classes were canceled because of chaotic busing problems on the first day.

Jefferson County Schools, a public district with more than 90,000 students, drew up new bus routes and staggered school start times under a new plan that officials hoped would alleviate issues caused by driver shortages.

Instead, it led to a shutdown of schools for more than a week. Officials decided to return elementary and middle school students on Friday and high school students Monday.

District officials apologized to outraged parents after the bus disruptions and pledged to add resources to help with delays.

Despite the quick fixes, school officials told parents in a note Thursday that they “expect some buses may drop children off at stops later than expected.” They also encouraged parents who can make alternate transportation arrangements to do so. The district has about 65,000 bus riders.

“While this is not ideal, it is the reality right now,” the note from JCPS officials said.

Some of the blame has been heaped on a contractor the district hired to redraw its bus route maps. The route changes by AlphaRoute led to some students not being picked up in the morning and others not getting home until nearly 10 p.m.

The company said it sent a team to Louisville to help address problems.

Some of the changes on Friday are expected to include giving school leaders access to an app showing where buses are in real-time, putting extra employees on some buses and avoiding long wait times at bus depots by using additional buses or vans to transport some children, district officials said.

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