JCPS Officials: smooth transition back to school - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS Officials: smooth transition back to school

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Students North of the river might be getting used to the look and feel inside the classroom, but today, Jefferson County Public School students went back for their first day.

Officials said technology and thinking ahead helped to avoid congestion on the way there.  JCPS officials said nearly 70,000 students hitched a ride on the bus today.

"We believe that the preparation we have done ahead of time, the preparations the parents have done ahead of time, even with kindergartners, has paid off so we could have a good first day of school," said JCPS Spokesperson Ben Jackey. 

Jackey said that in the more than 150 Jefferson County Public Schools, around 90 are housing kindergartners through fifth graders.

"It can always be a little difficult, maybe even a little scary, for a kindergartner on the first day," said Jackey.

For some, it's the first day they have to get on a big yellow bus to get to the classroom.

"All of our buses were here by 9:30 so that was fantastic," said Hawthorne Elementary School Principal Jessica Rosenthal.

"We had all of our students tagged as soon as they were getting off of the bus."

Officials credit some new technological innovations in helping with the smooth transition, including a new transportation hotline, along with an "Bus Finder" online.  The "Bus Finder" allows parents to plug in their address and school to find a bus stop near their home.

"We had a lot of parents calling this morning wanting to get that last reassurance as where their bus stop was," Jackey said.

Jackey said they also had a first day bus ride video for first time riders.  He said it provided an opportunity for the kids to understand getting off the bus and getting on the bus.

Jackey said a 15-to-30 minute delay is normal on the first day and this year was actually ahead of schedule compared to last year.

"The things that we have been telling parents for the morning and for the afternoon, is be patient," Jackey said. "We know they're your kiddos. We know you love them to death and we know you want to see them after that first day."

The number for the hotline is 485-RIDE.  It provides information about pick-up and drop-off locations and estimated times. Phones lines will be open Monday until 7 pm and Tuesday from 6:30 am to 6 pm.

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