JCPS Officials: uneventful first day, last student home before 7 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS: uneventful first day, last student home before 7 p.m.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Think your commute is bad? Imagine trying to coordinate 70,000 people in the ultimate car pool.

Tuesday was the first day of school for JCPS and that meant handling about 1,000 buses twice in one day. 

JCPS is the largest school district in Kentucky so to have a smooth first day back is something officials say they say they're proud of.

There's a lot of anticipation leading up to the first day of school and now that it's come and gone, school officials and parents alike are breathing a sigh of relief.

"It takes everybody being on the same page to have a smooth first day," said Donna Hargens, JCPS Superintendent.

Hargens visited 8 of the 150 public schools on day one and says she's pleased.

"I saw students learning as quickly as they got into the school. Teachers actually started teaching today which is what we wanted to see, actual learning happening," Hargens told WDRB.

But before classroom learning can happen, students must get to school safely.

About 70,000 students were transported by bus on the first day.

To put that number in perspective, that many students could fill the Yum! Center nearly 2.5 times.

The key to transporting that many people, officials say, is a combination of organization, cooperation and new and improved technology.

"Bus Finder's been great and if you don't have Internet access, we have the phone line so we were actually at computers with Internet access providing verbally that information," said Hargens.

Each bus has a GPS so every stop and turn that's made is monitored.

And to eliminate confusion, younger students are issued a luggage tag.

"It tells them what bus and at this particular school, they had a sticker saying 'orange bus,'" said Hargens.

"We want our students to learn the procedures of arriving at school, getting settled into their classrooms, learning classroom procedures and then getting home," said Julie Cummings, Principal at Eisenhower Elementary and JCPS parent.

Cummings says this time every year brings mixed emotions.

"When I put my oldest on the bus this morning, I sat at the bus stop with him and sat in the car and I held off on the tears until after he stepped out of the car and onto the school bus. But I also had a great feeling of excitement for him," Cummings told WDRB.

The last student was dropped off at 6:53 Tuesday evening.

The number for the bus hotline is 485-RIDE.

For online bus information, click here.

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