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Last JCPS student gets dropped off at 9:58 p.m., JCPS issues late-night apology

By Wednesday afternoon drop off, apparent cracks in the district's bussing plan were showing.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As of 9:58 p.m. Wednesday night, all Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) bus riders have been dropped off, according to district officials.

It marked the end to an extremely long and troublesome first day back to school for JCPS. 

By Wednesday afternoon drop off, apparent cracks in the district's bussing plan were showing. 

"My daughter got dismissed at 3:20 p.m. and she just got home two minutes ago," Laarni Russell, the mother of a fifth-grade JCPS student, said. 

Russell's daughter walked off the bus and straight into her arms, sobbing, just before 6 p.m.

"Right now I know nothing. I am sitting out here," Sharra Hannon said, whilst standing at a bus waiting for her first grader to get home, Wednesday night. "And I don't know what to think at this point, like, what do I do? Who do I call? There is no one."

Hannon said the JCPS bus tracker listed her daughter's drop-off time as 2:45 p.m. She was dropped off around 8:15 p.m. -- roughly six hours spent riding the bus -- and thought she wasn't coming home.

For weeks JCPS school officials, including Superintendent Marty Pollio, have told parents and guardians patience is paramount.

A JCPS spokesperson provided the following message from Pollio sent to district families and staff Wednesday evening:

We apologize to those families who waited for hours for their child to return home after dismissal. As of 9:58 p.m. all JCPS bus riders have been dropped off.

While JCPS always experiences delays in transportation during the first several days of school, what happened today is unacceptable. We acknowledge that the delays and frustrations felt by families were worse than in years past as bus drivers, families, students and school staff all worked to navigate a brand new transportation plan.

We will be working diligently to make adjustments with the goal of reducing bus wait times and ensuring every child who needs one has a safe ride to and from school.

However, we are under no illusion that all, or even most, of the challenges we faced today will be fixed tomorrow. In years past, most of the kinks in the transportation system have been worked out within two weeks. We’re hopeful that will be the case again this year.

Please continue to show our bus drivers some grace and understanding. They have been working hard learning new routes for both the morning and afternoon, and getting to know their new students. We appreciate all of their hard work and dedication.

Again, our apologies for a long first day for some of our students and their families.

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