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'We had to make some tough choices': JCPS Superintendent addresses bussing issues

Dr. Marty Pollio largely credits bus delays on the first day of school to rush-hour traffic.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As Kentucky's largest school district welcomes students back to school, some students arrived a little later than others on Wednesday due to bus delays.

Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio addressed some of the concerns parents have regarding bussing issues, new school start times and staff vacancies.

Pollio began by saying that JCPS always has bus delays on the first day of school, and always will.

"The delays in buses were mostly were caused by traffic, we had some significant traffic issues," Pollio said.

WHAS11's Hayley Minogue asked Pollio during the news conference on Wednesday what the district plans to do about the dozens of students whose scheduled bus drop-off time is after the morning bell.

"Start times, we will clean that up," Pollio said. "They will all be there before the first bell."

Minogue followed up by asking when JCPS can expect to ensure students will arrive before their school start time.

"Within the first two weeks," Pollio responded.

According to Pollio, there were around 300 vacancies in schools on Tuesday, not including any staff members hired since then.

Pollio said he hopes to end up with significantly less vacancies than last year, once new hire paperwork processes.

Pollio said he is getting positive feedback on the new school start times, which were just implemented this school year.

Some schools are sending students to class earlier and some schools, like Fern Creek High School, is starting an hour later than it used to.

"I got to talk to our kids at Fern Creek, they seem to be very positive about getting that extra hour of sleep," Pollio said. "I think this will be very important for our adolescent students, starting an hour later."

Pollio said the district had to come to some difficult decisions due to limited resources.

"Ideally we would have two start times, ideally we would get every kid home in 30 minutes, but unfortunately with the resources that we have right now, and most districts have across this nation, we had to make some tough choices," Pollio said.

Some parents have experienced issues when using the JCPS Bus Finder website. Pollio advises parents using the website to make sure they enter their address in correctly.

JCPS has said parents should contact their child's school if their bus is running more than an hour late after school.

Anyone who either doesn't have a school bus stop assigned for their child, thinks the stop is too far away or will not work for them is encouraged to call 502-485-RIDE (7433).

"I will say this, there is going to be delays this afternoon, there's no doubt about it," Pollio said in reference to bussing.

Kentuckiana parents! Submit your child's back-to-school photos here.

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