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JCPS parents take to social media to share concerns after disastrous first day of school

"Marty Pollio has some 'splainin to do," one parent commented.
Credit: WHAS11
JCPS bus drivers practice their routes ahead of start of school

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After a haphazard first day of school, Jefferson County Public Schools has canceled school for the rest of the week.

Wednesday morning some students waited at their bus stop locations for more than an hour to be picked up. Many parents don't know if their child's bus even stopped because they gave up waiting, opting instead to drive their child to school.

The evening bus ride was also riddled with problems. District officials said the last students were dropped off at 9:58 p.m., and many of those students were elementary-aged. 

Many JCPS parents took to social media to air their grievances about what they experienced on Wednesday. WHAS11 saw dozens of comments under our back-to-school posts throughout the day detailing what parents experienced.

Here's what some parents said:

Samantha Rohmann: "JCPS really failed - I understand first-day issues and delays, but this was just ridiculous today. There should have been much better preparation in knowing that a lot of school times were changed. Isn’t bussing a big part of why they changed times anyways? Really hurt the city, hoping they get it together quick."

Cheryl Ellis: "It's now after 7. My kid called to tell me younger kids (he's 10) are crying and scared. They're still on the bus....how is this ok?"

Christi Strader: "Marty Pollio has some 'splainin to do."

Katy Kintner: "There were little kids with families waiting all over Jeffersontown @ 9:40. There were parents waiting on a busy road at 6:30. Some of the families could already be disadvantaged. Moms have to work."

Bobbi Tomlinson: "Sad. Many children will be missing days at school. Paychecks have to take priority over waiting on a bus."

Even WHAS11's own Doug Proffitt chimed in to put into context how troubling the bus problems this year were.

What's the district's response?

In a video released Thursday morning, JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio apologized for the problems families and bus drivers experienced. 

"I can say that change is hard. And it is the massive change we are undertaking is extremely difficult. But in the end, that can't be the excuse, we have to be better at what we are doing. And once again, I'll say this that lies squarely on my shoulders and my team's shoulders. It is not on bus drivers, it's not on the school, it's on me and my team. And we are going to fix this."

He said over the next four days, officials will be reviewing bus routes and bus stops for efficiency. Drivers will also be practicing their routes, and get paid for those extra days of work.

"The difficult part, for me, is it was a great day in our schools, I saw some incredible instruction, kids excited families excited new school buildings, and to have it end with the transportation disaster that we had last night was truly unacceptable," he said.

Pollio promised that the district will not allow a repeat of what occurred Wednesday to happen; "We will not be in school until I know we can get kids home safely," he added.   

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