Transportation and school safety officers subject for discussion at JCPS board meeting Tuesday | News | #schoolsaftey

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Updates about transportation and school safety officers are slated for discussion at Tuesday’s Jefferson County Board of Education meeting.

It will be the second transportation update since the first day of school for Jefferson County Public Schools.

The board agenda states the update will include: current progress, strategic adjustments, preparations for early childhood, and considerations for future planning.

Some parents, like Leah Zellers, are hoping for the best. While her daughter is a car-rider to Lincoln Elementary Performing Arts School, she knows the toll it has taken on many.

“Obviously it started out pretty challenging for folks,” Zellers said. “I could not imagine running the logistics of a school district this size.”

On the first day of school, the final students were dropped off at nearly 10 p.m. Changes from two start times to nine, an overhaul of its bus routes, and little change to how the transportation system operates, prompted the district to close for a week and a half as it addressed the problems.

Tuesday is seen as another progress report for the district. One change that has been previously mentioned is addressing ridership.

During a board meeting on Aug. 15, Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said when speaking about possible changes to the board, “‘continued evaluation of ridership, guys we’re going to have to make some tough decisions if the trend continues.” 

The district has already limited transportation for its youngest learners, who are part of the Early Childhood Education program. The district will only provide transportation for Early Childhood during the 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. timeframe. For its first week, there will only be transportation provided to special needs students who have transportation listed as a requirement in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). All students with disabilities, also known as Exceptional Child Education students, (ECE) can receive transportation to Early Childhood starting Monday, Oct. 9.

JCPS will not provide transportation for Early Childhood students who do not have an IEP.

Another possibility mentioned when speaking about future ridership is no longer providing busing for students who attend magnet schools, although no formal action has been taken on this.

Although it would impact a number of students, including classmates of Zellers’ daughter, who favors students at magnet schools being provided transportation.

“It’s a great opportunity for kids from lots of different socio-economic backgrounds to be able to attend a school that, where they enjoy learning,” said Zellers.

As for school safety officers, the district “will provide overview of our School Safety Officer implementation efforts in Jefferson County Public Schools,” according to the board agenda.

Included in the update is an introduction of its new executive administrator of Security and Investigations.

The district will also provide an update on the number of vacancies on the JCPS police force.

A WDRB Investigates story in June revealed a lack of required reporting, as outlined in the district’s policy handbook for school safety officers. At the time, JCPS noted restructuring in the department as a reason for limited information. 

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and take place in-person at the Van Hoose Education Center. It will also be streamed on the JCPS Board of Education YouTube page.

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