Return to School Plan Announced

August 14, 2023 - Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio announced today that students will begin returning to classes on Friday, August 18. Elementary and middle school students will head back to school on Friday while high schools will reopen for students on Monday, August 21. Pollio said the staggered approach for returning to school will give the District additional time to make sure the transportation challenges experienced on the first day of school are not repeated. Pollio said families should have realistic expectations as buses will likely still be running late on many routes as the nationwide bus driver shortage has resulted in fewer bus drivers with longer routes.  The superintendent pointed to some of the short term fixes the District is implementing in a letter to families of all 96,000 JCPS students explaining the reopening plan:


August 14, 2023

Dear JCPS families, 

Thank you for your patience as we implement short-term fixes and long-term solutions to ensure our new bus routes provide safe and reliable transportation to all our bus riders. 

All JCPS schools will remain closed to students on Wednesday, August 16 and Thursday, August 17, but we are happy to tell you we will implement a staggered reopening beginning Friday, August 18. 

Here's how the reopening will work: 

  • Friday, August 18: All elementary and middle school students return 

  • Monday, August 21: All high school students return

Students at multilevel schools will return back with their level. For instance, Marion C. Moore middle school students will return to school Friday, August 18. Marion C. Moore high school students will return to school Monday, August 21. 

All state agency schools will return on Friday, August 18. 

Later this school year, we will ask the Jefferson County Board of Education to forgive as many missed days as possible so our students do not have to make them up at the end of the academic year. 

While we still have work to do to implement long-term solutions, here are some of the short-term adjustments we are making to the transportation plan: 

  • We will implement technology allowing parents and schools to know where a student's bus is during the ride to and from school. We will provide families with instructions on how to use this technology soon. 

  • We will have JCPS vans and drivers available to take elementary students home or back to school when they don't have an adult waiting at a stop. This will allow drivers to continue their routes without returning to the original school.

  • We will provide an extra bus or van at depots to take students home when/if they arrive late to the depot so all other depot buses can continue their routes without waiting for one or two final buses to arrive.

  • There will be an additional JCPS staff member with a cell phone and GPS on buses with the longest, most challenging routes to help with directions and communicate with schools and bus compounds when a bus runs excessively late.

  • We will reduce the length of routes with lots of stops, starting with afternoon runs. 

  • All elementary and middle school families who need Special Needs Transportation will receive a phone call by Wednesday evening with their transportation information. 

We know our long-term solution to our challenges will be to revamp bus routes; however, we need to create a temporary plan to ensure we can return to school safely now. As we return, our Operations team will continue working to create a permanent solution. 

We will provide you with more updates and look forward to having our students return to school later this week.

Thank you, 

Dr. Marty Pollio 



Pollio explained the return to school plan and answered questions from media on Monday, August 14: 

Last Thursday, August 10th, the day after the transportation difficulties, Dr. Pollio issued a public apology to students, families and employees and pledged that JCPS would fix the issues.