Madison Co. superintendent addresses school bus issues

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MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The excitement of a new school year soon turned to confusion and anger among some parents in Madison County.

They say their children, who attend the new Kindergarten Academy, got on the wrong bus or were dropped off in the wrong place.

We’ve heard the complaints from parents and on Thursday, the Madison County superintendent talked to WKYT about the situation.

On Wednesday, around 500 kindergarteners flooded into the new Kindergarten Academy in Richmond.

“It’s the first year for the full day kindergarten and we wanted it to kick off very well,” said Madison County Schools Superintendent Elmer Thomas.

But things didn’t exactly turn out as the superintendent initially hoped.

“The first day of school is always tough. Wednesday was a little tougher than most first days of school.”

After the school day ended, several parents began calling in and complaining that there had been big mistakes made in the way their child was transported from school.

“On Wednesday, my daughter was supposed to be a car rider and when I got to the school to pick her up, they told me that she had been put on the bus,” said Melissa Lewis, whose 5-year-old daughter attends school at the Kindergarten Academy.

On Thursday night, the Madison County Board of Education held a meeting and briefly discussed the transportation issues that the new kindergarten had but the superintendent says the problem is pretty much already handled.

“We had all of our district staff there Thursday. We worked late Wednesday night and some of us were up until midnight or later working out a few kinks and it went much smoother Thursday.”

But Melissa Lewis believes otherwise.

“We can’t have this. Who’s to say it's not going to happen again?” Lewis asked.

The superintendent chalks part of the transportation mishaps up to the fact that the new school was in an adjustment phase.

“I think it'll be smoother again on Friday. We’ve made a few tweaks for Friday after bringing everyone on site and I think it will go very well Friday.”

This statement is one that some parents say they’ll only believe once they see it for themselves.

There are also reports that students were dropped off without the bus driver getting visual confirmation that a parent was there to pick them up.

The superintendent says those reports are being investigated.

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