The first day of classes for Jefferson County Public Schools has again been postponed due to power outages and other damage caused by Saturday’s severe storms.
“We are anxious to have the first day of school. It is frustrating and it’s disappointing but, again, the safety of our students and the ability to communicate with our parents has to trump all that frustration,” said Superintendent Donna Hargens.
Hargens cited communication issues and “ongoing traffic and debris issues,” as reasons for cancellation. When JCPS met at noon, they expected the situation to get better. Instead, it worsened.
“As of 4 pm this afternoon, JCPS had lost phone and internet service at 54 schools and 5 bus compounds as well as C.B. Young Service Center,” she said. This was an increase the the roughly 30 schools without service earlier in the day.
As repairs were being made to the districts main phone trunk and fiber optic lines, located at Tartan Way and Newburg Road and Newburg Road and Trevilion Way, additional problems occurred, said Hargens.
JCPS approximates that currently 400 students could not be reached at their assigned stops. Hargens also cited downed power lines as a safety issues to students.
“You have lights out. You have streets that are unaccessible,” said Chip Keeling with LG&E, which supported JCPS’s decision. “None of us want to have the 90,000 kids that would be going to school tomorrow come upon a line that happens to be energized.”
Hargens said if it was a smaller number of schools, JCPS would have likely begun classes. Hargens said other communication methods like cell phones might have been an option.
Hargens said the JCPS board would look at its options and discuss whether it would add the two days of missed school.
JCPS officials have not made a decision about school on Wednesday.