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Some Things To Know As JCPS Schools Head Back Into Session

Sarah Yost prepares her classroom for her new students at Wesport Middle School, in Louisville, Ky., on Friday, August 8, 2014. Photo by Eleanor Hasken
Eleanor Hasken
Sarah Yost prepares her classroom for her new students at Wesport Middle School, in Louisville, Ky., on Friday, August 8, 2014. Photo by Eleanor Hasken

This morning, students will file into schools throughout Louisville for the first day of class in most Jefferson County Public Schools. The first day leads to a bulk of questions—logistics, who's who and more. JCPS has some of the information available, but here are answers to some of the lingering questions, big and small. Some very small.When does school even start?Some schools may vary their start times, but most schools share the same schedule, according to information provided by JCPS.  Elementary schools typically begin class at 9:05 a.m. and end at 3:45 p.m.  Middle and high school classes begin at 7:40 a.m. and last until 2:20 p.m.How can you make sure about what bus you or your student will ride?  For many bus-related questions, JCPS provides the Bus Finder website at www.jcpsky.net.  The district is also making available a transportation hotline, 485-RIDE, through which families can get more information about bus depots and routes.A district spokesman said families should expect delays from 30 minutes to an hour on the first day of school, as school staff and bus drivers will need extra time to ensure students get on the right bus and off at the proper stops.Nearly 69,500 students will travel on 975 buses for the 2014-2015 school year, according to information provided by JCPS.  Schools send home transportation information for parents to fill out, and district officials request that every piece be returned to students' schools. That's  especially important for kindergarteners students to make sure they know where to go and what bus to ride—and what their address is. Related: Superintendent Donna Hargens Discusses The Challenges For the New JCPS School YearHow many students will be enrolled at JCPS for the 2014-2015 school year?The district’s projected enrollment in 102,367.  That’s nearly 2,000 more students than three years ago.  And kindergarten classes continue to climb, as well.  JCPS officials expect more than 7,700 kindergarten students attending JCPS schools this year, according to a district news release.How can you contact my student’s school?Each school has a website, which can be found by clicking here.  If that doesn’t work, call JCPS’ central office at (502) 485-3011.How can you apply for free/reduced meal plans and find more information about nutrition services?This school year will be the first time the district is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision—which will provide free meals to some 55,000 at 95 schools.  You can find more information, including a list of eligible schools, here.For information about school meal menus and steps to applying for free and reduced programs, go here.Are there any after-school or before-school programs for students?Yes.  The school district has a partnership with the YMCA that offers a number of options for filling time space before and after school hours.  For more information on these programs, go  here.Can I volunteer at my student’s school?Volunteer opportunities at JCPS schools are available.  For more information on those opportunities, go here.When is the first holiday for students?Labor Day, on Monday, Sept. 1.  The last day is tentatively scheduled for May 28, 2015. Here's a complete calendar.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.