School Bus Confusion

August 17, 2007 - Posted at 5:12 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO-On Monday morning the wheels of the bus will go round and round, but for the first time, bus routes will be completely different.

"One of the biggest changes for our district will be our transportation system. We'll be rolling out, not an altered version of last years transportation system, but a brand new approach to transportation in the Jonesboro district," said Dr. Kim Wilbanks, Superintendent of Jonesboro Public Schools.

That's because for the first time, magnet schools are now part of the Jonesboro Public School system, which could have children boarding different buses, even on the same street.

"You could live in the same neighborhood, attend two different schools, and ride two different buses. The confusion that first morning when more than one bus drives by will surely be possible. We understand that, and we will be ready to adapt to any situation that we may need to adapt to," said Wilbanks.

One way Jonesboro Public Schools are trying to cut down on the confusion is by using animals in their routing system, so younger students have a better idea what bus to get on or off.

"We also put a tag on every student, so the bus driver will know the address and phone number of the student. We put a lot of time and effort into ensuring that every child will arrive safely at home," said Wilbanks.

And with the first day of school on Monday, Jonesboro Public Schools say they are ready to tackle the challenge and hope everyone will have a smooth ride to and from school.

"Since the history of time, somebody's gotten on the wrong bus on the first day of school. So we are well equipped to take care of that. Our drivers know that their job is to deliver every student, whether that's a student that would normally be on their route, or that's a student that inadvertently on for that day. We will make sure every child gets home," said Wilbanks.

The Jonesboro Public School system says they've been working for the last few days to call as many parents as possible to let them know of bus schedule changes.

Currently there are around 5,000 students within J.P.S. when you combine the elementary and secondary school levels.

We're told the best way to find out what bus your child will be riding on Monday is to contact the school they are attending or by calling the Jonesboro Public Schools central office at 933-5800.

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