Edgewood Elementary in Kanawha County, West Virginia has had a rough start to its first year. Combining the student populations from both Watts Elementary and JE Robins Elementary was something parents knew would be a rough transition, but they never imagined the issues the school is facing now.
"There were ninety kids all packed into one bus...if something happens somebody is going to get hurt" says concerned parent Johnny Canterbury. Bus number 1205 was carrying nearly 90 students on Tuesday evenings ride home. That bus is only capable of carrying a maximum of 71 passengers.
This issue is a major safety concern for parents, but it seems to come down to poor planning by the department of transportation with Kanawha County Schools.
We were told that students who went to JE Robins Elementary never had to ride buses because it was a walking school. Now that students need transportation to Edgewood Elementary its causing major confusion for those kids.
Transportation Director of Kanawha County Schools Brette Fraley told us that bus overcrowding shouldn't be an issue, and that he didn't know if the county pulled enrollment records to find out how many buses were needed.
School has only been in session for Kanawha County since Monday August 11th, but the bus overcrowding issues were resolved by Wednesday August 13th.
"There is one bus that had a significant amount of students at one stop so we are going to move those students to another bus. That will take 22 kids off one bus and put them on another so that should take care of the overcrowding issue" says transportation safety director for KCS Jimmy Lacy.
Now that students have been evenly distributed between buses, all buses appear to be well under maximum capacity.
Teachers at Edgewood Elementary have also started riding buses home with children to make sure they know which bus to get on and get off at the proper drop-off location.