Weather still problematic for Kenton County buses

KENTON COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - Kenton County Schools have taken eight snow days when they only planned five for the school year. The Kenton County School District is the fifth largest district in the state of Kentucky with more than 14,000 students.

Roads in the northern half of the county have improved but the district said Thursday the southern half was still too dangerous for school buses.

Drivers spent the day running their routes checking to see which roads were still treacherous.

The halls of Summit View Middle School remained empty Thursday for the third day in a row. Maintenance workers spent the day charging bus batteries and checking tires, getting prepared for class on Friday - just in case.

"We are not just battling poor road conditions. We are also battling frigid temperatures," says Jess Dykes, Public Information Director for the Kenton County School District. "We have to maintain a bus fleet of anywhere from 180 to 150 buses and so we have to make sure that we can start those buses. We have to make sure they are not popping oil."

Dykes says while some areas in Kenton County may be safe to travel, others are far from it.

"We still have back roads and neighborhoods and their streets still have not been cleared and so it's very dangerous for a bus to drive down those streets when they are still snow covered," says Dykes.

FOX19 decided to check it out ourselves. We found roads near Piner Elementary School still covered in snow. Narrow lanes and steep hills made the conditions even worse. It's a situation Dykes and the rest of the district hopes will improve.

"We can't control mother nature. We are ready to get back to school but we will always make our decisions based on what is going to be the safest, most responsible decision for our students," says Dykes.

Three high schools are also in the district meaning hundreds of student drivers. If conditions are not safe for buses, Dykes says it could be challenging for those student drivers as well.

For Friday morning, Kenton County Schools currently have a two-hour delay.

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