Administrators making sure buses aren't overcrowded

Several new safety changes are being made as Knox County students head back to school Monday. While things ran smoothly for the most part, there are still a few kinks the school district is working on smoothing out.

"Buses wake me up at night. I wake up at 4 a.m. in the middle of the morning wondering if we have enough drivers," said Interim Superintendent Buzz Thomas.

The school district started school Monday about 8 drivers short out of around 350.

"We're trying to find qualified drivers and we're not able to pay them a lot of money so it's hard," said Thomas.

It may mean as bus routes are re-worked, the drive time home from school may take a little longer to avoid overcrowding like what many parents saw last year.

"Crowding is something that we're very concerned about and we've asked our school administrators to help us with that," said Russ Oaks, Chief Operating Officer at Knox County Schools.

School principals were hopping on the buses themselves to greet students and check for overcrowding.

"No bus will leave campus operating beyond it's capacity or any kind of unsafe condition," said Oaks

As the district works to smooth out a few wrinkles in the system, they're asking for parents to be patients.

"We ask parents to try and be patient with us the first couple of weeks and we'll iron out some kinks," said Thomas.

The buses will also have new camera systems on them so if there's ever an issue it can be clearly seen. They also installed new radios on the buses so drivers will not have to use cell phones to communicate with other drivers.