(Memphis) The pressure is on for Superintendent Dorsey Hopson and the Shelby County school district, and there is no “dog ate my homework” excuse.
“People say, ‘It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,’ but that’s not the case here. We want to finish strong and start strong,” said Hopson.
Hopson and his administrators rode on a school bus Monday, touring eight Shelby County schools to see the progress and how operations were running.
“We’ve said all along these principals and these teachers know how to educate these kids,” said Hopson.
Hopson says two years of planning is paying off because there have only been minor issues, like buses running a little late or early, which he said is expected on the first day.
The biggest change of the merger is the size of the district.
With about 150,000 students, Shelby County Schools is the 14th largest district in the nation, but the security director says they’re ready.
“I think we’ve enhanced. We’ve gotten a lot better with a lot more cooperation,” said Gerald Darling.
Carver High Principal Monifa Johnson says a lot has changed with the merger, but most things on her end have stayed the same.
“As with all change, you just roll with it and do what you can to make things the best they can possibly be,” said Johnson.
Parents we spoke with seem to be pretty impressed with how the district was able to pull the mega school system together so quickly.
“Pretty much informative, especially during the summer, they tried to keep up with every change, so I would say yes the merger was a good thing,” said one Idlewide Elementary school parent.
The school district says there were lengthy drop-off lines because parents wanted to see their kids to class on the first day, but added that all of that was prepared for and expected on the first day.