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SCS pushes for final registrations, Durham runs routes to prepare for next week

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Over 70% of Shelby County Schools students, including 12,070 new students, have registered for the 2015-16 school year as of Tuesday evening, the day the district aimed to have registrations completed, Shelby County Schools said.

There are only six days left to coordinate class schedules and bus pickups before school starts.

WREG checked in with SCS, parents and Durham School Services on Tuesday about the work to complete before the school year.

Durham spent Tuesday performing a run-through of bus routes.

Despite dozens of wrecks last year and a driver arrested for having pot on a bus, Durham Regional Manager Kerry Krick said he was confident that on-board buses would be a safe place to be.

"We've actually been training since the end of last school year," he said.

He said he has about 700 drivers. That was about 109 percent capacity, with about 100 of the drivers being new to the company.

Drivers are operating under the guidance of classroom trainers, more experienced drivers and a dozen safety officers.

That includes supervisors on the roads following buses and investigating problems.

Krick said bus GPS systems are operational, and each bus has three cameras: in the front, middle and back of the buses.

Others were busy with back-to-school preparations Tuesday as well.

"I just came to pick up my son's schedule," Ridgeway Middle School parent Anthony Stallings said. " I already took advantage of the online registration, made things very easy."

Monday, Superintendent Dorsey Hopson called this year's new online registration process a success, but he admitted it has been tougher to reach poorer areas. He said he has staff working on it.

"They've been making phone calls, literally knocking on doors and specifically targeting students who have a history of poor attendance," Hopson said.

Ridgeway Middle School Principal Corey Williams said most parents at his school have registered their kids, but many came to the school Tuesday to finish up.

"This year, it's been much easier," Williams said.

There will be more work for all involved to do in the coming week to finalize registrations and bus assignments.

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