Shelby County Schools Interim Superintendent Dorsey Hopson gave a progress check Tuesday afternoon with just over a month before the merged district starts the new school year Aug. 5.
Hopson admitted there will be issues in the wake of the former Memphis City Schools and SCS merging at the end of June. Some of the challenges ahead keep him up at night.
"Just the immense amount of work that still needs to happen between now and Aug. 5, I'm very confident that it will happen," he said. "But just the grind every day thinking about it and worrying about it, it's tough."
Administrators say they're listening and they're asking parents to be ready to work with them.
What happens on the first day of school??
Hopson answered questions Tuesday about the new school merged district. Some areas of concern dealt with fine-tuning new bus routes, getting the word out about registration and dealing with other school operations issues.
Members of Hopson's executive cabinet are working through checklists and trying to anticipate any problems before they happen.
"We know that there will be issues so we're asking parents to be patient," the interim superintendent said. "If issues come up please let us know and we are committed to addressing all issues in a way that benefits kids."
Hopson added he hopes to repair damaged relationships and build new ones with parents. The new school system will be transparent.
But the top priority is education. If all goes well students shouldn't notice any changes in the classroom experience.
It's been a difficult road to open the new county-wide district but the interim superintendent said there's no looking back now.
"As adults we could all take a lesson from the kids," Hopson said. "You know, if you stay focused on your mission and do what you're supposed to do that all the noise will take care of itself."
The goal is to work out all of the operational issues by Labor Day, Sept. 2. The administrators will start getting more information out to parents in the coming weeks. The district will be updating the SCS website, using robo-calls and social media like Twitter and Facebook.