SUPERINTENDENTS WEEK: Shelby Co. Schools' Dorsey Hopson talks ab - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

SUPERINTENDENTS WEEK: Shelby Co. Schools' Dorsey Hopson talks about school year

(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) – WMC Action News 5 Superintendents Week wraps up by talking with Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson.

He talked about the district's challenges for the first day of school and the ambitious plans to improve student achievement in the classroom.

Hopson explained what parents and students should expect on the first day of school.

"I think on the first day of school parents can expect highly effective teachers. We expect a very smooth opening of schools. Long term, I think you're going to see a focus on drastically changing our student achievement in Shelby County Schools," he said.

One big change that is coming to Shelby County Schools students is free breakfasts and lunches for everyone.

"There's a program through the federal government where if a certain percentage of your students are on a free or reduced lunch the whole district is eligible to have free lunch and free breakfast," Hopson explained. "We think it's important because so many of our students don't show up to school with the proper nutrition or proper meals. We think that taking advantage of this program will help us make sure we have students ready to learn."

Hopson also explained the district's main goal for the 2014–2015 school year.

"Our main goal as I said … there's such tremendous poverty here. And I really believe that education is a great equalizer. So, what we want to do is drastically improve student achievement such that our very poor and fragile kids are able to use our educational system to change their circumstance in life. That's going to mean we're going to focus on making sure every classroom has an effective teacher in it. I want to make sure we push this pre-K issue and improve the quality of pre-K. And we have a whole menu of strategies that we're going to use."

Hopson continued to explain the 80-90-100 program adopted by the school board.

"I'm sure you've heard of our ambitious goals, 80-90-100 goals, the board adopted. So what that essentially means is by 2025, 80 percent of our kids will be college or career ready, 90 percent of our kids will graduate and of those 100 percent will enroll in some post-secondary opportunities. So what we'll do is we're gonna build that out, map that out and have very readily identifiable goals that need to be hit every year to get to that ultimate goal."

To get more information about Shelby County Schools, visit its website here:

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