ST. LOUIS – Last week many metro-east schools started the new school year. 

Monday morning is back to school for thousands of kids on the Missouri side of the river including St. Louis Public Schools.

SLPS Superintendent Kelvin Adams spent part of the morning visiting three different campuses to welcome kids back to class on this first day of the new school year. 

August 22 is the last first day of school for Adams. After being the SLPS superintendent since 2008, Adams is retiring on December 31. Adams is the third longest-serving superintendent in SLPS history. 

Adams led city schools back to full accreditation and played a key role in putting the district on much more solid financial footing than it was before he started. However, the district is still facing challenges. 

Eight schools are starting the school year with no bus service. Adams said enough drivers are trained but they are still waiting to take state tests which are backed up. 

Adams told us full bus service should be in place by September 6. Also, 48 of 64 city schools were impacted by recent flooding. 

Adams shared that all of the schools are open Monday, but some like Soldan High School where the cafeteria flooded will have adjustments. 

“I’m really excited for kids obviously coming back. I want to take the attention off of me and really focus on kids,” Adams said. “They are excited to be back in school obviously some real challenges around transportation and flooding – but at the end of the day, kids are coming back to school hopefully as normal as it has been for the last three years. So we’re really excited about that.” 

Parent Niccole Eye, who has two kids in SLPS added, “For my sixth grader this is all new and she’s excited. She’s nervous but I know she’s in good hands with all the teachers here and she’s with all her friends so it’s going to be a good year.” 

Adams also said COVID should not have a major impact on kids as they return to school. 

He told us he plans to stay in St. Louis after his retirement calling the Gateway City his “forever home.”