The virtual fleet of maintenance trucks and their crews at Shadydale Elementary was the first very visual clue that the takeover of North Forest ISD is truly complete.
By midday Houston Independent SchooI District superintendent Terry Grier tweeted that "75 percent of North Forest's school buses were unsafe to drive" and had to be towed to the maintenance barn.
With less than five hours in command of her campus newly assigned Shadydale Principal Tammie Daily summed up the immediate challenge.
"Team HISD is here to make sure every t is crossed every i is dotted, that everything is in immaculate condition. Just as in our other schools, we want the best for our kids here," said Daily.
And there will be hundreds of kids returning in just seven days to Shadydale and three other North Forest campuses for critically needed summer school.
There will almost certainly be massive teacher turnover as a consequence of the merger. HISD is offering $5,000 bonuses to talented instructors willing to make the move to the academically troubled North Forest campuses.
"Many of the teachers came forward before the $5,000 bonus was made public. It helps, but the right people will rise to the occasion for the right job," said Daily.
Dailey says while some classroom slots remain unfilled, she's yet to hire a single teacher who previously worked on her new campus.
So far, HISD has retained 25 instructors from North Forest and says 39 more applicants are still under consideration.
Parent Miriam Martinez calls the takeover "welcome news". She transferred her kids out of North Forest into HISD four years ago.
"It's benefiting my son. It's benefiting my daughter, in a lot of aspects. They (HISD schools) have better leadership," said Martinez.
It's new leadership activist and North Forest graduate Demetria Jones says won't matter unless parents buy-in and fully participate in the fresh start.
"Regardless of what district it is, it all still depends on the people, how they try to work together in the community. How they try to make the difference in what's needed," said Jones.
What remains a mystery is just how many millions of dollars the State is paying HISD to absorb North Forest.
HISD claims it's still "negotiating" and refused to offer a number.