More than 40 Charter Schools Prep for First Class

More than 40 Charter Schools Prep for First Class

Charter schools are popping like wild flowers.
MEMPHIS, TN ( - Charter schools are popping up like wildflowers. As the unified school district gets ready to open its doors on August 5th, so are plenty of charter schools. There are more than 40 of them in Memphis and Shelby County and some of them have been in the works in anticipation of this day.

"It's a good school, I went to that school. I grew up in this neighborhood," said north Memphis mother Kiesha Shelton of Humes Middle School. Once a failing school, now Humes is the only place her son, Cory, wants to attend.

"I want to go back to school because it's fun and we do a lot of stuff and we learn," said the 11-year-old.

The sixth grader heard about a charter school taking over Humes last year, but had no idea who they really are, "Gestalt Community Schools."

"It's a German word that something cannot be defined by some of its parts," said Gestalt Community Schools CEO, Derwin Sisnett.

GCS started creating charter schools in 2008. There are five schools spread throughout Memphis. It took over Humes last year. Sisnett says each school caters specifically to its community, just like in the north Memphis area.

"It'll be a whole model based on STEAM: science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics," he said.

Science just happens to be one of Cory's favorite subjects.

"Reading and science," said Cory.

No wonder he's excited to go back to school. After we told his mom a little more about the charter school, she's happy to know he's in good hands.

"It's very interesting because it's something he'll want to do," said Shelton.

Each charter school is different and with more than 40 charter schools to choose from parents have plenty of options. Students who live near a charter school have the choice to attend, but enrollment is filling up fast.
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