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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Local Cool School: Robert R. Church Elementary

Robert R. Church Elementary is the only Shelby County School to jump from priority list to reward school status, in one year.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Something specialis happening inside Robert R. Church Elementary School.

Everyone –students, teachers, and administrators are working hard. All invested intheir success. 

“Everyone herehad to pitch in,” said Dr. Janice Tankson, the school’s formerprincipal. 

Tankson said itwasn’t uncommon for administrators to teach and tutor students. 

“Anyoneknows if you have amazing teachers, you’re going to have amazing studentsbecause teachers are going to work hard to ensure the success for a student andthat’s what we did,” said Tankson.

Their mission wasto do more to help students, and it was key to the school jumping from thestate’s priority list to reward school status in one year. 

Shelby CountySchools has 22 “Reward Schools.” That’s a distinction from theTennessee Department of Education, which measures a school’s success.  RobertR. Church Elementary is the only Shelby County School to jump from prioritylist to reward school status, in one year. 

“Data droveeverything we did,” said Tankson. “Our teachers were constantlylooking at the data of the assessments we were taking.” 

“That droveour instruction when students weren’t doing well – that’s where wefocused,” she said.

The remarkableturnaround was recognized by the Shelby County Schools Board of EducationTuesday. 

For the school’snew principal Marqui Fifer he said his job is to keep the momentum going. 

“Having agreat foundation is key,” said Fifer. “Our planning, ourconversation, everything we do, we put our students first.”