MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Schools welcomes four schools home.
The schools were moved to the Achievement School District after performing low academically.
But now, they are calling it a day of progress.
“We’re ready to open our arms and receive these students back,” said Dr. Joris Ray, SCS Superintendent.
Four schools, Frayser Achievement Elementary, Corning Achievement Elementary, Georgian Hills Achievement Elementary, and Whitney Achievement Elementary, are leaving the Achievement School District (ASD) and returning back to SCS.
It’s a combined effort from SCS, ASD, and Tennessee’s Department of Education.
“This was intended to be a short term, very deeply focused set of engagement opportunities to move students forward,” said Dr. Penny Schwinn, TN Department of Education Commissioner.
The move affected more than 800 students. ASD took over the schools because they were academically in the state’s bottom 5%.
SCS School Board Member, Stephanie Love, was impacted as her children attended those schools.
“People don’t like when I use the words, hostile takeover, but as a parent, that’s what it felt like,” said Love. “The things in the past that happened that we did not get right, ensuring that those things are first acknowledged and a corrective action plan is put into place, but our children who lost those years, they can’t get those years back.”
Corning and Frayser Elementary were among the first schools to become ASD. By law, schools can only remain in ASD for ten years.
Both are in their 10th and will return to SCS July 2022.
Georgian Hill earned priority exit based on their 2018-2019 school year student achievement data. Their transition was postponed due to the pandemic.
Whitney Elementary is in its 9th year and returning early.
“In this transition, our federal relief funding will be an important component and puzzle piece to ensure that supports are being given to students and families... That can include tutoring. That can include additional family support. We talked a lot about language acquisition for a number of students,” said Dr. Schwinn.
SCS and ASD will also hold special sessions with parents and families to get through the transition.
“It is a new day. We are reimagining 901, and we’re going to put things in place to ensure that are schools are not or never ever taken over by the Achievement School District again,” said Love.