April 10, 2014
SCS Students Receive National Achievement Scholarships

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Six Shelby County Schools’ high school seniors have been announced as 2014 National Achievement Scholarship recipients by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The National Achievement Scholarship program seeks to honor the top three percent of African-American students in the United States based on their Preliminary SAT scores.

Each of these students will receive a scholarship valued at $2,500 towards their college education.

Each year, more than 160,000 students apply for the National Achievement Scholarship. This year, these six SCS students are among the 800 students across the nation to be honored and recognized as National Achievement Scholarship winners. 

The 2014 National Achievement Scholarship recipients from Shelby County Schools are as follows:

Germantown High School

Victoria Roberson

Houston High School

Haley Nichols

Lachanda Reid

Millington Central High School

Gregory Hairston

White Station High School

Cameron Benson

Kristen Williams

April 2, 2014
Willow Oaks Elementary Student Wins The Fresh Market’s National Design Challenge

Celeste Rodriguez, a fourth grade student at Willow Oaks Elementary, has received national recognition for her original artwork entry in Fresh Market’s 2014 Design Our Bag challenge.

Celeste was one of thousands of children across the nation who submitted original artwork in response to the question, “What is your favorite product from The Fresh Market?” After thorough reviews and multiple rounds of voting, The Fresh Market announced Celeste as one of the two grand prize winners.

Celeste’s design will be printed on one side of a reusable shopping bag that will be sold at The Fresh Market stores nationwide beginning in June. Celeste was also presented a $200 Fresh Market gift card and a basket full of art supplies. She will also receive kid-friendly foods, including “lots of chocolate,” as Celeste said excitedly.

Fresh Market will donate 50 percent of the sale price of each bag to No Kid Hungry, a national campaign that connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches families how to cook healthy, affordable meals.

March 26, 2014
Shelby County Board of Education Business Meeting Recap — March 25, 2014

- 2014-15 Budget Vote Postponed to Review Community Feedback
- District to Seek $51.6 Million in Capital Funding to Address Critical Needs
- 2014-15 Rezoning Proposals Approved

Memphis, Tenn. — Superintendent Dorsey Hopson told Board Members he would like to postpone the planned vote on a 2014-15 District Budget at the Board Business Meeting Tuesday night, March 25.

“Community members shared some great feedback during our Budget Hearings last week, and we are going to take a careful look at our investments and efficiencies to make sure we’re submitting a budget that best serves our students,” Hopson stated.

A date has not yet been scheduled for the School Board to vote on the 2014-15 District Budget.

»> Superintendent Hopson received approval from the Board to request $51.6 million in capital funding from the Shelby County Commission to address critical deferred maintenance and construction needs across the District. The district has not received capital dollars for such deferred maintenance since the 2009-10 school year.

"If we continue to delay maintenance needs in our schools, we run a greater risk of significant damage and higher costs to repair or replace buildings and systems," Hopson said. "It’s been four years since we’ve had any capital dollars to address these needs. It would be irresponsible of me not to ask for this funding. As these risks increase over time, the safety of our buildings and the students and staff in them becomes a real concern."

Superintendent Hopson first approached the Board in October 2013 regarding capital funding for deferred maintenance. The matter was tabled at the time to allow staff to reassess needs and priorities due to the uncertainty related to municipal districts, schools moving to the Achievement School District and pending decisions on school closures and rezoning.

"Our initial list was based on the five-year plans of the legacy districts," Hopson added. "Now we are pretty clear on where our greatest needs are, so we feel it is the right time to bring this request back."

The updated list shared Tuesday with Board Members includes 20-classroom additions at five schools, $12 million to rebuild Westhaven Elementary and roughly $1 million for energy efficiency projects. The funding would also cover new roofs at seven schools, including Millington High, a critical need outlined in the legacy SCS five-year plan. Additionally, the request includes construction costs to cover grade reconfigurations at E.E. Jeter Elementary, Barret’s Chapel Elementary, Northaven Elementary and Woodstock Middle.

»> The decision to reconfigure Woodstock Middle School into a high school for grades 6-10 was included in a slate of more than 20 rezoning proposals approved by the Board for the 2014-15 school year. The proposals involve students who currently attend schools that will become part of a municipal district in 2014-15 and reside in unincorporated Shelby County, either in the Memphis reserve or a rural reserve area, as well as in South Cordova.

"We recognize how difficult this process is for families, and we want to offer as much stability as we can going forward," Hopson stated. "The municipal districts may have opportunities for these students to remain with their current schools, but it is also our responsibility to make sure a quality education is available if they remain with Shelby County Schools.”

District staff and Board Members gave presentations and heard feedback from families in all communities impacted by the rezoning proposals earlier this month. The feedback helped inform a number of decisions, including the conversion of Woodstock Middle into a high school for grades 6-10 and sending students currently attending Bartlett High to Bolton High and Cordova High. The original rezoning proposal for Bartlett High students had some students going to a third school, Ridgeway High.

All approved rezoning maps can be found on the District’s website, www.scsk12.org.

March 20, 2014
Shelby County Schools Hosts Fourth Annual ArtsFest

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Shelby County Schools will host the fourth annual ArtsFest on April 4th & 5th at the SCS Board of Education. ArtsFest is designed to celebrate student achievement in the arts, engage the community in supporting students and teachers, and highlight the power of arts in education.

ArtsFest 2014 will feature exemplary student works of visual art and live performance in theatre, dance, band, choir, and orchestra. This annual celebration of the visual and performing arts is an event that the whole community can participate in and witness the creativity of our students on display.

For more information about ArtsFest 2014 visit www.scsk12.org/artsfest.

ArtsFest 2014 Location & Times

Shelby County Schools Board of Education

160 S. Hollywood

Memphis, TN 38112

Friday, April 4, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Saturday, April 5, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

March 17, 2014
SCS to Host Community Budget Forums

Shelby County Schools will host a series of Community Budget Forums March 17 – 21, 2014. During these meetings, staff will present detailed fiscal considerations for major operational and programmatic decision points. Each presentation will include a designated portion for public comments.

“I am pleased to present a budget for Fiscal Year 2014-15 that not only addresses our financial challenges, but upholds our commitment to students and their academic achievement,” said Dorsey Hopson, Superintendent of Shelby County Schools. “We are eliminating waste and inefficient, outdated practices in order to protect investments in programs that boost student learning.”

The initial 2014-15 Shelby County Schools budget is available online by visiting www.scsk12.org.

Community Budget Forum Meeting Schedule  -  All meetings will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Gray’s Creek Auditorium – March 17, 2014

SCS Board of Education Auditorium – March 19, 2014

Whitehaven High School – March 20, 2014

Snowden Middle School – March 21, 2014

March 6, 2014
SCS to Host Proposed Rezoning Community Meetings

Shelby County Schools will be holding a series of public meetings to get feedback from the families residing within unincorporated Shelby County on proposed rezoning plans for the 2014-15 school year.  The proposals were first introduced to the Board of Education during its Work Session on Wednesday, February 19, 2014. Meetings will be held on March 6th at Cordova High School and March 10th and 11th at Kate Bond Middle School.  

No final decisions have been made at this time. Input from the community meetings will help the Superintendent prepare a final recommendation for the Board of Education. The Board is expected to vote on a rezoning proposal in March 2014 that would affect students living within unincorporated Shelby County. Any approved changes would not take effect until the 2014-15 school year.

*These meetings will be held from 6 – 7:30 p.m. See below for information on who should attend the meetings. Some of the meeting dates that were announced at the Work Session have changed.


March 6: Location – Cordova High School, 6pm
If you live in unincorporated Shelby County, either in the Memphis Reserve Area or the “South Cordova” area, and attend the following schools, you are encouraged to attend.

Riverdale ES (Living in the unincorporated Shelby County-Memphis Reserve)
Riverdale MS (Living in the unincorporated Shelby County-Memphis Reserve)
Collierville MS (Living in the unincorporated Shelby County-Memphis Reserve)
Bailey Station ES (Living in the unincorporated Shelby County-Memphis Reserve)

March 10: Location – Kate Bond Middle School, 6pm

Arlington MS (Living in the unincorporated Shelby County-Memphis Reserve)
Houston HS (Living in the unincorporated Shelby County-Memphis Reserve)
Arlington HS (Living in the unincorporated Shelby County-Memphis Reserve)
Millington HS (Living in the unincorporated Shelby County-Memphis Reserve)

March 11: Location – Kate Bond Middle School, 6pm

Bartlett HS (Living in the unincorporated Shelby County-Memphis Reserve)
Bartlett ES (Living in the unincorporated Shelby County-Memphis Reserve)
Shadowlawn MS (Living in the unincorporated Shelby County-Memphis Reserve)



Please see the maps on SCS website (www.scsk12.org) to see specific rezoning proposals for each school.

March 6, 2014
2014-15 General Choice Transfer Process Extended through March 21, 2014 

 The 2014-15 General Choice Transfer process for all students in Shelby County has been extended through Friday, March 21. The process started on February 18 and was scheduled to end tomorrow, March 7; however, due to proposed 2014-15 rezoning considerations, the online application window has been extended to allow parents to have more options for next school year.


Students on an existing General Choice Transfer at a school that will be part of SCS in 2014-15 are approved through the exit grade of the current school and do NOT have to re-apply.

For more information about General Choice Transfers, including a list of schools with available space and FAQs, go to: http://www.scsk12.org/GeneralChoiceTransfers/
 

NOTE:

The General Choice Transfer process is NOT the same as the Optional Schools application process. Optional Schools have specific academic criteria for admissions and a separate application period. For more information, go to: http://www.scsk12.org/uf/optional_schools/

SCS is NOT able to renew General Choice Transfers for students who are attending a school that will be part of a municipal district in 2014-15 and do not live within the school’s municipal boundaries. Decisions about student enrollment within the municipal school districts will be made by the superintendent and school board in each respective district.

February 28, 2014
Superintendent Hopson Confident Approved 2014-15 School Closure Plans Will Improve Learning Opportunities for Students

Memphis, Tenn. - On February 25, 2014, the Shelby County Board of Education voted in support of 12 recommendations presented by Superintendent Dorsey Hopson to close under-utilized, under-resourced and under-performing schools. The vote aligns with Superintendent Hopson’s commitment to ensuring children in every community have access to the best academic offerings to help them succeed as students, citizens and professionals in the 21st century.

“I firmly believe the decisions we’ve made as a district and Board are in the best interest of students,” Hopson stated. “We have an obligation to give our students the best opportunities to learn and grow, and the truth is we cannot accomplish that in schools that are under-utilized and under-resourced.”

Hopson sees the decisions as evidence that Shelby County Schools is honoring its budgetary commitment to making the strongest investments in the classroom. With increased enrollment and streamlined resources in these communities, students will have access to more robust educational opportunities than they’ve had previously.

Superintendent and members of his leadership team, along with Board Members, attended numerous community meetings, reviewed detailed analyses of each proposal and engaged with hundreds of parents and stakeholders.

“These decisions were not taken lightly. This was an extremely diligent process,” Hopson said. “We studied each individual situation carefully, and I’m most grateful for the feedback we got from our stakeholders.”

Input from the community was vital to the process and, in fact, led to changes to multiple recommendations: two schools were kept open (Alcy Elementary and Riverview Middle), one decision was delayed a year to allow more time to study alternatives (Northside High) and a resolution was approved to explore the construction of a new school in one community (Westhaven Elementary), which would improve learning for students at three separate schools.

“I recognize this was a tough and emotional process for parents and stakeholders who love their schools, and I’m grateful for their input,” Hopson said. “What it shows is that we have passionate and engaged families. What I’ve said to every community I met with is that our students will need the same type of passion, pride and support at their next school for this to be a success.”

The Superintendent says there is an exciting element to these decisions from an overall teaching and learning standpoint. He points out that welcoming schools have an opportunity to incorporate the best practices and successes of the prior schools, which, undoubtedly, will benefit all students in the school.

The principals and teaching staff at the welcoming schools are excited about 2014-15, as well. They’re working on plans to ensure continuity and a smooth transition for all students.

“A year from now, I want us to look back and be able to say we all did our part – Board Members, district leaders, teachers, families. If we are all active and engaged partners, and we embrace the opportunities we have, our students are going to benefit.”

View all approved 2014-15 school closure recommendations and final reports for each community:

http://www.scsk12.org/uf/news/viewrelease.php?id=206

February 21, 2014
SCS to Host First Proposed Rezoning Community Meeting

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Shelby County Schools will be holding a series of public meetings to get feedback from the community on proposed rezoning plans for the 2014-15 school year.  The proposals were first introduced to the Board of Education during its Work Session on Wednesday, February 19, 2014. The first meeting will be held on Monday, February 24 at E.E. Jeter Elementary School. 

Some of the meeting dates that were announced at the Work Session are subject to change. Additional meetings will be announced soon. 

No final decisions have been made at this time. Input from the community meetings will help the Superintendent prepare a final recommendation for the Board of Education. The Board is expected to vote on a rezoning proposal in March 2014. Any approved changes would not take effect until the 2014-15 school year.

*All meetings will be held from 6 – 7 p.m. See below for information on who should attend the meeting.

February 24: Location – E.E. Jeter Elementary, 6pm
E.E. Jeter ES
E.A. Harold ES
Millington MS
Woodstock MS

February 19, 2014
Shelby County Schools Fights Hunger in Mid-South

Shelby County Schools will team with the Mid-South Food Bank to fight hunger in our communities during the 2014 Kids Kan food drive. During the week of February 24 – 28, elementary, middle and high school students will show their support for the Mid-South Food Bank by collecting non-perishable food items in their homerooms.

Last year, 162 schools across the entire district collected more than 200,000 pounds of food and $31,000 for families in need. This year, Shelby County Schools looks to eclipse last year’s total and achieve 100 percent participation from our schools.

The Kids Kan campaign, sponsored by Kroger, makes a huge impact annually by helping to restock the shelves at the Mid-South Food Bank. Nearly 407,000 people struggle with hunger in the Mid-South each day; one-third of them are children. The donations to the Mid-South Food Bank serve a network of more than 300 charitable programs in west Tennessee, north Mississippi and east Arkansas.               

Homerooms at participating schools are encouraged to do their best – the winning classroom at each school will receive gift cards from Kroger. Awards will also be given to the top performing elementary, middle and high school.

For more information, contact David Stephens, director of community relations for Mid-South Food Bank, at (901) 497-1153 or by email, dstephens@midsouthfoodbank.org,

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