September 10, 2014
SCS Students Named 2015 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists


Twenty-two (22) Shelby County Schools seniors have been named 2015 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). These students were selected based on their performance on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT). These academically talented young men and women will have an opportunity to compete for nearly 7,600 scholarships worth more than $33 million that will be awarded in the spring of 2015.
Each year, nearly 16,000 high school seniors across the nation are selected as scholarship Semifinalists by the NMSC. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors - and includes the highest-scoring PSAT students from each state.
To become Finalists, students and their high schools will now submit a detailed scholarship application which includes their academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities and honors or awards received.
The 2015 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists from Shelby County Schools are as follows:
Cordova High School
Katie Copley
Germantown High School
Natalie Hernandez
Katherine Molinet
Vidushi Sinha
Benjamin Taylor
Suhaas Yerramreddy
Ridgeway High School
Sherrod Foster
White Station High School
Augustus Gottlieb
Sairam Gudiseva
Casey Hall
Linnie Jiang
Arati Joshi
Andrew Karchmer
Charles Loggins
Prakriti Mehta
Saaber Pourmotabbed
Sofia Varriano
Varun Vohra
Yuxie Xiao
Xiaohan Xue
Guo Yu
Kelley Yuan

September 5, 2014
Shelby County Schools Launches Mobile Application

Shelby County Schools is excited to announce the launch of the District’s official mobile application for Android and Apple devices. The My SCS app provides parents, students, staff and the community an all-in-one information source for district news in the most convenient and user-friendly method ­for their mobile devices.

Mobile technology and instant modes of communication are part of today’s society, and students and parents rely heavily on mobile devices as a primary method of communication. My SCS will allow all users to quickly access information relating to the District and their individual schools.

Features of the app include:

·      District News          ·      Push Notifications Alerts
·      District Calendars   ·      School Contact Information
·      SCS Social Media   ·     Athletic Schedules
·      Events                     ·      Lunch Menus

August 19, 2014
Shelby County Schools Earns State’s Highest Growth Rating

The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) has released the academic and performance status report for individual schools, as well as TVAAS data for growth.  District-wide, Shelby County Schools (SCS) remains a TVAAS Level 5, the highest level for growth awarded.  Individual SCS schools also continued to make gains and show improvement in most areas.

Since the last reporting period, there were 19 fewer SCS schools than the combined legacy districts on the Priority Schools list, which is composed of the lowest performing 5 percent of schools in the state. Additionally, 15 SCS schools earned their way off of the Priority list.

“We are pleased with the progress of our schools,” Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said. “While we’re happy with the upward progression, we know that there’s more work to do to ensure that every school is not only in good standing, but moving toward the highest levels of achievement and growth.”

Schools in the SCS Innovation Zone (iZone) outpaced those in the state-run Achievement School District (ASD) with an 11-percent increase in overall student success rates compared to the 2012-13 scores. The goal of the iZone and ASD is to move the county’s Priority schools to the top 25 percent.

“The progress of our iZone schools is evidence that all of our students can achieve,” Hopson said.  “That six of our 13 iZone schools earned their way off of the Priority list is remarkable.”

For more information visit

August 11, 2014
John P. Freeman Teacher Joins National Teaching Initiative

Melissa Collins, a second grade teacher at John P. Freeman Optional School, has been selected to participate in the National Education Association (NEA) 2014-15 Science Master Teacher Project. Collins joins a cohort that includes 65 of the nation’s top science teachers in Kindergarten through 12th grade. The Science Master Teacher Project is sponsored by BetterLesson and NEA to “create living, breathing bodies of knowledge around effective science teaching.” This fall, the newest members of the NEA’s Master Teacher Project will collaborate on more than 6,000 Common Core-related lessons to be utilized by teachers across the country.

Collins is a Nationally Board Certified teacher and has served as an educator for 13 years. She is the recipient of several awards and honors, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the National Science Teaching Association Sylvia Shugrue Award and the Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence. Most recently, she was named 2014 West TN Teacher of the Year by the Tennessee Department of Education.

For more information on the NEA’s Master Teacher Project, visit

August 7, 2014
Summer School Grade Update - High School Students

“We received Summer EOC test results from the State this week, allowing us to finalize our high school summer school grades and report cards. We appreciate the TDOE working diligently with our staff to resolve issues and complete this process during a very tight window between summer school and the start of the new school year. Students will receive their updated schedules early next week. We apologize for any inconveniences this first week.”

August 5, 2014
Back-To-School Update

Parents, we thank you for your support and patience these first couple of days. It’s an exciting time for everyone, and we’re hearing great things across the District as principals and teachers have welcomed back students. We are working to resolve some issues this week, as we do at the start of every year. Most notably, we know that some buses are running behind schedule. We certainly apologize for any inconveniences. Please know that we are tracking all issues and concerns and evaluating routes every day to make adjustments as quickly and efficiently as we can. If you are registering for school after the first day, please make sure you confirm with your school that a bus route has been assigned for your child before he/she waits at a bus stop. Without an assigned route, drivers may not know to pickup/dropoff at your stop. Remember, to report any back to school issues and concerns, you can use our SCS Troubleshooter tool on our homepage.

August 3, 2014
2014-15 School Year Kicks Off Monday, August 4

The first day of classes for Shelby County Schools (SCS) students is Monday, August 4. Excitement has been building for the start of the 2014-15 school year for weeks, as teachers and principals have been preparing their schools for the return of students and families.
Superintendent Dorsey Hopson will be traveling to several schools Monday morning to greet students and staff. Meanwhile, the Superintendent’s staff is prepared to support schools during what will surely be a busy week across the District.
Although we anticipate a smooth start, staff understands there may be some challenges to work through with parents and community members during the first couple of weeks. As a result, we have created a new online troubleshooting tool that allows parents to directly report any concerns or issues, such as transportation, registration or any other school-related matters.
“This is simply one part of our commitment to improving customer service and community engagement,” Superintendent Hopson said. “We encourage parents to partner with us and utilize this tool to help us make sure students have everything they need to begin the year successfully.”
To report an issue, parents should go to the District’s website,, and click the “SCS Troubleshooter” button. All concerns will be logged daily and reported to the appropriate staff members. While resolution will be sought for each issue, individual responses may not be possible for every scenario due to the large volume of students and parents.
If a parent or student has an issue requiring attention, they should contact their school principal or call (901) 416-5300.

July 9, 2014
2014-15 Registration Day is July 29; First Day of Classes is August 4 

The first day of classes for Shelby County Schools (SCS) is August 4, and the District wants to help make the transition into the new school year as smooth as possible for parents and students.
Parents can get all the facts they need for the 2014-15 school year at
This site includes information about school start times, transportation assignments, important policies and much more.

Registration day for all schools is Tuesday, July 29.  
Parents should register students at their assigned school.

Registration hours for all schools are:
•  8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
•  5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Parents must bring two approved forms of proof of residence for registration.
Parents who live with another person must also provide a notarized Shared Residency Affidavit, which can be downloaded at

The following items will be accepted as proof of residence:
•  TN driver’s license or state-issued ID
•  Current Memphis Light Gas & Water (MLGW) bill
•  Lease/rental agreement
•  Public assistance/government benefits
•  Real estate tax receipt
•  Municipal water bill
•  Mortgage statement or deed
New Kindergarten students must turn 5 years old on or before August 15, 2014.
Children must turn 5 years old on or before August 15, 2014 to qualify for entrance into Kindergarten for the 2014-15 school year.

The following items are required for registration:
•  Certified copy of Birth Certificate
•  Proof of recent medical examination
•  Tennessee Department of Health Immunization Certificate with proof of a physical exam within 12 months prior to enrollment
•  Social Security Number (recommended)
Students can get their required immunizations at one of the SCS Regional Health Clinics.
A Tennessee Department of Health Certificate of Immunizations is required for all Kindergarteners, seventh graders and new SCS students. Students can receive required immunizations, along with other healthcare services, such as physicals and health screenings, at the SCS Regional Health Clinics. The clinics are open by appointment to all SCS students. Parents can call 531-6321 to schedule an appointment. For a list of all required immunizations, visit
Clinic Locations & Summer Hours:
East High School
July 7 – August 12: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Northside High School
July 14 - July 25: Tuesdays, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
July 28 – August 12: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Sheffield Career & Technology Center
July 14 – July 25: Thursdays, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
July 28 – August 12: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Westwood High School
July 14 – July 25: Fridays, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
July 28 – August 12: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
ALL SCS students qualify for free breakfast and lunch in 2014-15.
New this year, every student in SCS will automatically receive one free breakfast and one free lunch every day as part of the Community Eligibility Program. As a result, families do not need to complete a meal application.
Additionally, beginning this year, SCS will no longer accept cash or checks in the cafeterias. Payments are not required for breakfast or lunch; however, students must still pay for individual items. Parents can pre-pay online by credit card, debit card or check by visiting To pre-pay, parents must know the student’s ID number, which can be found on a report card, student schedule, student ID card, transcript or from the school office or cafeteria.
For more important back to school information, parents can visit

July 7, 2014
Keystone Elementary Teacher Named Finalist for Tennessee Teacher of the Year

Karen Vogelsang, a National Board Certified teacher at Keystone Elementary, has been announced as a finalist for the 2014-15 Tennessee Teacher of the Year by the Tennessee Department of Education. Vogelsang is an 11-year educator, seven of which have been spent teaching third grade at Keystone.
Vogelsang is one of nine finalists selected from elementary, middle, and high school educators from each Grand Division of the state. Grand Division winners and the Teacher of the Year will be selected from this group and announced later this fall.
"Teachers are the biggest factor in the success of our students, and it is an honor to celebrate educators that are helping their students grow," Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said. “We celebrate these finalists, but also the thousands of dedicated educators across the state.”
Vogelsang will have the opportunity to join the commissioner’s inaugural Teacher Advisory Council. She, along with the eight other Teacher of the Year finalists, will serve as a member of this new body to offer insight, feedback, and advice on issues that impact teachers across the state.

The final winner will represent Tennessee in the National Teacher of the Year competition and is an ambassador for education throughout the year. To qualify, candidates must have been teaching full-time for at least five years, have a proven record of using creative, research-based teaching strategies resulting in measurable achievement, and be effective school and community leaders. A panel of professional educators from across the state scored applications to identify this year’s finalists.

July 7, 2014
Back-to-School Conference Offers Parents Chance to Network, Learn and Prepare for New School Year

Shelby County Schools (SCS) and the Memphis Delta region of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) are teaming up to provide the ultimate Back-to-School parent conference on Friday, July 25, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., at the University of Memphis University Center.
Parents will learn about and discuss many topics at the conference, including graduation requirements, SCS policies, techniques for addressing academic issues, such as literacy, the Common Core standards and more. Additionally, experts in parent engagement from across the state will present workshops on youth violence prevention and parent organization leadership training, among other subjects. Parents will learn how to become involved partners in their child’s education through participation in parent organizations and collaboration with school staff.
“This conference allows parents and family members to proactively kick off the school with current information directly from the District, which can help alleviate misinformation and confusion,” said Mary Earheart-Brown, Manager of the SCS Department of Family & Community Engagement. “It’s important to provide parents with the tools that can help their child succeed in school.”
Parents can register for the conference through July 18 by calling the Department of Family & Community Engagement, 416-7600. Space is limited, so parents are encouraged to register soon. There will be childcare provided for youth ages 4-12, as well as free breakfast and lunch at the conference. For more information, visit

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