Achievement Schools Solicit Parent Feedback Before Takeover

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(Memphis) We could soon learn the names of more schools being taken over by the state-run school district. 14 schools are being considered to become part of the Achievement School District. However, only 10 will be added this coming fall.

The list includes 12 elementary schools: Graves, Norris, Alcy Ball, Cherokee, Hanley, Shannon, Treadwell, Caldwell-Guthrie, Klondike, Denver, Whitney and Georgian Hills. Two more middle schools, Corry and Cypress are being considered.

The schools the Achievement School District take over from Memphis City Schools are in the bottom 5 in the state. When the Achievement District finishes with them in 5 years, the goal is to have them ranking in the top 25.

Student test scores at Corning Elementary in Frayser are among the lowest in the state. The ASD told News Channel 3 how it’s changing.   Corning is one of 5 schools the district took over  from MCS in August.

Elliot Smalley, Achievement School District, said, “It takes great teachers doing great work. It takes giving those teachers the time and space and resources to do whatever it takes for kids.”

The teachers at Corning are all new. None came from Memphis City Schools. They’re required to work un-orthodox school hours. Spend part of their summer at school and even go knock on doors of the homes of children to get families involved. So far, parents we talked to like the change the new state-run district brings to the 5 existing schools.

“I like it. She's brought up her grades and everything. I don't have to tell her do her homework or nothing,” Lenetta Grandberry, parent.

ASD met with teachers working at schools on the possible taker over list for next year. They met with them before making the list public.

 “A lot of questions about what this means, a lot of questions about the process and what it will look like. For us we want to say like we're inviting you into this process and its one reason we came out really early,” said Smalley.

Smalley says the schools will be chosen after a series of community meetings. Some of the 10 schools chosen will be run by charters that are chosen by the Achievement District. ASD administrators will operate the others by themselves. They'll choose schools by December 17th.

Statewide 83 schools qualify to become part of the state-run district. 69 of those schools are right here in Memphis.  This means over the next couple of years, the Achievement School District will likely be expanding even more.

Community meetings are scheduled for:

Monday, 11/12, 5:30-7:30pm, Hamilton Community Center

Monday, 11/12, 5:30-7:30pm, Salem Gilfield Baptist Church

Monday, 11/12, 5:30-7:30pm, St. Paul Neighborhood Center

Tuesday, 11/13, 5:30-8:30pm, Operator –Community Night, Fogelman Executive Center, University of Memphis