Municipal schools prepare for new school year

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The band is already rehearsing at Houston High, a sure sign the school year isn't far away.

They aren't the only ones getting ready. In the library, students fill goodie bags for teachers, who will hit the halls this Monday morning for a big in-service teacher's rally, the first for the newly formed Germantown Municipal School District.

"This is our first year as Germantown Municipal School District. We want to make sure our employees feel valued. We want them to know this is something different. This is our school district," said Elissa Stratton, Director of Human Resources for Germantown Municipal School District.

Germantown is one of several municipalities that for the first time is running its own school system.

They had to start from scratch from hiring to curriculum for 5,400 students at five schools.

"It is a lot of ground work but we've had so many dedicated employees, volunteers, some of the most talented people around sharing their ideas, resources and strategies and we all came together and have the goal of making Germantown Municipal School District the best global district," said Stratton.

The new Collierville School System has plenty to brag about too, including a new administration building that will be the center of an open house this Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m.

It's a chance for everyone to see where the business of running 8 schools with 8,000 students will be handled.

"I think we are there. Right now we are 98 percent there. There are always a few loose ends to tie up. You always know on the first day of school there are gonna be some minor issues to pop up no matter how much planning you do. We will be ready for those and change as we need to," said Russell Dyer, Chief of Staff for Collierville Schools.

Several new school systems plan events for back to school.

Saturday, Germantown Schools will have a kick off party at 6 p.m. at the Germantown Municipal Park.

Collierville's open house will be held Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the administration building at 146 College Street.

Bartlett will have a kick-off celebration Saturday, August 2nd from 10 a.m. til noon at Bartlett United Methodist Church across from Bartlett High School.