ASD extends application deadline for councils who explore possible take overs

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The deadline for applications to join one of four Achievement School District Neighborhood Advisory Councils was extended beyond Monday.

The Advisory Councils are the people who will determine which charters should pair with schools and effectively get taken over.

Earlier this month, the ASD announced one or more of its charter operators had an interest in Caldwell-Guthrie Elementary, Hawkins Mill Elementary, Hillcrest High, Kirby Middle, Raleigh-Egypt Middle, and Sheffield Elementary.

Those schools were placed on the priority list and did not show the growth the state requires to protect them from takeover.

The ASD said neighborhoods will have a key voice in what gets decided.

It is forming Neighborhood Advisory Councils with students, teachers, administrators, and neighbors.

"They get to bring that school and community context that they have to talk one on one with those operators to make the determination on whether or not that operator is the best to serve that school community," said ASD Director of Strategic Partnerships Anjelica Hardin.

ASD said it extended the deadline to September 23 to give people more time to apply and to accommodate for another ASD neighborhood meeting on Tuesday.

The ASD said at least 165 have applied.

Approximately 139 of those applicants mentioned one of the six schools in talks to possibly be taken over.

Those who did not mention those schools either mentioned different schools, not being considered for take over, or they did not mention a school at all.

"We are looking for folks who are open-minded, who really want the best for their school community," Hardin said.

WREG was told there will be four councils.

Some involved two schools based on geography.

There will be a council for Caldwell-Guthrie, Sheffield and Kirby, Hawkins Mill and Raleigh-Egypt, and one for Hillcrest.

So far, there have been the most applications for Sheffield and Kirby.

Sheffield Elementary parent Bianca Smith had not heard about the councils but said she has concerns for what is ahead.

"The teachers are trying their best to accomplish, but no, I don't think they should take over the school," Smith said.

Hardin said everyone who applies for the council will be granted an interview Saturday.

The ASD said it is possible if councils cannot successfully match a charter operator and a school, it is possible the school might remain with SCS another year.

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