MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Four Memphis schools that had been operated by the state-run Achievement School District will be returned to the Shelby County Schools district in 2022-23, SCS announced during a press conference on Monday.
The schools are: Frayser Achievement Elementary School, Corning Achievement Elementary School, Georgian Hills Achievement Elementary School and Whitney Achievement School.
The Achievement School District was set up by the State of Tennessee in 2012 to turn around low-performing local schools. Twenty-four of the 26 schools in the ASD are located in Memphis.
According to a press release, each school has a ten year limit in the Achievement School District. Frayser Achievement Elementary School, Corning Achievement Elementary School, and Georgian Hills Achievement Elementary School are currently in year ten. Whitney Achievement Elementary School, currently in year nine of its ten-year tenure, will also be returning to SCS following the current school year, one year early.
During the press conference, SCS Superintendent Dr. Joris M. Ray said that the transition was about progress and ensuring academic and social growth achievement.
“We’re committed to welcoming back these families and implementing a transition plan that minimizes the impact on students and families,” SCS Superintendent Ray said.
The announcement comes as a study by the Thomas Fordham Institute named metropolitan Memphis as the “second most impactful school district in the country” with “remarkably effective schools despite the high poverty level,” according to a release sent by SCS. The rankings are heavily weighted toward student progress.
The study said Memphis was No. 1 in the country in academic growth of Black, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students.
Dr. Lisa R. Settle, ASD Superintendent said, the Achievement School District was “never meant to be a school’s forever home, and we know our students will continue to achieve and grow in their new school district.”
Sen. Raumesh Akbari issued a statement Monday calling on the state to invest more funds in student success saying in part:
“Shelby County schools belong under the management of Shelby County Schools. We know there is no magic solution that makes it easy to educate children with an inadequate state budget. There’s only hard work ahead. But I am glad our local officials are working in conjunction with the state to make this transition back to Shelby County as smooth as possible for students and their families. The next challenge that must be addressed at the state level is to ensure every public school student in Shelby County is supported with the resources and budget they need to succeed.”
SCS operates the largest school district in the Memphis metro area, which also includes district in several suburban towns and cities.
SCS Superintendent Ray announced there will be two informational sessions for parents on Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 5:30 p.m. at Trezevant High School and January 2022.
The date, time and location for the January session will be announced at a later date.