MEMPHIS, Tenn.– The Shelby County Schools will now be known as Memphis-Shelby County Schools after the board voted to rebrand the district Tuesday night.
SCS said the change was necessary to reflect the geographical location as well as the families they serve. More than 80% of students live within the city of Memphis.
The name was first introduced during the unveiling of their Reimagining 901 plan. SCS said the rebranding is one of several strategies as they “reimagine education, schools, and communities while raising the national profile” of the district.
Before the 2013 merger, Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools were separate school systems.
Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray says in the future there will be no doubts about where the district is located.
“Also, I come from a very religious background and whenever you do something new there is a name change and so we are doing great things for Shelby schools as we re-imagine 901,” he said.
Reimagining 901 also includes closing and merging some schools which is creating concerns.
Among the changes, Maxine Smith STEAM Academy, a middle school in Midtown will be relocated to East High School, which also has a STEM program.
Some students from East voiced their concerns about more students coming to the school and some parents also had questions.
“If STEAM were to come to our building, it would this would take away a significant number of our classrooms and labs,” said a student who attended the meeting.
But Ray said it’s not so much about moving students around. It’s about giving all students access to a high quality education.
“Middle college is one of the most high performing high schools in this country. So, we wanted to create more opportunities for students so we can expand a great high school and so is Maxine Smith,” Ray said.
The changes will begin to take place next school year. The district hasn’t decided yet what it will be doing with the vacated buildings.