SCS imagines big changes to local schools with new plan

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A long-range plan by Shelby County Schools focuses on academic expansion as well as closing, consolidating, updating and building new schools throughout the district.

The Reimagining 901 plan was presented to Shelby County school board members this week by Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray, who said the goal is to transform learning for all students by closing learning inequality gaps at some schools and communities. 

If approved, with investments from the Shelby County Commission and COVID-19 relief fund the district expects deferred maintenance on school facilities to be almost eliminated by 2032. 

With the changes come proposed closures. Those include Northwest Prep — students there would instead attend Carver High — and Shady Grove Elementary — those students would attend Dexter and White Station Elementary. That wouldn’t happen until 2022.

There are also multiple schools that would be rezoned and then combined into newly built schools.

This would affect students of all ages throughout the city as five new school buildings could be coming to the Frayser, Treadwell, Orange Mound, Southeast and Raleigh parts of Memphis.

Five other schools could become community hub schools by August of 2022. 

In a recorded video superintendent Ray said critics of the plan may focus on closure and changes but said the future of the district must be reimagined. If approved, he said the earliest parts of the plan would happen in 2022 while some of the proposals wouldn’t happen until 2032.

The district will be seeking community input, and the plan still needs to be signed off on by the school board and county commission. 

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