Two MCS elementaries could merge due to declining enrollment - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Two MCS elementaries could merge due to declining enrollment

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Memphis City Schools administration wants to merge two schools due to declining enrollment.

Caldwell Elementary is known as the "School for Gifted and Talented Students," but that's not enough to prevent its doors from possibly closing. The school's enrollment has dropped 70% over the last decade.

"Our school board accepted two impact studies which have been proposed towards the closure of Caldwell Elementary and the River City High School program," Memphis City Schools Chief of Staff Alfred Hall said in a news conference earlier this week.

Last week, the Memphis City Schools administration proposed the closure of Caldwell, and Monday, the school board accepted a study supporting the closure.

School Board President Martavius Jones said it is not the goal of Superintendent Kriner Cash to shut down schools.

"But the idea is to re-purpose more of our schools more in our neighborhoods because they provide such a vital link and source of pride and sense of pride to the communities in which they serve," Jones said.

If Caldwell closes, students would go to Guthrie, less than a mile away.

According to the Tennessee Department of Education, Caldwell and Guthrie got F's in academic achievement, but Caldwell did a little better.

Also, Caldwell is in Good Standing with the No Child Left Behind Act, while Guthrie's status has been lowered as a school that needs improvement after failing Adequate Yearly Progress two years in a row.

But eyes do not lie.  The building at Caldwell is clearly falling apart in comparison to Guthrie.

"Additional hearings will take place in those communities to gather additional feedback throughout the month of January," Hall said.

After the hearings, the school board will likely make a decision in February to give parents adequate time to adjust, if need be.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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