(WMC-TV) – A new initiative is changing opportunities for students in the Mid-South and while some are calling it a takeover, the new superintendent of the Achievement School District in Frayser doesn't see it that way at all.
The announcement came late Monday night; three Frayser schools which consistently ranked in the bottom five percent of student performance will be placed under new leadership.
"We don't see this as a takeover," said Chris Barbic , superintendent of the Achievement School District. "(We) see this very much as a collaboration."
Corning and Frayser Elementary Schools and Westside Middle School will be run the ASD. The schools are between one and three miles apart and all in the Frayser High School feeder pattern.
The goal is to move student performance from the bottom 5% to the top 25% within 5 years.
"Our goal is to make sure that every single student, regardless of grade level, or school or community, has access to an education that's going to make sure that they can go off to college or go off to a career and be successful," said Barbic.
More Frayser schools could be added but for now, the plan is to start small and get it right.
"I think if we do reach a point where it's time to add more schools, I think this will be the community where we start to do that," he said. "But we don't want to add anything until we prove that we can get this done with the schools that we have."
The principal of Westside Middle School said he looks forward to more autonomy and flexibility to help his students succeed.
"For me, being a Frayser High School graduate, parents still stay in the Frayser area," said Bobby White, Westside's principal. "I just see it as a rebirth and an opportunity as opposed to any type of a take over. This is certainly not what this is."
As for office space for the ASD superintendent and staff, there are plans to put their offices inside one of the campuses.
The idea is to stay in Frayser, close to the schools, kids and the community that will benefit most.