SCS seeks parental input in face of possible school closures, me - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

SCS seeks parental input in face of possible school closures, mergers

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Shelby County Schools could see some major changes soon. Those changes include merging of schools and closing the doors of others. However, the final voice is yours.

SCS is asking parents to help make their schools better. But, in order to make that happen, there may have to be some painful decisions made--such as which schools should be closed.

"There seems to be so, so much, I guess inequality in the schools here," Lauren Perry, parent/former teacher, said. "And not as much of an opportunity for everyone here."

Perry is the mother of two and a former teacher in Shelby County. 

SCS calls its plan "Greater Schools Greater Community". 

It's aimed at improving lower-performing schools. But, what is good news for some is bad news for others. In order to improve some of the lower performing schools, that means an end to some of the others.

SCS is trying to put the minds of parents at ease by assuring them that if a child's school is closed or merged, the child's education will not suffer.

"Some schools will have to close, merge or be transformed in order to achieve the optimal conditions for high quality education. But, if a child's school is going to be closed or transformed, parents should be assured that the next school will provide their children with better opportunities to learn and grow," reads the school district's website.

Perry is not so sure about the concept proposed by SCS.

"If you're doing it for the reason that you feel like, it's going to get kids into a school where there are teachers that are really going to help them," Perry said. "That's fine. If you end up busing kids to some place where they are not even part of their own community, I don't know if that's always the best idea."

SCS has not confirmed which schools could close; it also declined to confirm reports that as many as 24 schools are on the chopping block.

"At this point, we have not decided if there are going to be school closures, school merges, or even the creation of new schools because that could be a possibility in this platform," Cynthia Alexander Mitchell, Director of Division of Family and Community, said.

Although the district has not confirmed the schools that are on the chopping block, they have said how those schools will be determined.

"We're looking at academic achievement of that school," Mitchell said. "We're looking at enrollment in that school, is there an increase or decrease or an influx in and out the neighborhood. We're looking at the safety."

One of the first meetings will be held October 17 at 6:30 p.m. at East High School on Poplar Avenue. 

The rest of the scheduled meetings are as follows:

October 17 @ 5:30 p.m. - Zone 3 at the Ed Rice Community Center
2907 N. Watkins St. 

October 17 @ 5:30 p.m. - Zone 5 at Cordova Library 
8457 Trinity Road

October 19 @ 6 p.m. - Zone 6 at the Whitehaven Library 
4120 Millbranch Road

October 19 @ 5:30 p.m. - Zone 8 at the White Station High School
5465 Mason Road

October 19 @ 5:30 p.m. - Zone 2 at the Gaisman Community Center
4221 Macon Road

October 20 @ 5:30 p.m. - Zone 9 at the Poplar-White Station Library
5094 Poplar Avenue

October 24 @ 5:30 p.m. - Zone 1 at the Bruce Elementary School
581S. Bellevue Blvd. 

October 24 @ 5:30 p.m. - Zone 4 at Hickory Ridge Town Center
6075 Winchester Road

October 24 @ 5:30 p.m. - Zone 7 at the Oakhaven High School
3125 Ladbrook Road

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