GRAD Academy Memphis to close after school year

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - After five years under contract with the Achievement School District, Grad Academy, formerly South Side High School, will close at the end of the school year.

Tuesday, a sign hanging out front listed a phone number encouraging 9th graders to enroll.

But rather than taking in new students, all current students will soon be forced to complete their education elsewhere.

Project Grad USA which operates out of Texas, but runs the school in Memphis, said they issued a statement and told students and parents about the closure on Monday and offered personal support to help with the transition.

WMC Action News 5's emails were not immediately answered by Project Grad USA or ASD about the transition and how many students and teachers will be impacted.

We've learned it was board decision by Project Grad USA to close the school based on sustainability challenges, not performance.

Jonathan Giles has family in South Memphis and expressed his concern for students who may lose mentors.

"You're losing a lot of teachers who you've grown close to, who have taught you about life because teachers are more important than anything," Giles said.

Shelby County Schools shut down nearby Carver High school in 2016 due to under-enrollment.

Other south Memphis high school options include Soulsville Charter School and Booker T Washington.

Giles says he believes the school closures are becoming a quick fix to long-term challenges.

"I feel like the solutions shouldn't be closing down another school but really getting inside and finding out the issue so you can fix it from the inside instead of closing it down. That sounds like a shortcut kind of answer," said Giles.

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