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SCS superintendent’s ‘Reimagining 901’ proposal includes building 5 more schools

Updated: Apr. 19, 2021 at 9:44 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Imagine new schools with the latest technology, high-paid teachers providing quality education and students who graduate ready to compete globally.

Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray presented his “Reimagining 901” proposal to the school board Monday night. It’s all about equity, access and transforming the educational experience for students in every school.

Ray told school board members Monday night that the “Reimagining 901” plan has lofty goals that require heavy lifting.

The high impact initiatives include:

  • Foreign language immersion
  • Reduced student-teacher ratios from 25 to 1 down to 13 to 1
  • Quality Pre-K for all students
  • Increased honors courses
  • New K-8 schools to minimize student transitions

”But I know together, doing the right things for our children and working together and the community wrapping their arms around our children, it will make a world of difference,” said Ray.

Also in the plan, using federal COVID-19 funding and local taxpayer dollars from the Shelby County Commission to catch up on deferred building maintenance like $100 million on broken HVAC systems and $50 million on leaky roofs.

The money would also be used to build five new schools:

  • Frayser High School (Trezevant High students would shift to this school)
  • Treadwell K-8 (which would merge Treadwell Elementary and Middle Schools)
  • Orange Mound K-8 (would merge Bethel Grove, Cherokee and Dunbar Elementary Schools)
  • A new Southeast High School (merging Sheffield and Wooddale High Schools)
  • A new Raleigh 6th thru 12th-grade school (merging Raleigh Egypt Middle and High Schools)

“Critics may focus on words like closure and change as we reimagine the future or our district but it’s so important to focus on the opportunities that are possible,” said Ray.

Another $65 million would be used to replace portables or add space to existing schools.

These are only proposals. More community dialogue is planned. None of the proposals impact the upcoming 2021-22 school year.

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