MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Class of 2016 at Soulsville Charter School in Memphis has done something not many classes can say they've accomplished. All 76 graduating seniors have been accepted to a four-year college or university.
The feat is impressive, but nothing new for the charter school, which has had 100-percent college acceptance in every graduating class since 2012. The 207 seniors in those classes received scholarships and grants totaling more than $30 million. The graduates are now attending such schools as Rhodes College, Tufts University, University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, University of Memphis, Notre Dame, Sewanee: The University of the South, Christian Brothers University, and many others. This year's class of 76 seniors is the largest ever for the school. This is also the earliest date ever for all students to be accepted.
"We are happy that each of our seniors has post-secondary education options upon graduation from our high school for the fifth year in a row," said Soulsville Charter School Executive Director NeShante Brown.
"Our charge now is ensuring that each senior's post-secondary pathway is the right fit, supporting our alumni success while in college, and continually improving upon making each students as well prepared for college as possible while on our campus."
The school's college counseling team now works strategically throughout the year, meeting individually with each senior and his or her family to review all options on the table. The counselors present the choices in terms of academic, personal (social-emotional, family support, etc.), and financial fit, and encourage students and families to make the wisest choice in relation to each of those factors for the student's specific situation.
"Some students will choose four year, others will choose two year, some may choose trade school, and some might choose military, but getting 100 percent of our students to the place where they have the option to attend college is one of our goals, and we have reached that much sooner this year than ever before," said High School Director Ashley Shores.
The Soulsville Charter School was founded in 2005 at the original site of Stax Records with 60 sixth graders. It is a tuition-free public charter school now serving approximately 625 students in grades 6-12. Any Shelby County Schools student may apply to TSCS and are chosen without bias through lottery. Its mission is to prepare students for success in college and life in an academically rigorous, music-rich environment.