MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Airways Achievement Academy has been added to the list of Memphis-Shelby County Schools getting a “Fresh Start.”
According to a statement from MSCS, “Airways Achievement Academy is the final “fresh start” campus this school year. As Memphis-Shelby County Schools works to reimagine education in the 901, we are committed to improving the culture and climate of our learning environments.”
Last week FOX13 learned that educators at Hamilton High School and Kingsbury High School were told they would have to reapply for their jobs.
MSCS says employees interested in working at one of these “Fresh Start” locations must follow the application process and must be selected for an interview.
FOX13 went line by line through the new job openings on the Memphis Shelby County Schools website.
There were 355 openings listed last week on the district’s website. The vast majority were for “classroom teacher” for the next school year. There were also 46 openings at Hamilton High.
Executive Director of the Memphis Shelby County Education Association Keith Williams told FOX13 he learned about the ‘Fresh Start’ from one of his sisters who works at one of the schools.
Williams said the way the school system went about it was not how the “Fresh Start” system was designed.
“It said that half the teachers may leave and half could be rehired and that the administrators had to go,” he said.
Williams said that it is not how the “Fresh Start” system is contracted to work, and he feels the district has rewritten things without involving the teachers or their union.
Some local education advocates told FOX13 that this isn’t fair to educators and that the issue should not be blamed on teachers alone. Many community leaders said they wanted the district to try something different.
After learning about the “Fresh Start” plan at Hamilton High School and Kingsbury High School on Wednesday, FOX13 learned teachers and staff at KIPP Memphis Public Schools have to reapply to keep their jobs.
Last week, FOX13 reached out to MSCS to further expound on its efforts, but beyond a statement explaining the definition of “Fresh Start” and pointing us to a quote Superintendent Joris Ray gave to a newspaper last year, the MSCS Media Relations staff told FOX13 in an email last week that “The District will not be conducting interviews regarding this matter.”
Monday, the district confirmed Airways Achievement Academy is part of the “Fresh Start” effort.
MSCS sent the following, described as “a brief FAQ and context regarding the District’s “FreshStart” process.”
What does “Fresh Start” mean at MSCS?
“Fresh Start” means instructional and non-instructional positions at a school or in an administrative department will be posted to reassess staff and ensure the best outcomes for students.
What is the basis of a MSCS “FRESH START”?
A “Fresh Start” allows for a close examination of culture, climate, and data to ensure student success and achievement.
Will employees who currently work at a “Fresh Start” school or administrative department at MSCS automatically lose his/her job or be considered for positions?
All employees who are interested in a position at the “Fresh Start” location must follow the application process outlined by Human Resources and must be selected for an interview.
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