Reimagining 901: Shelby County Schools unveils plan to transform education, school buildings

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Schools unveiled a plan to transform the education experience for students.

Superintendent Joris M. Ray presented his Reimaging 901 proposal to the school board Monday, according to a release from SCS.

The district has “serious inequities” that are impacting students’ achievement in schools and growth in the community, the release said.

Reimagining 901 will create more access to programs and services, eliminate barriers and align community resources to help students succeed.

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According to the release, initiatives include reducing the adult-to-student ratio, providing additional pre-K seats for students, creating a Medical District High School in August 2021 and launching a world-class Agri-STEM High in August 2022.

The district also plans to increase honors courses, create theatre and visual/performing arts programs in all schools and more.

SCS is exploring later start times for high schools and establishing Kindergarten through eighth schools to minimize student transitions, the release said.

Expansions and renovations of schools would take effect in the 2022-23 school year, and some may not occur until 2032.

Under the plan, five new school buildings are proposed for Frayser, Treadwell, Orange Mound, Southeast and Raleigh areas, the release said.

Two schools will be recommended for closure in 2022.

The plan also includes combining and expanding schools to create new strategic purposes for existing buildings.

According to the release, five schools are being targeted to transform into community hubs that not only support students but offer services for the entire community.

The changes will require rezoning for several schools, including Brownsville Road Elementary, Cordova High, Dexter K-8, White Station Elementary and White Station Middle.

No decisions have been made at this time. The plan is currently a proposal.

There are no immediate plans for changes to any schools in the coming 2021-22 school year, the release said.

The soonest board members would vote on these proposals is early 2022.