Laura Faith Kebede, Chalkbeat Tennessee

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SCS will close schools Friday through March 30 as coronavirus spreads nationwide

Shelby County Schools will be closed starting Friday and reopen March 30, a week after spring break, because of “rapidly changing conditions” of COVID-19, the district said. The Memphis district’s planned spring break starts Monday, and staff were already scheduled to do deep cleanings of...

As more black and Hispanic students enter Memphis’ gifted program, here’s how it might change

Memphis school leaders say it’s not enough to invite more black and Hispanic students into its gifted program through a new screening process. Shelby County Schools officials will continue to look for implicit bias, which district leaders say played a role in excluding many students....

Memphis superintendent says he will ‘stay the course’ in inaugural state of the district address

In the first address of its kind in Memphis, Superintendent Joris Ray said he will stay the course on his current initiatives, including improving literacy, reworking a massive facilities plan, and boosting academic performance for black boys. “The state of our district is strong,” Ray...

Memphis board spares three charter schools from closure, breaking with district staff

All seven charter schools up for renewal this year won agreements to operate another 10 years despite a recommendation from Shelby County Schools staff to close three of them. A unanimous vote from the Memphis school board spared Memphis Business Academy Middle, Memphis College Preparatory...

Memphis superintendent creates teacher advisory council amid stalled salary negotiations

A teacher representative from every school in the Memphis district can provide input into district decisions under a new teacher advisory council that Superintendent Joris Ray announced Thursday. Ray said in September as he announced a 3% raise for most teachers that he “does not...

No more ‘secret handshake’: Universal screening qualifies 600 more Memphis students for gifted education. More to come.

Before this month, just one student between kindergarten and second grade, a white boy, was identified as gifted at Treadwell Elementary School in Memphis, where half of the students are black, more than a third are Hispanic, and just 4% are white. Now, eight other...

Memphis charter network appeals decision to shrink enrollment

A Memphis charter network is appealing Shelby County Schools’ decision to shrink its elementary school enrollment by nearly a fifth. A successful appeal to the state Board of Education would mean the school could keep the spots for 135 students and avoid reducing its incoming...

Judge rules fired football coach at center of Memphis grade changing scandal can have his job back, attorney says

A judge ruled the football coach fired from Trezevant High School for changing student grades should be reinstated, says the former coach’s attorney. Teli White was suspended three years ago for his part in the scandal after a district investigation, but was fired a year...

Memphis teacher salary proposal would boost starting pay and compensate advanced degrees

The starting salary for new Shelby County Schools teachers would increase to match or exceed neighboring competitors, and teachers would be annually compensated for master’s degrees under a district counterproposal presented to teacher groups on Friday. The proposal would add $2,000 to the compensation of...

Memphis charter school leader fired after internal investigation

The executive director of the Memphis Academy of Health Sciences, one of city’s oldest charter networks, was fired last week following an internal investigation. Corey Johnson was placed on suspension with pay last month and fired on Dec. 3, according to Ricky Wilkins, the network’s...