Laura Faith Kebede, Chalkbeat Tennessee

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Lead isn’t just in water or in schools. Here’s a look beyond the 39 Memphis schools with high levels of lead.

Hundreds of Memphis children who attend schools that recently reported high levels of lead in the water will be tested by health department officials as part of widespread testing on the campuses. About three dozen schools in Tennessee’s largest district tested positive for high levels...

‘It gets unbearable’: As Memphis students await district plan for aging buildings, problems persist

When it gets cold outside, Felix Scott sometimes skips school because he knows there’s a chance heat won’t be working in some classrooms. “I love this school,” Scott, an 11th-grader, said of Kingsbury High School in Memphis. But “most of the time I won’t come...

What parents need to know and do if their child’s school had unsafe lead levels in water tests

As results emerge from water tests conducted in Tennessee schools under a new state requirement, concerned parents are asking what they should do next. Both state and Memphis officials provided suggestions and resources on Friday after Tennessee's largest district reported that 24 schools had at...

14 more Memphis schools test positive for high lead levels in water sources; district awaits results from another 30

Wednesday Chalkbeat reported that 10 Memphis schools had high lead levels, and on Thursday Shelby County Schools officials released a list of 14 additional schools with at least one water source that has tested positive for unsafe levels of lead. District officials told reporters Thursday...

Memphis superintendent names four to cabinet-level positions

Superintendent Joris Ray announced hires for four of the five remaining top leadership posts for Shelby County Schools on Monday. Ray named Yolanda Martin as chief of human resources, Genard Phillips as chief of business operations, Lakshmi Visvanathan as chief information officer, and Tutonial “Toni”...

‘Be more than a teacher’: Memphis students share how they think school staff can help them cope with trauma

When Se’Quoia Allmond’s cousin was shot and killed last year, she was “mad at the world,” she said. Though she felt cared for by her grieving family, she said she needed another outlet to convey her grief. She eventually saw a counselor and slowly...

5 rejected charter applicants appeal to the state, setting the stage for challenge of new Memphis policy

Five charter school applicants the Memphis school board denied two weeks ago for failing to meet new, tighter district standards on charter expansion have appealed the decisions to the state. Every school cited Shelby County Schools’ own analysis of Memphis school options in their arguments...

Two Memphis schools among six in Tennessee to earn national honor for high performance

Two Memphis schools won the Blue Ribbon designation this year, one of the highest honors from the U.S. Department of Education given to just 362 schools nationwide. The schools — Campus School and Maxine Smith STEAM Academy — were recognized for their high scores on...

As union negotiations continue, all Memphis teachers will receive a 3% raise, and some will also get merit pay

For the first time, Shelby County Schools teachers with high evaluation scores will receive pay increases. In addition, Superintendent Joris Ray said the district’s promise to allocate a 3% pay raise to all teachers and licensed school professionals in the Memphis district will go into...

‘Clean up the transcripts’: Fired secretary in grade tampering scandal alleges lax rules in Memphis district

Testimony from the school records secretary at the center of a grade tampering scandal that erupted in 2016 pointed to lax oversight by Shelby County Schools. The Memphis district defended firing Shirley Quinn, the secretary who worked at Trezevant High School for more than two...