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Shelby County Schools will hold public meeting about upcoming school closures in Memphis

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson II, center, with Shelby County school board president Kevin Woods, left, and board member Billy Orgel, right.
Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson aims to increase the district's four-year graduation rate from 75 percent to 90 percent by 2025.
Kyle Kurlick

Shelby County superintendent Dorsey Hopson will listen to and attempt to address public concerns about 13 school closings next Thursday, Jan. 16.

The public will be invited to speak at the first public hearing regarding the closings and Dorsey will attempt to explain the district’s rationale, according to a press release issued by the district Thursday evening.

None of the school closings are final yet, the statement emphasized.

A number of public schools in Memphis have been shuttered in recent years due to under-enrollment and low academic performance.

Last month, the district’s school board approved adminstrators’ plans to move ahead with 13 new closures.

Closing schools is often a fraught process. Superintendent Dorsey Hopson II wrote a public letter last month addressing concerns about the closings:

“In the end, this is not about the buildings we are recommending for closure, but about the lives of the students inside those buildings. Low enrollment and poor academic performance do not serve our children. As a community we are all responsible for the conditions inside all of our schools. So while the process of school closure can be painful, it would be more painful to leave those schools the way they are.”

Dorsey will likely have to repeat those sentiments to frustrated parents, several of whom spoke at last month’s board meeting.

Next week’s meeting will begin at 6 pm on Thursday, January 16 at the district’s administration building at 160 S. Hollywood in Memphis.

The schools slated to close are: Alcy Elementary, Graves Elementary, Gordon Elementary, Klondike Elementary, Riverview Elementary, Shannon Elementary, Westhaven Elementary, Cypress Middle, Corry Middle, Lanier Middle, Riverview Middle, Vance Middle, and Northside High schools.

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