After closing five charter schools in Memphis this year, Shelby County Schools will open five more, maintaining the district’s charter school count at 45.
The handoff comes following a turbulent spring that resulted in the state’s first charter revocation appeals since 2002 when a new state law opened the door to charters in Tennessee.
It also comes as the district released its first annual report this week on the status of its charter school sector, which now serves about 10 percent of the school system’s student population.
The new schools authorized by Shelby County Schools are:
Aspire East Academy, opening with kindergarten and first grade in Hickory Hill. This is the operator’s fourth year in Memphis under the state-run Achievement School District, but its first school with Shelby County Schools.
Freedom Preparatory Elementary, opening with kindergarten and first grade in its space at Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church Family Ministry Complex in southwest Memphis.
Memphis STEM Academy Elementary, opening with kindergarten and first-grade students in Frayser. This is Memphis Business Academy’s fourth school and second elementary school. The operator already has been approved for two more schools in the district for 2017.
Nexus STEM Academy Middle School, opening with sixth-graders under Memphis-based Gestalt Community Schools, which operates several schools under Shelby County Schools and the state-run Achievement School District.
The closed schools are:
Moving Ahead School of Scholars, which closed after one year of operation targeting students living in Foote Homes, Memphis’ last housing project, which is scheduled for closure this fall. Many of Foote Homes families have moved or are in the process of relocating.
New Consortium of Law and Business, which had two campuses, had its charter revoked earlier this year following allegations of mismanagement. It was the second time in as many years that revocation was recommended by Superintendent Dorsey Hopson.
Omni Prep Academy’s North Pointe Lower and North Pointe Middle schools were among charters that unsuccessfully appealed revocation this spring based on performance.
Southern Avenue Middle was among charters that unsuccessfully appealed revocation this spring based on performance.