Hopson discusses expected closure of 13 SCS schools - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Hopson discusses expected closure of 13 SCS schools

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (FOX13) -

During a packed informational meeting Thursday Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said this is the first time a Memphis school board had to hold community meetings to discuss school closures.

Thirteen school buildings throughout the school district are targeted for closure.

He said low enrollment numbers helped land the 13 schools on the possible closure list.

"We have failed these schools," Superintendent Hopson said.

Hopson told the assembled crowd of concerned parents, teachers and students he hopes no matter what school their kids go to, they should stay involved, no matter what happens.

Hopson said the district has to improve the literacy rate. He was shocked when he looked at the numbers and found out that only 28-percent of Memphis students are reading at their appropriate level.

He also said SCS has to focus on literacy, qualified teachers, and helping schools performing in the bottom five percent of Tennessee. Hopson showed on an overhead screen a report card for school that encompassed several pages. He said he was unhappy with number of Fs on it.

He said that low enrollment, low utilization rate, and low student achievement are the main reasons for considering the possible closure of the 13 schools.

The district will be holding more discussions and meetings at the schools that are slated for possible closure, Hopson said, and he asked for a community plan to help improving the literacy rate.

During the address the superintendent said he gave Carver High School credit and that Carver supporters came to SCS with a plan. He also challenged other schools targeted for closure to do the same.

Before he let 40 people to speak, Superintendent Hopson also mentioned he learned the concept of "blended learning" in Huntsville, Ala., where students there have iPads or laptops. He also realized SCS can't do that district-wide but it is something to examine to help improve the literacy rate.

The proposed schools to be closed include seven elementary schools, five middle schools and one high schools.

  •  Gordon Elementary
  •   Klondike Elementary
  •   Shannon Elementary
  •   Cyprus Middle
  •   Northside High
  •   Alcy Elementary
  •   Graves Elementary
  •   Riverview Elementary
  •   Westhaven Elementary
  •   Correy Middle
  •   Lanier Middle
  •   Riverview Middle
  •   Vance Middle

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