Shelby County Schools
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SCS General Information


Shelby County Schools Technology Plan
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District Information

Located in the extreme southwest corner of the state, the Shelby County school district is the fourth largest school system in Tennessee with a population of over 48,000 students. Our district includes all the public schools in the county outside the corporate limits of the city of Memphis, including those schools located within the six (6) incorporated towns of Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland and Millington.

The system is administered by a seven member Board of Education who reside within seven special election districts located within the Shelby County school district. Prior to 1998, school board members were appointed by the County Commission. In the fall of 1998, school board members were elected to 4-year terms in the odd-numbered districts and 2-year terms in the even-numbered districts. Future elections will be for 4-year terms. The superintendent is employed by the Board of Education and serves as secretary to the Board. Regular meetings of the Board are held on the last Thursday of each month. When any regular meeting date falls on a legal holiday or during a holiday season, the meeting will be rescheduled by the chairman. Tennessee law makes no specific provisions for the participation of the public in the meetings of the local boards of education; however, Tennessee law does require that every meeting of the Board, other than meeting with the attorney to discuss pending or threatened litigation, will be open to the public and press.

A community school concept is followed as closely as possible in the assignment of students to schools. However, rapid growth in Shelby County, annexation by the city, and federal court orders have a definite influence on the location of schools. Growth rates in Shelby County are currently the highest in the state creating an increase in student population averaging 1,000 students each year. Grade structure may vary due to growth in certain school areas and construction of new facilities; however, the primary design is elementary, middle and high school. High schools have grades nine through twelve. All schools are air-conditioned and constructed to provide a variety of instructional services and programs. The parent may contact the school or assistant superintendent of instruction to request a listing of available services or to determine their child's eligibility for services in specific programs. All facilities are inspected periodically by personnel from the Shelby County Health Department, the Shelby County Occupational Safety and Health Department, the Shelby County Building Department, and representatives from the State Fire Marshall's office.

Our schools meet or exceed the standards set by the Tennessee State Department of Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Twenty-nine years ago Shelby County Schools (SCS) was the first Tennessee school system accredited in its entirety by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). This pioneering accreditation spirit continues today with the recent acceptance of SCS by SACS as one of the first systems to begin the SACS CASI District Accreditation process. This new accreditation format is only available to systems with a history of demonstrating successful implementation of the SACS process which includes a commitment to standards, support for school improvement, providing direction, meeting standards, and engaging in continuous improvement and demonstrating quality assurance. In order to maintain accreditation the school system hosts regular visits by professional peers representing SACS to assure systemwide quality. An integral component of the SACS and state requirements are comprehensive self-evaluative school improvement plans which are in place for each school and are updated regularly.

Our system has made an extensive commitment to quality instruction. We proudly celebrate the numerous awards and accomplishments of our students and staff, who are recognized each year for excellence in academic, athletic, and service endeavors on local, state and national levels. Money Magazine has recognized Shelby County Schools as one of the "Top 100 Schools Systems" in the United States. For nine consecutive years our system has been honored by School Match Inc. with the "What Parents Want Award." Vital to the success of our students and our system is the continuous support of parents and the PTA associations throughout the county. The Shelby County Council and the local member units of the PTA win numerous awards each year for the integral part they play in the success of our children. Shelby County Schools PTA has the largest membership in Tennessee. <<Top of page


Mission & Vision Statements

MISSION

Empowering all students for success in learning, leadership, and life.


VISION

To fully engage our staff, students, and stakeholders in becoming world class leaders in student achievement, character, citizenship, health, and technology through training, rigor, relevance, and relationships.


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System Objectives

The system's objectives shall be as follows:

  1. To create an atmosphere in which students may discover themselves as persons of dignity and will be able to maintain positive self-images;
  2. To evaluate, determine, and provide for the needs that affect the education of every student;
  3. To provide a safe environment which protects and encourages the student to use principles of safety and good health;
  4. To utilize teaching techniques which promote student success;
  5. To develop a proficiency in the basic reading, writing, listening, speaking and computational skills, and the ability to apply them effectively in communication and problem-solving;
  6. To provide various opportunities that motivate the students to develop their intellectual potential;
  7. To provide opportunities which develop well-adjusted individuals with the highest principles of good character;
  8. To help develop an understanding of the function, needs, and care of the human body and provide activities to develop physical potential;
  9. To encourage an appreciation of cultural and aesthetic values;
  10. To provide opportunities for parents, students, and the professional staff to work cooperatively for better communication between school and community;
  11. To provide a total school program flexible enough to meet individual needs and stable enough to provide a sense of security; and
  12. To encourage continual growth that produces informed, responsible citizens who contribute to the society and learn to profit from all experiences within the environment.<< Top of page

Academic Offerings

The Shelby County School District offers a comprehensive instructional program for over 45,000 students enrolled in grades K-12.

All elementary schools provide curriculums that emphasize the development of basic skills and make provisions for development beyond the basics through appropriate classroom and enrichment activities. Creative thinking and problem solving strategies are interwoven across the curriculum. Full day kindergarten programs and special services for remedial and academically gifted students are available.

Each high school provides students with academic and vocational course offerings designed to prepare them for post-secondary education and/or employment. Although heavy emphasis is placed upon providing an education built upon the core curriculum in English, math, science, foreign languages, and fine arts, numerous alternative academics and vocational elective courses are offered.

The Advanced Placement Program of The College Board is also offered in each high school. Through success in A.P. Classes, Shelby County high school students earn college credit for secondary school courses. Students from Shelby County high schools are selected annually as National Merit Scholar Finalists, Semi-finalists, and Commended Students.

From the foundation laid at the elementary level through the basic level courses and the wide range of Advanced Placement courses offered in the high schools, the Shelby County School District meets the academic needs of today's students.<< Top of page


Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements for Students Who Entered Grade Nine Before 2001-2002 and still remain in school
Any student who graduates with a regular diploma from a public school in Tennessee must:

  • have passed both parts of the Tennessee Competency Test or passed the Gateway Language Arts Test and/or the Gateway Mathematics Test as needed.
  • before graduation, every student shall have the opportunity to take an exit exam as adopted by the State Board of Education.
  • earn the required number of credits.
Diplomas will not be issued to Shelby County School students who have not met these requirements. Special Education students may earn a regular diploma based on the IEP team's recommendation, by passing the TCAP competency test by age 22 , and fulfilling the requirement of the IEP.

Graduation Requirements For Students Who entered Grade Nine in 2001-2002 and Thereafter
Any student who graduates with a regular diploma from a public school in Tennessee must:
  • pass all three Gateway Test (one in English ll, one in Algebra l, and one in Biology l).
  • before graduation, every student shall have the opportunity to take an exit exam as adopted by the State Board of Education.
  • earn the number of credits as indicated below. (Note that Biology l has been added as a required science.)

Diplomas will not be issued to Shelby County School students who have not met these requirements. Special Education students may earn a regular diploma based on the IEP team's recommendation, by passing the three Gateway tests, and fulfilling the requirements of the IEP.


University Path
The following 20 units shall be required for graduation:
English Language Arts........................................ 4 Units
Mathematics (must include at least Algebra l
or Math Tech ll and Geometry and Algebra ll)......
3 Units
Science***......................................................... 3 Units
United States History......................................... 1 Unit
World Geography or World History.................... 1 Unit
Economics......................................................... 1/2 Unit
United States Government................................... 1/2 Unit
Wellness............................................................ 1 Unit
Fine Arts........................................................... 1 Unit
Same Foreign Language...................................... 2 Units
Electives............................................................ 3 Units
Total................................................................ 20 Units

Technical Path The following 20 units shall be required for graduation:
English Language Arts......................................... 4 Units
Mathematics (must include at least Algebra 1
or Math Tech ll)..................................................
3 Units
Science***......................................................... 3 Units
United States History........................................... 1 Unit
World Geography or World History..................... 1 Unit
Economics.......................................................... 1/2 Unit
United States Government................................... 1/2 Unit
Wellness............................................................. 1 Unit
Specialized Technical Area.................................. 4 Units
Electives ............................................................ 2 Units
Total................................................................. 20 Units

Combined Path
The following 21 units shall be required for graduation for students who choose BOTH THE UNIVERSITY PATH AND THE TECHNICAL PATH:
English Language Arts......................................... 4 Units
Mathematics (must include at least Algebra 1
or Math Tech ll and Geometry and Algebra ll).......
3 Units
Science***.......................................................... 3 Units
United States History........................................... l Unit
Economics.......................................................... 1/2 Unit
World Geography or World History...................... 1 Unit
United States Government.................................... 1/2 Unit
Wellness............................................................. 1 Unit
Fine Arts............................................................ 1 Unit
Same Foreign Language....................................... 2 Units
Specialized Technical Area................................. 4 Units
Total................................................................. 21 Units


***Any student who enters grade nine in 2001-2002 and thereafter must include Biology l as one of the three required science units.


Participation in Commencement Exercises(Policy 6308)
Only students who have met all state requirements and mandates for a high school regular diploma or special education diploma by graduation date, will be allowed to participate in commencement exercises. A student's behavior must be acceptable to the school principal in order for the student to participate in the school graduation ceremonies.

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