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VOL. 129 | NO. 145 | Monday, July 28, 2014

Suburban Schools Mark A Week to Debut

By Bill Dries

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Suburban school leaders drop by the Shelby County Schools data center Monday, July 28, to get their first formal look at achievement test scores for their students during the only year of the Shelby County Schools merger.

The Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program – or TCAP – test scores are at the top of a busy week for the six suburban school districts before the school year begins a week later on Aug. 4.

Leaders of Shelby County Schools and the state-run Achievement School District will also get a look at the TCAP data Monday after a preview or sneak peek in the last month.

For the new suburban school systems that debut Aug. 4, the achievement test scores are a baseline for their efforts going forward. Teachers in the six new school districts also report Monday for their first formal day of work.

Schools registration for the suburban school districts as well as Shelby County Schools is Tuesday.

Over the weekend, the Germantown Municipal School District and Collierville Municipal School District marked the debut of their school systems.

Collierville schools leaders held an open house Sunday, July 27, that drew several hundred people at the new school district offices in the old Collierville High School.

Collierville Schools superintendent John Aitken, who had been superintendent of legacy Shelby County Schools and at the start of the merger just before the first and only school year of the merger began a year ago, recalled the “twisty and turning road” to the new school districts after Memphis City Schools and Memphis voters surrendered that school system’s charter in 2011. That led to the merger in August 2013 and then the demerger in which suburban voters in each of Shelby County’s six suburban towns and cities voted to form their own school systems.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell called the formation of the suburban school districts “realizing the American dream.”

“And that is local control of your public schools,” he said to the crowd in Collierville. “And nothing gets better than that.”

Germantown schools leaders held a ceremonial ribbon cutting for their new school district Saturday in Germantown Municipal Park with a large crowd present to mark the moment.

“We were fearful. We were wondering what is going to happen to our schools and what’s going to happen to our kids,” Germantown Superintendent Jason Manuel said of the move to a merger that led into the demerger. “But today, I can tell you what’s going to happen to our kids – we are going to be exceptional.”

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