Halls of Learning

An overview of schools in the Memphis area.

illustration by Mary Van GIeson | Memphis Urban Sketchers

(page 1 of 4)



General Information

160 S. Hollywood • 416-5300

Shelby County Schools (SCS) is the largest public school system in Tennessee and the 15th largest metropolitan school system in the nation. SCS operates 250 schools, employs more than 24,000 administrators and teachers, and serves more than 225,000 students. More than 50 percent of its educators have advanced degrees, and more than 50 percent have 10 years of teaching experience. The system also administers 48 optional schools, offering students accelerated programs and intensive studies in fields such as health sciences, engineering, creative and performance arts, technology, and aviation.

After many years of discussion, in 2013 the Memphis City and Shelby County Schools merged services, creating the largest public school system in Tennessee. Integrating two systems with varied educational demands has been a challenge. At press time, many details concerning how departments will operate were still being determined. Answers to questions about how the system will function will continue to be answered as the school year unfolds.

The system now consists of all public schools in the city of Memphis as well as Shelby County, which includes schools in Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland, and Millington.
SCS offers several International Baccalaureate Programs at Ridgeway, Germantown, and Bolton High Schools, and academies for rigorous study in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math are open at Bartlett and Southwind High Schools, as well as Ridgeway Middle. These are listed as part of the systems Optional Schools programs (see Optional Schools listing).


School Registration

Parents and guardians must register their child for public school on July 30th. The first day of school is August 5th. However, at press time, the school system had not yet released information about how registration would be handled. For the most up-to-date information, go to the Shelby County School website, scsk12.org. To receive weekly updates, click on the weekly updates button.



SCS offers the Clue program and APEX (Academic Program for Excellence); both are pullout programs for academically gifted students. Screening for these programs begins at the start of third grade, but students in grades K-2 may also be eligible based on class performance. Middle school students are provided opportunities to enroll in courses for high school credit, and high school students can enroll in AP and dual credit courses for college credit


Extracurricular Activities

Many extracurricular activities are available to SCS students, such as Odyssey of the Mind, Beta Club, Drama Club, Junior National Honor Society, National Honor Society, foreign language clubs, Key Club, Wordsmith, newspaper and yearbook, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and student government. In addition, a wide variety of high school athletics programs exist, including: basketball, bowling, pom, cheerleading, soccer, football, golf, baseball, softball, volleyball, tennis, track, and wrestling. Middle schools offer boys and girls basketball and cheerleading.


Exceptional Children & Health Services

Special education and related services are provided to students from age 3 through 21. Students must meet the eligibility criteria and have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) on file. Services are available in the areas of intellectual giftedness (Creative Learning in a Unique Environment [CLUE]), APEX, autism, hearing impairment, speech and/or language impairment, visual impairment, intellectual disability, specific learning disabilities, developmental delay, emotional disturbances, multiple disabilities, and other health impairments.

If you have a child with a disability, contact the principal in the attendance area in which your child lives to discuss services. Free screenings and evaluations are available for all children who either live in an SCS district or attend a private school in the district. Services include educational, hearing-speech-language, and vision. Call 416-9860 for details.

The SCS Mental Health Center provides outpatient mental health services, alcohol and drug prevention, and treatment services.

Special Health Care Services provides coordination, planning, assessment and intervention, and the evaluation of children with chronic health needs. All schools receive the services of a school nurse one day a week.

Coordinated School Health supports the connection between good health practices, academic achievement, and lifetime wellness.


Student Transportation Services

SCS provides free school bus transportation to all eligible students. Transportation “eligible student lists” are provided to all schools at the time of registration. Check with your school at registration time to determine your child’s eligibility. You can also go to the SCS home page and find information. Enter your address and it will tell you the school you are assigned to and whether or not you are eligible for school bus transportation.

The Office of Student Transportation Services (OSTS) determines eligibility from district boundary maps and the boundaries of the Parent Responsibility Zone (PRZ) for each school. The PRZ used by SCS is 1.5 miles out from all elementary schools and 2 miles out from all secondary (middle and high) schools. If you are located within the PRZ, it becomes the responsibility of the parent to transport the child safely to school. If you reside outside the PRZ, a bus stop will be assigned and the district will assume responsibility for safely transporting those students to school once picked up at their bus stop. Supervision at the bus stops prior to the students’ boarding the bus is the responsibility of the parent. Behavior expectations at bus stops are the same as those within the school building and all policies relating to same apply.

Proper and orderly behavior on school buses to and from school is necessary for the safety of everyone riding. Always keep in mind that riding the school bus is a privilege, not a right. SCS extends this privilege to eligible students and expects proper behavior when riding at all times.

All Exceptional Needs students whose IEP determines transportation as a requirement will be picked up and dropped off door-to-door at their residence of record, regardless of location in reference to the PRZ.


English as a Second Language (ESL)

The ESL transitional program is available to students from non-English language backgrounds who have scored less than English proficient in Listening, Speaking, Reading, or Writing on the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA). The ESL program focuses on developing the student’s competency in English skills and academic achievement standards. Certified ESL teachers are at numerous elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools across the county. If ESL services are not available at your students’ home schools, your child will be reassigned with bus transportation to the nearest ESL cluster school.

Other services offered through the ESL program include bilingual support for school meetings and conferences, training for teachers and parents, bilingual mentors, special classroom materials, after-school support programs, and summer enrichment programs.



Optional Schools offer a world of choices, so each student may explore and develop his or her own special skills and interests. There are two types of Optional Programs. Twenty-nine schools use the school-within-a-school approach, which offers an Optional Program in addition to traditional classes and programs. Fifteen of the programs are optional only, meaning all students enrolled in specific grades participate in the Optional Program. In the following school profiles, optional programs are detailed, and Optional Only schools are designated with an asterisk (*).


*Balmoral Ridgeway Elementary School

Grosvenor Avenue (38119) • 416-2128
Grades: 1-5  
International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme. To prepare students for future study in an increasingly global community, Balmoral Ridgeway teaches students to be critical thinkers with a worldwide perspective. This program emphasizes the students intellectual, personal, emotional, and social growth.

Bellevue Middle School

575 S. Bellevue Boulevard (38104) • 416-4488
Grades: 6-8 • scsk12.org /schools/bellevue.ms/site/index.shtml
The Enriched Academics/College Preparatory program emphasizes the liberal arts with a focus on Honors Language Arts/English, mathematics, science, and social studies. Arts and music electives offered.

Dr. William Herbert Brewster Elementary

2605 Sam Cooper Boulevard (38112) • 416-7150
Grades 1-5 • scsk12.org /schools/brewster.es/index/.htm
The Enriched Academics/M.A.S.T. program emphasizes accelerated learning in the arts and sciences. This facility is equipped with the latest technology and houses 36 classrooms that include art rooms and science and computer labs. The school benefits from the outstanding support of their community partners.

Brownsville Road Elementary School

5292 Banbury (38135) • 416-4300
Grades: 1-5 • scsk12.org /schools/brownsvilleroad.es/site/index.shtml
The Enriched Academics/International Studies program provides all students with advanced multicultural educational opportunities that enhance academic and social development. Students become internationally minded as each grade concentrates on the customs, cultures, and languages of a specific country.

*Carnes Elementary School

943 J.W. Williams Lane (38105)• 416-3206
Grades: 1-5 • scsk12.org /schools/carnes.es/site/index.shtml
The Environmental Science program encourages students to become environmental explorers by integrating science into the core curriculum. The program also utilizes an outdoor classroom, lab experiences, and field trips.

Central High School

306 S. Bellevue Boulevard (38104) • 416-4500
Grades: 9-12 • scsk12.org /schools/central.hs/centralhomepage.htm
The College Preparatory program offers quality academics for college-bound students and includes honors-level courses in all subjects. Students can earn college credit through Advanced Placement courses. Four years of various world languages are available, and extracurricular activities provide a well-rounded experience.

Colonial Middle School

1370 Colonial Road (38117) • 416-8980
Grades: 6-8 • scsk12.org /schools/colonial.ms/site/index.shtml
Arts and Academics. The Creative and Performing Arts program focuses on art, music, band, orchestra, drama, creative writing, dance, and piano. The Enriched Academics program provides challenging courses in language arts, math, science, and social studies. Clubs and field trips also available.

*Cordova Elementary School

750 Sanga Road, Cordova (38018) • 416-1700
Grades: 1-5 • scsk12.org /schools/cordova.es/site/index.shtml
The Enriched Academics program accelerates and enriches the learning environment through hands-on teaching and learning strategies, the use of supplemental books, field trips, visiting artists, and technology programs like Edmodo, a monitored social network for students, parents, and teachers.

*Cordova Middle School

900 Sanga Road, Cordova (38018) • 416-2189
Grades: 6-8 • scsk12.org /schools/cordova.ms/site/index.shtml
The Enriched Academics/College Preparatory program builds on Cordova Elementary’s foundation. Networked classrooms allow the sharing of innovative educational software. Students use audio/video equipment and computer technology to produce multimedia projects.

Craigmont High School

3333 Covington Pike (38128) • 416-4312
Grades: 9-12 • craigmontchiefs.org
The College Preparatory for International Studies program focuses on social studies, language arts, and world languages. The program exposes students to issues of international scope to foster understanding of cultural diversity. Collaborations with Memphis in May, the Chamber of Commerce, and civic organizations expose students to the international scene.

Craigmont Middle School

3455 Covington Pike (38128) • 416-7780
Grades: 6-8 •  scsk12.org/schools/craigmont.mi/site/index.shtml
The Enriched Academics/International Studies program prepares students to live and work in an increasingly global society. This focus enables a better understanding of world cultures via a concentration on languages and social studies, as well as international activities, music, and the arts.

*Cummings School

1037 Cummings (38106) • 416-7810
Grades: 1-8 • scsk12.org/schools/cummings.es/site/index.shtml
Developing Masterful Mathematical Minds (DM³) offers students a world-class education with an emphasis on mathematics. Since math skills are critical in helping students master other academics, students in the DM³ develop computation skills by integrating them into other areas of the curriculum. Cummings is a laboratory school for LeMoyne-Owen College’s Department of Education.

*Delano Elementary

1716 Delano (38127) • 416-3932
Grades: 1-5 • scsk12.org /schools/delano.es/site/index.shtml
The Computer/Technology program aids students in developing critical thinking, reading, writing, and math skills. Students engage in real world experiences using multimedia, computer technology, digital cameras, and closed circuit TV. Delano received the U.S. Department of Education’s “No Child Left Behind” Blue Ribbon Award for academic excellence.

*Double Tree Elementary School

4560 Double Tree (38109) • 416-8144
Grades: K-5 • scsk12.org /schools/doubletree.es/site/index.shtml
As a modified Montessori/Technology school, Double Tree offers unique opportunities to learn by using hands-on, self-correcting materials in individualized work in grades K-3. Students in grades 4-5 use the media center’s computer lab and SMART Board interactive whiteboards to facilitate student research, learning, and project publication.

Douglass High School

3200 Mt. Olive Road (38108) • 416-0990
Grades: 9-12 • scsk12.org /schools/douglass.hs/site/index.shtml
The Public Service and Communication Arts program offers expert instruction in all courses and hands-on experiences with nonprofit entities and government agencies. Designed for students who want to develop leadership skills while making a difference in their communities.

*Douglass School

1650 Ash Street (38108) • 416-5946
Grades: *K-5, 6-8 •  scsk12.org /schools/douglass.es/site/index.shtml
Expert instruction in Media Arts and Public Service (M.A.P.S.) via Micro Society at Douglass School offers students a unique academic experience in a fully functional representation of microcosms, such as a post office or the mayor’s office, in their classrooms. Students learn entrepreneurial concepts and develop critical thinking, reasoning, and communication skills.

Downtown Elementary School

10 North Fourth Street (38103) • 416-8400
Grades: 1-5 • mcsk12.net/schools/downtown.es/index.html
The Enriched Academics/Social Studies program provides enrichment in all basic courses while placing a special emphasis on social studies. Field trips to historical, educational, and cultural sites downtown are part of every child’s learning experience. Guest speakers from businesses and civic organizations, as well as parents of the school, enhance each child’s learning potential.

East High School

3206 Poplar Avenue (38111) • 416-6160
Grades: 9-12 •  scsk12.org /schools/east.hs/site/index.shtml
The College Preparatory for Health Sciences/Engineering program is designed for students who want to pursue careers in health sciences and engineering. The program focuses on academic achievement and technology. Top colleges and universities recruit East High graduates.

*John P. Freeman Optional School

5250 Tulane Road (38109) • 416-3156
Grades: 1-8 • scsk12.org /schools/jpfreeman.es/site/index.shtml
The Enriched Academics/College Preparatory program is designed to stimulate creativity and develop critical thinking skills. Freeman is the only totally optional school for grades one through eight in the district. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Freeman is among the most academically superior schools in Tennessee and the nation.

Grahamwood Elementary School

3950 Summer Avenue (38122) • 416-5952
Grades: 1-5 • scsk12.org /schools/grahamwood.es/site/index.shtml
The Enriched Academics program recognizes each child as an individual possessing a unique combination of talents and skills. Students achieve a high level of learning through a strong academic program and an experienced faculty who provide successful learning opportunities for all students. Parental involvement plays a vital role.

Havenview Middle School

1481 Hester Lane (38116) • 416-3092
Grades: 6-8 • scsk12.org /schools/havenview.ms/site/index.shtml
The Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) program offers an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons in practical contexts.

*Idlewild Elementary School

1950 Linden Avenue (38104) • 416-4566
Grades: K-5 • scsk12.org /schools/idlewild.es/site/index.shtml
The Enriched Science and Technology Optional program combines academic excellence with a commitment to making the classroom an engaging and productive environment where all students can experience success. The well-rounded curriculum includes music, art, and physical education.

Keystone Elementary School

4301 Old Allen Road (38128) • 416-3924
Grades: 1-5 • scsk12.org /schools/keystone.es/site/index.shtml
ECO: Educating Children Through the Outdoors is the focus at Keystone, where enriched academic learning opportunities includeprimary/intermediate CLUE; outdoor classroom (gardens, pond, “grow rooms,” and amphitheatre); field experiences; science and computer labs; and weekly instruction in the art, music, and P.E. Keystone has won numerous awards for academic achievement.

Kingsbury High School

1270 N. Graham (38122) • 416-6060
Grades: 9-12 • scsk12.org /schools/kingsbury.hs/site/index.shtml
With its Technology/Bioscience/Global Studies program, Kingsbury is a multicultural learning institution with a dual path geared toward academics and technology. The goal is to educate and challenge students to prepare them for possible careers in bioscience, technology, and global studies.

*Lester School

320 Carpenter (38112) • 416-5969
Grades: *6-8 • scsk12.org /schools/lester.es/site/index.shtml
An instructional concentration on Technology capitalizes on the resources available within Lester School’s neighborhood. Students are involved in a variety of activities designed to enhance literacy and math skills. The school contains two computer labs and offers classroom Internet access. Lester also utilizes a podcasting lab as part its technology-focused curriculum.

*Oak Forest Elementary School

7440 Nonconnah View Cove (38119) • 416-2257
Grades: 1-5 • scsk12.org /schools/oakforest.es/site/index.shtml
With its International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme, Oak Forest provides students with a world-class education with a global emphasis. The school’s mission is to develop lifelong learners who solve real-world problems, collaborate with peers, and respect diversity. Instruction in Chinese, art, Orff music, and student leadership is provided to all.

Overton High School

1770 Lanier Lane (38117) • 416-2136
Grades 9-12 • scsk12.org /schools/overton.hs/site/index.shtml
The Creative and Performing Arts program helps students develop their creative and artistic talent through an intense study in vocal and instrumental music, jazz, orchestra, dance, drama, visual arts, broadcasting, and creative writing. Optional students are part of CAPA Academy and can take Honors and Advanced Placement courses.

Peabody Elementary School

2086 Young Avenue (38104) • 416-4606
Grades: 1-5 • scsk12.org /schools/peabody.es/site/index.shtml
Enriched Academics/International Studies. Peabody is a multicultural mecca, incorporating international studies as a distinguishing feature. Each grade studies a different country for an in-depth, global learning experience.

Ridgeway High School

2009 Ridgeway Road (38119) • 416-1802
Grades: 9-12 • www.ridgewayhigh.org or desmondmistrettpa@scsk12.org
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB). Ridgeway offers a program of study recognized worldwide for academic rigor and excellence. The success rate of the graduates exceeds state averages; graduates attend universities across the U.S.

Ridgeway Middle School

6333 Quince (38119) • 416-1588
Grades: 6-8 • scsk12.org /schools/ridgeway.ms/site/index.shtml
The International Baccalaureate Candidate School focuses on developing well-rounded, internationally-minded students who are principled thinkers and reflective risk-takers. Innovative teachers prepare students to be successful in Ridgeway High School’s IB program.

Riverwood Elementary School

1330 Stern Lane, Cordova (38016) • 416-1750
Grades: 1-5 • scsk12.org /schools/riverwood.es/site/index.shtml
The Environmental Science and Community Service program emphasizes building excellence through community consciousness. Teachers lead students in inquiry-based, hands-on learning to solve real-world problems in the arts, math, science, social studies, and community service.

*Rozelle Elementary School

993 Roland (38114) • 416-4612
Grades: 1-5 • scsk12.org /schools/rozelle/site/index/shtml
Creative and Performing Arts. Instructors at Rozelle use the arts to teach academic subjects and to develop individual skills. Artistic talents are enhanced through Encore classes in visual arts, music, drama, creative writing, and dance.

Sherwood Elementary School

1156 Robin Hood (38111) • 416-4864
Grades: 1-5 • scsk12.org /schools/sherwood.es/site/index/shtml
The Academic Enrichment Through the Arts program requires students to read children’s classic literature, current books, and periodicals. Problem-solving activities help develop students’ listening, speaking, and writing skills. Involvement by ArtsMemphis, Brooks Museum of Art, and Dixon Gallery and Gardens enriches the program.

Snowden School

1870 N. Parkway (38112) • 416-4621
Grades: 1-8 • scsk12.org /schools/snowden.school/site/index.shtml
Snowden’s Enriched Academics/College Preparatory program offers a challenging curriculum that stresses academics, creativity, and social development. The elementary program offers in-depth study in all core subjects as well as Spanish, creative writing, computer technology, Orff music, and art. The Middle School program combines advanced academics with diverse exploratory course offerings.

*Springdale-Memphis Magnet Elementary School

880 N. Hollywood Street (38108) • 416-4883
Grades: 1-5 • scsk12.org /schools/sprindalemagnet.es/site/index/shtml
Exploratory Learning provides an innovative environment that encourages creative thinking, supported by science and computer labs. Students can also participate in choir, chess, and art. Springdale’s partners includes businesses, churches, and Rhodes College.

Treadwell Elementary School

3538 Given (38122) • 416-6130
Grades: K-5 • scsk12.org /schools/treadwell.es/site/index.shtml
The Dual Language Immersion program enables students to acquire bilingual skills in a culturally diverse environment. Groups of native English-speaking students are paired with groups of native speakers of another language to provide both a unique foreign language immersion experience.

*Vollentine Elementary School

1682 Vollintine (38107) • 416-4632
Grades: 1-5 • scsk12.org /schools/vollentine.es/site/index.shtml
Science Exploration: Scholars Tackling Academic Rigor Scientifically (STARS) integrates differentiated instruction, intentional science scaffolding, and science discovery. Cooperative learning groups, peer and cross-age tutoring, and a hands-on approach are some strategies used to facilitate learning.

Whitehaven Elementary School

4783 Elvis Presley Blvd. (38116) • 416-7431 • Grades: 1-5
The Enriched Academics program features a focus on science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). The STEM curriculum engages students in hands-on, multidisciplinary challenges designed to build the math, science, and problem-solving skills needed to compete in today’s technology-based world.

Whitehaven High School

4851 Elvis Presley Boulevard (38116) • 416-3000
Grades: 9-12 • scsk12.org /schools/whitehaven.hs/site/index.shtml
The College Preparatory/Business and Finance programs provide a broad scope of student opportunities ranging from a business/finance program emphasizing career preparation to Advanced Placement classes designed to prepare students for college work.

White Station High School    

514 S. Perkins (38117) • 416-8880
Grades: 9-12 • whitestation.net
College Preparatory. White Station High has appeared on Newsweek’s list of top high schools in America more than five times.  The optional program is designed to provide a broad liberal arts foundation for college-bound students in the fields of science, mathematics, medicine, law, education, business, computer science, and public/social service. Students may earn college credit through Advanced Placement courses. Graduates are accepted to the nation’s most competitive universities.

White Station Middle School

5465 Mason (38120) • 416-2184
Grades: 6-8 • scsk12.org/schools/whitestation.ms/site/index.shtml
The College Preparatory program provides academically enriched instruction in English, math, science, social studies, fine arts, and world languages in a state-of-the-art facility. Many students gain local, state, and national recognition for excellence in academic achievement.

Willow Oaks Elementary School

4417 Willow (38117) • 416-2196
Grades: 1-5 • scsk12.org/schools/willowoaks.es/willowoakshomepage.html
The Enriched Academics program offers a curriculum that exceeds state performance standards in reading, math, science, social studies, computer technology, and the arts. Cross-curriculum technology projects, power writing, and field trips further enhance the program, as does a state-of-the-art computer lab, and SMART Board technology.

Wooddale High School

5151 Scottsdale (38118) • 416-2440
Grades: 9-12 • scsk12.org/schools/wooddale.hs/site/index.shtml
College Preparatory and Aviation/Travel and Tourism programs. Students follow a broad outline for a major in English, math, science, or social studies. The Aviation/Travel and Tourism program is an integrated aeronautics curriculum that enhances the study of math, science, engineering, technology, travel and tourism with emphasis on preparing students for post-secondary education or training in these fields.  The National Flight Academy’s Aviation Classroom Experience is an integral part of this program.

Wooddale Middle School

3467 Castleman Street (38118) • 416-2420
Grades: 6-8 • scsk12.org/schools/wooddale.mi/wooddale.html
The Enriched Academics/Aviation/College Preparatory program offers enrichment in language arts/English, math, science, and social studies as well as exploratory classes in the arts and aviation. Students easily transition into Wooddale High’s Optional Programs.   


Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Stories

Dr. Jonathan McCullers' Modern Medicine

November 29, 2015 03:27 AM

The Memphis Homegrown Holiday Gift Guide

November 29, 2015 03:21 AM

The Insider's Guide to 42 Memphis Bars and Taprooms

November 12, 2015 03:59 PM

Add your comment:
Edit Module


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Related Articles

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags