Memphis City Schools
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Memphis City Schools
Memphis City Schools
Memphis City Schools (logo).png
, Shelby County, Tennessee
United States
District information
School boardMemphis City Schools Board Of Education
Schools200 (zoned to Shelby County Schools)
Students and staff
Faculty Shelby County Schools
Other information*/

Memphis City Schools (MCS) was the school district operating public schools in the city of Memphis, Tennessee and also served some unincorporated areas in Shelby County, Tennessee. It was headquartered in the Francis E. Coe Administration Building. On March 8, 2011, residents voted to disband the city school district, effectively merging it with the Shelby County School District.[1] The merger took effect July 1, 2013. After much legal maneuvering, all six incorporated municipalities (other than Memphis) planned to create separate school districts in 2014.[2] Total enrollment, as of the 2010-2011 school year, was about 103,000 students,[3] which made the district the largest in Tennessee.

In August 2014 there were six new municipal school districts. Collierville Schools, Bartlett City Schools, Millington Municipal Schools, Germantown Municipal Schools, Arlington Community Schools and Lakeland School System since MCS and SCS merged in one county school district. Shelby County Schools serves the city of Memphis and unincorporated areas of Shelby County, Tennessee.


Memphis City Schools was the school district operating public schools in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis formed this school district in 1830. This procedure was done since the first Memphis schools were charted without an public school district.[4] The first recorded school was "Clay Street School" that was built in 1873.[5] Some of the schools were segregated in Memphis City Schools, while others were not. Segregation started in Memphis City Schools in 1864 to 1890 and started back years later until things had changed.[6]

Spanish sign of Berclair Elementary School

In the mid-1960s the district had about 130,000 students. The numbers of white students and black students were almost equal.[7]

The federal government ordered desegregation in Memphis schools in the 1950s. As a result, Memphis City Schools began desegregation in May 1954. This procedure was done effectively since some of the Memphis schools were all white, but progress was slow.[8] In the mid-1960s the district still segregated its schools.[9]

Daniel Kiel, a law professor at the University of Memphis who had authored publications about school integration in Memphis, said the efforts to desegregate were, as paraphrased by Sam Dillon of The New York Times, "subterfuge and delay".[7] Desegregation first began with the Memphis 13, a group of first graders.[10] The federal government ordered desegregation busing in Memphis in the early 1970s. As a result, massive white flight occurred in Memphis City Schools beginning in 1973. The school district had 71,000 white students. In 1977, the last recorded white students were in Memphis City Schools. Forty thousand white students left while the other 30,000 stayed in the school district.[7]

In July 2011, the Memphis City Schools Board of Commissioners voted to postpone opening Memphis City Schools indefinitely until the Memphis City Council provides money set aside for the school system.[11] The incident was reported in national news.

In 2011 Marcus Pohlmann, a Rhodes College political science professor, wanted to study the Memphis schools to compare performances of schools with low income student bodies and schools with higher income student bodies. He concluded that he was unable to do so because "There are no middle-class black schools in Memphis. They're all poor."[7]

School uniforms

All MCS students were needed to wear school uniforms from the fall of 2002 until the district was dissolved in 2013.[12] Students could wear oxford shirts, polo shirts, turtlenecks, and blouses with "Peter Pan" collars. Colors varied, depending upon the school. In general, all white shirts were acceptable. Sweatshirts had to be white, black, navy blue, tan or any other colors approved by the individual campus. Trousers, shorts, skirts, and jumpers had to be black, tan, or navy blue. Denim clothing was not allowed.[13] When MCS and SCS merged in 2013, the former MCS schools kept this uniform policy while the existing SCS schools did not, since the suburbs plan to form their own districts and leave SCS within a year.[14]

Schools (zoned)

K-12 schools


Secondary schools

7-12 schools


High schools



Middle schools




K-8 schools



K-7 schools


Elementary schools

Zoned elementary schools



  • Idlewild Elementary School
  • Keystone Elementary School
  • Klondike Elementary School
  • Knight Road Elementary School
  • Lakeview Elementary School
  • LaRose Elementary School
  • Lincoln Elementary School
  • Magnolia Elementary School
  • Manor Lake Elementary School
  • Newberry Elementary School[35]
  • Norris Elementary School
  • Oak Forest Elementary School
  • Oakshire Elementary School
  • Orleans Elementary School
  • Peabody Elementary School
  • Rainshaven Elementary School
  • Raleigh-Bartlett Meadows Elementary School
  • Richland Elementary School
  • Riverview Elementary School
  • Ross Elementary School (Unincorporated Shelby County)
  • Rozelle Elementary School
  • Scenic Hills Elementary School
  • Sea Isle Elementary School
  • Shady Grove Elementary School
  • Shannon Elementary School
  • Sharpe Elementary School
  • Sheffield Elementary School
  • Sherwood Elementary School
  • South Park Elementary School
  • Spring Hill Elementary School
  • Springdale Elementary School
  • Vollentine Elementary School
  • Westhaven Elementary School
  • White Station Elementary
  • Whitehaven Elementary School
  • Willow Oaks Elementary School
  • Winchester Elementary School
  • Winridge Elementary School
  • Whites Chapel Elementary School



Alternative elementary schools


Notice: Some of the schools were zoned to Memphis City Schools in unincorporated areas, while schools for Shelby County Schools zoned for elementary and middle schools.

Notice: As of July 2013, Most of all Memphis City Schools were officially zoned to the Shelby County Schools. Some of them became an Shelby County Schools district campus and became apart of a charter school district.

Former schools

Former elementary schools

  • Hollywood Elementary School (closed spring 2007) (Students reassigned to Springdale Elementary School)
  • Lauderdale Elementary School (closed spring 2007) (Students reassigned to Larose Elementary School)
  • Macon Elementary School (closed spring 2007) (Students reassigned to Berclair Elementary School)
  • Ridgeway Elementary School was merged into Balmoral Elementary in spring 2007. The building underwent moderate renovations to accommodate what is currently Ridgeway High School's Ninth Grade Freshmen Academy.
  • Graves Elementary School, closed in 2014.
  • Hyde Park Elementary School, demolished in the 1970s.
  • Frayser-Raleigh Elementary School, opened as Spring Hill in the 1980s, the school is officially known as Promise Academy.
  • Carnes Elementary, closed in 2017 within the Shelby County Schools district.

Former secondary schools

Former high schools

Blue Ribbon Schools

Seven Memphis City Schools have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education's Blue Ribbon Schools Program, which honors schools that are academically superior or demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement.[36] These schools are:

  • 1982-83 -- Snowden School
  • 1985-86 -- Grahamwood School
  • 1989-90 -- Trezevant Middle/High School
  • 1992-93 -- Craigmont Junior/Senior High School
  • 1993-94 -- Richland Elementary School
  • 2004 -- Keystone Elementary
  • 2005 -- Delano Elementary School
  • 2008 -- John P. Freeman Optional School

Other facilities

Memphis City Schools was headquartered in the Francis E. Coe Administration Building,[37][38] It was shared with the pre-merger Shelby County Schools. The building has two wings, one for each district. As of 2013 the corridor linking the wings had a double-locked doors, and the glass panels had been covered by particle boards. Irving Hamer, the deputy superintendent of Memphis City Schools, described the barrier as "our Berlin Wall."[7]

See also


  1. ^ McMillin, Zack (8 March 2011). "Memphis voters OK school charter surrender". The Commercial Appeal. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2011.
  2. ^ Coverage of the School Merger News for Memphis, TN from The Commercial Appeal Archived February 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Campbell Robertson, Memphis to Vote on Transferring School System to County Archived June 7, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, January 27, 2011
  4. ^ "Back to the future: A new school district secession movement is gaining steam". The Washington Post. May 2, 2018.
  5. ^ "First school of Memphis City Schools". Memphis Tech High. August 3, 2014.
  6. ^ "Memphis City Schools Segregation". Chalk Beat. May 18, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e Dillon, Sam. "Merger of Memphis and County School Districts Revives Race and Class Challenges Archived June 15, 2013, at" The New York Times. November 5, 2011. Retrieved on June 3, 2013.
  8. ^ "Battering Ram: The Tragedy of Busing Revisited". Memphis Magazine. March 4, 2011.
  9. ^ "Desegregation in Memphis". Memphis Magazine. June 1, 2014.
  10. ^ Moore, Linda (October 2011). "The Memphis 13: First-graders made history 50 years ago integrating Memphis schools". Memphis Commercial Appeal. Retrieved 2015.
  11. ^ Associated Press, 07.20.11-Fund spat delays Memphis school start indefinitely Archived July 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Public School Uniforms". NAESP. Retrieved 2014.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Memphis City Schools School Uniforms." Memphis City Schools. March 8, 2012. Retrieved on June 2, 2013.
  14. ^ "School Uniform Policies Remain Unchanged". Memphis Daily News. 30 May 2013.
  15. ^ Bellevue Middle School[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ East Career and Technology Center Archived December 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Kingsbury High School, Kingsbury Archived December 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Treadwell High School Archived November 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ G.W. Carver High School Archived August 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ East High School Archived May 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ a b Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Fairley High School Archived April 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Frayser High School Archived November 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Hillcrest High School Archived January 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Hamilton High School Archived October 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Manassas High School Archived January 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ Melrose High School Archived June 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ Mitchell Middle/High School Archived March 10, 2003, at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ Northside High School Archived April 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ Archived October 6, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ Sheffield High School Archived November 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ Westood High School Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ Whitehaven High School Archived December 8, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ Middle College High School Archived June 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ Newberry Elementary Archived November 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ Blue Ribbon Schools Program Archived April 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ "Contact Us Archived June 14, 2013, at the Wayback Machine." Memphis City Schools. Retrieved on July 2, 2013. "Memphis City Schools 2597 Avery Avenue Memphis, TN 38112"
  38. ^ "Board of Commissioners Archived March 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine." Memphis City Schools. Retrieved on July 2, 2013. "[...]the Francis E. Coe Administration Building, 2597 Avery Avenue."

Further reading

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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