One important question people relocating to a new area are confronted with is how to choose the right school for their child. And with so many educational choices here in Memphis, the prospect can seem daunting. But it’s one of those good problems. There are many excellent private, public, parochial, charter, optional and adult schools available to residents.

The Memphis metro area has 18 public school districts, over 100 private schools, and more than 250,000 students. Memphis area schools annually attract national recognition and honors for the innovative programs and academic excellence provided to students of all ages.

Many of Memphis’ and America’s greats were products of the Memphis City School system, including entertainers such as Isaac Hayes, Kathy Bates, and Elvis Presley and entrepreneurs such as Avron B. Fogelman and Abe Plough.

For a list of Memphis-area colleges, universities, and technical schools, click here.

To find educational institutions and programs specific to the transportation and logistics industry, click here.


Shelby County Schools

160 S. Hollywood | 901.321.2500 |

Shelby County's Unified School District teaches over 112,000 students in 207 schools. It is the largest school district in the State of Tennessee and 22nd largest in the United States according the National Center for Education Statistics. The district offers a wide variety of curricula that includes music, arts, foreign language, university dual-enrollment programs, skills training and advanced placement courses for college credit. For more information on SCS, please click here

SCS Optional Programs

Shelby County Schools' optional program gives parents choices in selecting a public education that can best fit their children’s talents and abilities. Optional elementary programs focus on different approaches to education. These programs enrich, supplement, and broaden the standard school curriculum. Optional programs at the middle school and high school levels are designed to prepare students for college and careers. Optional schools are tuition-free and accessible to residents from all parts of the county.

There are two types of schools in the county’s optional program. Most programs exist as a school-within-a-school for all grade levels, which means the optional program is offered in addition to traditional classes or programs. However, 14 schools exist exclusively as optional schools: All students who attend these schools participate in the optional program. Call the Division of Optional Schools and Advanced Academics at 901-416-5830 for more information on the program or click here.

Charter Schools

Charter schools are independent public schools of choice. They control their own budget, curriculum, and staffing. Memphis’ charter schools maximize students’ potential by focusing on specific areas of academic interests and employing creative learning techniques. Charter programs prepare children for college by learning how to function productively in a global and technologically advanced society.

Memphis' Achievement School District

901.416.3119 |

The Achievement School District (ASD) is a statewide program aimed at catapulting the least performing schools in Tennessee to the top 25% in the state over a five year period. The ASD is an independent school district that works hand-in-hand with Shelby County Schools and local charter schools to manage existing schools. Currently, ASD manages 23 schools in the Memphis area. For more information on the Achievement School District, click here.  

Arlington Community Schools

5475 Airline Road | 901.389.2497 |

Northeast of the City of Memphis, the Town of Arlington offers students two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Total enrollment is 5015 student. The school district employed 260 teachers during the 2015-2016 school year with average per pupil expenditures of $7,821. For more information, please visit their website at

Bartlett City Schools

5650 Woodlawn St | 901.202.0544 |

The City of Bartlett saw an enrollment of 8,636 students at the start of the 2015-2016 school year. Bartlett School District offers six elementary, three middle, one high school and a Ninth Grade Academy.  They estimate an average per pupil expenditure of $9,071 per student and employ just under 500 teachers. For more information, please visit

Collierville Schools

146 College St | 901.861.7000 |

The Town of Collierville has a total enrollment of 8,113 students across five elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. The Collierville School District employs over 400 teachers. For more information, please visit

Germantown Municipal School District

6685 Poplar Ave | 901.752.7900 |

The City of Germantown educates 5,791 students at three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. One of their schools, Riverdale Elementary, offers grades K-8. The school district employs about 300 teachers and Newsweek has recognized Houston High School as one of the “Best Schools in America” for the past 4 years. For more information, please visit

Lakeland School System

10001 Highway 70 | 901.867.5412 |

Situated near Bartlett and Arlington, the City of Lakeland  has one elementary school with 889 students and 56 teachers within its district. The remaining 2,200 students are currently attending schools in Arlington and Bartlett.  In October 2014, the Lakeland Board of Education approved a $50 million Capital Improvement Plan to fund a joint middle and high school that will open in the fall of 2017. For more information, please visit

Millington Municipal Schools

5020 Second Ave | 901.873.5680 |

The City of Millington is about 10 miles north of Memphis and saw an enrollment of 2,687 students at the start of its district’s first year. The school district is comprised of two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school and employs 182 teachers. For more information, please visit

More information on public schools

Information on school performance, check out the school and district report cards with data on student-teacher ratios and testing outcomes here


There are more than 35 SACS-accredited private and parochial schools in the Memphis area. These schools have a combined enrollment of over 15,000. Covering pre-school through high school education, they offer a range of programs for all kinds of learning styles, many featuring alternative teaching methods. All stress outstanding academic standards.


The Tennessee Home School Law (Tennessee Code Annotated § 49-6-3050) gives parents the option to educate their children at home using three methods: independent, church-related or accredited online programs. Programs must be accredited and approved by the local school district. Accrediting, testing and other information is available from the Tennessee Department of Education by clicking here. 

Page Updated February 2017

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