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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.
Shelby County is comprised of two separate school systems: Memphis City Schools (MCS) for students in the city limits, and Shelby County Schools (SCS) for those outside the city limits. MCS offers 212 schools to more than 101,600 students grades K-12, making it the largest school system in Tennessee. MCS is also the second largest employer in Memphis, with 16,119 local employees. MCS has 135 National Board Certified Teachers — more than any other school system in the state. Ninety-five percent of the teachers in MCS are considered “highly qualified” by the standards of the No Child Left Behind Law.
The system also had 17 National Merit Semifinalists in 2010-2011. In 2011, the senior class received more than $178 million in scholarship offers. MCS's Douglass Elementary was one of 200 schools in the nation to be selected as a 2010 National No Child Left Behind “Blue Ribbon School.”
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.
The other school system in the county is Shelby County Schools, the fourth-largest school system in Tennessee. The system has more than 46,000 students, and Money Magazine recently recognized SCS as one of the “Top 100 School Systems” in America.
SchoolMatch has also honored the system for ten consecutive years with their “What Parents Want” award.
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.
For information about the Memphis Youth Career Development Program, click here.
2597 Avery Ave. | 901.416.5300 | www.mcsk12.net
160 S. Hollywood | 901.321.2500 | www.scsk12.org
The Memphis City 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 city.
There are two types of schools in the city’s optional program. Most programs exist as a school-within-a-school, which means the optional program is offered in addition to traditional classes or programs. However, 15 schools exist exclusively as optional schools: All students who attend these 15 schools participate in the optional program. Call the Office of Optional Schools at 325-5338 for more information on the program.
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.
Located adjacent to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Provides an academically rigorous, musically rich environment with the mission of fully preparing students both academically and emotionally for college.
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.
At Memphis Oral School, deaf children are listening and talking. Small class sizes, daily speech therapy, onsite cochlear implant mapping and therapy works toward this early intervention program’s goal of mainstreaming children into regular education programs. Through “Sound Beginnings,” parents with children under 3 learn from audiologists how to assist their child at home.
Phoenix has an individualized and arts-based learning program for middle and high school students of average or above-average IQ. Students are diagnosed with ADD and/or other learning disabilities.
Shady Oaks offers special, individualized instruction for students with ADD, dyslexia, and other learning difficulties. Classes are held in a positive environment with multi-sensory reading and phonics designed to build self-confidence and prepare students for the traditional classroom. Music, art, and Spanish offered. Tutoring is available.
The Catholic Diocese of Memphis administers 25 schools in the Memphis area, serving preK to 12th grade students. Tuition for Catholic diocese schools does not include individual school fees. Some schools offer family discounts and scholarships. An asterisk (*) indicates a private, non-diocesan school that sets its own tuition.