Memphis City Schools

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Memphis City Schools
Memphis City Schools (logo).png
Type and location
Region Memphis, Tennessee
Country United States

Memphis City Schools (MCS) was the school district operating public schools in the city of Memphis, 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) will 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.

MCS served the entire city of Memphis. Some areas of unincorporated Shelby County were zoned to Memphis City Schools from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Some unincorporated areas of Shelby County were zoned to schools in Shelby County Schools for elementary and middle school and Memphis City Schools for high school.[citation needed]

As of August 2014 there are six new municipal school districts. Collierville Schools, Bartlett City Schools, Millington Municipal Schools, Germantown Municipal Schools, Arlington Community Schools and Lakeland School System. Shelby County Schools serves the city of Memphis.


In the mid-1960s the district had about 130,000 students. The numbers of white students and black students were almost equal.[4]

In the mid-1960s the district still segregated its schools. Daniel Kiel, a law professor at the University of Memphis who had authored publications about school integration in Memphis, said that the efforts to desegregate were, as paraphrased by Sam Dillon of The New York Times, "subterfuge and delay".[4] Desegregation first began with the Memphis 13, a group of first graders.[5] In 1973 the federal government ordered desegregation busing in Memphis. As a result, massive white flight occurred in Memphis City Schools. In 1973, the school district had 71,000 White students. In a period of four years, 40,000 of the White students left.[4]

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.[6] 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."[4]

School uniforms[edit]

All MCS students were required to wear school uniforms from the fall of 2002 until the district was dissolved in 2013.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9]


K-12 schools[edit]


Secondary schools[edit]

7-12 schools[edit]


High schools[edit]



Middle schools[edit]




K-8 schools[edit]



K-7 schools[edit]


Elementary schools[edit]

Zoned elementary schools[edit]


  • Oakhaven Elementary School
  • Shelby Oaks Elementary School
  • Treadwell Elementary School
  • Wells Station Elementary School
  • Westside Elementary School
  • Westwood Elementary School
  • White's Chapel Elementary School
  • Whitney Elementary School


  • Peabody Elementary School
  • Rainshaven Elementary School
  • Raleigh-Bartlett Meadows Elementary School
  • Richland Elementary School
  • Riverview Elementary School
  • Ross Elementary School
  • 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



Alternative elementary schools[edit]


Former schools[edit]

Former elementary schools[edit]

  • 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.

Former secondary schools[edit]

Former high schools[edit]

Blue Ribbon Schools[edit]

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.[32] These schools are:

  • 1982-83 — Snowden School
  • 1985-86 — Grahamwood 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[edit]

Memphis City Schools was headquartered in the Francis E. Coe Administration Building,[33][34] 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."[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McMillin, Zack (8 March 2011). "Memphis voters OK school charter surrender". The Commercial Appeal. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 9 March 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, The New York Times, January 27, 2011[dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d e Dillon, Sam. "Merger of Memphis and County School Districts Revives Race and Class Challenges." The New York Times. November 5, 2011. Retrieved on June 3, 2013.[dead link]
  5. ^ Moore, Linda (October 2011). "The Memphis 13: First-graders made history 50 years ago integrating Memphis schools". Memphis Commercial Appeal. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  6. ^ Associated Press, 07.20.11–Fund spat delays Memphis school start indefinitely Archived July 20, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Public School Uniforms". NAESP. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Memphis City Schools School Uniforms." Memphis City Schools. March 8, 2012. Retrieved on June 2, 2013.
  9. ^ School Uniform Policies Remain Unchanged (30 May 2013). Memphis Daily News  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^
  11. ^ Archived December 24, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^, Kingsbury Archived December 1, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Archived November 30, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Archived August 4, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Archived June 9, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ a b c Archived September 30, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Archived April 15, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Archived November 28, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Archived April 10, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Archived January 15, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Archived January 15, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Archived June 9, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Archived September 30, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Archived April 28, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Archived October 6, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Archived November 14, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ Archived June 19, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ Archived September 30, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ Archived December 8, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ Archived June 12, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ Archived November 28, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ Blue Ribbon Schools Program Archived April 8, 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ "Contact Us." Memphis City Schools. Retrieved on July 2, 2013. "Memphis City Schools 2597 Avery Avenue Memphis, TN 38112" Archived June 14, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ "Board of Commissioners." Memphis City Schools. Retrieved on July 2, 2013. "[...]the Francis E. Coe Administration Building, 2597 Avery Avenue." Archived March 3, 2013 at the Wayback Machine

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]