Five conversion-eligible schools are moving forward to the next stage of the Achievement School District conversion process. Conversations with school communities at Sheffield and Caldwell-Guthrie elementary schools, Kirby and Raleigh-Egypt middle schools, and Hillcrest High School will continue through December when individual Neighborhood Advisory Councils (NACs) will make recommendations about partnerships with ASD-authorized public school operators.

Three public school operators submitted Applications for School Transformation (AST) on October 23, making official their intentions to continue the process in the hopes of being selected to serve a school community during the 2016-17 school year. The six-week assessment phase includes a review of each Application for School Transformation by the NACs.

Applications for School Transformation

Caldwell-Guthrie Elementary School • Scholar Academies

Hillcrest High School • Green Dot Public Schools

Kirby Middle School • Green Dot Public Schools

Raleigh-Egypt Middle School • Scholar Academies

Sheffield Elementary School • Aspire Public Schools (Updated, 11/11/15)

Sheffield Elementary School • Aspire Public Schools (Previous Version)

After weeks of consideration and conversations with families and community members, the Achievement Schools made the decision not to submit an Application for School Transformation for Hawkins Mill Elementary in Frayser. This means Hawkins Mill will remain with Shelby County Schools for the 2016-17 school year.

Neighborhood Advisory Councils (NACs) Begin Convening the Week of October 26.  NACs for the five school communities moving forward in the conversion process have been selected and will begin convening this week to review operator applications.

“This is an exciting time in the conversion process when the NACs get to the heart of the work in determining strong matches between their school community and potential operators,” said Anjelica Hardin, ASD Director of Strategic Partnerships. “It’s where the rubber meets the road. NACs get to help shape the schools their communities want and need, and the operators get to show if what their organizations have to offer lines up with that vision.”

ASD conversion process continues for new schools

Neighborhood Advisory Council Members Selected. Over the past three months, the ASD recruited members to serve on our NACs. Through letters and calls home to parents, community meetings at neighboring churches, radio and television announcements, emails and social media, a Meet the Operator Fair, and countless individual conversations, the we received 190 applications from parents, students, teachers, and community members interested in serving as a representative of their conversion-eligible school communities.

Everyone who submitted an application was invited to participate in a collaborative selection process that included ASD staff, partner organizations and SCS school and Board leadership as evaluators. In total, the ASD interviewed 69 for positions on school councils in late September and early October.

In total, 39 people were selected for four NACs representing the Raleigh-Egypt Middle, Caldwell-Guthrie Elementary, Hillcrest High, and Kirby Middle and Sheffield Elementary school communities. The majority of members are parents with students attending the eligible school. Other members include teachers, students, former Achievement Advisory Council members and other community residents.

After completing training, each NAC will review the Application for School Transformation submitted for their school and will meet with prospective school operators weekly through November. NACs will decide on operator-school partnerships in early December.

The ASD is calling for broader community input. In addition to making the applications available for public review, the ASD is conducting a survey of school communities to solicit opinions from the community. If you are affiliated with any of the five eligible schools, we encourage you to participate in the survey by November 16.

“Through community meetings, faculty meetings, and other active outreach, we’ve personally communicated with over 700 people whose communities could be affected by this process,” said Hardin. “But we want to hear more. We encourage communities to review operator applications, continue to meet with them, and give us their input through the survey.”

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