(WMC) – WMC Action News 5 Superintendents Week continues with David Stephens from Bartlett City Schools.
Stephens talked about what parents and students should expect on the first day of school.
"I think from the student and parent perspective, it's going to be business as usual. Anytime you start school, in my 27 years in this business, you always have a bump in the road. We expect that. But I think for the parents and the students it's going to be the same teachers, same schools. Maybe a little more excitement cause it's a new district. But I think parents are gonna be pleased," he said.
Stephens also explained how Bartlett City Schools is using the old Shadowlawn Middle School as a new school for high school freshmen, and how it will benefit the students.
"That's our new Bartlett Academy. When I came in as superintendent one of the things as part of the settlement agreement with Shelby County Schools is that we received all the buildings, but not all the students. We looked at the potential our high school could have over 3,000, 9 through 12," he said.
"But previously when I was vice principal at Millington High School we started a 9th grade academy. We had done some research back then and looked at it. You know there's an operation reason we needed to do it, but also there's an educational benefit. So many times 9th grade students do not get off to a great start," Stephens said.
"Research has shown the 9th grade year is such an important year and our goal is that the class of 2018 from Bartlett, which will be this group of students that comes through the Academy, will all graduate and be college ready and I think it'll be a great experience."
Stephens also said that Bartlett City Schools is seeing an increase enrollment from students outside of its district.
"Our projected enrollment is around 8,500, and it seems to be growing every day. We do have an open enrollment policy where students from outside the district went through. One of the schools, Bartlett Elementary, right across the street, there are about 400 students who live in unincorporated Shelby County, who have walked to that school for years. The majority of those students are going to stay at Bartlett Elementary, and we're excited to have them."