MBJ: CBU emerges as new Crosstown High School partner
“Plans have resurfaced for a high school at Crosstown Concourse after Gestalt Community Schools abandoned its plans in October.
Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson presented plans for a 500-student high school within the $200 million Crosstown development.
The school would be a partnership between Shelby County Schools and recently formed nonprofit Crosstown High School Inc. Christian Brothers University president John Smarrelli, a partner in the newly formed nonprofit, would serve as the president of the school’s separate nonprofit board, similar to the structure of the University of Memphis’ Campus School.
Hopson stressed to the board that Crosstown would be committed to diversity. As part of that commitment, a memorandum of agreement between the nonprofit and SCS says Crosstown would have a goal of at least 35 percent of its students qualifying for free or reduced lunch, which some board members questioned since it is not reflective of the 80 percent of SCS students who currently qualify.
The school is anticipated to open in the 2017-2018 academic year as a magnet institution, available to SCS students who would be admitted based on test results.
The SCS board would distribute an annual funding amount equal to the per pupil amount public charter schools receive, multiplied by Crosstown’s average daily membership.
As stated in the memorandum, the SCS board and Crosstown view this high school as a unique opportunity to create a college preparatory school that, by virtue of its location in the Crosstown Concourse building, can leverage partnerships with well-respected organizations including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, the Church Health Center and local universities to provide a rich educational experience for students.”