In December 2023, Shelby County Schools earned an ‘A,’ specifically a score of 90, on the state report card. The district score is composed of individual school’s scores on student achievement, academic growth, chronic absenteeism and college and career readiness. Here, Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dr. Lewis Brooks offers his gratitude for the students, parents, teachers and administration who made this grade possible.

Shelby County Schools recently received an ‘A’ on the state report card. To whom do you attribute the school system’s progress, having improved from a ‘B+’ rating last year?

Our goal every year is to be the best school district. We put forth the effort to become better. I’m really proud of everyone for their hard work and their efforts to make Shelby County Schools an instructional shining star for our community. It’s certainly an effort by everyone in our school district.

What tactics did teachers employ in the classroom to improve academic growth?

One thing we were able to accomplish this year was our continued emphasis on assessments. These assessments played a crucial role in analyzing the standards students might have been missing and guiding us on how to address those gaps instructionally. I believe these played an instrumental role in progress monitoring and were pivotal to our continuous improvement efforts.

How were the school system’s parents, students and/or administrative leaders more hands-on in earning this grade this year than in years past?

We host continuous school improvement meetings, involving school leadership teams and parents to discuss areas for focus and growth. We also engage with our students to assess what is important to them in the learning process. Our district emphasis is on service, care and trust, and I hope that we have exemplified these aspects significantly within our educational communities. Everyone in our district is deeply committed to the best interests of our students. Through parental involvement and attention to students’ needs, we will continue to move forward.

What is your favorite part about being the superintendent of Shelby County Schools?

I’ve developed a video podcast called, “One on One with Dr. Brooks,” which provides me with the opportunity to engage with students, discussing their interests and exceptional talents. Over the past three years, I have been truly impressed by the students I’ve had the opportunity to converse with and their remarkable achievements. Reflecting on those conversations, I feel a deep sense of pride. In addition, we have a fifth-grade student who came to our district as a non-verbal first-grader. Witnessing him sing with confidence in front of hundreds of people at a choir concert was unforgettable. Experiences like this underscore the importance of the work we do.

What would you like our readers to know about Shelby County Schools?

Shelby County Schools is a place that is defined by family and a strong commitment to teaching and learning. Our focus is to provide students with the greatest opportunities for their futures, working together to ensure what is best for them.