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Rise & Shine: Behavior specialists are back in Memphis schools

Good morning!

Recently, we went behind the scenes with behavior specialists in Shelby County Schools to understand their role in helping the district reduce suspensions and improve student behavior. Find out why that's important in today's featured story.

And also be sure to check out this surprising case of a community group proposing that the district close one of its neighborhood's schools.

— Laura Faith Kebede, reporter

STUDENT DISCIPLINE Looking for the ‘why’ behind student suspensions, Memphis schools turn to behavior specialists — again. Chalkbeat

EMPOWERMENT ZONE It isn’t every day that parent leaders press their school district to close a local school. But that’s exactly what has happened in one Memphis neighborhood as a group reckoned with the challenges facing Manor Lake Elementary School. Chalkbeat

MONEY FOR BOOKS Shelby County Schools is considering an expensive boost to its elementary reading curriculum, a move district leaders say is needed given students’ extreme struggles with literacy. The Commercial Appeal

MOVERS & SHAKERS Chief Counsel Rodney Moore is leaving Shelby County Schools, effective March 5. The Commercial Appeal

NEW HEIGHTS Students and administrators at East High School’s T-STEM Academy talk about aviation training and a flight simulator at the Memphis school. WHBQ

BEYOND HIGH SCHOOL The widow of Tri-State Defender publisher Bernal Smith donates more than 150 suits, ties, shirts and shoes for opening of Memphis Urban League’s empowerment center in Smith’s name to provide workforce training and mental health services to young men. Tri-State Defender

TROUBLE AT THE TOP Franklin police allege Williamson County Schools Director Mike Looney grabbed a student by the arm and forced her out of the school as officials worked to get the student to the hospital for psychological evaluation. The Tennessean

SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY The Hamilton County school board calls on state lawmakers to overturn state’s A-F grading system to grade schools, joining a growing list of school districts making the same request. Times Free Press

STUDENT SAFETY President Donald Trump’s suggestion that teachers should be armed and trained to combat school shooters draws criticism. WREG

After a snafu in Knox County’s threat alert protocol, law enforcement and school district leaders announce “tweaks” to security system. Knoxville News Sentinel

A group of Church Hill high school students cancel participating in a nationwide school walkout over concerns that they might be punished. Kingsport Times-News

State lawmakers looking to boost voter registration among 18-year-olds hope the political participation in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting will translate to the ballot box. The Jackson Sun

EXTRA CREDIT

PHOTO: SCS Newsroom
Carrie Bernans, a stunt double in the movie “Black Panther” and graduate of the University of Memphis, visited several Memphis schools last week to talk about her Hollywood career and encourage students.