Our Mission

The Soulsville Charter School will prepare students for success in college and life in an academically rigorous, music-rich environment.

 

 

Who We Are

The Soulsville Charter School is a tuition-free public charter school located in Memphis, Tennessee.  We serve approximately 600 students in grades 6-12.

We are a REVOLUTION-a force rising up against ordinary expectations and the status quo of public education in Memphis.

Official Nickname: The Soulsville Revolution

Official Mascot: The Tornadoes

Official Colors: Royal Purple and Silver

The Soulsville Charter School (TSCS) is one of three programs under the Soulsville Foundation. The other two are the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and the Stax Music Academy.

TSCS is a part of a larger effort by the Soulsville Foundation to revitalize the community within which the school is located. South Memphis is being changed because TSCS exists. The evidence rests within the individual stories of the students we serve.

We unite students, their families, and our teachers to turn our community around and give children the opportunities they deserve.

Core Values of TSCS

The core values are the values that we want all students to embody as they seek success at The Soulsville Charter School.  We believe that these core values are the key ingredients for success in academics and in life.

Our core values are Community, Respect, Integrity, Scholarship, and Empathy.  We believe that, “As a Community, we RISE.” (Respect, Integrity, Scholarship, and Empathy).

The following is our Soulsville Creed. It is recited every morning to show our pride in our school.

As a Community, we RISE.

We are a COMMUNITY because we need each other.

We show RESPECT because we hold others in high regard.

We have INTEGRITY because it’s right.

We are SCHOLARS because our future depends on it.

We have EMPATHY because we care how others feel.

As a Community, we RISE.

Our Mascot: The Tornado

Tornadoes destroy everything in their path. We will positively destroy everything that stands in the way of our being successful in college in life by RISE-ing as a Community and overcoming adversity.

The Soulsville Story

Begun in 2005, The Soulsville Charter School (TSCS) is a tuition-free public charter school whose mission is to prepare students for success in college and life in an academically rigorous, music-rich environment.

Located in the inner-city Memphis neighborhood of Soulsville, USA, TSCS is adjacent to the site of historic Stax Records, where the Stax Museum of American Soul Music now celebrates and preserves the Stax story.  TSCS began with 60 students in sixth grade in 2005 and has since grown to serve over 530 students in grades six through twelve with over a third of the students living in the Soulsville community.

In 2009, TSCS underwent the process of applying for renewal of its charter and was honored with the unanimous approval of its application for renewal by the Memphis City Schools Board of Commissioners.

Construction completed on our brand new building for the 2011-12 school year. After seven years, TSCS celebrated its first graduating class in 2012 with 100% of our graduating class accepted to college. We proved our students can RISE above ordinary expectations, and the class of 2012 set the bar high for all future graduates.

In addition to being looked upon favorably by the local school district, TSCS has also secured partnerships and relationships with prominent community members to the benefit of both our students and the community, including Rhodes College, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, the IRIS Orchestra, Comcast, archer>malmo, International Paper and others.

Record of Success

Since opening its doors in the summer of 2005, The Soulsville Charter School (TSCS) has sought to serve its students maximally by preparing them for college and life through an academically rigorous and musically rich environment.

This approach has proven to be successful.  On average, TSCS students have consistently outperformed their peers in other schools every year. This success has been accompanied by increasingly high retention rates of students and families. As a result, student and teacher recruitment efforts unfailingly result in a large surplus of applications every year.

The following are highlights of some of the school’s successes since its inception:

◦   TSCS surpassed Adequate Yearly Progress benchmarks each year from 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012, often far surpassing the benchmarks.

◦   The Stanford CREDO study declared TSCS one of just ten schools in Memphis whose students are outperforming their peers in neighborhood schools.

◦   In 2012, 100% of our first graduating class was accepted to college.  The class of 2012 received over $300 million in scholarships and grants.  Our students received over 180 acceptances to more than 50 colleges and universities in 17 states and the District of Columbia including Wesleyan, Vanderbilt, U.T. Knoxville, Tuskegee, Connecticut College, Berklee College of Music, and the University of Memphis.

◦   Middle school students outperformed the system average in all TCAP courses, including outperforming the state in 8th grade math, 6th and 8th grade social studies, and 8th grade writing during the 2011-12 school year.

◦   High school students outperformed the system average in all EOC courses, including outperforming the state in Algebra II, English II, US History, and Writing.

Our Unique Approach

At the core of TSCS’s college preparatory curriculum is an emphasis on great teaching and learning as achieved through standards-based and data-driven instruction in core academic areas. The goal is to make sure that every component of every program pushes students toward college and varied life opportunities.  TSCS also prides itself on its dedicated parents who bring their children to the school year after year, its students who are achieving at levels many thought impossible, and its faculty and staff who believe in the school’s mission and work toward it relentlessly.

TSCS is also known for its unique approach to educating students as evidenced partially by the following:

◦   Extended School Year (beginning August-end June)

Students have the opportunity to spend more time on task.

◦   Extended School Day (7:45-4:30 PM Monday-Thursday and 7:45-2:15 PM Friday)

More time is spent on language arts and mathematics in middle school, and struggling students have time built into the day to receive needed extra help across all grade levels.

◦   Summer Term/Summer Growth Experiences (SGEs)

This required three-week summer session for middle school students has been primarily spent on the local college campuses and gives our students early exposure to college.  High school students are required to engage in a Summer Growth Experience (SGE), which can include a job or internship, volunteer opportunity, or summer program.  In the past, students have attended many prestigious programs all over the country including Governor’s School and Phillips Academy’s (MS)2 Program.

◦   School-Wide Approach to Academics

TSCS’s curriculum is now rooted in the alignment of teaching and learning to the goal of college readiness. This approach impacts planning, teaching, and tracking of student performance, and with this clarity, teachers are able to creatively deliver (and facilitate the delivery) of the content in the way that reaches students best. Our approach is rooted into our comprehensive guide to quality teaching called Revolutionary Teaching (RT).

◦   School-Wide Approach to Culture

TSCS believes that consistently avoiding any disruption to the learning environment produces an incubator for learning and productivity. We also believe that students need a high level of character to be successful at school and in life. Our culture is continually cultivated through our emphasis on consistency across all classrooms and grade levels.

We also believe in incorporating character education: middle school students engage in weekly Positive Young Men/Women sessions, high school students are grouped into advisories that meet for one hour Monday to Thursday, and all students attend our annual Positive Young Men/Women Conferences.

◦   Saturday Sessions: At least four Saturday sessions per school year (9:00-1:00PM)

Students receive mission-aligned and life-beneficial exposure and experiences that would be very difficult to acquire within the traditional boundaries of the classroom. Staff also meets to evaluate student progress.

◦   Soulsville Symphony Orchestra

Almost all students participate in a string-and-rhythm orchestra whether they have previous musical experience or not. (Most do not.) The goal is for them to enhance their education, to learn the discipline of music, to learn what it means to be members of a team, and to enjoy doing it all. The Soulsville Symphony Orchestra has performed for musical luminaries Isaac Hayes, Stevie Wonder, Frankie Beverly, and John Legend, and Kirk Whalum.

◦   Community Partnerships:

Students benefit greatly from TSCS’s partnerships with local institutions that have donated time, books, and resources over the years.

Administrative Staff


Alisha Williamson

Office Assistant

Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
College: Victory University

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Ashley Shores

High School Director

Hometown: Hickory, North Carolina
College: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Brad Trotter

Dean of Curriculum and Instruction - Middle School

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
College: University of Chicago

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Bryan Hearn

Dean of Curriculum and Instruction - High School

Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
College: Rhodes College

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Dorothea White

Office Assistant

Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
College: Jackson State University

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Duke Herenton

Director of Finance & Operations

Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
College: Morehouse College

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Emmanuel McKinney

Dean of Students - High School

Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
College: University of Tennessee

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Iesha Green

Office Team Leader

Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
College: Victory University

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Kate Stakem

Director of Administration

Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
College: Rhodes College

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LaMonn Daniels

Middle School Director

Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
College: University of Memphis

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Michael White

Associate Dean of Students

Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
College: University of Memphis

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NeShante Brown

Executive Director

Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
College: Princeton University

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Thomas Upchurch

Dean of Students - Middle School

Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
College: Sewanee

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Academics

It all starts with an academic program that demands excellence. Our competent and committed faculty and staff motivates and prepares students to reach their full potential (college and life success) by planning and executing instruction well and by using student performance data to guide next moves. They raise the bar high and stick to a “no excuses” philosophy.

Scholarship- Our students know that they must be scholars because their future (college and life success) depends on it. Each week, they receive a report that updates their parents/guardians and them on their academic and behavioral status. The report must be signed by the parent and returned the next day. Scholars who do well are rewarded and pushed ahead. Scholars who need support are helped in many ways, including a mandatory Homework Club for anyone who has not returned the previous night’s homework.

An Emphasis on Structure – TSCS scholars are taught to value learning and that learning is more difficult without good character and good behavior. This is why scholars at TSCS adhere to our school’s Core Values, which are Community, Respect, Integrity, Scholarship, and Empathy. Scholars who reflect the Core Values are rewarded in various ways, and the “Grammy System” allows them to receive such rewards, including special privileges and opportunities.

Grammy System – Students all begin with a certain number of Grammys each day. These can be gained or taken away dependent on positive or negative behavior, respectively. Students with enough Grammys can trade them in for a variety of rewards. The Grammy system is an incentive program that allows students to be rewarded for doing well.

Athletics

The Soulsville Charter School is proud to be a part of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA), offering athletic opportunities for both our middle  and high school students.

For the 2013-2014 school year, we plan to offer the following sports…
Middle School: Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Girls Volleyball, Lacrosse

High School: Men’s Basketball (JV and Varsity) and Women’s Basketball (Varsity), Women’s Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Golf, Track/Field

We will also offer several club sports for students to participate in this year.  We plan to offer rugby, cheerleading, and baseball.

2013-2014 Athletic Director: Mr. Mike White 


News

Summer Growth Experience (SGE) Requirements 2014

 
This year, there are three requirements for all returning students going into grades 10th, 11th, and 12th for the SGE:
1. PowerPoint Presentation
2. Evaluation from Supervisor or Director
3. Proof of Completion (Certificate or Letter/Email from Supervisor/Director)

Neon green packets detailing each of these requirements…

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Decision Day 2014

The purpose of Decision Day is to honor and celebrate, as a school and as a community, the achievements of all the seniors and to collectively send them off to fulfill the mission of The Soulsville Charter School. The celebration…

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March/April issue of our family newsletter!

Each month we publish our newsletter, Soul Snaps, to update families and friends. For families, a printed copy should arrive with each student’s weekly Grammy and progress report on Wednesday, March 26th.  Below is a link to enjoy Soul Snaps at home.
Click below…

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Calendar

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Category Key

  • General

Our Mission

The Soulsville Charter School will prepare students for success in college and life in an academically rigorous, music-rich environment.

 

 

Contact

We know that The Soulsville Charter School is a unique place. We hope that we’ve piqued your interest and would be happy to offer assistance in any way that we can. We also ask you to consider assisting us as well as we prepare students for college and life success. Please feel free to contact us so that we may answer any further questions.

NeShante Brown

Executive Director

neshante.brown@thesoulsvillecharterschool.org
Phone: (901) 946-2535
Fax: (901) 261-6398

The Soulsville Charter School

1115 College Street
Memphis, TN 38106

Office: (901) 261-6366

Located behind the Stax Museum of American Soul Music