GDPST RE-ENTRY AND RECOVERY UPDATES

I'm Every Woman
“I am a woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman…that’s me!” – Maya Angelou
In the words of the great poet Beyonce, “Who runs the world? GIRLS!” Green Dot Public Schools TN is honoring the accomplishments of the many women who drive the work of transforming education in our communities. We know that the many roles women fill in our organization, from executive director to office coordinator, facilitate learning environments that meet the academic, social and emotional needs of our scholars. Thank you to every woman who has given of themselves to ensure a better experience and future for the students of GDPST. We could not do this work without you. SALUTE!
From the desk of Ms. Lameika Pegues
Bluff City High School
Often referred to as the baby of the Green Dot Public Tennessee schools, Bluff City High School continues to make it mark as an institution to develop and push students to be engaged and active members of their community. Despite the restrictions placed upon us due to COVID-19, we continued through online platforms to connect with our students and parents.

I am excited to share with the ways we have continued to support and celebrate the Wolf Pack.
  • We welcomed and celebrated our first graduating class with a Class of 2021 Senior Kickback. This event helped prepare these 12th graders for a non-traditional senior year.
  • To remain connected with our students we hold monthly assemblies to celebrate our grade level students of the month.
  • Not to leave out parents, we hold monthly P.A.C.K. meeting via Zoom with our parents to share updates, receive their feedback, and answer questions. At this meeting, we announce and celebrate our parents of the month. We appreciate when parents support the PACK. Also, for parents we have Parent University.
  • Parent University was created as the primary strategy to build the capacity of parents to be actively engaged in their child's education. The goal of the program is to educate and empower parents as partners, advocates, and lifelong teachers in their child's education through educational courses and leadership opportunities.
  • Each month, we hold incentives to celebrate our students’ attendance and academics. During these online celebrations, students have won Nike gear, tablets, and flat screen TVs. These great prizes ensure students are focused on their academic achievements.
  • Through diligent planning, we have been able to host several on-campus academic and celebratory events. These small, structured events allow us to engage with students while following the necessary precautions to ensure our students and staff are safe.
  • In keeping with our mission of preparing students for college, leadership, and life, we have held monthly lunch in learn series that focus on these topics. We have had college beauty queens, Army staff sergeant, a movie stunt double and actress, and music producers meet with our students virtually to discuss pursing your dreams.
  • We are looking forward to continuing to support our students through the return to in-person learning. To date, we have about 60 students on campus who are able to receive the safe, face-to-face instructions they need to make academic gains. Through the implementation of a robust safety plan, we have ensured the safety of our staff and students and have not had to report any COVID-19 transfer cases.
When you look at all of the things we have accomplished this year, you may say that’s a lot, but we are just getting started. Even with restrictions, we have been able to continue to support our students and surrounding community. As we moved forward and the opportunities to re-engage in person grow, Bluff City High School’s goal is continue preparing our students for college, leadership, and life. We are working to ensure that when you hear Bluff City High School or Grays Wolves it is synonymous with parents who are connected to the school, students who are engaged and thriving, and a staff who work continually to reach and teach the students we serve.
I am truly fortunate to be able to engage daily with the students, parents, and staff of Bluff City High School.  Being a member of the Wolf Pack for me means being a part of positive change. I know that the future is bright for our students and look forward to seeing the impact they make on their community, the city of Memphis, the state of Tennessee, and the county of the United States. When you call one Wolf, you get THE PACK.
From the desk of Ms. Christina Austin
Fairley High School

It has been my greatest honor to serve as an administrator with Green Dot Public Schools TN. I have grown up through the ranks, first coming to GDPST as an Algebra II teacher, then as an instructional coach, an assistant principal and now a principal. I have a clear understanding of what it means to be an administrator but what it means to be a principal in one of the most challenging academic climates is something there is not training for and no way to really know the expectations. Though we have faced many challenges, I am proud of the work we have accomplished with the amazing team of people who partner with me in this work.
Fairley’s key accomplishments include:
  • The Fairley alumnae and community provided financial support to over 10 families for utility assistance.during the pandemic
  • We are having a successful transition to in person learning
  • Our students have shown growth from iReady window 1 to 2, proof that our teachers have worked tirelessly to ensure students are receiving solid instruction
  • We have strengthened community partnerships, enabling more stakeholders to assist in supporting the students at Fairley
  • We have increased enrollment through second semester
We know the work we have ahead of us only continues to build on what we have already done. Our goals for the future include:
  • Decreasing chronic absenteeism and increase graduation rate. We have made great strides but know we can do much more to improve these metrics for our school.
As a leader, I have been motivated by seeing my students grow academically, socially and emotionally. I know that when they graduate, they are prepared for college, leadership and life. Nothing illuminates my success more than hearing my students share their accomplishments and explaining how they realize how much school helped them reach their goals.
From the desk of Mrs. Marian Williams
Kirby Middle School
Martin Luther King Jr. once said “Everybody can be great...because

anybody can serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”  Serving others has always been a passion of mine and has played an important role in my leadership style over the past few years.  Servant leadership has been especially important during this pandemic as the need for additional support for our stakeholders has grown.  At the start of this school year, my approach was the same as any year.  I reflected on the previous year and used those takeaways to cast the vision for the next school year.  The presence of the pandemic made this process more important this year due to the uniqueness of the challenges at hand.  However, the greatest challenges often make this work more rewarding, and we have already begun to see some of the fruits of our labor.  My vision for this year was for students, parents, and staff members to truly feel cared for, supported, and served. After working to gain buy-in from the team to truly up our creed which proclaims that “Cougars CARE”, we have been able to make those C.A.R.E. Values (community, academics, respect, & excellence) come to life in ways that we’ve never been able to before.

  • Our team has made more calls home and has conducted more home visits than ever before.
  • We have had restorative conferences with multiple families and have worked to provide additional support to our students who have disabilities or extra obstacles preventing them from being able to attend school.
  • Back in September, we opened our doors to some of our students who needed to be in person at the school to get assistance with virtual learning.
  • I’m most proud of the way that GDPST has worked to provide additional resources to address opportunity gaps and have ensured that we’ve been able to meet our students’ most basic needs.  Because of that, all of our students now have a laptop which has not only expanded the teaching and learning methods but has also given our students the opportunity to be that much more prepared for the technological demands and educational experiences aligned to college.
  • I’m also proud that we’ve been able to continue to provide food assistance to families through our partnership with the YMCA, MSFB, & SCS Nutrition Services.
  • During this difficult time, our school community has also come together to be able to support some of our families who have experienced loss and tragedies themselves including house fires and deaths.  With each tragedy, the Kirby community has demonstrated such resilience, unity, and love, and this has been extra motivation that I have needed to lead our school’s team and community during this time.
While our team consistently goes above and beyond, we have also attempted to keep the learning experience as close to usual as possible so that our students can feel some sense of normalcy.
  • Our students still get to talk about the current events that they see on student news daily.
  • Our school community still practices mindfulness and meditation daily.
  • We still have community circles where students are free to express themselves. We have encouraged our students to reach out to us if they feel that they need counseling or someone to talk to.
  • Our teachers have prioritized developing relationships with students and connecting with their students in different ways to keep our school spirit up.
  • We have continued to plan student events and incentives to give our students something to work for every day.
All of these rituals have kept our students engaged which has helped keep our Average Daily Attendance rate competitive while most schools across the nation are seeing dramatic dips in attendance.  Keeping a sense of normalcy and stability for students is a true driving force for all of the adults on our team.  Therefore, one of my greatest hopes is that we will eventually be able to fully return to normal school life like what we had before COVID, before the extra restrictions and guidelines.  Despite the challenges that we’ve been able to overcome and the challenges that we are still overcoming, I’m truly proud of the work we’ve been able to do and the service that we’ve been able to provide to all of our stakeholders during such difficult and unprecedented times.
From the desk of Mrs. Marysa Utley
Wooddale Middle School
Whew, what a school year this has been! Who knew that 2020 and 2021 would bring so many historical moments and new adventures? Despite the current pandemic, I am super proud of the many accomplishments that we have made as a Wooddale Family during this unprecedented time, such as:
  • We are welcoming 100+ students to in-person classes daily.
  • Our Safe and Civil Teacher Leader Team created the model supervision plan that included all COVID-19 guidelines for G.D.P.S.T.
  • We currently maintain a 0% transmission rate between staff and students.
  • We developed a twenty-one-step cleaning protocol for all common areas and classrooms.
  • We offer additional resources to our students, including food, clothing, housing assistance, water, shoes, utility bill assistance. This process is completed with the support of several of our community partners such as N.I.K.E., Communities In School, Mid-South Food Bank, Walmart, M.L.G.W., and Greater Community Temple C.O.G.I.C.
  • Our Wooddale Middle School Staff personally provided monetary gifts weekly to our families in need during the COVID-19 lockdown.
  • Created emotional support areas for students and staff to support mental wellness.
  • Increased communication with students and families via personalized calls/ text, emails, and home visits to ensure our students continue to grow academically and support daily attendance.
  • We continue to ensure every stakeholder has a sense of belonging by maintaining a positive school culture through our weekly student incentives, celebrating our student/ parent successes with home visits that include surprise home visits, yard signs, and gifts.
My goals for Wooddale Middle School are to:
  • Ensure that every student, parent, community member, and staff feel valued, supported, and loved whenever they are on our school's campus.
  • Continue to model, develop a passion for learning, and instill the belief that success is possible in every student we serve.
  • Become the school transformation model for the entire world by ensuring that all of our students are prepared for high school, leadership, and life when they leave our doors.
The resiliency of the Wooddale Community motivates me daily. Despite whatever challenges my students, parents, and teachers face, they continue to "SOAR LIKE EAGLES" by constantly operating in a spirit of excellence.
The love for learning and dedication to seeing our students and our Wooddale Middle Community succeed is definitely in our building, and I am thankful and honored to be a part of the team.

Important Documents

Need WiFi at home?

Green Dot Public Schools TN understands the technology gap that exists for families in our communities. We are proud to be able to partner with Comcast to provide six months of free internet service to enrolled families who qualify. After the six months of free service, families will have the opportunity to continue, with a nominal fee.

We have extended this opportunity to all of our current students and have received an overwhelming response. Fortunately, we are able to extend this to newly enrolled students as well. So, if there are families contemplating enrollment but are afraid they will not have access to internet for their students to attend distance learning, we will work to get them enrolled, assign a laptop and set them up with Comcast for WiFi.

Please email your full name, your student's full name, and your best contact number to tnops@greendot.org or call your student's school to sign up today!

How to Guidelines

Curious about what our classrooms will look like when we return for in-person learning? Check out this video!

Here's what our students had to say about being back in the building...

Make sure to like our Facebook pages for exciting updates about what's happening at each school!
Green Dot Public Schools Tennessee:

Green Dot Public Schools Tennessee | 4950 Fairley Road, Memphis, TN 38109