There are three types of programs within Shelby County Schools (at least when it comes to applications): In-District, Optional and The Campus School.  Many schools have both In-district and Optional programs, so they are a combination of types. Test results are for entire schools and as far as I know cannot be provided with optional-only data, so keep that in mind when looking at schools that have both Optional and In-district students.  For information on transferring into an in-district school see the General Transfer post (2017 date TBD).

Parents camped out in 2012 to get their child into an Optional Program. This photo was taken Saturday afternoon, applications were given out Tuesday morning.

The Campus School is a public elementary school (grades 1-5) at the University of Memphis. Enrollment is open to families living close to the school after spots are given to children of faculty and siblings of current students. The registration period is January 23-26. Visit their website for more information.

Optional Schools – pick up a bar coded application starting at 6:30am on Monday, January 23, 2017 at the SCS Board of Education Auditorium (160 S. Hollywood). Complete the application at home, then return it or apply online any time before 5pm on Friday, January 27. Some schools require students to pass a test or have specific test scores as well, check into this by contacting the school before you submit your application.  If you missed the schools Open House call the school to set up a tour. For more information go here.

Getting The Application

The process for getting into an Optional Program this year has not changed. Read about one dad’s experience with this annual camp out here.

Here are some tips from moms who have stood in this line:

  • Depending on which school you are applying for for instance if you are going for Grahamwood / White Station Middle I suggest getting in line around 5:00 pm the Sunday before – I got there at around this time and camped (dress warm) there were 100 open slots for WSMS and my application was number 42 we got in and it was way worth it – we came out of a private school and my daughter said she is learning more at White Station Middle than she did at Hutchison
  • Chair, blanket, snacks, drinks, someone to help split the time and lots of patience! My husband did it by himself for the optional line and we shared duties for the choice line.We got at that one 2:30 pm the day before and were 20th in line. The 1st man had been there since 5:30 am to get his child in WSM. Good luck!
  • We moved to Memphis in June 2010.  I put my son on the waiting list for the Grahamwood optional program in May and the principal called early June to set up a time for him to be tested.  He did fine and started in the first grade in August.  I’ve asked around and best I can tell a lot of parents get on the waiting list, assume their child won’t get in and make other arrangements.  I certainly can’t guarantee you’ll get a spot if you’re on the waiting list but I can say be patient and don’t assume that’s the end of it!