our approach: do what works.


Our classrooms are named after colleges because that's where our students are headed. 

We believe that successful schools must be designed, built, and run based on both proven best practices in the field and quality educational research. In designing our education program we have consulted the programs of the nation’s strongest schools achieving the highest academic results with a sharply similar student population to the one we serve in Memphis. These schools produce results because they, too, sought the advice and counsel of those who had come before them. This reliance on what has been proven to work, rather than on what we believe should work, enables us to deliver on our ambitious mission of preparing our students to ultimately enter, succeed in, and graduate from college


scholarship: a focus on literacy & achievement.

All students at Memphis College Prep have a clear and convincing understanding that they are college bound.

  • All students and parents know and understand the college preparatory mission of Memphis College Prep.
  • Classes are addressed by their year of college graduation, so the Kindergarten class of 2015 will always be called the “College Class of 2032.”
  • Rooms bear the names of colleges and universities and classrooms will adopt the mascots of colleges and universities.
  • Students attend trips to colleges and universities.

More Time to Learn: Along with a longer school year of 183 days, our extended school day of 7:45am – 4:00pm for all students allows for the academic instruction and support necessary to meet our ambitious goals and high expectations. We provide over 200 minutes a day of individualized literacy instruction, including writing, beginning in Kindergarten.  This provides nearly 300 additional instructional hours per year than Shelby County Schools.  

Two-Teachers per Class: We know that the teacher makes the difference. Each classroom in Kindergarten and First Grade has two full-time certified teachers, working together to ensure the highest academic achievement for all students. This ensures that we have small group instruction and give individualized support to all students. Memphis College Prep teachers transition quickly and move at a fast pace so that every minute of class time is utilized for instruction. Teachers plan challenging, engaging lessons that combine fact drills with critical thinking exercises so that our students learn a deep understanding of the process of problem solving. We recruit, select, and train only the nation’s best and most promising educators in support of our mission of college graduation.

A Challenging Curriculum:  Memphis College Prep sets a high bar for students. We use the nation’s best curricular resources that are proven to work with the country’s highest performing schools. Our curriculum is aligned to internally created standards that expect more from our students. We focus on teaching critical thinking skills through a firm adherence to the philosophy of data driven instruction. 

Driven by Data: We believe that rigorous, frequent, and measurable assessments are essential to the execution of our mission of college preparation beginning in Kindergarten. Memphis College Prep teachers and instructional leaders create and analyze interim assessments aligned to Tennessee and national standards. We use these tools to drive our instructional planning to ensure we are effectively meeting the needs of all students. Click here to view a report of Memphis College Prep's 2013-14 academic results.

Life's Work: Life's Work (Homework) is an essential component of the Memphis College Prep educational program. Life's Work is assigned every night and is designed to reinforce skills taught in the classroom, helping students develop a deeper understanding of concepts and promoting good study habits beginning in Kindergarten.


community: rigor and joy.

Community Meetings: In order to foster a sense of community in the school and celebrate academic achievement and character development, Memphis College Prep students participate in community meetings. At the beginning of the day, the entire school gathers to hear an inspirational thought from a student or staff member and participate in “shout outs” to students who have performed exemplary in some area of their work at the school.

The Joy Factor: A strong school culture is the foundation from which our students will excel. Along with building character through our Core Values of Respect, Integrity, Scholarship, and Endurance, our rigorous academic program is continuously infused with a strong element of joy. We believe that a school focused on high student achievement and character education can also be fun. The “Joy Factor” at Memphis College Prep will be seen during Community Meetings, in the classroom, in the hallways, and during transitions, to tap into the overflowing energy of our students and embrace that energy in school.


character: building integrity.

Memphis College Prep is building a school-wide and classroom culture that rewards and teaches positive behavior. Within a small, safe and structured environment, we:

  • Establish clear behavioral expectations.
  • Relentlessly model correct behavior and enforce rules, warmly yet strictly
  • Develop and reinforce strong character traits.
  • Sweat the details

Memphis College Prep Elementary School Core Values:

Respect– Show respect to yourself, your peers, and your teachers.

Integrity – Do the right thing, even if nobody is watching.

Scholarship – Always demonstrate intelligence and complete all assignments.

Endurance – Work hard all day long.