District Administration February 2018 - 36

LEADING

from the START
which he still adheres. For instance, he
and his administrators took on multiple
roles, and some of his staff continue to
perform a range of functions: Bartlett's
human resources director also manages federal programs. And rather than
employing instruction directors for different academic subjects, Bartlett gets by
with two instruction supervisors: one for
elementary and another for middle and
high school.
The district also deploys its top teachers to lead PD in an unconference format.
Administrators survey teachers to find
out what skills they want to improve and
which of their colleagues they think would
be the best trainer.
The conservative approach has paid
off. The district now has a healthy reserve
as it prepares to renovate its high school,
which hasn't seen any improvements in 40
years. The auditorium is 100 years old and
the gym was built in 1950. "This renovation would never have happened in the
bigger district," Stephens said. "Because if
you did it for one high school, you would
have had to do it for every high school.

Bartlett City Schools
by the numbers:
Schools: 11 (6 elementary, 3 middle,
ninth-grade academy, 1 high school)
Students: 9,155
Staff: 970
Per-child expenditure:
$9,071 (2015-16)
Students on free/reduced-price
lunch: 35%
Graduation rate: 88.6%
Annual budget: $76.6 million
ACT Composite: 21.5
Named an Exemplary District by
Tennessee Department of Education
for 2017

36 February 2018

ENRICHMENT TIME-In the Genius Bar at Elmore Park, a 1-to-1 building,
students work on tech-related projects, such as producing shows for
the school's Eagle News Network (above). Students have also recorded
promotional videos for school clubs.

We can focus on our 9,000 kids and our
11 schools and really make a difference."
A manufacturing makeover
Two well-known education acronyms-
CTE and ACT-are priorities for Stephens as he focuses on students' success
during and after their K12 years.
Memphis has become the hub of a
unique industry: medical device and surgical tool manufacturing. Two years ago,
Stephens brought his team-including
high school counselors-to learn about
the qualifications and skills of employees
at large local companies.
A partnership-comprising the city of
Bartlett, the manufacturers and the Memphis branch of the Tennessee College of
Applied Technology-has allowed the district to transform its traditional voc-tech
programs, where students were "making
wrought-iron fences and duck blinds,"
Stephens says.
With funding from the partners and
from grants, the district now has state-ofthe-art mills and lathes in its manufactur-

ing lab. Students in the medical device
program dual-enroll in the tech college so
they can work toward professional certifications. In November 2017, the district
also began offering continuing education classes to adults planning to change
careers or to machinists looking to update
skills. "It took time and persistence but we
were able to do it with hardly any cost to
the district," Stephens says.
As for the ACT, the average score has
risen from 19.4 to 21.5 since the district
launched. That's above the state average,
and what has Stephens even more excited
is that minority students-who account
for about 35 percent of Bartlett's enrollment-scored in the top 10 out of Tennessee's 144 districts.
To drive this achievement, the district
dedicated the high school's extended fifth
period to ACT prep and offers additional,
free tutoring after school.
Stephens admits he may have ruffled
a few feathers when, before his district
opened, he decided all ninth-graders (the
district now serves about 750) would
District Administration



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration February 2018

District Administration February 2018 - Intro
District Administration February 2018 - Cover1
District Administration February 2018 - Cover2
District Administration February 2018 - 1
District Administration February 2018 - 2
District Administration February 2018 - 3
District Administration February 2018 - 4
District Administration February 2018 - 5
District Administration February 2018 - 6
District Administration February 2018 - 7
District Administration February 2018 - 8
District Administration February 2018 - 9
District Administration February 2018 - 10
District Administration February 2018 - 11
District Administration February 2018 - 12
District Administration February 2018 - 13
District Administration February 2018 - 14
District Administration February 2018 - 15
District Administration February 2018 - 16
District Administration February 2018 - 17
District Administration February 2018 - 18
District Administration February 2018 - 19
District Administration February 2018 - 20
District Administration February 2018 - 21
District Administration February 2018 - 22
District Administration February 2018 - 23
District Administration February 2018 - 24
District Administration February 2018 - 25
District Administration February 2018 - 26
District Administration February 2018 - 27
District Administration February 2018 - 28
District Administration February 2018 - 29
District Administration February 2018 - 30
District Administration February 2018 - 31
District Administration February 2018 - 32
District Administration February 2018 - 33
District Administration February 2018 - 34
District Administration February 2018 - 35
District Administration February 2018 - 36
District Administration February 2018 - 37
District Administration February 2018 - 38
District Administration February 2018 - 39
District Administration February 2018 - 40
District Administration February 2018 - 41
District Administration February 2018 - 42
District Administration February 2018 - 43
District Administration February 2018 - 44
District Administration February 2018 - 45
District Administration February 2018 - 46
District Administration February 2018 - 47
District Administration February 2018 - 48
District Administration February 2018 - 49
District Administration February 2018 - 50
District Administration February 2018 - 51
District Administration February 2018 - 52
District Administration February 2018 - 53
District Administration February 2018 - 54
District Administration February 2018 - 55
District Administration February 2018 - 56
District Administration February 2018 - 57
District Administration February 2018 - 58
District Administration February 2018 - 59
District Administration February 2018 - 60
District Administration February 2018 - Cover3
District Administration February 2018 - Cover4
District Administration February 2018 - 66
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