It’s no secret that, across the nation, the pandemic derailed learning and left both teachers and students weary and overwhelmed.
But staff and students at Grizzlies Prep Charter School in downtown Memphis spent the last school year rising to the challenge, with teachers going the extra mile and students responding with hard work and high scores.
Founded in 2012, Grizzlies Prep is a boys charter school for grades six to eight. Last month, it was named by the Tennessee Department of Education as a Reward School, awarded when schools demonstrate high levels of performance by meeting objectives across performance indicators and student groups. The award places significant emphasis on improvement from the prior school year.
Grizzlies Prep was also rated a Level 5 in the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System, or TVAAS, meaning it was the “most effective” and that there is “significant evidence that the school’s students made more growth than expected.”
There’s plenty to shout about in those accolades, but there’s more to this story. When the school was founded, the Tie Ceremony was created as a key piece of school culture, and became a sought after honor for the young men. COVID disruption had the tradition on pause, but this year it’s back and more meaningful than ever.
This year’s return to the Tie Ceremony tradition will take place at the Orpheum and include teachers, families, and school supporters as they celebrate the school community, the student “brotherhood,” and achievements of the school and the honorees.
To cross that Orpheum stage and receive a school tie, students must have disciplinary records that reflect the commitment to the school’s core values: Responsibility, Integrity, Courage, Commitment, Grit, and Excellence. They must also memorize and recite the School Creed and a short poem.
The School Creed reflects all the good things that will be part of the Tie Ceremony. One phrase states: My commitment is to this village. I build my brothers up forever. The core values are our guide. So when we shine, we shine together.
Be encouraged by the life-changing work being done by the staff and students at Grizzlies Prep—when we shine, we shine together!