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Catholic Diocese of Memphis announces Sunset for Jubilee Schools

The Jubilee Catholic Schools were established to provide students with an option for a high quality education that would prepare them for a bright future, in both academics and character.

Through donations and private funding, the first Jubilee Catholic School opened in 1999. The goal was to provide low-income families with high quality educational opportunities. The Jubilee Catholic Schools are now a network educating over 1,500 students.

The Network has succeeded in its mission. Students have scored above the national average in reading, language arts and math on annual achievement tests. In 2016-17, Jubilee Kindergarten students averaged in the 89th national percentile in reading and in the 83rd national percentile in math.

Many changes have come about in Memphis since the Jubilee Catholic Schools were founded, including the development of public charter schools and six new suburban school districts. These changes in the educational environment, along with the increasing financial challenges for our Diocese and our Jubilee

Catholic Schools Network, have had profound effects on continuing our mission. For these reasons, the Jubilee Catholic Schools Network along with St. Michael’s Parish School will discontinue operations at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

An independent group has come forward to seek authorization to form a network of new charter schools. These new charter schools would not be affiliated with the Catholic Diocese, but will benefit from the strong academic foundation and values formed over the last two decades by the Jubilee Catholic Schools.

“The educational landscape today is very different than it was in the late 1990s,” said Janet Donato, superintendent of Catholic Schools. “Our hope is that the students will continue to receive an excellent education that prepares them to be giving members of our communities.”

As of January 2017, Shelby County had 45 free public charter schools.

Source: Shelby County Schools - Charter Schools Annual Report

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