THE High School

In 1909, one of the first high schools in Memphis, TN, Memphis High School was built. Shortly thereafter, Memphis High School was renamed Central High School. Because it was “the high school” in Memphis, the letter “H” became the school letter and is still used today.The land on which the school is located was purchased in 1908 from the family of John T. Overton. This land extended from Raleigh Avenue (now South Bellevue Blvd.) eastward to Cleveland Street and from Overton Street (now Linden Avenue) southward to Peabody Avenue. Construction on the Jacobean Revival style building began in 1909 and was completed in 1913 at a cost of $336,072.In 1967, alumnus Hugh F. Carey spearheaded a fundraising campaign for a much needed addition to the school. In the fall of 1968, the doors opened to a new building with additions including eight science labs, a cafeteria, an auditorium, a band room, and a vocal music room. The plans for this project also included a new library and home economics lab, both housed in the original building. This addition and renovation provided much needed space while retaining the architectural integrity of the historic building.Construction began in the spring of 2006 on a $21 million renovation project. A new building was constructed on the south side, adding ten new classrooms as well as an elevator. The gym was expanded to seat over 1,500. The old wooden bleachers were removed and replaced by retractable seating, and new lockers were added. The school was repainted and rewired; the air conditioning was also updated. After a three-year renovation, Crump Stadium reopened for the fall 2007 football season. The renovations included a new track, new concession stands, and new restroom facilities. However, the brick wall and wrought iron signs on Cleveland remain intact and represent the rich history and tradition of excellence Central High has maintained for one century and counting.
In the fall of 1997, Central opened its doors to ninth graders for the first time. The current feeder schools are Snowden, Bellevue, Fairview, and J.P. Freeman middle schools. The current student enrollment is 1,680. One of Central’s most notable assets is the diversity of its student body. For Central, this diversity derives from representation of various ideas, talents, and cultural influences and provides a wonderful atmosphere that creates educationally challenging and enriching experiences.
Central High School’s mission is for each student to achieve the academic and social skills necessary to be competitive in a global environment and to be successful workers, citizens, and lifelong learners through the completion of all graduation requirements and participation in co-curricular and extracurricular learning experiences.It is the vision of Central High School to be the high school of choice through the achievement of the highest levels of academic, personal, and professional standards for all students. By enhancing our tradition of excellence, the faculty and staff of Central High School help our graduates become successful citizens and leaders of tomorrow. The school communicates a purpose and direction that commit to high expectations for learning as well as shared values and beliefs about teaching and learning.

  • Each student is unique with individual worth.
  • Student achievement is the nucleus around which all decisions are made.
  • Students are successful in a safe, supportive environment that promotes student achievement and aids them in developing to their full potential.
  • Research based, data-driven decisions facilitate the continuous improvement of student achievement which will lead to the elimination of the achievement gap.
  • Students achieve best when instruction and assessment techniques are varied and when consideration is given to each students’ individual needs.
  • The policies and procedures of Central High School enhance students’ academic achievement and social skills and enable them to become successful citizens.
  • Student achievement is the focus of communication, shared decision-making and collaboration between parents, students, school personnel, and the community.
SCHOOL PROFILE  Download the complete 2015-2016 Central High School ProfilePage 1  (PDF)


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