TRACKING KIDS As Shelby County Schools seeks to make school closures more about boosting academic achievement than cutting costs, district leaders are tracking the performance of displaced students in their new schools. Chalkbeat

BY THE NUMBERS Here are some fast facts for easy reference about Memphis schools as the new school year begins. Chalkbeat

DYNAMIC SHIFT The win by Metro Nashville Education Association-backed candidate Christiane Buggs in Nashville’s school board election adds a moderate to the conversation around charter schools. The Tennessean

DENIED EXPANSION Nashville’s school board once again denied Rocketship Education its two applications to expand. The Tennessean

IMMUNIZATIONS Some kids in Shelby County may not be enrolled in school yet because they aren’t up-to-date on their immunizations. WREG-TV

IN CHARGE Jeff Jones, the former principal of Schilling Farms Middle School in Collierville, has been promoted to chief of staff of the town’s municipal school system. The Commercial Appeal

NEW CHANGES The school year kicked off for most schools in Shelby County this week, but the start of the year wasn’t without its challenges and changes. Memphis Daily News

WHEELS ON THE BUS Transportation went a bit better on the second day of Knox County’s new school year, but more works needs to be done on hiring bus drivers. Knoxville News Sentinel

ON HOLD Sullivan County’s school board puts its middle school design contract on hold after its Knoxville architectural firm seeks more contract changes. Kingsport-Times News

SUICIDE PREVENTION Maryville’s school board unanimously passes a new suicide prevention policy that would require all school employees, not just teachers, to attend suicide prevention training. The Daily Times

NEW SCHOOL Plans for a new elementary school in Cleveland get a boost as the City Council approves a funding method. Cleveland Daily Banner

FIRST PERSON COMMENTARY Black boys in ‘book deserts’ don’t get inspiring literary experiences. Let’s do better, says an assistant education professor at Georgia State University. Chalkbeat

COMMENTARY VIDEO A spooky new video urges Georgia voters to reject the state’s takeover of public schools. Atlanta Journal Constitution