Middle College High School pivots to virtual video recruitment

Published: Jan. 3, 2021 at 4:01 PM CST

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - School recruitment looks different during these disruptive times. Efforts to attract new students in a pandemic are going virtual, instead of the usual in-person fairs with leaflets and display booths.

Middle College High School created a virtual recruitment video co-produced by Principal Kimberly Eason and her students.

“We brainstormed, we talked about what is important for an eighth-grader to know,” Eason explained.

Middle college students are dually enrolled there and at Christian Brothers University, gathering college credits as they complete high school, but the video showcases orchestra, dance, sports, art, 3D printing and more.

”I think it was really important in this video to show what a Middle College Bulldog really was,” said graduating senior Maximmone McGlothian.

She and her freshman brother, Travis, say they were proud to work on the video.

“This has allowed me to gain the chance to be able to really maximize my potential and I can only grow from this point on,” said Travis.

Shelby County School Board Chair Miska Clay Bibbs says she found the video was compelling. Her son graduated from Middle College.

“I chose Middle College as a parent, because I knew that it would develop my son, not only his athletic ability and his academic ability but this also could be used as a person and for me, as a parent that video showed that,” added Bibbs.

Unlike a traditional public school, where students are assigned according to where they live, Middle College has a “school choice” designation.

”That means that students elect to come to Middle College, it’s not a guarantee,” said Eason.

With that, the virtual recruitment video is key, especially during the pandemic.

“Each school in the district has to do a video for our virtual school choice fair, which is an initiative of the school board,” explained Bibbs.

Having Middle College put out the district’s first recruitment video, Bibbs hopes it sets the tone.

“We will be going live for our virtual schools choice fair on January 30 and the actual opening for parents and students is January 26th,” said Bibbs.

With 40 college hours under her belt, Maxximone and her brother hope the video shows recruits what treasures lie ahead.

“Yes, I got the traditional high school experience, but I got so much opportunity academically and then even outside of school. I took my first plane because of an outside extracurricular at Middle College High School that I would have never thought to try,” she said.

For more on how to apply for school choice and what you need to know to apply, click here.

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