History Of Our School

Circles of Success Learning Academy (COSLA) is the first elementary charter school established in the State of Tennessee.
COSLA is also the first and only existing charter school in Tennessee to independently achieve accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and the Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement due to its success in educating students.

As a result of closing the achievement gap, COSLA was awarded Tennessee’s Title I Distinguished School Award in 2009. In 2020, our school leader was awarded Charter School Administrator of the Year for the State of TN. Housed inside of St. Andrew A.M.E. Church, COSLA occupies 13,000 square feet of dedicated space and 13,000 square feet of shared space.


Although with 2 middle / high schools in Memphis and 1 elementary school in Nashville, COSLA became one of the 1st charters opened in TN.

The school’s doors opened in 2003 with 60 students in grades K-2, and currently serves 240 students in grades K-5.

20 Years of Excellence

At COSLA, students continually show evidence of high academic standards which stem from the use of innovative teaching practices.
Their rigorous, standards-based curriculum is designed to reinforce commitment to teaching core academic content as well as critical thinking, problem-solving, and leadership skills.

Our Vision

The Circles of Success Learning Academy is the premiere elementary educational institution of choice where “success surrounds success.”

Our Mission

Circles of Success exists to:
Cultivate success by surrounding evolving minds with
Opportunities that holistically promote
Leadership, &

Our Beliefs

1. We believe all children can learn and achieve at higher levels when they are actively engaged and instruction is differentiated.
2. We believe teachers must be equipped to modify instruction to match students individual needs.
3. We believe assessment must be varied, relevant, and correlated with standards that have been taught so hat students are successful.
4. We believe decision-making must be done in the bets interest of the children we serve through collaboration with stakeholders.
5. We believe that fair and consistent policies must be developed in order for the organization to be effective.

Literacy development is at the core of COSLA’s instructional goals and methods, and is integrated across subject areas through a variety of scientifically-based teaching strategies. With a rich educational program focused on literacy development, an individualized approach to teaching, and a collaborative, nurturing school community, COSLA provides a greatly needed an educational option for students and families in the community. COSLA is working harder than ever to ensure that our scholars receive intensive academic interventions and extended learning opportunities.


Our teachers develop
children's skills.

Language Arts Lessons

Mathematics Lessons

Science Lessons

Social Studies Lessons

Reading Lessons

Character Education Lessons




The Circles of Success Learning Academy recognizes that learning for at risk students and the parents of these students occurs when all involved in the process embrace the concept that all children can learn and are committed to engaging students in meaningful learning experiences designed to overcome environmental disadvantages.


We value excellence in all that we do. We are committed to high academic standards. We support excellence in teaching and in the learning and support systems that advance student success. We expect professionalism in every aspect of our work. We are committed to continuous improvement of our school.


We recognize the expertise of all members of the Circles of Success Learning Academy community and encourage individual contributions. We will include stakeholders in the decisions that affect them. We will treat people with dignity and encourage feelings of self worth. We will promote trust through professional courtesy and fair treatment. We will recognize and support employee and student contributions.


We value the full-range of resources-human, fiscal, capital and technology-that have been entrusted to us by the citizens of the state, county and city we serve. We acknowledge our collective responsibility to serve as effective stewards of all resources at all times. We affirm our commitment to being accountable for the fulfillment of all duties and professional obligations associated with our positions.


We view educating children from a holistic approach. We believe that in order for children to be successful we must empower them with a positive essence of self. We are committed to fostering a spirit of excellence, in a nurturing environment conducive for affirmative, life-changing growth.

Schedule of Operation
Monday - Friday 

7:45 a.m. – 3:45p.m.
Community area aftercare is available as space is available

Grade Range 

Pre-Kindergarten to 5th grade 

Enrollment Fee

School Calendar

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1What is a charter school? 

Charter schools are independent, accountable public schools of choice. They control their own curriculum, staffing, organization and budget. In exchange for this freedom, they must maximize student potential and meet and exceed Tennessee’s academic standards. Because charter schools are required by the Board of Education to provide education to children within its governing community, we must meet State required educational standards and must work to assist students in their efforts of achieving academic success in order to maintain its charter with the granting board. 
2When did COSLA open? 
August 2003
3Who is the sponsor of COSLA?
The Works, Inc.  
4How are charter schools funded?
Charter schools receive 100% of the per pupil educational funds (both state and local) of the local educational agency in which the charter is located. The per pupil funding is based on the average daily membership of the LEA. Charter schools are also funded by state, federal, and private grant funds, as well as private donations.
5Must teachers be certified to teach in Memphis charter schools?

6What is the intent of Tennessee’s charter schools legislation? 

The stated purpose of the Tennessee Public Charter Schools Act of 2002 is to: (i) improve learning for all students and close the achievement gap between high and low students; provide options for parents to meet the educational needs of students in low performing schools; (ii) encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods, and provide greater decision making authority to schools and teachers in exchange for greater responsibility for student performance; (iii) measure performance of pupils and faculty, and ensure that children have the opportunity to reach proficiency on state academic assessments; (iv) create new professional opportunities for teachers; and (v) afford parents substantial meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children. TCA § 49-13-102. 

7Who has authority to grant charters in Tennessee?
The Tennessee Public Charter Schools Act of 2002 grants the power to issues charters to “chartering authorities”, which are defined as a local board of education. TCA § 49-13-104(2). This means that only school districts have the power to grant charters in Tennessee. 

8Is COSLA accountable to the Shelby County School Board?

Yes and no. Shelby County Schools is indeed accountable for our success. They have the authority to approve or revoke our charter. But our first line of accountability is to COSLA’s governing board. COSLA is an independent school governed by the terms outlined in the Tennessee charter school legislation and the charter school agreement between the us and Shelby County Schools.
9Are charter schools required to meet state education standards or offer standardized tests?
Charter schools are required by law to meet the same performance standards and requirements adopted by the state board of education for public schools. TCA § 49-13-111.
10What process will the Chartering Authority use to hold charter schools accountable for results?
Each Chartering Authority must work with the Charter Schools to develop an accountability system. Accountability is measured a number of ways as designed by Shelby County School, The State Department of Education and the Federal government.
11What is the term of the Charter Agreement?
The Tennessee Public Charter Schools Act of 2002 states that the charter agreement, which is defined as a performance-based agreement between the sponsor of a public charter school and the chartering authority, must have an initial period of five (5) years. TCA § 49-13-104(1).
12What are the grounds for charter revocation?
A public charter school agreement may be revoked or denied renewal by the chartering authority if the chartering authority determines that the school did any of the following: committed a material violation of any of the conditions, standards, or procedures set forth in the charter; failed to meet or make adequate yearly progress toward achievement of the state's accountability system; or failed to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management. TCA § 49-13-123.

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COSLA is working harder than ever to ensure that our scholars receive intensive academic interventions and extended learning opportunities.