Excel Center Student Update from Director

April 14, 2020 |

Dear Excel Center Students,

Goodwill Excel Center Midsouth and the Excel Center National Office have been closely monitoring the ongoing development with COVID-19. School Leadership has been working vigorously with the Excel Center National Office, Shelby County School Leadership, and Tennessee Department of Education on brainstorming, planning, and responding to the ever changing landscape of this pandemic.

As promised, I want to share plans for us for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic school year. I ask for you all to be understanding during this time as the situation evolves and continues to change. My number one priority is supporting students during this difficult time; as we must keep you motivated and encouraged; along with the health and welfare of us all.

While no cases of the coronavirus have been reported at The Excel Center. These decisions have not been easy to make, and countless hours have been utilized over the past few weeks to weigh various options for the remainder of the academic school year. These options align with measures being put in place across the state and were created with the guidance of the local school district. Due to this, we have decided that effective immediately the following actions will be in place to best serve the safety of our students, employees and visitors:

✓ Term 4 concluded on April 9, 2020

✓ Final grades were submitted to Shelby County Schools on April 9, 2020 for Term 4. Tennessee Department of Education mandated guidelines in which students’ grades could not be penalized negatively in the event access to online assignments were inaccessible for students after March 13. Teachers will be reaching out to students beginning April 13, 2020 of grades earned for each course.

✓ GECM will not be accepting any new students for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. All /orientations are canceled for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

✓ GECM will continue accepting applications online at https://goodwillmemphis.org/excelcenter/excel-center-enrollment-form/ for the 2020-2021 academic school year.

✓ GECM concluded its’ academic school year with Term 4 and will not be moving forward with Term 5 for the 2019-2020 school year.

✓ Staff member will still be accessible to students as supplemental instruction will be provided to students. Staff members hours of availibitly are as follows: – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm – Tuesday and Thursday from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm

✓ Tennessee Department of Education approved to decrease credits required for graduation from 22 to 20. (Courses needed have not been determined by TDOE at this time)

✓ ACT/SAT and Civics Test will not be required towards graduation for this academic school year. However, may be required for admissions into various post-secondary institutions. (Please check with admissions counselors for requirements)

✓ Excel Center students that meet all graduation requirements based on TDOE new decreased credits policy will be awarded their diplomas. Life coaches will be reaching out individually to those whom meet requirements set forth by the TDOE. (Diploma pick up will be announced later)

✓ June 2020 commencement ceremony has been postponed to October 3, 2020. Those students that currently meet graduation requirements will be allowed to participate in later scheduled commencement ceremony.

✓ Potential June graduates that do not meet abbreviated graduation requirements will be required to attend Term 1 of the 2020-2021 academic school year and may take place in October 3, 2020 scheduled commencement.

✓ Due to the unexpected COVID-19 changes, Shelby County Schools has approved commencements for The Excel Center for October and December 2020 and June 2021.

✓ Graduates that made payment towards grad fees will be refunded. Further details will be provided by your life coaches as to when they may be picked-up.

Again, these decisions were not easy to make. We realize that these changes may create challenges for some; however, the safety of our students and employees is our priority, and these changes best serve that interest. I do apologize for the inconvenience it has caused and appreciate you all for being patient while we navigate through the changes.

Students, I ask that you not allow this minor setback to dictate your plans for your future. This is yet another barrier you can overcome, and your Excel family is here too continue seeing you through. Remain motivated and encouraged to continue your educational journey; as it is “never too late” to excel. We will provide updates for Term 1 as things continue to unfold.


Candis M. Dawson-Taylor, MBA, B.S. School Director