District staff draft final plans for school changes

Board to vote on changes in two weeks

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools staff presented their final recommendations for school changes at the school board meeting Tuesday, Oct. 26.

The proposed changes are a continuation of the board’s initiative, Continuous Improvement: A comprehensive Review of CMS, which began in June with the goal of increasing school efficiency and effectiveness.

To achieve that goal, the board identified five guiding principles –  make home schools the first priority, ensure magnet schools are closing the achievement gap faster than home schools, maintain stability and predictability, foster diversity, and use capital resources effectively – to guide the staff in their decision making.

The staff sought input from the public too, scheduling more than a dozen public meetings over the last six weeks to discuss the more than 70 schools affected by the changes.
Following is a summary of the staff’s proposed changes to area schools, which the board will vote on Nov. 9:

• Whitewater Academy: The staff will propose consolidating Pawtucket Elementary with Whitewater Academy. The consolidation would better utilize a newer facility, Planning Director Mike Riable said, and would save more than $800,000 the first year. The Pawtucket facility would be demolished.

• Whitewater Middle: The staff will propose reassigning Tuckaseegee Elementary school to feed Whitewater Middle School, and closing and demolishing Wilson Middle School.

• West Mecklenburg High: The staff did not include West Meck in their proposal, which means the school is not longer being considered for a boundary change for next year. The school was being considered for a boundary change that would have sent 375 students to Harding High School. Instead, the board plans to close Harding and leave West Meck as-is for next year.

• Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools: District Schools are closed Friday, Oct. 29, for a teacher workday and parent conferences.

• Francis Bradley Middle: The School Leadership Team (SLT) meets in the media center Thursday, Nov. 4, at 6:30 p.m. for a book study. Parents are invited to attend the study, which will focus on characteristics of highly effective middle schools. The parents plan to meet for a book study the first Thursday of each month in the media center at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Laura Rosenbach, laura.rosenbach@cms.k12.nc.us.

• Hopewell High School: Seniors place graduation cap, gown and announcement orders during lunch Tuesday, Nov. 2. … The school welcomes hypnotist Tom Deluca Thursday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. in the school’s auditorium.

• Lake Norman Charter: The high school and middle school have parent conferences Thursday and Friday, Oct. 28 and 29. … Winter sports practices begin Monday, Nov. 1. … The school’s board meets Thursday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. … The PTO holiday wreath sale begins Friday, Nov. 5.

• Lincoln Charter: Kindergarten conferences are Nov. 1.

• Mountain Island Charter: The school holds a literacy festival Saturday, Nov. 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to kick off the school’s book fair. … The school hosts a literacy luncheon Wednesday, Nov. 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pine Island Country Club, 1701 Stoneyridge Drive, Charlotte. The event includes guest speaker Sarah Ellington Behnke, author of “The Mommy Chronicles and The Must-Have Mom Manuel.” Tickets are $30 and proceeds will be put towards books and computers for the school’s media center. For more information, call the school at 704-827-8840.

• Mountain Island Elementary: The school book fair runs Nov. 1 to 5.

• Paw Creek Elementary: The school will hold a book fair Friday, Oct. 29.

• Pinewood Elementary: The school sponsors a family night Friday, Oct. 29, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. titled “Boo, Books, and Boogie!” The school will sell pizza, drinks and popcorn, and the book fair will be open.  Families can dance and win prizes in a cake walk. Parents must accompany their children, and students may wear their Halloween costumes to the event.

• Rankin Elementary: The school hosts a fall carnival Friday, Oct. 29 ,beginning at 5:30 p.m.

• Whitewater Academy: The school hosts a spaghetti dinner and PTA meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1. … Tuesday, Nov. 2, is Authors Day.

– Compiled by Christina Ritchie Rogers

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