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Lisa Worf / WFAE

CMS board members are a long way from coming up with a plan to draw new attendance zones for schools. In fact, they’re still deciding on the ideas to shape that process. The CMS policy committee met again Thursday to discuss them. They debated whether it’s possible to reduce concentrations of poverty at schools while protecting those schools that are doing well.

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The CMS board will vote Tuesday night on a compromise of sorts for those families who have long pushed for a Montessori high school. 

CMS offers several Montessori magnet programs throughout the county, including one for seventh and eighth graders at Sedgefield Middle School. But the district has no Montessori high school.

Courtesy of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Veritas charter school and the CMS school board have until December 10 to resolve a dispute over a building lease, or county commissioners will decide the issue. A recent revision of a state statute gives the commission that authority. At a special hearing Tuesday, Chairman Trevor Fuller let CMS and Veritas’ attorneys know he was upset the two parties couldn’t work it out and got the commission involved.

“We shouldn’t be in a position to mediate lawyers. We don’t have time for this,” Fuller said.

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School districts and charter schools are often in competition for resources and students. A case in Charlotte shows that also extends to space. Veritas charter school wants to lease a building from CMS. The school signed a lease, but now CMS has found another use for it and wants to break it. Under state law, county commissioners have the final say. They’re scheduled to hear the case this week. 

Courtesy of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

The CMS school board will have one new member.  Elyse Dashew will join incumbents Ericka Ellis-Stewart and Mary McCray on the board as an at-large member. 

  Dashew just missed winning a school board seat four years ago. This time around she received the second- highest number of votes.  Dashew has long been involved in education matters. She helped lead groups pushing for more school nurses and higher funding for CMS. 

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CMS board members hope to involve city, county, and town leaders in a discussion about re-drawing school boundaries.  To kick that off, they invited their fellow elected officials to hear about the area’s changing demographics Tuesday, but only a handful showed up.

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The CMS board is looking at how to re-draw boundary lines for schools.  It’s clear magnets and creating more diversity in schools will have a higher priority than in the current student assignment plan.  The board’s policy committee met Thursday to discuss two proposals to guide that process.

Lisa Worf

CMS Superintendent Ann Clark said she didn’t intend to pursue the job long-term when she was appointed to the position more than a year ago.

But a movement is afoot to keep her beyond when her contract expires next year – and that’s spurred a movement against keeping her. Both sides had their say at Tuesday night’s school board meeting.

Courtesy of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board has some big decisions to make over the next year.  Who should be the next superintendent?  How should new boundaries for schools be drawn?  We put those questions and others to the nine candidates running for three at-large seats on the board.  

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CMS may offer more seats in magnet schools next year.  Several school board members say they’re in favor of that. 

Twenty-thousand CMS students attend magnet schools.  These are schools offering different curricula like Montessori or focusing on the arts or sciences.  That number has held steady for several years now as wait lists for them have grown.

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