U.S.D.A. / Flickr

  Since it can be hard to concentrate on an empty stomach, CMS schools offer breakfast to low-income students.  But district officials worry these kids are skipping breakfast to avoid being labeled “poor.”  To solve that, CMS wants to   provide breakfast to all kids.  The school board voted last night to approve the proposal.

Lisa Miller

It’s not often a school with a low graduation rate is the source of much pride.  But West Charlotte High School is an exception.  You hear alums call it “the mighty West Charlotte” or say “I am a proud West Charlotte Lion.”  So what is it about this school that prompts such love? 

A lot of it has to do with West Charlotte’s history.  The original school opened in 1938 to an all black student body.  It stayed that way until the 1970s when the school helped put Charlotte in the national spotlight as a city that made busing for integration work.  Now, a new effort called Project LIFT is trying to help the school reclaim that proud legacy.   

Much of a person’s success in life depends on their character. Society is also dependent on the involvement of people of character. But how do you build character in a young person? CMS is partnering with parents and the community to foster honest, responsible, caring students and there are other private organizations working toward the same end. A closer look at the process and at what’s at stake for children, parents and society when Charlotte Talks.

Pen Pals Just Two Miles Away Meet For The First Time

May 30, 2013
Tasnim Shamma

Perhaps you've had a pen pal as a kid. Chances are it was someone who lives far away. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools SchoolMates program has a pen pal program among its own schools. In one case, students from schools less than two miles apart wrote letters to each other throughout the school year. Wednesday, they got to meet each other for the first time.

As long as you try hard, grades of zero are not given at Mallard Creek High School. The worst grade a students can get is a 50, even if they turn in homework late or get less than half the questions right on a test. The policy went into effect last fall, and now CMS officials are reviewing it to see if it should be implemented system wide.

Mark Bosco is a big supporter of the policy. He’s the Executive Director of the Northeast Zone of CMS. Bosco says the grading policy doesn’t mean a 50 is the new 0.

Most of the state’s counties, including Mecklenburg, are no longer included in a bill that would give counties the authority to build, own, and maintain schools.  The bill passed out of a senate committee Wednesday, only giving nine counties the option to take over ownership of schools from local school districts.  Those counties include Rowan, Wake and Harnett.

Senator Ron Rabin of Harnett County said county commissions are more equipped to handle business deals. 

The CMS school board tonight will ask the county to finance a bunch of building projects over the next few years.  It could come out to about $400 million.  Central Piedmont Community College has a similar request.  But the county is only willing to put together a bond referendum for half that amount. 

County Finance Director Dena Diorio says the county uses nine different criteria for deciding which projects get priority. 

Police: Jilted North Mecklenburg High Student Tried To Kill Peer

Apr 12, 2013

  A North Mecklenburg High student is charged with attempted first-degree murder after authorities say he choked and punched a female classmate in a wooded area behind the school.

Huntersville police said they are still trying to determine an exact motive in the attack, which happened after classes had ended Tuesday. But police said the 14-year-old victim told them she and the suspect had been friends for about a year, and she had turned down his advances after he asked her out on a date last month.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison has put a price tag on his vision for the district.  He wants Mecklenburg County and the state to pitch in an extra $27 million next year to help fund new programs and expand others.  Those include bringing more technology to classrooms and creating career and technical specialties at schools.  The plan also calls for 10 new positions to help schools coordinate with companies and groups wanting to help. 

WFAE’s Lisa Miller was at last night’s meeting and joins Morning Edition host Duncan McFadyen in the studio. 

Lisa Miller

Charlotte Mecklenburg School officials are gearing up for a bond referendum this fall.  They laid out a plan Tuesday night to build several new schools throughout the county, including three k-8 schools and a handful of magnets.