CMS

Education
10:58 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

CMS Goes Door-To-Door To Get Dropouts Back In School

Berger and Morrison on a house call

About 15,000 kids a year drop out of North Carolina schools.  In Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the number is about 1,500.  School social workers have long made house calls to many kids who simply stop showing up at school.  They try to figure out why the child left, get them help, and show them ways they can catch up. 

This is a sensitive situation.  Imagine you're a kid who has given up on school and then a social worker shows up on your doorstep. 

"I've had families look through the blinds and not come to the door," says Heidi Berger, a CMS social worker.  

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Education
9:33 am
Wed September 26, 2012

CMS Closings Good For Savings, Unclear For Academics

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools offered the first round of data last night on the impact of closing 10 schools last year.  The closures will save the district money, but it's unclear how they've affected academics. 

Two years ago, the CMS board voted to close the schools, saying it would save money and create better learning environments.  Last night, the district provided a whole slew of information to begin to see if that was the case.  Superintendent Heath Morrison pointed out the academic data isn't straight-forward. 

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Politics
4:51 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Teens Line Up For Voter Pre-Registration

Lacey Williams of the Latin American Coalition helps a student at West Mecklenburg High School fill out a voter registration form.
Tasnim Shamma

Editor's Note: This story includes a correction

North Carolina is one of just five states that allows teenagers to "pre-register.” But, the state goes a step further:  local election boards are required to hold voter registration drives in all public high schools.  In Mecklenburg County alone, there are more than 5,600 teens pre-registered to vote. 

At West Mecklenburg High School, student-body president Brodrick Montgomery is inspired to grab a bullhorn.

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Education
9:13 am
Sat September 15, 2012

High School Uses Original Broadway Props For The Color Purple

Northwest junior Keston Steele plays the lead role of Celie in the play. She was one of 80 students selected to perform in the play.

The Northwest School of the Arts is the first high school in North Carolina to have the rights to put on a high school production of the Broadway musical "The Color Purple." The play is based on the 1982 Pulitzer-Prize winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker, centered on the story of a black woman’s struggle to find her identity while overcoming abusive family relationships. 

Mekhai Lee, a junior at Northwest, plays the male lead of Mister. He sings from inside a shop set in rural Georgia in the early twentieth century.

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Local News
8:04 am
Wed September 12, 2012

CMS Hires Consultant To Survey Employees About Morale

New Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Heath Morrison has said improving teacher morale is one of his top priorities.  He's hired an outside consultant to survey employees about morale in schools. 


Morrison has gotten an earful about low teacher morale in the district since he arrived.  He's asked teachers to come to town hall meetings to get their perspectives.  Now, he wants all employees to take a survey that attempts to answer these questions. 

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Local News
2:49 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

CMS Police Go Door-To-Door Uptown

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Law Enforcement vehicle.

Police officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District are going door-to-door Uptown giving parents the run-down on bus changes and security restrictions during the Democratic National Convention.

CMS Police Chief Bud Cesena says the first week of September will pose some challenges for the 372 students and their families who live inside the I-277 loop.

"Some bus stops - because they're in the hot zone - won't exist any more," says Cesena. "So we're making sure the children and their parents know exactly where to go."

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Education
12:00 am
Thu August 16, 2012

CMS Gets Ready For The Beginning Of The School Year

Charlotte Mecklenburg School teachers headed back to work Thursday to start preparing for students' arrival on August 27.  The district doesn't expect to be scrambling to hire teachers as the school year starts like in past years.  CMS Auxiliary Services Director Kathryn Block says CMS has a lot of hiring out the way and is in good shape at this point.  The district has filled nearly 99 percent of teaching positions. 

"It's not about putting a body in the seat.  It is about the quality of the teachers we're putting in our classrooms," says Block.

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Education
12:00 am
Thu August 16, 2012

CMS Board Frustrated Reform Hasn't Lived Up To Expectation

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools has been trying to get its best teachers and principals in the most struggling schools through an initiative called strategic staffing. The schools have made big gains, but they're still far from where the district expected them to be at this point. Several school board members voiced frustration about that at Wednesday night's meeting.

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Education
12:00 am
Thu August 16, 2012

CMS Looks At Why So Many At Two Schools Didn't Take Tests

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools has released student end of year test scores for all of its schools, except two. West Charlotte and Harding high schools didn't have enough students taking the tests to post official scores for those schools. The state requires a school to test 95 percent of students in a course. Last night, school board members asked what happened.

Superintendent Heath Morrison questioned whether leaders at West Charlotte tried hard enough to get students to take them. But at Harding he said it was a different case.

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Local News
3:27 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Morrison Shares Thoughts On Challenges Facing CMS

Heath Morrison
  • The interview as heard on WFAE 90.7fm
  • Listen to the entire interview.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools has had a new superintendent for a month now. Heath Morrison has been praised by parents, teachers, and even state lawmakers as superintendent of Washoe County Schools in Reno, Nevada. And so far, he hasn't had any naysayers in Charlotte. But most of what he's doing is listening at this point.

WFAE's Lisa Miller sat down with Morrison to discuss his impressions about CMS so far.

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