CHARLOTTE – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will begin engaging the community next month as it launches student assignment for new schools opening in fall 2023 as well as a south Charlotte high school opening in 2024.
Associate Superintendent Akeshia Craven-Howell outlined the community engagement process during the Jan. 11 school board meeting. The process starts with remote sessions in February.
“Our goal in those first conversations will be to introduce the student assignment opportunities to each community and establishment the baseline about our scope of work and the data from which we will be starting our analysis,” she said.
One of three new elementary schools opening in fall 2023 will be a 45-classroom relief school for Elon Park, Hawk Ridge and Polo Ridge. It will be located at 11000 Beau Riley Road, putting it within Elon Park's existing boundary.
Students will advance to Community House and J.M. Robinson middle schools and Ardrey Kell High School.
“Since the 2017 bond, Hawk Ridge and Polo Ridge have both already experienced assignment changes recently in the opening of Rea Farms and in that way have already experienced some relief,” Craven-Howell said.
School board member Sean Strain asked Craven-Howell during the Jan. 11 meeting if the district would also engage Ballantyne Elementary School community.
“I think because we have already provided some relief to Polo Ridge and Hawk Ridge with Rea Farms, we do have an opportunity to take a look at Ballantyne and see if there's some relief we can provide through this process,” she replied.
A 100-classroom high school to relieve Ardrey Kell, Myers Park and South Mecklenburg will open in fall 2024 at 12218 North Community House Road. Craven-Howell said CMS is engaging the community now due to a strong desire from school board members and the community to have the discussion simultaneously with talks about a repurposed magnet school at E.E. Waddell High School, which will open in fall 2023.
After getting community feedback, CMS will then develop assignment scenarios for each of the new schools. Those will be shared in public forums in the spring. Those scenarios will be narrowed to a single recommendation after feedback. Superintendent Earnest Winston's recommendation will be made in time for a school board vote in July.
“We seek to make sure that our student assignment process is transparent and provides opportunities for public review and input,” Winston said. “Our families' feedback is extremely important to us and we will communicate regularly throughout this process to enable all community members with interest to participate in this process.”