Nine west Charlotte schools that are covered by the public-private Project LIFT got an exemption from the state law that requires most public schools to start no earlier than Aug. 25 and end by June 10.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools leaders learned recently that legislators had approved the calendar waiver. They notified the affected principals this week.
Denise Watts, the administrator in charge of the Project LIFT schools, said she, the staff and school families will have to talk about how that might play out in 2013-14 or later.
Project LIFT, for Leadership and Investment for Transformation, has raised $55 million in pledges for a five-year project to turn West Charlotte High and its feeders from some of CMS’ lowest performers to schools where most students succeed and graduate. One of the goals is providing more class time for students, possibly including a year-round schedule or longer school year.
The CMS board voted to ask legislators to give the entire district, which has 159 schools, freedom to set its own academic calendar. Failing that, they sought the waiver for the LIFT schools. After a lobbying visit in May, board Chairman Ericka Ellis-Stewart said legislators had offered little hope that either would pass.