The public and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools employees get another chance to talk with the new superintendent next week, as his series of town hall meetings resumes.
Heath Morrison will host a meeting for the public at 6 p.m. Monday at Harding High, 2001 Alleghany St., and one for employees at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Butler High, 1810 Matthews-Mint Hill Road. Both sessions include remarks from Morrison, a chance to ask him questions and small-group discussions about the future of CMS.
Morrison, who started July 1, is holding meetings across the county to gather thoughts and suggestions as he crafts his long-term plan for CMS. The first meetings were about six weeks ago, at North Meck and Rocky River high schools. The series will conclude Nov. 15, and Morrison expects to release his plan in early December.
Monday’s session in west Charlotte takes him into the heart of some of the district’s toughest challenges.
In 2010-11, Harding was a high-performing magnet school, boasting high test scores and graduation rates for the African American and low-income students who made up the majority of the student body. The board and Morrison’s predecessor, Peter Gorman, decided to close several schools in 2011-12, sparking outrage from many parents and community activists. Waddell High, a struggling neighborhood school, was among the closures. Most of those students were sent to Harding, which struggled last year with discipline problems and faltering academic performance.
Meanwhile, local philanthropists have targeted nearby West Charlotte High and its eight feeder schools for a $55 million, five-year turnaround effort. Most students at those schools are also minorities from low-income homes, and those schools have been among the weakest on academic performance.
The session at Butler is to all CMS employees, but not to anyone else. Employee interest in Morrison’s debut has run high, as he talks about rebuilding morale, launching candid conversations about race in education and rolling out new state-mandated exams to rate teachers.
Check the full schedule of Morrison’s town hall meetings at www.cms.k12.nc.us.