The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board is starting the year big: Tuesday’s agenda calls for a vote on Clayton Wilcox’s superintendent contract and the first public report on the next phase of student assignment.
The superintendent search and the first phase of the district’s student assignment review, which revamped the magnet lottery, dominated the board’s work in 2016. The superintendent transition and the second phase of student assignment, which involves boundaries for neighborhood schools, is likely to define 2017.
The board announced last month that it had agreed to hire Wilcox, a veteran superintendent currently leading a small Maryland district, at a salary of about $280,000 a year. Tuesday’s vote will nail down the terms of employment, including a transition that is expected to start this spring and take full effect on July 1.
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Wilcox and his wife, Julie, plan to be in Charlotte Monday and Tuesday to start looking for a home. Clayton Wilcox is also scheduled to meet with top CMS administrators, attend a Charlotte Chamber executive meeting, visit a Rotary Club, speak at a 30-minute media briefing and attend the board meeting.
The board’s agenda includes an update on both phases of its ongoing student assignment review. The revised options lottery, approved last year, began Friday and runs through Feb. 14. New priorities based on socioeconomic status will be used to decide who gets seats in the most popular magnets and other opt-in schools, such as high schools on college campuses. The board has agreed to try to reduce concentrations of poverty that isolate many of the most disadvantaged students, with choice as a tool to increase diversity.
The board’s goals also include preserving neighborhood schools, but the next phase will bring some adjustments to school zones. Tuesday’s report may provide a first look at how that will play out, though board Chair Mary McCray said last week it hadn’t been decided how detailed that report will be. The board will dig deeper into the neighborhood school study at its second meeting of the year on Jan. 24.
Here’s what you need to know to keep up:
Public comments: The board will take brief public comments on any topic at the start of the meeting. Sign up by calling 980-343-5139 by noon Tuesday or on site before the meeting starts.
More about Wilcox: CMS has been introducing Wilcox with a series of videos in which he talks about his vision and board members talk about why they chose him. Search for #meetClayton on Twitter or find the videos at the CMS Facebook page.
Other events: Superintendent Ann Clark will hold a “coffee and conversation” session from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Dilworth Elementary, 405 E. Park Ave.; it is open to anyone who wants to get updates or ask questions. The board’s policy committee meets at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in room 527 at the Government Center.