Big changes are coming to several Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools next year, and the district is gearing up to provide information in hopes of tamping down anxiety and rumors.
A new website, CMSlistens.org, has launched to take questions and feedback about paired schools, boundary changes, new magnet programs and other changes that will take effect in 2018-19. People who are concerned about changes at any given school can look it up, and there are detailed updates on the pairings of Dilworth and Sedgefield elementaries, Billingsville and Cotswold elementaries and Morehead STEM Academy and Nathaniel Alexander Elementary.
The information is important not only to CMS families but to newcomers and people without school-age children concerned about how changes in public schools might affect their neighborhoods and property values.
During a student assignment review that lasted two years, CMS was criticized for making it tough to get detailed information in a timely manner.
Superintendent Clayton Wilcox, who started a transitional term with CMS in the spring and took the top job in July, acknowledged that communication was sometimes weak when it came to student assignment. The web page, which was already in the works, is part of the effort to build public confidence.
One of the first changes many families will see is an earlier-than-usual application period for 2018-19 magnet seats. Several new programs are slated to open next year, and applications for the lottery will be taken from Nov. 13 to Dec. 18.
In previous years, magnet applications have started in January. Assistant Superintendent Akeshia Craven-Howell said parents want to know earlier in the year whether their children have seats in magnets.
CMS will hold follow-up lotteries for any seats that remain open, with applications taken in January and March.