Five uptown Charlotte schools will get out early Friday to dodge NBA All-Star traffic

Five uptown Charlotte schools will get a half-day off Friday to avoid traffic generated by the NBA All-Star game activities, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced Tuesday.

Chantilly Montessori, Elizabeth Traditional Elementary School, First Ward Creative Arts Academy, Irwin Academic Center and Metro School will dismiss at 12:15 p.m. Friday, while the district’s other 170 schools will remain on schedule. The early dismissal affects about 2,000 students.

“Many roads will be closed in the uptown area and heavy traffic congestion is expected during upcoming NBA All-Star activities on Friday ... and throughout the weekend,” the district’s statement said. “The primary concern areas are Independence near Bojangles’ Arena and the uptown area around the time for CMS afternoon dismissals in or near these areas.”

After-school programs will remain open at those schools, CMS said.

Ann Doss Helms has covered education for the Observer since 2002, long enough to watch a generation of kids go from preK to college. She is a repeat winner of the North Carolina Press Association’s education reporting award.