Start of new school year brings new changes

by: Holly Maynard Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte Mecklenburg students, parents, and staff will notice big changes this school year. Perhaps the biggest change students will feel in the classroom is the way they're taught. 

Starting Monday, teachers begin a new Core Curriculum which is expected to be more rigorous and analytical than previous lessons. District leaders told us some teachers have gone through two years of training to teach the new curriculum.

CMS school board member Rhonda Lennon said parents and staff should notice a big change in morale.  That's in part because of Dr. Heath Morrison, the new superintendent who has spent the summer meeting with school leaders, parents, and communities. 

“I think there was a lot of distrust," Lennon said. “People didn't feel engaged in the system before, and I think he's trying to reengage the community in the schools." 

High School junior Brandon Castillo told us he's kept up with news about the new leadership and has heard positive things so far

“I didn't know if it affected me at first, but I feel like it's starting to work out a little," he said.                                                 

The Superintendent isn't the only leadership change.  Last year, the district lost 35 principals. That's as many as the previous two years combined.  Many retired.  Some left dissatisfied with the district.

Now the district is working to get to the bottom of any problems.  Soon it will release results of a recent audit that looked at how well it communicates with parents, staff, and the public. 

“That was one of the areas that was labeled as a problem at CMS - was communication," said Lennon.

Chris Castillo, Brandon's father, will be looking for those results.

“I think they could do a better job, at least on the Internet, because sometimes you go on the website and stuff isn't updated for weeks at a time," he said. 

Results of another audit will be released soon too.  That one looks at the operational efficiency of the district.

 The district also needs to hire more teachers soon.  As of Sunday night, CMS told us they still had about 90 teacher vacancies.