Camp CMS kicks off, welcoming more than 32,000 students

CHARLOTTE — On Monday, students across Mecklenburg County started Camp CMS.

It’s no secret that the 2020-2021 school year was a challenge. The six-week program was designed to help students who may have struggled with remote learning and didn’t complete coursework.

Camp CMS runs four days a week.

Currently, 32,000 students are enrolled in the program.

Depending on the grade level, students enrolled will receive additional support in subjects like reading, math and science. There will also be enrichment and physical activities.

For students who failed their current grade, they’ll get a second chance once they complete the program.

CMS said student’s principals will re-evaluate their work and decide on promotion or retention.

“I think that kids need to have that continuity with COVID they lost a lot and so this is an opportunity for her to get on grade level and more in line with where she needs to be and that more constructive than sitting at home,” CMS mom Clivia Milburn said.

Last week, CMS held a career fair as it still needed to hire thousands of teachers and staff members.

CMS said it still needed to hire 2,000 teachers for the summer program. It was unclear Monday whether they were able to meet that goal.

The district was offering up to a $2,500 bonus to entice licensed employees.

During the camp, students will get free breakfast and lunch, and receive meals on Thursday to take home for the weekend.

CMS isn’t the only school district offering the program, House Bill 82 requires every public school district in the state to provide a learning program this summer.

(WATCH: NC bill could require districts to offer summer school for struggling students)

Scroll below for Frequently Asked Questions about Camp CMS (provided by CMS)

What is Camp CMS all about?

The program is designed to address unfinished instruction and the impacts COVID-19 had on mastery learning during the 2020-2021 school year. The pandemic disrupted traditional in-person learning and content delivery methods. Zoom sessions became the norm. This resulted in many students not adapting well to this process.

Why is CMS offering this opportunity?

The objective of Camp CMS is to provide CMS students with opportunities for continued learning during the summer. Learning will take place in a fun way and will include social-emotional learning, reading, math, science, physical activity and enrichment. The program will be offered to all CMS students, but will focus primarily on: Students in need of instructional support, students with disabilities, students newly learning English.

How can I learn if my student(s) is eligible to participate?

Please contact your school to discuss your particular student’s needs.

What days and what hours will my student attend?

The district is proposing a four-day learning schedule of Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.* The free six-week program will be held June 14 to July 29. (Note: camp will not be held July 5 - 9.) *Hours may vary based on grade level and school. Contact your school for more details.

Will CMS transportation be offered?

Parents have the option to choose transportation in the morning, afternoon, both or none at all. You may request options for your student when you register.

What about food?

Free breakfast and lunch will be offered. The district is still determining if cafeterias will be available based on safety protocols.

What is the connection between this program and what the North Carolina General Assembly is proposing?

This refers to House Bill 82 that states: “residential schools, to the extent funds are made available, offer a school extension learning recovery and enrichment program outside of the instructional school calendar to students regularly enrolled in those schools.” HB 82 states that instruction shall be delivered for at least 150 hours or 30 days over the course of the program. This bill requires school districts to implement a summer learning program, but does not require student participation. The district desires to serve students who have unfinished instruction due to the pandemic and had begun planning this program ahead of any action in the General Assembly.

Does my child have to attend all six weeks to register for Camp CMS?

Students are encouraged to register for and attend all six weeks of this summer program, but this is not a requirement to attend. Camp CMS dates: June 14 – July 2 | Break: July 5 – 9 (no camp) | July 12 – July 29. Registration is closed.

Is Camp CMS available for rising kindergartners?

At this time, Camp CMS is only available to students already attending a CMS school.

Will attending this program ensure my student will pass?

Camp CMS will provide specific academic supports to address unfinished instruction. Upon completion of the six-week program, a student who has failed their current grade will be re-evaluated by their principal for promotion or retention.

Is this open for children in special education?

Camp CMS is open to all students, including students with disabilities, no matter their placement along the continuum. Both general curriculum and extended content standards will be provided. Students with disabilities who participate will receive their appropriate Exceptional Children supports. For students not attending Camp CMS, Comp Ed and/or ESY services can be provided at any time during the summer, including during Camp CMS hours. For students who are attending Camp CMS, Comp Ed and ESY services are “in addition to” the Camp CMS program. These services cannot be provided during Camp CMS hours.

Is this summer school?

Camp CMS is more than summer school. It’s a summer learning and enrichment experience designed to address the impacts that COVID-19 and remote learning had on mastery learning during the 2020-2021 school year. We will offer in-person classes with grade-level appropriate reading, math and science, including customized instruction and support to meet each student’s needs. It includes daily physical activity and enrichment options* (art, sports, music, etc.) to encourage students to engage, explore and learn. For high school students (rising 9-12 graders), Camp CMS Summer Prep Academy offers electives*, EOC subjects, credit recovery with teacher support and much more. For full details about high school options and summer learning opportunities, contact your student’s high school directly. *Enrichment and elective options may vary by school.