CMS begins community discussions on future plans for the district

CHARLOTTE — Earlier this week, officials from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools turned to the community for thoughts and feedback as the district considers the future of schools across the county.

A discussion at Garinger High School in east Charlotte was the first in-person conversation in a series of engagement opportunities planned by CMS over the next month.

High school educator Jasmine Dozier is passionate about making sure her students at the iMeck magnet school get the best of the best. That’s why she attended Thursday’s meeting.

“Our time is now, we need to be heard,” she said.

iMeck is one of the schools that could be relocated as CMS conducts a comprehensive review of its facilities.

In a growing county, with new families arriving all the time, CMS is running out of room for all the current and future students.

That’s part of the reason the school board says it plans to ask taxpayers for money to build more classrooms across the district.

Right now, its considering rebuilding 11 schools, relocating five and improving several others. But before CMS can ask for the bond next year, it needs to define the plan and wants community feedback in the process.

Dennis LaCaria is spearheading these efforts for the district by hosting a dozen community meetings before the end of November.

“We’ve already made some adjustment and approach to our plan based on feedback,” said LaCaria, a planning consultant with CMS.

He says some of the proposed changes wouldn’t have an immediate impact -- maybe not even while your students are in school. But with a booming city and the cost of land only going up, he says some of the moves are for generations to come.

“Gets out ahead of those things, so at least 50 years from now someone can say, ‘At least they thought of these things,’” LaCaria said.

A full list of CMS’ upcoming community discussions is below:

Wed., Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. virtual with a focus on market share

Thurs., Oct. 20 at 12 p.m. virtual with a focus on STEAM Magnets

Wed., Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. at Harding University High School with a general focus

Thurs., Oct. 27 at 12 p.m. virtual with a focus on boundaries

Wed., Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. virtual with a focus on Ardrey Kell/Myers Park/South Meck relief

Thurs., Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. at Chambers High School with a general focus

Thurs., Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. at Hopewell High School with a general focus

Wed., Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. at Providence High School with a general focus

Wed. Nov., 30 at 6 p.m. virtual with a focus on wrapping up the sessions

Links: Recurring Wednesday link: https://cms-k12-nc-us.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYtf-CqpzkrEtz8bWjbiESfEzpJdeVF8DYy

Recurring Thursday link: https://cms-k12-nc-us.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMrduGprjwjEtz5NSYhcJf5kL3k9uT7OmJH

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Jonathan Lowe

Jonathan Lowe, wsoctv.com

Jonathan is a reporter for WSOC-TV.