Dr. Heath E. Morrison announced a reorganization of the central offices in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools June 18 that will enable the district to better serve students and schools. The reorganization shifts the district from six academic zones to seven learning communities. It also restructures the central offices to provide stronger support to district schools and places the deputy superintendent, Ann Clark, in charge of organizational effectiveness and strategic planning.
“Our restructured central services will change the CMS academic-zone structure, as well as the reporting structure for several departments,” Dr. Morrison, superintendent of CMS, said. “We are reshaping, renaming and restructuring our zones to make seven learning communities from the existing six zones. The learning communities will be based on school feeder patterns so that a child who begins in kindergarten will attend schools in a single learning community all the way to graduation. This will enable schools to make the transition from elementary or K-8 into middle or high school seamless and smooth for students.”
The reorganization follows a year of careful study and evaluation of how the district supports its schools, he said. It also reflects feedback from parents, the public, task forces, schools and especially principals.
“Our principals provided significant feedback on the support they need to best serve students and teachers,” Morrison added. “They were involved in everything from the feeder pattern design to the selection of the new title for zone superintendents.” The new structure is budget-neutral. To support the reorganization and the one new community superintendent position, Morrison repurposed some positions and used funds from his superintendent’s new initiatives budget.
Morrison said that since he arrived in CMS in July 2012, he had been talking regularly with the executive leadership team and principals about better ways to provide strong support and services to schools.
“These conversations reflected three core beliefs: Schools are the unit of academic transformation and achievement for our students; every CMS employee and functional area is critical in our efforts to improve services to schools, and improving our organizational effectiveness will strengthen our service delivery,” he said. “Our commitment to serving schools is reflected in our renaming of all central offices so that each one has services in its name.”
Under Dr. Morrison’s plan, there will be the following central offices:
- Organizational Effectiveness and Strategic Planning Services will be led by Deputy Superintendent Ann Clark. This office will provide greater strategic focus on district-wide processes and systems to accelerate organizational effectiveness, strategic planning and service to schools.
- School Performance Services will be led by Dr. Kelly Gwaltney. Community superintendents in the seven learning communities will report to her, as will Student Services, Student Planning, Federal Programs, Title I, Exceptional Children, English Language Learners, Alternative Education and Pre-Kindergarten.
- Learning Services will be led by Dr. Valerie Truesdale, Chief Information and Transformation Officer. Technology Services, Transformation, Professional Development, STEM, Humanities, Advanced Studies, Arts/PE, Media, After-School Enrichment Program, Magnet Schools and Career and Technical Education all will report to Dr. Truesdale.
- Communications Services, led by Chief Communications Officer Kathryn D. Block, will add Graphic Production to its Branding, Media Relations, CMS TV and Internal Communications areas.
- Human Resources Services will be led by Dr. Terri Cockerham, currently the principal at William Amos Hough High. Employee Relations, Sourcing and Onboarding, Employee Support Services, Planning and Workforce Management, Talent Management and HR Administration will report to her.
- Accountability Services, led by Chief Accountability Officer Frank Barnes, will continue to include Assessment, Accountability, Research, Data Quality and Grants.
- Operational Services, led by Chief Operating Officer Millard House, will include Building Services, Transportation, School Nutrition, Safety Services and Athletics.
- Financial Services, led by Chief Financial Officer Sheila Shirley, will continue to include Budget, Procurement and Accounting.
Chief of Staff Earnest Winston will continue to manage Community Partnerships & Family Engagement and Board Services.
The learning communities will include high schools and the elementary, middle and K-8 schools that feed the high schools. The seven communities, their superintendents and their high schools are:
- Dr. Dawn Robinson, North Learning Community. This community includes the feeder middle, K-8 and elementary schools for six high schools: Hopewell, Mallard Creek, North Meck, Northwest School of the Arts and William Amos Hough. Performance Learning Center is also in this learning community.
- Charity Bell, Northeast Learning Community. This community includes the elementary, K-8 and middle schools that feed five high schools: Cochrane Collegiate Academy, Garinger, Hawthorne and Vance. Turning Point Academy is also in this learning community.
- Tonya Kales, East Learning Community. This community includes the elementary, K-8 and middle schools that feed four high schools: Butler, Cato Middle College, Independence and Rocky River. Kales is currently the principal at Ashley Park Pre K-8 School.
- Kit Rea, Central Learning Community. This community includes the elementary, K-8 and middle schools that feed three high schools: East Meck, Military and Global Leadership Academy at Marie G. Davis and Myers Park.
- Kevin Hobbs (pending Board of Education approval), South Learning Community. This community includes the elementary, K-8 and middle schools that feed the five small high schools at Olympic, Ardrey Kell, Providence and South Meck. Hobbs joins CMS from Baltimore County Public Schools.
- Allen Smith, West Learning Community. This community includes the elementary, middle and Pre-K/K-8 schools that feed three high schools: Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology, Harding and West Meck. Smith joins CMS from Colorado, where he led the Denver Summit Schools Network.
- Denise Watts, Project Leadership and Investment For Transformation (L.I.F.T.). This community includes the elementary, middle and Pre-K/K-8 schools that feed West Charlotte High.
The reorganizational changes will take effect July 1.