Serving newcomers

International families entering Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools now have more resources through the English Learner (EL) Services Center for Family and Community Engagement. The new center opened Oct. 13 and is designed to help families navigate the district and life in Mecklenburg County.

CMS serves students from 183 countries who speak 197 languages, said Charlotte Nadja Trez, executive director of EL Services. More than 40,000 CMS students speak a language other than English at home and the district has more than 17,000 English learners, the largest number of any district in the state, she said.

The new center features six interactive stations where families can find information about CMS, including high school graduation guidelines, staff roles and district procedures, as well as community resources and agencies.

At the center's dedication Oct. 12, Chief Academic Officer Brian Schultz praised the diversity in CMS.

"We are the richest district in the country because of it," Schultz said.

The center, which is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., is located in the Smith Family Center, 1600 Tyvola Road.