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Planning Services
FAQs

Boundary Options

Does planning staff have a preference for a boundary option?

No, all comments from the community meetings will be considered prior to making a staff recommendation to the Board of Education. The community meetings provide valuable input to staff.

 Will one of the discussion options be the staff recommendation?

Possibly, but after the community meetings and all input is received, one or two “community options” are developed and posted on the CMS website. Input by email from the public may continue. The staff recommendation may consist of one of the discussion or community options, or a combination of options.

 What is the typically size of an elementary school, middle and high school?

Elementary - 39 classrooms; approximately 90,000 sq. ft. Middle - 54 classrooms; approximately 130,000 sq. ft. High - 100 classrooms; approximately 260,000 sq. ft.

 Why aren’t school buildings larger so that attendance areas can be larger?

Based on educational best practices, elementary schools are built to accommodate 800 students, middle schools, 1200 students and high schools, 2000 students.  If schools are over capacity then mobile units are added if space on the school property can accommodate the units.

How is the building capacity calculated for elementary, middle and high? 

Building capacity is calculated as a ratio of classroom teachers allotted versus total students assigned.  This is based on, but different from, building utilization.  Capacity will vary from school to school, and from year to year, as a result of student-weighted staffing ratios. 

Building utilization is based on the number of classroom teachers assigned to a school and the number of classrooms available.  Since elementary students remain with one teacher all day, when there are 39 classroom teachers assigned (100% utilization) the school is considered to be fully utilized. 

At the middle and high school levels, teachers have students three periods out of four each day, with one planning period.  The planning period allows another teacher to “float” into the classroom that otherwise would have been unoccupied by students.  Floating allows four teachers to share three classrooms, and ensures that each classroom is used by students each period of the day. 

            - A baseline middle school has 54 classrooms; the school is not fully utilized until there are 72 classroom teachers

            - A baseline high school has 100 classrooms; the school is not fully utilized until there are 133 classroom teachers

In both these cases, this represents 100% utilization.  Capacity is therefore a function of dividing the number of assigned students by the number of allotted classroom teachers to determine an average ratio.  This average is then multiplied by the number of available teaching stations.  While it is understood that not every classroom will be at the average number of students, this method allows for consideration of the diverse offerings and placements within a given school.

Do the dots on the maps represent only CMS students?  Do we have demographic information on 2-3 year olds and private/charter schools?

The dots are CMS students only; we do not have data for private and charter students.

The Department of Public Instruction has charter school demographics on its website.  However, it is reported as a total number of students; it is not broken down by geographic areas.

 Who determines the boundary options? 

The Planning Services staff.  Current elementary boundaries served as the building blocks to develop middle or high school boundaries. Each elementary boundary feeds into one or more middle school(s) and into one or more high school(s) boundaries. In addition to feeder patterns, school boundaries were developed considering elements such as, major streets and roadways, railroads, creeks, where possible.

 How did you forecast the projected enrollment student growth numbers? 

We used past CMS student data per school boundary area to calculate the growth in the future student population for each area.  Mecklenburg County offices also provided to Planning, information about the locations of new subdivisions and residential rezoning developments that could add additional students to each school.

 Will the format of the meetings be the same? 

Yes, the meetings are set up with the intentions that participants only have to attend one meeting.

How do we know that the community suggestions were included into the boundary process? How will we be made aware of new options before the Public Hearing?

Planning will send out an email to inform those that new information, maps, etc. has been posted to the website (email is sent to those that submit contact details at boundary workshop).  This year, schools will notify the parents through newsletter or flyer about boundary process and the CMS Communications department will facilitate getting news to all other mediums.