Beginning Teacher Development & Support
Lateral Entry Advancement Program (LEAP)


Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) provides an alternative route for qualified individuals interested in becoming a teacher.  Qualified individuals can obtain a teaching position and begin teaching right away, while obtaining a professional educator's license as they teach. The CMS Lateral Entry Advancement Program (LEAP) provides the 10 days of teacher training required by the state of North Carolina before lateral entry teachers enter the classroom. 

Visit the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction website for more information on the Lateral Entry Advancement Program through the state of North Carolina.

 The CMS Lateral Entry Teacher's Pre-Service Experience

LEAP is a Lateral Entry Teacher's pre-service experience. The primary goal of the program is to positively impact Lateral Entry Teacher retention and development by increasing the confidence and pedagogical knowledge of these teachers before entering the classroom. As of January 26, 2004, attendance at LEAP became mandatory for all CMS Lateral Entry Teachers before entering the classroom. 

The pre-service program, offered by CMS Beginning Teacher Development & Support department, is comprised of five classroom modules that include information on the expectations of an effective teacher, classroom management, lesson planning and assessment, engaging teaching strategies, professionalism, and communication skills. A sixth module allows each teacher to spend two days at his/her school attending meetings, talking to administration, asking questions, experiencing the school culture, and learning specifics about his/her curriculum. 

The classes are led by instructors who have had numerous years of successful teaching experiences. Each session is "free-standing," allowing entrance on any day to not be dependent on the previous days' sessons. The first day could be any of the modules listed below.  


Module 1

Teacher Expectations/

NC Teacher Evaluation Process 

(1 day)

​The learner will become familiar with the:

  • North Carolina Teacher Evaluation Process (NCTEP) 

  • Various teacher expectations and roles of the teacher, as well as characteristics of teachers and students


Module 2

Planning and Assessment

(1 day)

​The learner will:

  • Interact with CMS lesson design formats and the components and characteristics of good lesson planning

  • Understand the Instructional Planning Approach

  • Examine the role of assessment in the instructional process and explore possible tools and strategies


​Module 3

Teaching Strategies

(2 days)

The learner will:

  • Examine characteristics of good teaching

  • Explore teaching strategies appropriate to their teaching assignment


Module 4 

Classroom Management

(2 days)

The learner will:

  • Learn various classroom management ideas/theories

  • Develop a classroom management plan including rules, procedures, consequences, and interventions to prevent and address problem behaviors 


Module 5

Technology, Professionalism and Communication 

(2 days)

The learner will be introduced to the following key CMS technology topics:

  • CMS Acceptable Use Policy

  • Intranet

  • Curriculum Resource Sites

  • PowerSchool

  • Ethics and Diversity

Module 6 

School visits

(2 days)

The learner will spend two days visiting their home school site.