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A successful start to the school year

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools opened the 2019-2020 school year with more than 148,000 students attending the district’s 175 school

CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston began the day by greeting bus drivers at the Orr Road bus lot. He also visited a number of schools, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Academy, Joseph W. Grier Academy, Mallard Creek High and Vance High, where Winston started his teaching career more than 13 years ago. 

“When I walked into classrooms today, I saw teaching and learning taking place,” Winston said. “Students were eager and engaged in rigorous learning, and that is always exciting. Our bus drivers had excitement and enthusiasm and play a valuable role in education. I also appreciate all the hard work and dedication of our teachers and other staff members, who have made us ready for today.”

The district had 1,088 school buses on the road with about 127,000 riders, more than any other school district in North Carolina. CMS has more than 31,000 school bus stops in the morning and about 31,500 stops in the afternoon across 14 transportation areas. Winston said it takes time to get back into the school routine and urged motorists to exercise caution and patience as buses pick up and drop off students.

The district is still looking for some bus drivers and teachers. On the first day of school, there were 73 teacher positions that were vacant without a recommendation for hiring in a total teacher workforce of 9,401 certified teachers. There were also 39 vacancies for bus drivers. Safety and training teams continue to onboard new drivers in cooperation with the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.

District officials have not completed an enrollment count but expect to have more than 148,000 students this year. Enrollment is likely to continue through the first few days of school.

Some resources for families this year:

  • Here Comes the Bus, an app that will track individual buses, can be downloaded from the CMS website.
  • The Transportation Call Center can be reached at 980-343-6715.
  • The district has an ombudsman’s office that can help families with a variety of issues. Contact: 980-343-0055 or ombudsman@cms.k12.nc.us.
  • Additional resources can be found on the CMS Back to School webpage.


P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools website (www.cms.k12.nc.us) is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any website accessibility concerns may be brought via the following, Email the Web Accessibility Team at WebAccessibility or Call: 980.343.0115. In compliance with Federal Law, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administers all education programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities, may be referred to the District's Title IX Coordinator at titleixcoordinator or to the Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.