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Back to school: CMS Learning and Teaching

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has adopted curriculum changes designed to move the district forward in its equity efforts as it prepares to welcome students back on Monday, Aug. 26.

Superintendent Earnest Winston; Chief Academic Officer Brian Kingsley; Dr. Cotrane Penn, executive director of student wellness and academic support; and Robert Ellyson, executive director of talent acquisition, gave an overview of the new curriculum, student supports and recruitment efforts at a media briefing Aug. 21 at the Charlotte Convention Center.

The briefing was part of the 2019 CMS Symposium, held Aug. 20-21. Winston said the symposium was an opportunity for teachers, principals and instructional staff to talk about the district’s commitment to equity and curriculum changes that can help all students.

“I want the community to know that their schools and their district are focused on these efforts not just in words, but through our actions as educators,” Winston said.

Kingsley introduced the new curriculum partners, EL Education for English language arts (ELA) and Open Up Resources for math. The curriculum will be adopted in kindergarten and grades one, two, three and six for ELA and grade eight for math. The limited release will allow the district to give targeted professional learning and support before the curriculum is expanded to other grade levels and content areas.

“With the implementation and ongoing support of the new curriculum this school year, we are committed to the success of our students and the adults devoted to them,” Kingsley said.

Dr. Penn detailed current programs that support the integration of social, emotional and academic supports in the classroom and workplace. CMS is increasing student access to high-quality social, emotional and behavioral instruction and interventions, and adding school mental health staff positions.

Recruiting and onboarding employees for the 2019-2020 school year began March 1, earlier than in previous years, Ellyson said. CMS participated in 65 recruitment events for instructional and non-instructional positions in 2018-2019 and used various programs and strategies to identify and hire high-quality candidates.

“Staffing for schools and district departments is an ongoing effort, due to the size and complexity of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools,” Ellyson said.

CMS has hired more than 4,200 employees through transfers, promotions, rehires and new hires for school-based and other positions. There are currently 15 bus driver vacancies; 50 drivers have been hired since May, and bus driver classes are held monthly.

The district also has hired more than 2,100 teachers; currently, 99 percent of teacher vacancies for the new school year have been filled or are in the pre-hire phase of onboarding. Ellyson said the pool of high-quality, certified teachers is shrinking, but the district has produced an additional 88 teachers through the CMS Teaching Residency.

CMS hiring facts:

  • The CMS Teaching Residency is an alternative licensure route to becoming a full-time CMS teacher. The application for cohort 2020 will be available this fall. Click here for more information.
  • Fifty bus drivers have been hired since May. Bus driver classes are held monthly. Click here for details.
  • Critical needs areas for teachers include exceptional children, elementary, secondary math and science, and Career and Technical Education


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.