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
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,”
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: