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CMS seeks community input for Capital Needs Assessment

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education reviewed a first draft of the district's 10-year capital needs at its May 24 meeting. The preliminary assessment, prepared by a consultant, will be shared in a series of meetings to gain input from the community and a final version will be brought to the Board in spring 2023. The Capital Needs Assessment determines what will be on the long-term Capital Improvement Plan, which in turn informs the projects on the next school bond request.

"The conditions of our school facilities impact education equity. Classrooms and school buildings affect how well students learn," said Elyse Dashew, chair of the Board. "It should go without saying that all students need a safe and healthy learning environment, and we want the community to weigh in on what this looks like. We have scheduled a full year to gather community input because we want to hear from everyone."

Consultant Dennis LaCaria also emphasized that the first draft was a starting point to enable a vigorous dialogue with the community on CMS capital needs.

"Nothing here is set in stone," he said. "It's a beginning intended to spur a conversation with the community. Even the rubric โ€“ the factors that we weigh in choosing one project over another โ€“ is a proposal, not a final version. We hope the public will weigh in on every aspect."

He said that community engagement would begin immediately with the annual CMS magnet survey. Once the school year ends, a series of town halls will be held to gain feedback in person. The public will also be able to provide feedback online.

To see the full Capital Needs Assessment presentation, click here.

The Board also heard a report from Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh detailing his reorganization of the learning communities. Hattabaugh plans to increase the number of learning communities to nine from the current six. Learning communities with heavy concentrations of Title I schools (a measure of student poverty) will have fewer schools so that attention and resources can be directed to the Title I schools.

The reorganization will be cost-neutral by realigning staff to fill the new positions.

"I believe that this is what's best for our students โ€“ all of them," he said. "This reorganization will enable us to better serve our Title I schools, as well as non-Title I schools. Our learning community leaders will be able to focus more effectively on the schools and ensure appropriate differentiated resources to enhance student learning and ensure equity. We must set clear expectations, alignment, process, and procedures with accountability for the learning communities to increase student achievement."

P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
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