A Note from Superintendent Winston

Oct. 19, 2021

Dear CMS families and friends,

October is National Principals Month, and I invite you to join me in thanking the many principals who serve in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Being a principal is a demanding job that has become more challenging since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our principals have always strived to set high academic expectations, develop positive school cultures and create safe and welcoming environments where students and staff thrive. Over the past 19 months, they have intensified their efforts, working tirelessly to provide students with the best opportunities to learn – in person and remotely – and making incredibly difficult decisions to ensure the safety and well-being of those in their care.

I am so grateful for the leadership of these dedicated educators, who face each new challenge with resolve and determination. Their commitment to their school communities is inspiring, and we can be proud of their efforts to ensure student success.

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August 25, 2021

Dear CMS students, families and staff,

Welcome back to school! We are ready for a new year, and whether you are new or returning to the district, we are glad you chose to be part of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

I am very excited that everyone is returning to the classroom, where we know our students are best served by in-person teaching and learning. We continue to offer the best possible education for our students and are opening the year with new schools and new initiatives. I am optimistic about the year ahead and look forward to what we can accomplish together.

CMS now has a total of 180 schools. We have four new facilities, including the North Academy of World Languages and the South Academy of International Languages, which will increase student access to language immersion programs across the district. We have added South Pine Academy, a new elementary school in our Southwest Learning Community, and a state-of-the-art replacement school for Briarwood Academy.

We also have expanded our virtual options to meet the demand for a full-remote learning model. In addition to our virtual high school, the district now offers a virtual elementary school for grades 3-5 and a virtual middle school for grades 6-8.

As always, the safety of our students and staff is our first priority. Please be assured that we are taking every precaution necessary to ensure a healthy, safe learning environment. CMS is requiring all staff, students and visitors to wear face coverings indoors, and we continue to encourage best practices, such as frequent handwashing and cleaning. We strongly urge everyone to become vaccinated to protect our school community against the transmission of COVID-19 or severe illness due to the virus.

Please be aware that more than 900 buses are transporting students and adding to weekday traffic flow. We ask that drivers be aware of students at bus stops and follow all traffic regulations to ensure their safety. Masks are required on all CMS school buses. There are no restrictions on seating capacity this year, and buses continue to be fully sanitized. The Here Comes the Bus app is available to help our families track their buses, but stop times may vary during the first few weeks of school. We ask for your patience with any delays that may occur.

I also want to share that School Nutrition Services will be providing free breakfast and lunch to all students for the entire school year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture granted a waiver for this program, which applies to all students, regardless of their free or reduced meal status. You can find more information about our meal programs and other important topics by visiting our back-to-school page.

Our entire CMS staff has done an incredible job preparing for the opening of schools, and I am grateful for their service and for the support from our community. It is a privilege to educate the students of Mecklenburg County, and I look forward to a great year ahead.

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P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools website ( 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.