CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) parents are concerned about the future location of their children's school. The district is moving the E-Learning Academy to another location because that facility is going to be used for an elementary school.
The Academy allows students to come to a facility to learn online and receive critical one-on-one attention from teachers. Students say it's a stress-free environment. Parents say the academy has changed the lives of their children.
"He was constantly getting behind and falling apart, and the social anxiety of it all was just too overwhelming for him," parent Kimberley Keaton said.
Keaton's son enrolled at the academy and he is now thriving.
"I went from buying a GED book to having a graduating senior who is proud to be a graduating senior," Keaton said.
Parents believe the location of the school will determine the success of the program.
"Something bright and helpful and with a lot of technology," Keaton said. "It needs far more internet access and far more availability for the students to have transportation."
About 250 students are currently enrolled in the academy. Parents anticipate that number could grow to about 500 next school year. Administrators say about 100 students have already shown interest in attending the school.
Students are located throughout Mecklenburg county.
"We have kids all the way up at Lake Norman and all the way down to almost to South Carolina," parent Mary Sessoms said. "so we need a central location and a nice facility. A place kids are proud to visit and come to."
Sessoms hopes the new location will be in central Charlotte so it can be easily accessible for students.
"If the kids can't get to the school for tutoring or to take a test or whatever because there is mandatory testing that's done on school grounds, then they can't be successful," Sessoms said.
Parents recently showed up at a CMS School Board meeting to tell board members about the importance of the E-Learning Academy and the importance of the new location. CMS Superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox agrees with the parents and claim they will be pleased with his decision.
"They don't need the traditional space that a big school has," Wilcox said. "But maybe something that's just a little more urban - has a little more pop to it."
The new elementary school is scheduled to open next school year. The academy's facility will have to be renovated and there is no word how soon students attending E-Learning Academy will have to vacate the building. There is also no word on how much redoing the school and providing a new location will cost the district.
"We haven't talked about what do we have to do for retrofitting," Wilcox said. "What's the cost of technology? That's going on all right now."
Parents want the new location to be equipped with modern-day technology. They believe this type of online learning will set students up for success.
"There are so many companies that offer work at home environments, and the kind of self-motivation and time management and stress-free factors that this offers will work for so many children out into the work force," Keaton said.
Parents could know more concrete plans about the academy in the next few weeks.