Parents hold emergency meeting regarding proposed changes for University Park Creative Arts Elementary School

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A few dozen concerned parents gathered inside of University Park Creative Arts Elementary School for an emergency meeting Wednesday night.

The meeting, hosted by the school's Parent Teacher Association, was designed to inform parents of changes that could be coming to the school.

The latest Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools student assignment plan left many UPCA families upset. CMS leaders decided that the elementary school would become a partial magnet school instead of a full magnet school. Parents are now seeing the impact of that decision.

Sherika Kemp, the president of the UCPA PTA, said she just recently learned that the school is set to get more students and trailers to accommodate the expected overcrowding at the school.

"Parents were upset. A lot of them feel like if our schools are overcrowded, if they bring trailers out here, then they will pull out of the school," said Kemp.

She worries that more students coming in to the school will mean more problems in the learning environment.

"Overcrowding is not good in any situation. That's bringing more stress on the teachers. That's bringing more stress on the kids in the class," said Kemp.

Parents also worry that putting some kids in trailers may pose a safety hazard. Some said they will consider pulling their children out of the school if nothing is done to address the overcrowding.

"If they do that we'll probably be taking her out of this school and putting her into a private school or a different area," said parent Joshua Spence.

Spence's daughter is in kindergarten at UPCA.

Dr. Ruby Jones, a member of the CMS Board of Education, was at Wednesday night's meeting. She told WBTV that the parents at the meeting definitely have reason to be concerned.

"A number of factors have not been investigated by the (CMS) staff so we got a part of what we needed to do to make a sound decision for our children," said Jones.

The school board member said she has been passionate about the concerns of the UPCA parents since the decision was made to make the school a partial magnet. She said the district plans to send an additional 100 children to the school without the appropriate space needed to accommodate all the students.

"These are things that are coming to light and being discussed so this is good. It's not in place yet. No time is better than before we actually implement the wrong decisions for our children," said Jones.

Kemp encouraged other UPCA parents to contact the CMS leaders regarding their overcrowding concerns.

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