CMS board meeting highlights equity policy, Rea Farms Relief, Butler HS make-up day

CMS board meeting highlights equity policy, Rea Farms Relief, Butler HS make-up day

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - At the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education meeting, which will be there only meeting of the month for May, topics ranging from equity, racism in the classroom, makeup school days for CMS students, and prohibited use of tobacco/smoking products on school property were discussed.

In attendance of the meeting were several Butler High school students, who came to show their opposition of the recent announced June 10 make-up day for Butler students due to October’s deadly shooting.

CMS’s usually scheduled last day of school is Friday, June 7th.

Students who we spoke to said they don’t feel the decision is fair and feel as if they are being punished for a shooting at their school which has already caused a traumatic experience for the Butler high school family.

The students we talked to were eventually able to speak with District 6 School Board Member Sean Strain, who represents the district which Butler is in.

Students told us after they spoke with Strain, that they were pleased they got the chance to speak with their district official, but still felt unsettled as they left the meeting.

CMS Communications representatives said their main priority is making sure Butler students are meeting the necessary instructional hour requirements by law, which was the driving reason for assigning the make up day.

Equity Policy & Community Equity Committee Creation

Tuesday night, the Charlotte Mecklenburg School board passed Policy ADA Equity, and also voted to create a Community Equity Committee. As laid out in the policy, the committee would “review and discuss CMS data and programs in order to monitor progress toward equity.”

The policy states the Equity Committee members would represent members of parent, student, educational, faith and community groups.

The policy says expectations of the committee are, in hopes, “that they will become both thought partners in, and community advocates for equity. The diverse nature of the group will provide staff with a sounding board for future initiatives.”

“We don’t need to do this in the dark, we need to do this in the light,” said District 5 Board Member Margaret Marshall regarding the purpose and goals of a Equity Policy committee during the meeting.

Committee working to make schools equitable

Rea Farms Relief School

The board was also presented an update on the Rea Farms relief school which would address an issue of overcrowded Middle and Elementary schools in south Charlotte. Tuesday night, the board was presented five options for the new school, Rea Farms Relief, which plans to be built. Those five options included two new options since the boards last meeting.

The board was presented the following;

“Input gathered over the course of community engagement to date informed five scenarios:

• K-8 school with a home school boundary only; no choice seats

• K-8 school with a home school boundary and choice / magnet seats

• K-8 school with choice seats only; no home school boundary

• Middle school with a home school boundary only; no choice seats

• Temporary middle school to be replaced by a new middle school near Ardrey Kell High School

The Superintendent and staff will narrow these scenarios to a single recommendation to be presented to the Board for a vote on June 4.”

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