Employees still excited for Camp CMS despite open positions at school sites

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 5:15 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - In just three days, hundreds of you will be sending your child off to Camp CMS.

This is the summer school program that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has set up to help any students who have fallen behind during the pandemic.

More than 30,000 students are signed up for the summer enrichment program. Just days ago, CMS held a career fair to fill empty positions, but employees say there’s still a need.

“We’re flexible. We’re able to kind of make things work and be successful in doing so. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to start camp Monday,” said CMS site coordinator Kate Phifer.

Kate Phifer is the site coordinator at Rama Road Elementary School. She says her site is fully staffed but she and other educators across the district are helping get more teachers to sites with open positions.

“A couple of other schools are still missing a few pieces and people to fill their buildings whether it be a teacher assistant or an actual teacher in the classroom,” Phifer said. “They’re still hopeful that they’re going to get a few people in, but I know we’ve all been working together to try to send people that we find over to them and kind of work together to help fill each other out.”

Employees at West Charlotte High School say they’re fully staffed too but want to make sure everyone is dotting their Is and crossing their Ts.

“Some of us are excited some of us are anxious about getting things squared away, personnel hired, ensuring that the children had transportation to get here, and everything in place so that we can have a smooth opening on Monday and a smooth camp overall,” said West Charlotte High School counselor Anthony Wright.

Aside from core subjects, schools are offering other electives including physical education and African American history.

Wright also says counselors will be in place to help students with any mental health needs.

Despite the finishing touches, teachers say they’re looking forward to helping students get caught up and have some fun too.

“Especially with the pandemic and our students missing a lot of instruction I just believe that Camp CMS will further aid our students in being a little bit more resilient the next coming school year,” said West Charlotte High School English teacher Kartika Johnson.

Johnson will be teaching 10th graders this summer and says she plans to add TikTok challenges to her lessons.

Phifer also says now is not the time to criticize planning but to focus on the task at hand.

“At the end of the day, we’re all peers and we’re supposed to be working toward a common goal which is helping educate our students,” Phifer said.

Phifer says there is still time for external candidates to apply for the second session.

WBTV reached out to CMS to see how many open positions are left but we have not gotten a specific number at the time of this writing.

Earlier this week, staff said they would have a better idea after the career fair and final review of applications.

To see the list of Camp CMS sites, click here.

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