CMS launches out-of-school tutoring program for 42 low-performing schools

More than 1600 students have registered as of September 27.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is kicking off a new tutoring program to support students who need extra help after the pandemic.
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 5:21 PM EDT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is helping students make up for lost time during the pandemic.

Last September, CMS leaders announced efforts to launch an out-of-school time tutoring program for the 42 schools that received a “D” or “F” performance grade from the North Carolina Department of Instruction.

According to a release from CMS, the program will help offset lost instructional time due to COVID-19 and provide expanded learning opportunities for students to achieve greater academic success through high-dosage tutoring.

“There was still learning and teaching and going on but what we really lost was time,” said Hidden Valley Elementary School Principal Daniel Gray.

More than 100 students at Hidden Valley are signed up for the virtual program. In addition, Hidden Valley partners with multiple community groups for after-school tutoring and other academic programs. Gray says a combination of 400 students are signed up for the out-of-school time tutoring and the other after-school programs.

“There was still learning and teaching and going on but what we really lost was time.”

The virtual program started September 27 and the in-person/blended program will begin on Oct. 10. Both programs will end on May 19, 2023.

The program costs $50 million and is paid for through the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act.

Dating back to the 2018-2019 school year CMS had 42 low-performing schools according to state data.

District officials say 14 of the 42 schools have since improved from low-performing status. An additional 22 have fallen into that category, based on this past year’s statistics bringing the total to 50 schools now considered “low performing.”

Tuckaseegee was one of 14 schools that improved and moved off of the low-performing list, according to state data. Principal Travares Hicks says he is excited his students are still eligible for this learning opportunity.

“I really think if we can be intentional by helping the kids who need the help to grow, we can get great student outcomes,” Hicks said.

Tuckaseegee improved its school performance grade to a C last school year. Hicks hopes this out-of-school program helps his students keep up the momentum.

“I look forward to seeing some great outcomes to pick up where we left off last year,” Hicks said.

Hidden Valley received a “D” from the state from 2014 to the present; however, according to 2021-2022 data the school exceeded growth and had a school growth score of 93.1.

Principal Gray believes the letter grade does not fully encompass the hard work the educators and students are doing.

“This out-of-school tutoring time is a way to cultivate some talent and really have our scholars grow and continue to grow to that achievement level that the state likes to put a letter grade on, we don’t concern ourselves with it as much when we look at is the kid growing? Are they getting where they need to be? If they are then that letter grade takes care of itself,” Gray said.

Parents have until September 30 to sign up. For more information on how to sign up and see the list of participating schools, you can visit here.