Back to school

Seven schools in the Mint Hill area are nearly ready to open their doors for the first day of school in the 2012-2013 academic year.  Some schools are seeing an increase in teachers, students, or construction, and each school will implement the newly adopted Common Core State Standards, as well as serve more nutritional lunches.  Many principals in the area are beginning the year at their new schools for the first time,  waves of students are transitioning into their first year in middle and high school, and young kindergarteners are entering the educational system for the first time.

 

Bain Elementary School
11524 Bain School Road
Charlotte, NC 28227
980-343-6915 | fax 980-343-6150
Principal: John M. LeGrand
Bell Schedule: 8:15 am – 3:15 pm
Grades: K-5
Open House: August 23, Kindergarten 3-4 pm, All 4-6 pm

Bain principal John LeGrand with a portrait of Bain Academy founder John Bain.

Bain is adding one teacher to its staff this year. It is also adding a new afterschool program, Kidnetic, which enhances the curriculum by teaching through movement. It is intended to help students with different learning styles.
One of the most noticeable changes at Bain Elementary School is the construction. A new building is being constructed to open August 2013. Its construction affects the current building’s parking situation, as the parking lot is being renovated for the future. Only half of the parking lot is available this school year, which will make arrival and dismissal a congested time each day. Parents are encouraged to utilize buses and carpool. Buses will arrive and leave on time, as they are given priority. To conserve parking lot space, the number of buses has decreased from 17 to 13.
The A building, also called the Old Bain Building, will not be in use as it was condemned after the 2010-2011 school year. The Town of Mint Hill is discussing plans to preserve the building. The C building will be demolished next June, and the A building is set to go at the same time.
The number of registered kindergarteners is lower than usual, perhaps due to the construction. Principal John LeGrand wants to invite parents to the school to register their children.
“Even though we have all of these changes outside of our building and surrounding our campus, our focus will continue to be inside the building, maintaining the same calm, nurturing academic environment,” said LeGrand.

Clear Creek Elementary School
School Information:
13501 Albemarle Road
Charlotte, NC 28227
980-343-6922 | fax 980-343-6156
Principal: Penni Beth Crisp
Bell Schedule: 7:45 am – 2:45 pm
Grades: K-5
Open House: August 23, 3-5 pm

Clear Creek Elementary School estimates enrollment numbers will not change much for this year, but it will see two additional classrooms, a new eight-room modular building and two trailers to replace an old modular. There will be new staff, as well.
“We are excited about a number of new staff members and the new Common Core State Standards and Essential Standards, which will be implemented across all grade levels,” said principal Penni Beth Crisp.

Mint Hill Middle School
11501 Idlewild Road
Matthews, NC 28105
980-343-5439 | fax 980-343-5442
Principal: Steve Drye
Bell Schedule: 8:15 am – 3:15 pm
Grades: 6-8
Open House: August 24, Grade 6 11 am – 1 pm, Grades 7 and 8 2-4 pm

Mint Hill Middle School’s bell schedule has changed for this school year. Last year’s schedule was 9:15 am – 4:15 pm, and this year students will be at school from 8:15 am – 3:15 pm. The changing schedules is tied to transportation cuts. Shifting schedules allows for budget cuts and continued operation of CMS transportation.
The school will also be seeing a new computer lab this year, with enough new computers to allow for instruction of a whole class.
Principal Steve Drye has initiated a way for teachers to build relationships with their students. They will use team building activities and book studies in small groups to facilitate character growth and a support system for students.
“This year one of the things we’re going to be looking at is a renewed emphasis on advisory time, working on building relationships with kids. Doing some things to get to know kids better. That’s something that in middle school is critical. The kids need to feel like they belong. It’s a time when they’re really trying to discover who they are and who they want to become and who they want to choose as their role models. We as middle school educators have a real opportunity to have an impact on kids,” said Drye.
Drye encourages students and parents to get involved this school year, and welcomes communication.

Rocky River High School
10505 Clear Creek Commerce Drive
Mint Hill, NC 28227
980-344-0409 | fax980-343-2139
Principal: Brandy Nelson
Bell Schedule: 7:15 am – 2:15 pm
Grades: 9-12
Open House: August 22, 5:30 – 7 pm

Rocky River High School’s new principal, Brandy Nelson, will be opening the school this year for the first time. She is “excited and encouraged” by her school.
Rocky River will see two new staff positions this year, as well as a new athletic director, Jonathan Lamb, and some coaching positions.
Also new this year is the Student Leadership Conference scheduled for November. This conference is a partnership with New Beginnings Church and athletic boosters to focus on character and leadership. The conference has sessions for students and parents to attend.
Technology and school spirit are important at Rocky River this year. The senior class is also challenged with beating the standards set by the first graduating class last year.

Indy principal Amy Dellinger hopes for a great school year for her 2,200 students.

Independence High School
1967 Patriot Drive
Charlotte, NC 28227
980-343-6900 | fax 980-343-6907
Principal: Amy Dellinger
Bell Schedule: 7:15 am – 2:15 pm
Grades: 9-12
Open House: August 22, 4-6 pm

Independence High School will see more teacher positions and more students this year. The 2,200 students expected to enroll is larger than last year’s number.
New this year is the Freshman Academy. Studies show ninth grade as a critical drop-out year for high school students. The Freshman Academy is intended to be a transitional program, focusing on attendance, creating a culture of success, and using interdisciplinary teams to ensure open communication.
Independence expects a strong athletic program this year, as well as a continuance of strong teaching and learning.

Queen’s Grant Community School
6400 Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Mint Hill, NC 28227
704-573-6611 | fax 704-573-0995
Principal: Christy Morrin
Bell Schedule: 8:15 am -3:15 pm
Grades: K-8
Open House: Back to School Night and Bingo August 20, 6-7 pm

Queen’s Grant Community School has seven new teachers this year, as well as additional support staff for at-risk students. Student numbers do not change much from year to year, as there is a cap on enrollment at charter schools. There is a waiting list of 1,300 students this year.
This summer staff were in professional development workshops for the new Common Core standards, and principal Christy Morrin said, “It’s exciting because it increases the level of rigor for kids.”
Students and parents can look forward to continued parent involvement. The August 20 open house is a fun meet and greet, with a Bingo event put on by the parent organization.

Queen’s Grant High School
10323 Idlewild Rd
Matthews, NC 28105
704.545.0736 | fax 704.545.0738
Principal: Dr. Mike Smith
Bell Schedule: 7:50 am – 2:30 pm
Grades: 9-12
Open House: Grades 9 and 10 August 20, 5-7 pm; Grades 11 and 12 August 21, 5-7 pm

Queen’s Grant High School has new buildings, a paved parking lot, and practice athletic fields this year. At no cost to the school, thanks to an active parent group, a baseball and soccer field will be available for students on campus. The school is also adding a lacrosse team.
Queen’s Grant will be replacing three teachers and adding two more positions. There is also a new assistant principal, Reginald Flenory, and a new guidance counselor, Alan Voigt.
The parent group, Very Involved Parents, will be providing shirts to teachers with their slogan “Why not here? Why not now?”
Principal Dr. Mike Smith wants his students to be volunteers to learn and looks forward to the new year.

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