Morrison praises Indy for graduation numbers

By Michele Dotson

CMS Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison held a press conference Tuesday, September 2 at Providence High School to share preliminary graduation results from across the district.

Morrison praised Independence High School for posting an impressive graduation rate of 88.6  which is an increase of  4.5 % from 2013.

Independence Assistant Principal Amy Mims described the school’s massive efforts to make connections with students and parents in order to pave the way to success.

Since the media briefing last Tuesday, further results have been released and Independence High School has been recognized for “Exceeding Expected Growth”  as a school with an overall 19.67 growth index  with EOC state tests.

In measuring student progress, the state recognizes growth in addition to proficiency. The state uses a sophisticated statistical analysis of students’ past performances to determine if they have learned at least a year’s worth of material; or exhibited growth.

This indicator is designed to show that students are learning even if their test results do not meet expected proficiency.

According to results published on Friday, Independence finished first in the district for the highest student growth on the English II EOC, second in the district for the highest student growth on the Biology EOC, and sixth in the district for the highest student growth on the Math 1 EOC.

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Kelly Lewis named athletic director of the year

By Michele Dotson

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 7.25.05 PM

Independence High School Athletic Director Kelly Lewis was named Athletic Director of the Year for North Carolina at the NCADA spring conference in Asheville on March 23.

Kelly Lewis was named Athletic Director of the Year by the North Carolina Athletic Director Association (NCADA) at the 2014 spring conference in Asheville, NC on March 23.

Lewis, who has been athletic director (AD) at Independence for 10 years, was honored at the spring conference at the Grove Park Inn.

The North Carolina Athletic Directors Association was formed in 1970 by the late Bob Jamieson of Greensboro, and others, with the hopes of providing athletic directors a forum for sharing their common concerns and problems while growing professionally.

Independence High School principal Amy Dellinger says Lewis has many responsibilities, and he is a true professional. Continue reading

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Local teacher earns national board certification – Speaks at media briefing

By Michele Dotson
Jennifer Lunsford

Jennifer Lunsford

Rocky River High School mathematics teacher Jennifer Lunsford spoke at a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) media briefing held at the school on Wednesday, February 27. The media briefing focused on ways National Board certification is aligned with Goal 1 of the CMS Strategic Plan 2018.

Superintendent Heath Morrison’s long-range plan calls for “new kinds of schools with new kinds of instruction.”

National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential. As part of this process, teachers must analyze their teaching context and students’ needs, submit videos of their teaching, and provide student work samples that demonstrate growth and achievement over time. Continue reading

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School Board votes to keep spring break intact for CMS

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 25, 2014 — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced Feb. 25 that students will not have to make up school days missed on Feb. 13 and 14 due to the winter storm.

Dr. Heath E. Morrison, the district’s superintendent, presented a recommendation to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education Feb. 25 to leave spring break intact by not making up two of the three missed days.  The Feb. 12 snow day will be made up on March 31, previously designated a teacher workday.

The district calendar for the current school year has 1,080 hours of instructional time, which is more than the 1,025 hours required by the state.  The extra hours provided some flexibility in the district’s response to the unusual weather event.

“The education of our students is always our first consideration and that is why the extra hours were built into the calendar,” Dr. Morrison said. “This decision was not an easy one but the unique nature of the February snow storm warranted a unique response.  Many of our employees and families indicated that they had made plans for the break, so we are pleased to avoid shortening spring break at this time.”

However, Dr. Morrison reminded the Board and the public that it is possible that additional severe weather could occur this year. Missing more days of school, he said, will mean losing days during spring break. District leadership does not believe giving up more instructional time is in the best interests of students, he said.

Dr. Morrison’s recommendation was unanimously approved by the Board of Education.

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MH Women’s Club to hold meet the candidates forum

By Michele Dotson

  The campaign signs are out all over Mint Hill as candidates vie for positions as commissioners and School Board members. The election will be held on November 5. PHOTO BY MICHELE DOTSON


The campaign signs are out all over Mint Hill as candidates vie for positions as commissioners and School Board members. The election will be held on November 5. PHOTO BY MICHELE DOTSON

The Mint Hill Women’s Club will hold a candidates forum and question and answer session for residents on Monday, October 14 at the Mint Hill Town Hall. The event will run from 7-8 pm. Citizens will get the chance to learn more about candidates for Mint Hill Mayor, Board of Commissioners and District 6 School Board.  

Most of the 13 candidates have committed to be present for the forum, which will be followed up by a question and answer session. Audience members will be given index cards for their questions and candidates will answer as many questions as possible in the time permitted.
Moderation will be provided by The League of Women Voters.  
At 7 pm the meeting will open with comments from Bettie Ann Haynes from Charlotte-Mecklenburg League of Women Voters. Candidates will have the opportunity to speak for up to two minutes each.
Then a Question and answer session will be facilitated by Haynes and questions will continue until 8 pm.
Mayor Ted Biggers, running unopposed, has committed to attending the event.
Candidates for the Board of Commissioners that have positively responded to the invitation include Lloyd Austin, Dale Dalton, Carl “Mickey” Ellington, Rich Ferretti, Harry Marsh, Brenda McRae, Richard “Fig” Newton, and Katrina “Tina” Ross. At press time, there had been no response from Eric Random.
Responding candidates for School Board District 6 are Paul Bailey and Bolyn McClung. 
At press time, there had not been a response from Doug Wrona.
Mint Hill Town Hall is located at 4430 Mint Hill Village Lane. 
The meeting will be in the Assembly Room.
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Bain dedicates building with ribbon-cutting

By Leah Schmalz
bain 1 bain 2 bain 3The history of Bain Elementary School is extensive, dating back 124 years. Last Thursday the school added another chapter to that rich story with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly constructed school building.
Principal John LeGrand reflected further on this history, emphasizing that the vision of John Bain in the 1800s, which led to the school’s establishment, is still being upheld today. “This new building does not mean that we’re starting over,” he said. “This new building simply means that we’re continuing that tradition of excellence that was created by the people that stood before us.”
The event was held in the gymnasium and featured student involvement and leadership. Fifth grade students kicked off the ceremony by leading the pledge of allegiance and introducing the principal. Mr. Clenney’s third grade class also performed a song composed by music teacher Noreen Hofmann, complete with clapping, hand motions, and creative lyrics. “The sky’s the limit when you act Bain proud,” rapped one of the students.
CMS Board of Education District 6 member Amelia Stinson-Wesley touched on the legacy of the school, noting that commissioner Mickey Ellington’s family has attended the school for five generations. “I’m really excited about having this new incarnation of Bain here,” she said. “With the technology in this building, with the talent and the passion of all of our teachers, with the drive and dedication of each of you that are students here, it will all guide us to the next generation of Bain Bobcats.”
Dr. Heath Morrison, the superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools, spoke about the future of the students, using the analogy of a basketball game. “Here at Bain you have all of the things that you need to make sure that you’re going to be in position the rest of your life to take that winning shot,” he said. He also thanked the principals, teachers, support staff, community members, and parents for their efforts in support of the new building and the school as a whole. Continue reading
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