LeGrand named Principal of the Year for the East Learning Community

Bain Elementary School principal John LeGrand with wife Beth and children Michael and Frannie pose in front of the congratulatory banner that was presented to him by East Learning Com- munity Tonya Kales. PHOTO BY MICHELE DOTSON

Bain Elementary School principal John LeGrand with wife Beth and children Michael and Frannie pose in front of the congratulatory banner that was presented to him by East Learning Com- munity Tonya Kales. PHOTO BY MICHELE DOTSON

Bain ElementarySchool principal John LeGrand was named Principal of the Year for the East Learning Community at a surprise ceremony in the school’s cafeteria on Thursday, September 12.East Learning Community Superintendent Tonya Kales presented the award.

Several area principals and administrators attended the brief ceremony to show their support. LeGrand’s wife and children, as well as his parents and step-mother were also in attendance.
LeGrand began his career in CMS as a teacher at Mint Hill Middle from 2003-2005 before becoming an Assistant Principal at JM Alexander Middle School in Huntersville from 2005-2006. From 2006-2008 he was an assistant principal at Independence High School, moving to Bain as an assistant principal in 2008 before becoming Principal in 2010.  Continue reading
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CMS bond requests funds for programs, schools in Mint Hill area

A portion of the $290 million Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools is requesting through a bond referendum will directly assist Mint Hill area schools.
If approved, approximately $39.02 million will be directed for a new K-8 Magnet school and updating Career and Technical Education programs.
$30.38 million would fund the construction of a new K-8 partial magnet school, expanding capacity for the Spanish language immersion magnet program in CMS. It would provide much-needed relief for Albemarle Road Elementary and middle schools and other nearby elementary schools while expanding capacity at Collinswood Language Academy.╩
K-8 schools can provide consistency and stability for students as they move from kindergarten to a new elementary school and then to a new middle school. This project provides a cost-effective solution to building separate elementary and middle schools. It costs about $48 million to build a new school.
$8.64 million would be used as the first part of a Career and Technical Education expansion. In Phase I, access to Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs for students would be expanded by creating technical institutes at Garinger, North Mecklenburg, West Mecklenburg and Independence high schools. These institutes would provide the full slate of CTE course offerings, including automotive, carpentry, culinary, cosmetology and horticulture classes. Each school will leverage local businesses and industry to emphasize real-world, program-specific experiences for students.
For more information, or to see the progress of the 2007 Bonds, visit http://www.cms.k12.nc.us
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Effort to save Bain Auditorium continues

by Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

The Bain auditorium is still slated for demolition, but Mint Hill residents are working to get it removed from the list.

A meeting was held February 19, which saw 70 to 80 people, and a bank account was set up for donations at American Community Bank.

The auditorium has been declared of historical significance, and very early estimates of the cost to refurbish the property are at around $1.5 million.

The Mint Hill Historical Society has commissioned a committee to save Bain auditorium, led by town commissioner Tina Ross.

Ross has spoken to Guy Chamberlain, associate superintendent for auxiliary services at Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, as well as the John LeGrande, principal at Bain Elementary, and says the results are positive.

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New Clear Creek principal named

The Charlotte-Meck- lenburg Board of Education appointed Deborah McSwain Heath principal at Clear Creek Elementary. Heath is currently an assistant principal of instruction at Independence High School.

Deborah McSwain Heath

She began her career with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools as a language arts teacher at Carmel Middle School in 1987. She has also taught language arts and social studies at Druid Hills Elementary, Albemarle Road Elementary, Northeast Middle, and Mint Hill Middle schools. Heath became a principal intern at Independence in 2006 and an assistant principal in 2007.

Heath has a master’s in school administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she also earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary and middle grades education.

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Schools, businesses team up to stop bullying

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools are teaming up with area businesses, Mecklenburg County Police Department, and CBS Radio for “Stand Up, Speak Out,” a campaign to fight bullying.

The program encourages any victims or witnesses to do just what the name suggests—stand up and speak out.

CBS and businesses like Great Clips Salon, Goodwill, Best Buy, MTB Mechanical, and Charlotte Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat Associates are sponsoring the effort, which asks parents, students, and teachers to sign a pledge stating their intent to stop bullying.

The pledge consists of a statement that every student has the right to be respected and safe at school, and promises including treating others respectfully, not bullying, obeying the rules, supporting victims, speaking out, and notifying authority.

Charlotte mayor Anthony Foxx came out in support of the program, releasing a video to CBS, encouraging people to join the cause, saying, “If we work together to eliminate bullying at home, at school, in the neighborhoods, and in the communities across our city, the quality of life of our young people will be so much richer.”

At the end of the pledge drive, the elementary, middle, and high schools with the most pledges will receive a CBS Radio pep rally.

A website is currently under construction and should be up and running by the end of the month.

Pledges can be found at any local Great Clips salon, or online at charlotte.cbslocal.com/stand-up-speak-out/.

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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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