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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Enrolling your CMS student

Parents of kindergarteners and new students in Mecklenburg County can contact CMS or their local school for a student enrollment form. Required documents also include a certified birth certificate, three proofs of residency, and immunization records.
The three proofs of residency require a proof of address from each of three types. Type A includes a copy of deed or record of most recent mortgage statement, copy of current lease (including Charlotte Housing Authority and HUD leases), HUD closing statement, residency affidavit from landlord affirming tenancy, Section 8 agreement, or a letter from approved agency (group home purposes only). Type B is a utility bill within the last 30 days. Type C includes a valid N.C. driver’s license, current vehicle registration, valid N.C. photo identification card, W-2 dated within the last year, vehicle or property tax bill dated within the last year, Medicaid card from the last year, payroll stub or bank statement dated within the last 60 days.
Prospective kindergarteners must be five years old on or by August 31, and a health assessment must be completed within the 12 months before the start of school.
Immunizations are required at various levels of schooling. Elementary schoolers need DTP/DTaP/Dt/Td, Polio, Hep B, Haemophilus influenza type B (HIB), Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), and Varicella. Middle and high school requires those and Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis (Tdap).

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CMS football begins

The 2012-2013 football season begins this Friday. Start times of CMS home games is always 7 pm, unless otherwise noted. The schedule for this week is as follows: Ashbrook at Olympic; Charlotte Catholic at South Mecklenburg; Concord Senior at West Charlotte; Cox Mill at Harding University; Garinger at Myers Park; Hopewell at Providence; Hough at Independence; Mallard Creek vs. Butler at Memorial StadiumMarvin Ridge at East Mecklenburg; Phillip O. Berry at Vance; Rocky River at West Mecklenburg; OPEN: Ardrey Kell, North Mecklenburg.

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Kindergarten staggered entry

CMS uses a staggered entry approach for kindergarten students. Using this method, approximately a quarter of each class’ students attend each of the first four days of school. On the fifth day, the entire class is in attendance. CMS kindergarten students are staggered August 27-30. All kindergarten students are requested to attend school on Aug. 31. Each school determines their own staggered entry schedule. Parents should contact their child’s school to learn more about that school’s staggered entry process.

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School volunteers

Many CMS schools have benefited from volunteers and partners who contributed 355,898 hours during the 2011-2012 school year. School volunteers have the power to make a difference in the lives of our students and progress in the classroom. Volunteers positively impact students’ self-esteem, attitudes, social growth and communication skills by helping to provide the personalized attention students need to succeed. Volunteers can also assist teachers, and provide support to the office and media staff.

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Improved school lunch

CMS Child Nutrition Services wants families to know that when students return to school in a few weeks, they’ll find healthy new choices in their school cafeterias that meet tough, new federal nutrition standards. Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, school lunches will meet age-appropriate calorie limits, larger servings of vegetables and fruits (students must take at least one serving of produce); a wider variety of vegetables, including dark green and red/orange vegetables and legumes; fat-free or one percent milk (flavored milk must be fat-free); more whole grains; and less sodium.

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