NEW Computer Science Middle School

Late this August, the Wilson STEM Academy will have its grand opening.  The school will feature a beautiful state-of-the-art facility, equipped with the latest technology and spaces conducive to providing innovative learning opportunities, thanks to a multi-million dollar renovation.  The Wilson STEM Academy will have a dynamic staff committed to fully addressing the unique academic, emotional, and social needs of our middle school scholars.


In conjunction with Project Lead The Way and, nationally recognized computer science education organizations, the Wilson STEM Academy curriculum includes computer science courses such as Design and Modeling, Automation and Robotics, App Creators, and Computer Science for Innovators and Makers.  Computer science principles (problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork skills) will be integrated into all the other classes taken by your child. Whether your child builds a game for a younger sibling, creates an app that keeps track of a family schedule, or makes a webpage to organize a community event, he or she will learn the ins and outs of the technology that is changing the world, and will ultimately leave the Wilson prepared to enter an advanced computer science pathway program in high school.


Furthermore, beyond a robust computer science curriculum, students will have multiple opportunities to engage in project-based interdisciplinary learning, where they will simultaneously work to master grade level standards in English, social studies, science, and math.  In addition, blended or computer-aided learning will help to ensure that we can personalize learning plans for your child to account for their strengths and needs in reading, writing, and math so that he or she leaves the Wilson fully prepared to access a college preparatory high school program.  


Lastly, to ensure that the needs of the whole child are met, the Wilson will have a comprehensive arts program featuring instrumental music, chorus, visual art, dance, theatre, TV/film production, and digital photography, as well as an after-school sports program.


The Wilson STEM Academy promises to be a safe, welcoming, and nurturing learning community, in part via an advisory program that will include at least one educator who will closely monitor the progress of your child, and include circle-based discussions, career and college exploration, and study skill instruction.  


Learning will also take place outside the walls of the Wilson as your child will engage in community service and experiential learning such as field trips and internships with local organizations.  


Regardless of your child’s prior experience with school, they will leave the Wilson equipped with the mindset, skills, and confidence necessary to fully embrace their high school and college years.


Should you like to learn more about this exciting new magnet option, come out to Renaissance West STEAM Academy on April 12 at 6pm for an Info Session! 



Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions via email at [email protected] r via phone at (980) 343-6070.



Jeff Cook


Wilson STEM Academy

NEW dual-language program

Classrooms at Oaklawn and Collinswood language academies look — and sound — like a Spanish class. Teachers and students converse in Spanish. Signs and books written in Spanish are on walls and shelves throughout both schools. In fact, the classes are dual language-immersion programs. The programs are so popular that both schools have waiting lists. Now families will have another option. A new K-8 Spanish language immersion magnet, designated Albemarle Road relief school, will open in the 2018-2019 school year.

The new school will serve as a home school and a dual-language program to relieve overcrowding in nearby elementary schools and to expand the language immersion program.

Students in the dual-language program will receive instruction similar to that at Oaklawn and Collinswood. The program will start with K-1 in 2018-2019 and expand a grade level each year. Kindergarten students will become familiar with the new language as lessons are taught in Spanish for the entire instructional day. Students in the K-8 immersion track will have specific subjects taught in Spanish. Students in grades K-5 in the home school track will receive Spanish as a foreign language and students in grades 6-8 will receive Spanish I and II.

Carmen Concepcion will be the principal at the new school. She said all students should expect global themes to be a central part of the school culture. Teaching staff will also have diverse backgrounds.

“I want parents to know we will be an inclusive school,” said Concepcion. “As the former principal of Oaklawn, I plan to make this program as good as the one I’ve left. Oaklawn has been recognized as the top magnet in the nation in 2012 and in the state we were recognized for being a Title I Reward School for high progress.”

English-language learners in the non-immersion program will receive 90 minutes of curriculum content in their native language. The instruction provides selected basic skills and concepts in core subjects in the students’ native language as they acquire English.

“We have to meet our students were they are and help them grow so they can succeed,” said Concepcion. “We want to create an environment in which all our students’ background knowledge and personal experiences are valued and utilized.”

More than 45,000 students in CMS speak a language other than English at home. Overall, 205 languages are spoken by CMS students, who come from 186 countries. This year, CMS has 19,794 English Language learners, which is 18 percent of all English Language Learners in North Carolina.

Concepcion encourages the community to make recommendations for naming the new school. She is providing opportunities for community members to provide input: families can like the Albemarle Road Relief School on Facebook and visit to submit comments.

CMS Board Policy FF (Naming Facilities) requires that school names represent the geographic area or community in which the school is located, a historical figure or location, or an individual who is deceased whose name has special significance and /or who made an outstanding contribution to the school or school system, community, state or nation.

Concepcion will appoint a School Name Advising Committee to review, research and select three names to be presented to the superintendent. Those recommendations will then be sent to the Board for vote.

The construction project is funded with money from the 2013 bond referendum. Community members can learn about the school’s progress and view the architectural rendering and other progress photos, click here.

“It will be a new building but the program is tried and true,” said Concepcion. “I can’t wait to meet all of our families and get started on this journey with them.”

Lottery Round 3: Open Seats

Based on the Round 1 and 2 Lottery results, these schools have space available in the grade levels listed below. Space available does not include wait pools.


If you applied in Round 1 or 2 and received a letter stating you have been placed in the school of your first choice, that assignment will not change.

If you applied in Round 1 or 2 and did not get placed in the school of your first choice, you’ll automatically be enrolled for later rounds.

The lottery is always working to place each student in their top preference. This may mean your assignment changes after each round if your preference is available. Assignment changes in the lottery process are automatic – there is no option to accept or decline.

Waitlists will not be generated until the end of the Round 3.

A notification letter will be mailed to you after each round of the lottery with your assignment. If you get placed into a school of higher preference, you will receive a new letter. If you receive an assignment letter stating you have been placed in the school of your first choice, that assignment will not change.

We will start to call with assignment changes from the waitlist during the summer months. You will have the option to stay in your current assignment or choose the waitlist seat. This option is only available after the lottery rounds have closed and for the waitlist process only.

Questions? Email us at [email protected] or call 980-343-5030.


Elementary Schools
Albemarle Road Relief Elementary Spanish Immersion K,1
Bruns Elementary Environmental STEM K,1,2,3,4,5
Greenway Park Creative Arts & Sciences K,1,2,3
Idlewild Elementary LI/TD 3,4,5
Irwin Elementary LI/TD 3,4,5
Mallard Cark Elementary LI/TD K,3,4,5
Marie G. Davis Elementary IB K
Tuckaseegee Elementary LI/TD K,1,2,3,4,5
University Park Creative Arts Elementary K
Walter G. Byers K-8 Health Sciences K,2


Middle Schools
Albemarle Road Middle IB 7,8
Northeast Middle Computer Science 6
Northridge Middle Computer Sciecne 7
Northwest School of the Arts – contact for auditions 6,7,8
Quail Hollow Middle Leadership & Paidea 7
Ranson Middle IB 6
Walter G. Byers K-8 Health Sciences 7
Whitewater Middle Environmental STEM 7
Wilson Middle Computer Science 6,7


High Schools
East Meck High School IB 9
Harding High School IB 9,10
Harding Institute of Technology 3D Manufacturing 9,10
Harding Institute of Technology Automotive 9,10
Harding Institute of Technology Construction 10
Northwest School of the Arts – contact for auditions 9,10,11,12
West Charlotte High School IB 9,10


21 School Choice schools earn national recognition

Twenty-one magnets in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have won national recognition for their specialized programs. Eight schools earned the highest designation as a School of Excellence from the national organization Magnet Schools of America. Thirteen others were named Schools of Distinction.

“Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is proud to offer such a wide range of specialized programs to meet the needs of our students,” said Dr. Clayton Wilcox, superintendent. “We are honored to have so many of our magnet schools receive national recognition from the Magnet Schools of America. These schools are part of our commitment to diversity and helping our students prepare for a 21st-century workplace.”

The awards, given each year, go to schools that show a strong commitment to academic standards, demonstrate curriculum innovation and have diversity in enrollment.

In addition to academics, curriculum and diversity, the schools are also judged on community partnerships and parent involvement. To be considered, a school must submit a detailed application, which is scored by a panel of educators.

The eight schools winning the School of Excellence award were Cotswold IB World School, E.E. Waddell Language Academy, First Ward Creative Arts Academy, Highland Mill Montessori, J.M Alexander Middle, Oaklawn Language Academy, Piedmont Middle School and Shamrock Gardens Elementary.

The 13 schools recognized as a School of Distinction were Chantilly Montessori, East Mecklenburg High, Huntingtowne Farms Elementary, Idlewild Elementary (which was named the best magnet elementary school in America in 2017), Irwin Academic Center, John Motley Morehead STEM Academy, Kennedy Middle, Mallard Creek Elementary, North Mecklenburg High, Northwest School of the Arts, Oakhurst STEAM Academy, Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology and Randolph Middle.

The schools will be formally recognized as winners during an awards ceremony at Magnet Schools of America’s annual national conference in Chicago in late April. To learn more about Magnet Schools of America, click here.

Harding University High School – 2nd Annual Career & Technical Education Showcase

Harding University High School’s second annual Career and Technical Education (CTE) Showcase featured courses offered to middle school students on Friday, February 23, 2018. 180 middle school students attended this event! The featured showcase was Harding’s Institute of Technology, which is a countywide magnet program. HUHS Institute of Technology is one of CMS School Choice schools designed to immerse the high school students in the Industrial and Trade Industry- oriented curriculum involving a hands on learning environment, real world experience, and technical expertise.

The ultimate goal is for students to graduate career and college ready in one of the three (3) areas: Automotive Technology, Construction Technology, and 3D Design/Digital Manufacturing. During the showcase, middle school students explored classes that can be taken at Harding University High School that align with classes offered at Harding’s Institute of Technology. Industry partners that were in attendance (i.e., Advanced Manufacturing Companies-Phaff Mold, L.P., Groninger USA LLC, Siemens Manufacturing, Construction Companies-Wayne Brothers Construction, Baston-Cook Construction, Land Design, Carolina AGC Foundations, UTI/NASCAR Institute of Technology, representatives from various departments of CPCC-Harper Campus & CPCC-Merancus Campus, CharlotteWorks) to answer questions and provide information about local career options . The event gave students hands-on demonstrations, speak with industry partners, meet the teachers and current students that are in the magnet program.

What did students say?
“Are you telling us that we can have the opportunity to learn how to operate this equipment here at Harding?”
“This is cool to be able to learn a skill or work with our hands, instead of sitting in class all day!”
“I am now excited about attending Harding next year and I hope that I get me letter in the mail saying that I am in Harding’s automotive program.”

“Thank you Mr. Rattley for inviting me! It was great seeing our middle school students so excite what Harding has to offer. I enjoyed walking around seeing Harding students engaged with the middle school students, too. I enjoyed my visit.” – School Board Member Thelma Byers-Bailey, Esq. District 2 Representative

What did middle school counselors think?
“Thank you for hosting us again this year! Our students’ enjoyed themselves and I have had 2 two students that are planning to have a conversation with their parents about changing their magnet choice to attend Harding’s magnet next year.”

What did industry partners think?
“Thank you for inviting me again to this event. I think that it is very important start early with exposing kids to opportunities within the trade and industry because it helps to break down the stereotype of the construction and manufacturing industries. We actively looking for talented and innovating young adults that are eager to look a skill and our trade.”

Middle Schools Attended:
-Martin Luther King
-Eastway Middle School
-Westerly Hills
-Reid Park

International Baccalaureate prepares students for diverse careers 

Learning questions as well as answers
International Baccalaureate prepares students for diverse careers 

Sisters Sharon, Stesha and Sheila Doku graduated from Myers Park High School. The same course of study, the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, led them to take different journeys. Two are in the medical field and one practices law. Each said the program taught them to expand their thinking, find connections, solve problems and prepare for college.  

Twenty-five years ago, Myers Park High became the first public school in North Carolina to offer IB, an academically challenging program that encourages critical thinking, international awareness and open minds. Myers Park was a magnet school at the time. No longer a magnet, the school continues to offer the middle years program for grades nine and 10 and the diploma program for grades 11 and 12. Now, 15 elementary, middle and high magnet schools in CMS offer the program through school choice. 

Sharon Doku, a 2001 graduate, studied at Harvard University and Georgetown Law Center. She is an attorney for an international company in Germany who specializes in international capital markets and corporate transactions. Her work has recently taken her to Lagos, Nigeria. She credits the IB program for helping her find her niche. 

“I never wanted to become a lawyer but IB led me to it,” she said. “I studied German, spent a summer in Germany and enjoyed all the international aspects of the program. It suited me.”  

She was drawn to physics and chemistry as well. Her knowledge in those subjects helps her when she is working with clients in the biotechnology field. She recalls that being a student in the IB program was an adventure, one that required an immense amount of commitment. 

“I loved the passion the teachers displayed for the subject matter,” she said. “Because it was important to them, it became important to me.” 

Stesha Doku, who graduated in 2004, studied biomedical engineering at Duke Pratt School of Engineering. She was named a Fulbright Scholar in 2008. After completing her first year in medical school at Stanford, she began her Fulbright research at the University of New South Wales, Australia in the summer of 2009. She is an anesthesiology specialist and her hobby is designing websites.   

“Our parents are both nurses so we were exposed to the medical field at an early age. I loved science, so medicine was a good fit for me,” she said. “While in the IB program, I also learned computer science. My favorite teacher, Robert Corbin, would let me create websites and produce electronic workbooks.” 

Both women shared a memory of a combined English and social studies class that embodied the program’s purpose. 

“We would study different periods in history and simultaneously study a piece of literature from that time,” said Stesha Doku. “That class taught me to think in a more rounded way because I was learning the literacy skills within the context of what we were studying.” 

Sheila Doku graduated in 2010 and went on to study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy. She is a pharmacist.  

“My IB chemistry class is what set me on the pathway to my career,” she said. “I wrote a research paper in that class about pharmaceuticals and was hooked. I also received an internship with CVS and Walgreens after school and on weekends.”  

She gained self-confidence through the IB studies. 

“In English class I remember having debates and having to stand up to say what you thought about a passage,” she said. “Myers Park felt like a college campus and the classes were difficult. When I attended college the classes didn’t seem as hard but it’s because I was well prepared.” 

The program connected her learning to the real world in many ways. 

“I was reading a book about Morocco and was then set up with a Moroccan pen pal,” she said. “We also held international days where different booths were set up and we would learn about cultures and their foods. It really expanded my thinking.” 

Myers Park has continued to teach IB students to develop strong communication skills, to become adept at sharing their ideas and to justify their thinking through writing and oral presentations.  

“Students in the program become a part of a close-knit learning community,” said mathematics teacher Michelle Krummel. “At Myers Park, teachers meet monthly to receive training and share information about the program and its activities.” 

Krummel has attended two three-day workshops specific to her subject area provided by the International Baccalaureate Organization. She said the workshops provided her with an opportunity to connect with and learn from other teachers around the world. 

Krummel’s students see the benefits of IB. Eleventh-grader Duncan Pickett said he is learning such life skills as time management. 

“Scheduling and planning are things I need to do well,” Duncan said. “There are days I have band practice and long-term projects I have to complete. To get it all done, I need to set priorities so I can stay on track.” 


New School Choice Principals!

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education approved the appointments of Jeffrey Cook as principal at Wilson STEM Academy, Joyce Fullington as principal at Villa Heights, Courtlyn Reeves as principal at Greenway Park Elementary and Gerri Parker as interim chief human resources officer at its Feb. 13 meeting.

Cook has been headmaster at Urban Science Academy in Boston since 2014 and was assistant headmaster/senior curriculum access specialist at the school from 2005 to 2014. He was a principal intern and teacher at Newton South High in Newton, Mass., from 2003 to 2005 and was a teacher and student support coordinator at Media and Technology Charter High in Boston from 2000 to 2003. He also taught at Cooper Middle in McLean, Va., from 1998 to 2000 and was with Teach for America at Bunn Elementary in Enfield, N.C., from 1995 to 1997. Cook earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and a master’s degree in Education, Risk and Prevention from Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Mass. He also earned a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Fullington has been assistant principal at Albemarle Road Elementary since 2015. She was assistant principal at Bain Elementary from 2012 to 2015, dean of students at the school from 2011 to 2012 and a math/science facilitator at Berewick Elementary from 2009 to 2011. She also was a principal intern at Endhaven Elementary from 2007 to 2009, a teacher at the school from 2002 to 2009 and a teacher at Belleview Elementary in Rock Hill, S.C., from 1993 to 2002. Fullington earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Winthrop University, Rock Hill; a master’s degree in education from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.; and a school administration certification from Wingate University, Wingate, N.C.

Reeves has been assistant principal at Zebulon B. Vance High since 2015. He was dean of students at North Mecklenburg High from 2014 to 2015 and was a teacher at the school from 2013 to 2014. Reeves also taught at Vance High from 2011 to 2013. He earned a bachelor’s degree in politics and journalism from Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C., and a master’s degree in education in Educational Leadership from Winthrop University.

Two principals also will be transferring to other schools. Alejandra Garcia will move to Governors Village STEM Academy from Nations Ford Elementary. Carmen Concepcion will move to the Albemarle Road relief school from Oaklawn Language Academy.

Lottery Round 2: Open Seats

Based on the Round 1 Lottery results, these schools have space available in the grade levels listed below. Space available does not include wait pools.


If you applied in Round 1 and received a letter stating you have been placed in the school of your first choice, that assignment will not change.

If you applied in Round 1 and did not get placed in the school of your first choice, you’ll automatically be enrolled for later rounds.

The lottery is always working to place each student in their top preference. This may mean your assignment changes after each round if your preference is available. Assignment changes in the lottery process are automatic – there is no option to accept or decline.

Waitlists will not be generated until the end of the Round 3.

A notification letter will be mailed to you after each round of the lottery with your assignment. If you get placed into a school of higher preference, you will receive a new letter. If you receive an assignment letter stating you have been placed in the school of your first choice, that assignment will not change.

We will start to call with assignment changes from the waitlist during the summer months. You will have the option to stay in your current assignment or choose the waitlist seat. This option is only available after the lottery rounds have closed and for the waitlist process only.

Questions? Email us at [email protected] or call 980-343-5030.


Elementary Schools

Albemarle Road Relief Elementary K,1
Barringer Elementary LI/TD 3,4,5
Billingsville IB K,1,2
Bruns Elementary K,1,2,3,4,5
Dorothy J. Vaughan Elementary K,2,4,5
First Ward Elementary K
Governors Village STEM K,1
Greenway Park Elementary K,1,2,3
Huntingtowne Farms Elementary K,1,2,3,4,5
Idlewild Elementary 3,4,5
Irwin Elementary 3,4,5
Landsdowne Elementary K,1,2,3
Longcreek Elementary K,1,2,3
Mallard Creek Elementary LI/TD 3,4,5
Marie G. Davis Elementary K,1,2,3
Oaklawn Language Academy K
Paw Creek Elementary K,2,4,5
Shamrock Gardens 3,4,5
Statesville Road Elementary K,1,2,3,4,5
Tuckaseegee Elementary K,1,2,3,4,5
University Park Elementary K
Walter G. Byers K,1,2,6,7


Middle Schools

Albemarle Road Middle 6,7,8
Coulwood Middle 6,7,8
Crestdale Middle 7
Eastway Middle 6
J.M. Alexander Middle 6,7,8
Northeast Middle 6
Northridge Middle 6,7
Northwest School of the Arts 6,7,8
Quail Hollow 6,7
Ranson Middle 6
Walter G. Byers K,1,2,6,7
Whitewater Middle 6,7
Wilson Middle 6,7

High Schools

East Meck IB High School 9,10
Harding 3D & Digital Manufacturing 9,10
Harding Automotive 9,10
Harding Computer Science 9
Harding Construction 9,10
Harding IB High School 9,10
Hawthorne Academy Military, Global Leadership and Public Safety 9
iMeck Academy at Cochran 9
North Meck Automotive 9
North Meck Culinary 9
North Meck IB 9,10
Northwest School of the Arts 9,10,11,12
Performance Learning Center 9
Phillip O. Berry IT 10
West Charlotte IB High School 9,10

Oaklawn Language Academy

Oaklawn Language Academy offers a two-way immersion magnet program in which students from different language backgrounds receive academic instruction in two target languages with native English and Spanish speakers.


Benefits of a Dual Language Program

  • Develop strong thinking skills, improve listening, memory and logic and enhance mental flexibility and creativity.
  • Cultivate a greater understanding, appreciation, and respect for other languages and cultures.
  • Increase reading comprehension and other language skills.
  • Prepare students for the future with greater career opportunities.


Your child is a good candidate for the dual language program if he or she:

  • Is developmentally on target in his or her native language.
  • Expresses an interest in different people, places, and things.
  • Wants to become fluent in Spanish and English.
  • Family fully supports the learning of a second language.

Goals of the program

  • Our goal at Oaklawn is to promote high academic achievement in all subjects and proficiency in both languages, while enhancing the levels of cultural awareness and sensitivity of our students.
  • To develop capable scholars who respect and value others’ points of view, ethnic, national and cultural differences.
  • To promote bilingualism, biliteracy, and multicultural proficiency through global and diverse learning.


Oaklawn Model for Spanish Immersion

Kindergarten:100% Spanish

Grade 1, 2, 3, 4, 5: 50/50*

Grade 6, 7, 8: 50/50*

*Core subjects

New Magnet Theme: Environmental Sustainability


We are so very excited that Bruns Elementary and Whitewater Middle School will be the first schools in CMS to implement the Environmental Sustainability magnet theme!  The Environmental Sustainability magnet theme will provide students an opportunity to explore healthy living habits, conservation practices, and give an understanding of how to become mindful citizens within their community.  We have partnered with The Green Schools National Network to provide phenomenal research-based curricular and instructional resources to support our Environmental Sustainability theme.  The GSNN will work closely with the school leaders and staff to create personalized plans for each school that will support the school-wide implementation of the Environmental Sustainability magnet theme beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. -Natasha Thompson, Magnet Programs Director


What is a green school?

A Green School enhances student health and learning while conserving natural resources and empowering students to develop sustainable behaviors, enabling them to become the stewards of the future.

Core Practices of a Green School:

1 – Curriculum that advances environmental literacy and sustainability

All teachers will use inquiry, problem, and project-based pedagogy to facilitate learning about global systems and relationships. Each school will have outdoor experiences and fieldwork that support learning about complex systems, connecting humans with other humans and all aspects of the natural world.


2 – Stewardship and service learning

Each school will have real world service learning projects that explore solutions to local, regional, global problems and issues and teach 21st century skills. We will implement stewardship projects that allow the students to take responsibility of their own school grounds. All students will be given the opportunity to make local and global connections through the support of teachers and leaders.


3 -Sustainable facilities design and management

Facility managers and teachers will work together to use buildings, management practices, materials and supplies to teach about sustainability. Each school will establish projects such as: maintenance that can reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, improve indoor air quality and lighting, decrease waste stream and improve water conservation, ad reduced-wase cafeterias.


4 – Health and well being

These schools will implement healthy eating programs that utilize locally sourced and whole foods and support physical fitness and healthy lifestyle choices. We’ll have fitness and recreation programs that include lifetime outdoor activities like walking, hiking, biking, skiing and camping. We will develop a culture of healthy and thoughtful relationships with others that support character development.


5 – Strong partnerships and networks

Partnerships are a key part to a green school network. The leaders of each school will be working with the magnet office and Green Schools National Network to establish partnerships with local businesses that support systemic change and ecological balance within the school and community. These strong alliances among groups of diverse cultural heritage will promote the greening of schools in all communities.


Apply for a seat today at!