CMS Turning Point Academy Expanding for New School Year

CHARLOTTE, NC – Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools students will head back to class in less than two weeks. The summer days are over and the empty hallways will soon be filled with students eager to learn.

“We’re excited about the opening of new schools. We’re excited about some of the improvements to our facilities,” said Dr. Clayton Wilcox, the CMS Superintendent.

A new branch of the Turning Point Academy will welcome its first class of middle school kids.

“We’re doing a lot in terms of discipline and how we’re going to handle young people who are encouragable from time to time,” said Wilcox.

Turning Point is an alternative school for children struggling in traditional classrooms. The school previously housed middle and high school students under one roof.

That changed after teachers expressed concerns about unsafe working conditions with several hundred students together.
“We’re going to deal much more aggressively with the social and emotional health of many of our young people,” said Wilcox.

He says the district has added 60 psychologists and counselors. Middle school students assigned to Turning Point will now have their own building.

“I think when we have better conversations with them, create true relationships with them, I think we’ll do better with them,” said Garry McFadden, the incoming Sheriff.

He’s visited with students at Turning Point for nearly a decade.

“The administration and the staff and the citizens of this community need to listen to these kids and listen to what they really deal with every day,” said McFadden.

He says added resources and programs are a positive step, but what really matters is the teacher’s ability to connect with students on their emotional level. He says the school can be a success.

“If it’s the correct person to do it,” said McFadden, “the correct person to reach them, the person with patience.”