Battle Brewing Over A Proposed CMS High School Student Reassignment

CHARLOTTE, NC. —  The new E.E. Waddell Magnet High School is scheduled to open for the 2022 – 23 school year. The CMS Board of Education is trying to finalize what magnet programs will be offered through Waddell and will vote on the recommendation this summer. The district is also trying to solve an excess capacity issue at Myers Park High School. One of the proposals calls for moving the 700-student world languages magnet out of South Mecklenburg High School and into Waddell. Then redistricting about 500 students from Myers Park High School into South Mecklenburg High.

“These last few years that your kids are with you before they go away to college or leave home for the military or their own jobs are on houses or whatever panther following, you want to provide a stable environment as you can,” says CMS parent Staci McBride.

McBride has two sons at South Mecklenburg High School, a rising freshman, and rising senior. She’s also the chair of the school improvement team. McBride says staffing Waddell will be an issue. Saying the district is limited with paying for visas makes it difficult to recruit language teachers.

“Because South Mac is such a large school, we will have to retain most of those language teachers. So just because they move the magnet does not mean they’re moving the actual teachers who currently make the program so successful.”

McBride says the Language Magnet brings diversity and a richness of curriculum that parents do not want to lose.

“We’re super proud of the momentum we have created an equity across the different populations we have in South, and by moving these magnet students out and populating our school with 500 people from Myers Park, it’s going to dramatically change the make-up of our school.”

McBride suggests the board selects a different magnet program for Waddell. So it’s not impacting one huge component of a school and consider an ib program at Waddell.

CMS will hold a general public hearing on Tuesday at 6 p.m. to consider all of the proposals.