Two Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Will Sit Empty For Two More Years

CHARLOTTE, NC. — The E.E.Waddell Magnet High School and Lincoln Heights Elementary School will sit empty until the 2023- 2024 school year. CMS Board of Education is pressing pause on its decision to finalize boundary decisions and what magnet programs will be offered through Waddell. The board is set to vote on the recommendation no later than June 2022. Meaning the schools will open a year later than originally planned.

“What it will essentially do is give us some additional time to further engage with members of our community,” says CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston.

Margaret Marshall is a CMS Board of Education member representing district 5. She tells WCCB board members that want to see how this school year pans out and have face-to-face engagement with parents before making a final decision.

“We want to make the right decisions here, and I think that there are some decisions that we might make that might indicate we might need to upfit the school in a little bit of a different way,” Marshall says.

The district is also trying to solve an excess capacity issue at Myers Park High School. One proposal suggests moving  700 world language magnet students out of South Mecklenburg high school and into Waddell. Then redistricting about 500 students from Myers Park High school into South Mecklenburg High.

“We have very crowded schools in the southern part of the county, so we need to address that. That’s really not going away.”

Dozens of parents have concerns about the original proposal, including 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. She says parents were worried about staffing and losing the diversity and richness of the magnet curriculum.

“The best outcome we could’ve hoped for quite frankly so that they can really take their time and evaluate how to plan for capacity challenges and ensures there are more equitable programs across the district,” McBride says.