CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – The frustration knows no bounds for some Charlotte-Mecklenburg School parents who say they were blindsided by the latest draft for new school boundaries in south Mecklenburg County with a new middle and high school planned in the area.
The new high school on North Community House Road won’t open until the 2024-25 school year, and the new middle school won’t open until the school year after that at the earliest, but parents are already uneasy about the changes.
“My heart sunk; my stomach felt like there were knots in it,” said Stephanie Schoenen, a parent and president of the PTA at Elizabeth Lane Elementary School.
Schoenen has been on a roller coaster ride for months to determine which middle school her students will attend.
“I mean, our kids are resilient, but how much do they have to prove that they’re resilient?” Schoenen questioned. It hurts to see; it hurts for us.”
Meetings over the new CMS boundaries have been heated.
CMS just released what they’re calling the third and final draft from the staff of new school boundaries in south Mecklenburg County.
The lines are being redrawn as a new high school is being built, and a new middle school is in the works to relieve overcrowding.
“It was pretty shocking to see this third and final draft,” said Schoenen.
Around 25 schools are directly impacted by the boundary shifts.
Schoenen’s three students will end up at South Charlotte Middle School, which is still the same for them, but her kids’ school, Elizabeth Lane Elementary, will be split up, with about half of the students going to Crestdale Middle.
“They just split us down the middle,” Schoenen said. “It came out of nowhere; there were no heads up.”
She just wants to keep the kids together from elementary to middle school.
“The process isn’t over until there are five hands in the air from members of the Board of Education that say ok,” said Dennis LaCaria, with Facilities and Real Estate Planning for CMS. “The majority of the board supports whatever this direction ultimately is.”
Schoenen continues to push parents to talk to the CMS school board, who will make the final decision.
“We can fight, and maybe they will vote against it, but there’s no guarantee that they will listen to us,” said Schoenen.
On May 23 at 6 p.m., there is a public hearing at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center in Uptown Charlotte.
The school board is set to take a final vote on June 6.