CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are building a brand new high school in the Ballantyne area set to open in the fall of 2024, which means some students will be reassigned and have to change schools.

The new high school is set to relieve overcrowding at Ardrey Kell, Myers Park, and South Meck High Schools.

CMS says Ardrey Kell, at roughly 3700 students, is the largest high school in North Carolina.

High schools like Ardrey Kell use mobile classrooms to add more space but aren’t the only schools impacted by overcrowding.

“I think the typical class size for my girls in 8th grade right now is probably 31-32 kids; I could be a little off on those numbers,” said CMS parent Kristen Aquino.

Aquino’s twin girls go to Jay M. Robinson Middle School. They’ve already been rezoned once to that school to deal with overcrowding at another school.

“I am all for getting these kids into a safer learning environment, a better teacher ratio, a better chance at getting into academic clubs and sports clubs and all of that,” said Aquino.

The district has not yet released the new attendance zone map for the new high school, so it’s unclear which neighborhoods will have to change schools, but Aquino believes her twins will be in the attendance zone for the new high school.

“My girls transition well; we as a family are very positive about it,” said Aquino.

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However, she knows that’s not the case with every student.

“There are kids who don’t transition well, and there are kids where this is a barrier for them, and I understand that.”

CMS has spent months gathering input from parent surveys, meetings, and a parent work group.

According to that feedback, parents like schools close to home but don’t like overcrowding and traffic.

“We want to recreate schools that they love, establish new traditions but then also create things that have been successful for students at their previous schools,” said Brian Schultz, Chief Operations Officer for CMS.

Aquino encourages parents to get involved.

“This has been very eye-opening for me and has given me a comfort level that I didn’t already have,” said Aquino.

On Wednesday, March 15, there will be a community meeting at 6:30 at Myers Park High School.

CMS will have the following meetings around the same time that the first draft of the new attendance zones is expected the week of March 27:

March 27—6:30 p.m.—Myers Park High School
March 29—6:30—South Meck High School
March 30—noon—Virtual

In April, there will be more meetings on the boundary lines, and then a public hearing and the final vote by the CMS school board are set for May.