Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
4421 Stuart Andrew Blvd.
Charlotte, North Carolina 28217

District information
Motto"Every Child. Every Day. For a Better Tomorrow."
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools
Schools176 [1]
Budget$1.4 billion
NCES District ID3702970
Students and staff
Student-teacher ratio15.31
Other information

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (abbreviated CMS) is a local education agency headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina and is the public school system for Mecklenburg County. With over 147,000 students enrolled, it is the second-largest school district in North Carolina and the eighteenth-largest in the nation.[2] The system is best known nationally for its role as the respondent in the landmark 1971 Supreme Court decision Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.


The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, or school board, consists of 9 members—3 at-large and 6 from districts. Before 1995, the board had been elected entirely on an at-large basis, but this was changed after it was discovered nearly all of the board members lived in the eastern part of the county. Members serve staggered four-year terms; the at-large members are elected in the year before presidential elections and the district members are elected in the year after presidential elections. Although school board elections are nonpartisan, the district members are elected from the same districts as the county commissioners.[3]

List of superintendents[edit]

Superintendent of Charlotte City Schools[edit]

  • T.J. Mitchell (1882–1886)
  • Professor J.T. Corlew (1886–1888)
  • Dr. Alexander Graham (1888–1913)
  • Dr. Harry Harding (1913–1944)
  • J.W. Wilson (1944–1949)
  • Dr. Elmer Garinger (1949–1960)

Superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools[edit]

  • Dr. Elmer Garinger (1960–1962)
  • Dr. A. Craig Phillips (1962–1967)
  • Dr. William Self (1967–1973)
  • Dr. Rolland Jones (1973–1977)
  • Dr. Jay Robinson (1977–1987)
  • Dr. Peter Relic (1987–1991)
  • Dr. John Murphy (1991–1996)
  • Dr. Eric Smith (1996–2002)
  • Dr. James L. Pughsley (2002–2005)
  • Dr. Frances Haithcock (2005–2006)
  • Dr. Peter Gorman (2006–2011)
  • Hugh Hattabaugh (2011–2012)
  • Dr. Heath Morrison (2012–2014)
  • Ann Blakeney Clark (2014-2017)
  • Dr. Clayton M. Wilcox (2017- 2019)
  • Mr. Earnest Winston (2019-present) [4]

High schools[edit]

CMS operates 21 high schools, not including alternative schools or "schools-within-a-school". Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools also operates the top 3 largest high schools in the state of North Carolina; Myers Park High School has 3,417, Ardrey Kell High School has 3,315, and South Mecklenburg High School has 3,125 students in attendance.[5] The following is a list of those high schools, divided by geographical region of the City of Charlotte, along with the year opened and mascot:

University City and North Charlotte[edit]

Mint Hill, Matthews, and East Charlotte[edit]

Pineville, Ballantyne, Providence, and South Charlotte[edit]

West Charlotte[edit]

Former high schools[edit]

  • E. E. Waddell High School was located in the Charlotte and Southern Mecklenburg district and closed with the end of the school year 2010/11 (2001–2011, former mascot: Raiders)

Middle schools[edit]

CMS operates 32 middle schools

    • Albemarle Road Middle School (Hornets)
    • Alexander Graham Middle School (Bulldogs)
    • Bailey Middle School (Broncos)
    • Carmel Middle School (Cougars)
    • Community House Middle School (Cavaliers)
    • Coulwood Middle School (Catamounts)
    • Crestdale Middle School (Wildcats)
    • Eastway Middle School (Jaguars)
    • Francis Bradley Middle School (Mavericks)
    • J. M. Alexander Middle School (Blue Devils)
    • James Martin Middle School (Cougars)
    • Jay M. Robinson Middle School (Chargers)
    • Kennedy Middle School (Wapitis)
    • Marie G. Davis Middle School (Jaguars)
    • Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School (Lions)
    • McClintock Middle School (Mighty Scots)
    • Mint Hill Middle School (Miners)
    • Northeast Middle School (Eagles)
    • Northridge Middle School (Hawks)
    • Piedmont Open IB Middle School (Pirates)
    • Quail Hollow Middle School (Falcons)
    • Randolph Middle School (Raiders)
    • Ranson Middle School (Raiders)
    • Ridge Road Middle School (Ravens)
    • Sedgefield Middle School (Spartans)
    • South Charlotte Middle School (Shockers)
    • Southwest Middle School (Patriots)
    • Whitewater Middle School (Gators)
    • Wilson Stem Academy (Wolverines)

Elementary schools[edit]

CMS also operates 106 elementary schools.

    • Albemarle Road Elementary School
    • Allenbrook Elementary School
    • Amay James Pre-K School
    • Ashley Park Elementary School
    • Bain Elementary School
    • Ballantyne Elementary School
    • Barringer Elementary School
    • Berryhill Elementary School
    • Barnett Elementary School
    • Beverly Woods Elementary School
    • Billingsville Elementary School
    • Blythe Elementary School
    • Briarwood Elementary School
    • Bruns Avenue Elementary School
    • Chantilly Montessori Elementary School
    • Clear Creek Elementary School
    • Collinswood Elementary School
    • Cornelius Elementary School
    • Cotswold Elementary School
    • Croft Community School
    • Crown Point Elementary School
    • David Cox Road Elementary School
    • Davidson Elementary School
    • Devonshire Elementary School
    • Dilworth Elementary School
    • Double Oaks Pre-K School
    • Druid Hills Elementary School
    • Eastover Elementary School
    • Elizabeth Traditional Elementary School
    • Elon Park Elementary School
    • Endhaven Elementary School
    • Greenway Park Elementary School
    • Hawk Ridge Elementary School
    • Hickory Grove Elementary School
    • First Ward Elementary School
    • Highland Mill Montessori Elementary School
    • Hidden Valley Elementary School
    • Highland Renaissance Elementary School
    • Hornets Nest Elementary School
    • Huntersville Elementary School
    • Huntingtowne Farms Elementary School
    • Idlewild Elementary School
    • Irwin Academic Center
    • J. H. Gunn Elementary School
    • J. V. Washam Elementary School
    • Joseph W. Grier Elementary School
    • Lake Wylie Elementary School
    • Lansdowne Elementary School
    • Lebanon Road Elementary School
    • Lincoln Heights Elementary School
    • Long Creek Elementary School
    • Mallard Creek Elementary School
    • Matthews Elementary School
    • McAlpine Elementary School
    • McKee Road Elementary School
    • Merry Oaks Elementary School
    • Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy
    • Montclaire Elementary School
    • Morehead Elementary School
    • Mountain Island Elementary School
    • Myers Park Traditional Elementary School
    • Nations Ford Elementary School
    • Nathaniel Alexander Elementary School
    • Newell Elementary School
    • Oakdale Elementary School
    • Oakhurst Elementary School
    • Oaklawn Language Academy
    • Olde Providence Elementary School
    • Park Road Montessori Elementary School
    • Paw Creek Elementary School
    • Pawtuckett Elementary School
    • Pineville Elementary School
    • Piney Grove Elementary School
    • Polo Ridge Elementary School
    • Plaza Road Pre-K School
    • Providence Spring Elementary School
    • Rama Road Elementary School
    • Reedy Creek Elementary School
    • Reid Park Elementary School
    • River Gate Elementary School
    • River Oaks Academy
    • Sedgefield Elementary School
    • Selwyn Elementary School
    • Shamrock Gardens Elementary School
    • Sharon Elementary School
    • Smith Language Academy
    • Smithfield Elementary School
    • Starmount Pre-K School
    • Statesville Road Elementary School
    • Steele Creek Elementary School
    • Sterling Elementary School
    • Thomasboro Elementary School
    • Torrence Creek Elementary School
    • Tryon Hills Pre-K School
    • Tuckaseegee Elementary School
    • University Meadows Elementary School
    • University Park Elementary School
    • Villa Heights Elementary School
    • Waddell Language Academy
    • Walter G. Byers Elementary School
    • Wesley Chapel Elementary School
    • Westerly Hills Elementary School
    • Winding Springs Elementary School
    • Windsor Park Elementary School
    • Winget Park Elementary School
    • Winterfield Elementary School

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program is offered at many schools. This is an engaging and rigorous program that helps students to experience the cultural aspects of other peoples.


Several CMS high schools have been recognized by Newsweek as being among the 100 best high schools in the United States, a statistic based on the number of advanced classes that are offered to students.[6]

During the 2006-2007 school year CMS students received $43.5 million in academic merit-based financial aid from universities and other organizations, and $12.1 million in athletic scholarships.[7]


Judge Howard Manning[edit]

In May 2005, Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning Jr. issued a ruling in which he accused CMS of "academic genocide" against at-risk, low-income students in low-scoring high schools.[8] Since the debut of its new student assignment plan in 2002, and the end of its court-ordered busing program, CMS has seen an increase in concentrations of poverty, with schools that have student-poverty rates of at least 75 percent at twice the number they were before.[9] In the same year, Judge Manning also threatened to close 4 of the lowest performing high schools, Garinger, Waddell, West Charlotte and West Mecklenburg. Many teachers and parents felt he had gone too far, and, in the end, this never occurred as the 4 high schools presented turnaround plans and their principals were deemed capable of carrying them out. The high schools are now included in a special Achievement Zone.[10]

2005 and 2007 bond packages[edit]

56% of voters rejected a $427 million bond package in 2005 to improve facilities and build new schools for the first time in a decade. Dissenters cited spats between members of the school board and other well-publicized events that year hurting their confidence in the district's ability to spend money effectively.[11] A $516 million bond package was backed by 68% of voters in November 2007.[12]


Calls for decentralization mounted in 2005 as dissatisfaction with CMS grew, with some wanting CMS broken up into smaller school systems.[13] One notable incarnation of this movement was called DUMP (Don't Underestimate Mecklenburg Parents) CMS. This effort abated when the Board of Education requested and newly hired Superintendent Peter Gorman outlined a plan for decentralization, with the stated goal of putting resources and administration closer to parents and other members of the public. Regional offices known as "learning communities", each with an area superintendent, were implemented in the 2007-2008 school year.[14]


  1. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  2. ^
  3. ^ Board of Education Archived 26 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Lyttle, Steve. (2007, 3 June). 13 high schools on best-of list. The Charlotte Observer.
  7. ^ "Facts Facts on CMS" (PDF). Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 April 2007.
  8. ^ Helms, Ann. (2005, 24 May). Judge accuses CMS of 'academic genocide'. The Charlotte Observer.
  9. ^ Smolowitz, Peter and Helms, Ann. (2007, 22 July). Now, his next chapter. The Charlotte Observer.
  10. ^ Helms, Ann. (2006, 19 August). Threat to close schools lifted. The Charlotte Observer.
  11. ^ Smolowitz, Peter and Helms, Ann. (2006, 29 July). Board works on avoiding squabbles. The Charlotte Observer.
  12. ^ Smolowitz, Peter and Helms, Ann. (2007, 7 November). Only 2 of 195 precincts oppose bonds for CMS. The Charlotte Observer.
  13. ^ Helms, Ann and Smolowitz, Peter. (2005, 21 August). Poll finds support for shake-up. The Charlotte Observer.
  14. ^ Decentralization Archived 24 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.


External links[edit]