CMS recommends new school-closing changes involving Waddell and Harding

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will recommend to the Board of Education new changes in its proposed school consolidations, closings and other revisions as part of the board’s comprehensive review of the district’s schools.

Under the proposed change, E.E. Waddell High School would remain open and the partial International Baccalaureate (IB) magnet program now at Harding University High School would move to Waddell. Harding would close as a high school and its campus would become home to the K-8 language immersion magnet program now located at Smith Academy of International Languages. An earlier proposal recommended that Smith Academy be relocated to E.E. Waddell, which would have been closed as a high school. The math and science program at Harding would close and a math and science program will open at Phillip O. Berry Academy High School.

South Mecklenburg and West Mecklenburg high schools now would not be affected by any of the proposed changes. Previously, South Mecklenburg was to receive some students from Waddell, while Harding was to receive some students from West Mecklenburg.

Under the proposed changes, students at Harding would have the opportunity to continue in partial IB, go to the math and science program at Philip O. Berry, or to attend their assigned home school. The new recommendation would allow Waddell students to attend their assigned home school, which is consistent with the guiding principles adopted by the Board of Education as part of its comprehensive review of schools.

The public will have an opportunity to learn more about the revised changes at a previously scheduled community forum from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight at South Mecklenburg High School, 8900 Park Road. An additional community forum for Harding parents and others affected by the proposed changes at Harding has been scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27, in the gymnasium at Harding High School.

The revised recommendation will be presented to the Board of Education at its regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, at the Government Center, 600 E. Fourth St. More than 70 of the district’s 178 schools would be affected by changes made as part comprehensive review proposal.

If adopted by the Board of Education, the changes would become effective starting with the 2011-12 school year along with other changes under the comprehensive review. A vote by the board is scheduled Nov. 9.
The board meeting will be televised on cable channel TV3 and will be available for viewing online following the meeting.

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