CHARLOTTE – What’s it like to prepare for the opening of 176 schools this fall?
“It’s spring cleaning on steroids,” according to Carol Stamper, chief operations officer for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. She sums up much of the work with four Rs: repair, replace, relocate and refresh.
“We have a large team working hard to make our schools the best they can be,” Stamper said.
CMS’s numbers are staggering: 4,180 gallons of paint, 260,000 gallons of cleanser, 24,750 gallons of floor finish and 40,500 light bulbs. Then you’ve got to fill 75 teaching vacancies and schedule bus drivers, as well as assign 140,000 Chromebooks.
Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said the 2017-18 school year was particularly busy because of new schools and programs, the planning work for the new student-assignment plan and the $922 million bond request on the Nov. 7 ballot.
The district is asking voters to approve the bond request in order to address 29 projects, slightly less than half of the $2.2 billion in needs identified in the CMS long-term capital plan.
The district’s 1,078 buses will travel 120,000 miles each school day and the district has about 126,000 students who will use the bus to get to and from school.
“We encourage everyone to be patient,” said Janet Thomas, executive director of transportation. “It takes a couple of weeks for things to settle in.” She said the district’s transportation call center is open to help parents (980-343-6715), already getting about 500 calls a day.