Updated 08/22/2012 04:47 PM
CMS leaders talk first day preparedness in back-to-school briefing
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CHARLOTTE -- After months of preparation, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are just days away from the first bell.
District officials held a back to school briefing Wednesday morning to let parents and students know what they can expect this year.
More than 140,000 students will head back to the classroom in Mecklenburg County on Monday. Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison said this is one of the most important times of the school year and he is confident parents and students are set up to succeed.
"When we welcome students back on Monday, they'll see principals ready to welcome them, teachers in every classroom, buses running on time, all the things that have to happen to ensure a high quality of teaching and learning right from day one," said Morrison.
With new common core requirements, CMS officials said the bar is set higher than ever.
"I think all of us would agree that we learned in kindergarten that one plus one is two. Now, our students will be expected to explain why one plus one is two," said Deputy Superintendent Ann Clark.
But officials said they have the best people in place to help make it happen. There are still 96 vacancies but CMS said starting the school year with 99 percent of the teaching staff filled is great.
Officials said this year, they're looking for specific qualities.
"Innate talent around classroom engagement, passion for teaching, a drive for results and a very important aspect that we focused on this year is a belief that every student can succeed," explained Dan Habrat.
Enrollment is up this year by about 2,000 students which they said is comparable to last year's growth. But to combat growth, CMS has to add 112 mobile classrooms to schools across the district.
Morrison said while intense planning has gone in to making the 2012-2013 school year a successful one, his motto for parents and students is "stay tuned."
There is a back-to-school hotline parents can call that will be open until Sept. 14. The phone number is (980) 343-3628.