Why You Need to Take the CMS School Survey

Now's the time to share your thoughts before rezoning is set

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is in the midst of making big plans for reorganizing schools to help balance student populations. Rezoning is being discussed as a path to create more diverse student groups at schools, and that has parents talking. 

The last time a reorganization of student assignment took place, I didn't have a child in public school. Now I do, and what's to come in 2017-18 can certainly affect my child's education path since we sit on the edge of a school zone.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education has created a survey for anyone who has an interest in student assignment — parents or not — to give their input on what is important to their child's education or public education overall. Here's why you should take the survey. It only took me about 15 mintutes and that was with interruptions. You can also save and finish later if you need to.

1. Neighborhoods matter.

This survey is going to help guide the decision makers on whether to push forward with neighborhood schools and magnets, and whether other options would be considered. I grew up in a time when bussing happened in CMS. I wasn't bussed, but I know people who were that spend 45 minutes or more on a school bus … do you want that? And do you like that your child goes to school with other children from your neighborhood? If that's important, now's the time to be heard.

2. Diversity matters.

If you believe a mix of students from different backgrounds, cultures and home environments mimics the real world and matters in the school environment, now's the time to be heard.

3. School schedule matters.

If school start and end times matter to you, let it be heard. My son's school is a late start, and as a result he doesn't get home until almost 5 p.m. It works well for our family as far as juggling our work schedules with his schedule, but for parents who have children in many extracurricular activities that kind of schedule doesn't work. 

4. Class size and school environment matter. 

The schools in CMS are booming at max capacity. Ideas to relieve some of this? Please share.

The survey emphasizes impact of choices for overall academic opportunities and outcomes for all students. I think "all" being the operative word. It's hard to find the balancing point that helps all, including children in high-poverty neighborhoods. As I took the survey, that's what made me stop to think twice as I answered: What's best for my child AND the overall well-being of children in our community.

There are things as parents we expect to happen at school, and there are things we can't control, but this is a moment in time when you can voice your opinion before decisions are made. Don't miss the opportunity. The survey closes Feb. 22.