EducationNews & Opinion

CMS Board Gives Signs of 2023 Priorities with New Committees

Two ad hoc committees formed at Jan. 10 meeting

CMS Board Chair Elyse Dashew speaks from the dais during a recent meeting.
Board Chair Elyse Dashew speaks during the CMS Board of Education’s Jan. 10 meeting.

During its first meeting of the new year on Jan. 10, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education acknowledged how critical 2023 could be for the district’s future, authorizing two new ad hoc committees with ambitious goals and setting a timeline for the search and appointment of a new superintendent. 

The two new ad hoc committees, meaning committees created specifically to accomplish a short-term goal before disbandment, are the Student Outcomes Focused Governance Ad Hoc Committee and the Community Outreach Ad Hoc Committee. 

“These committees lay the groundwork for the board to spend our time strategically, intentionally, and impactfully on behalf of the students of CMS in 2023,” said Elyse Dashew, Board chair, in a CMS release following the meeting.

Gregory “Dee” Rankin (District 3) will lead the Student Outcomes Focused Governance Ad Hoc Committee to ensure the implementation of the board’s Student Outcomes Focused Governance (SOFG).

The committee is tasked with drafting a new 24-month implementation timeline and calendar and overseeing the effective execution of SOFG goals and objectives within the implementation time.

“There is nothing more to measure the success of a community than the outcomes of our students,” stated District 6 representative Summer Nunn in the release. 

The Student Outcomes Focused Governance Ad Hoc Committee will monitor the different aspects that affect student outcomes, such as budget, facilities, equity and hiring.

At-large representative Jennifer De La Jara will lead the Community Outreach Ad Hoc Committee, which is set to assist the board in its community outreach efforts. 

The committee is responsible for creating a master calendar of community events, recommending protocols to assist individual board members in holding community-based meetings and developing a board member toolkit for communicating board initiatives to the community. 

Appearing on a recent episode of Queen City Nerve’s Nooze Hounds podcast, De La Jara discussed the importance of board members doing more community outreach so as to take some of the pressure off the superintendent. 

Speaking with Queen City Nerve after last week’s meeting, De La Jara said she believes the new ad hoc committee will maximize communication and the distribution of resources between board members to better serve the community. 

“It’s just a way to be efficient and build upon the individual strengths and connections that our Board members have,” she said. 

The Community Outreach Ad Hoc Committee will engage with various constituency groups to participate in direct community engagement to allow more intentional dialogue with community members.

Nunn is leading the committee tasked with searching for a new superintendent. In December, local local consulting firm Civility Localized wrapped its community outreach efforts in soliciting community stakeholders’ feedback and input for what they want to see in a new superintendent and released a report on those findings

The board released its request for proposal for the superintendent search firm on Friday, Jan. 13, and intends to hire a superintendent by the spring of 2023, according to CMS’s latest media release.

The Jan. 11 meeting also featured the introduction of new 2023 student advisor, Laksha Ramkumar, a junior at David W. Butler High School, and named Laura Rosenbach as a learning community superintendent and Kira Michaw as the principal at Winget Park Elementary.

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