More than 200K students start first day of school today

More than 200K students start first day of school today

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by NewsChannel 36 Staff & Charlotte Observer

WCNC.com

Posted on August 24, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 25 at 9:52 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- More than 200,000 students go back to school today in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Gaston, Union and Cabarrus County schools.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg's first school bus pickup is set for 5:02 a.m., taking students to high schools that start classes at 7:15.

In CMS alone, up to 118,000 students will board 937 buses. Thousands of other students will drive their own cars or climb in with their parents.

Hundreds of other CMS students will be attending new schools because their old ones were closed, combined with others, or moved into a new building.

"I would say things so far this morning have gone very smooth," CMS Intern Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh said. "Transportation has worked out the logistics, and of course, they've had practice runs to insure that everyone is where they need to be."

For many students it will be their first time going to Harding University High School after schools like Waddell closed and are merging into Harding.

CMS also  tells NewsChannel 36 they are starting off the year 98 percent full and they still have more than 100 teacher positions that need to be filled.

"Many of the principals have made preparations for that," Hattabaugh said. "They will have, in many cases, math and literacy coaches filling those classrooms the first few days while we get the teachers that were recommend through orientation."

It could be up to three weeks into the year before all the positions are filled.

Finally, CMS was also able to keep middle school sports this year, which leaves many very happy with this decision heading into the new school year.

"It's really going to provide opportunity for lots of students to participate in athletics that we didn't initially think would have that opportunity in diverse sports too such as golf, ladies softball , we've got soccer, hugely popular and baseball," CMS Planning and Development director Scott McCully said.

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