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Thousands of at-risk CMS students missing out on the chance to catch up

The district created Camp CMS to help students who need help catching up after a year of limited, or no class for some, due to COVID-19.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools gave an update on its summer learning courses Tuesday night as the district struggles with attendance issues

The district previously announced they identified roughly 65,000 students they considered to be at risk of failing before the school year ended, roughly 21,000 signed up for the camp, and less than 13,000 of them showed up for the first week of the program. 

As of July 12, the district says 30,972 students are enrolled in the program, and 19,956 of those students were deemed at-risk. CMS says 26,210 students have attended at least one day of CMS -- on average, about 15,784 students were in attendance the third week of the first session. Of those students, 10,092 were deemed at-risk. 

Camp CMS is in the first week of the second session. 

Registration is currently closed with the exception of 3rd graders who have not met reading benchmarks, students who are new to CMS, and future-enrolled students.

The district created Camp CMS to help students who need help catching up after a year of limited, or no class for some, due to COVID-19.

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Now the district must figure out how to help these students when they can't get them to show up in the first place. 

Schools are employing a variety of methods to reach out, including personal phone calls, teachers reaching out, student services teams and making some home visits to try to find the students that are not yet showing up.

CMS says 3,128 families were contacted regarding attendance concerns. Of that, about 34% said they were no longer interested in Camp CMS, around 8.6% said their student would not be in the county this summer, about 6.9% said their student enrolled in a different summer program, about 4.9% said their student doesn't need the academic support, and about 39% provided another reason. 

Prior to the update on Camp CMS courses Tuesday, Superintendent Earnest Winston assured teachers and staff that the human resources department was working to rectify payment delays that some staff has reported.

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