Middle School Information

  • Middle School Philosophy

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg middle schools serve students in grades 6-8. The educational environment in each school is sturctured to meet the ever-changing needs of the 10-14 year old. Middle schools are designed to provide a smooth transition from elementary school to the more rigorous high school environment. Each middle school provides a setting where parents continue to be active participants in their child’s education. Part of this transition includes students assuming more personal and academic responsibilities.

    Key components essential in the planning and implementing of a high achieving middle school include the following:

    • Students are assigned to academic teams
    • Interdisciplinary teams of teachers meet to review data and plan instruction together
    • Time is provided to nurture the adult-student relationships (advisory)
    • An environment is created so that all students are successful and are recognized for their achievements
    • Students will have the opportunity to explore a variety of interests through elective/exploratory classes, clubs, organizations and other teacher-planned activities

    Interdisciplinary Teaming

    Interdisciplinary teaming in a middle school purposefully divides a larger student and faculty population in small units so that students receive more individual attention and recognition. Depending on the size of the school, there may be more than one team per grade level. Ideally, there are between 90-130 students and four to eight teachers assigned to a team. The team typically includes four academic teachers who are called core teachers and other ‘’elective” teachers who serve the students on the team. The core teachers (literacy, mathematics, social studies and science teachers) meet collaboratively to discuss students’ progress, plan teaching units, conduct parent conferences and consider other issues, which affect their students. The “elective” teachers meet with the core team to support the team’s curriculum and activities. Students receive recognition and support from members of the team. Team assemblies and team meetings provide recognition for excellence in academics, improvement in classroom behavior and perfect attendance. The team discipline policy is established by the faculty members on the team and is consistent within the team, thereby creating fewer guidelines that an adolescent must understand and follow during the course of a day. Homework expectations, organizational strategies and testing dates are developed by the team to create uniformity for the students. A school counselor and a grade level administrator are also team members. Parents can also benefit from middle school teaming. Parents can collaborate with the four academic teachers in one visit, maximizing time and effort. Parents benefit from hearing about their child’s academic progress in all of the core classes. A school counselor may be present at the time of parent conferences. Teaming allows teachers to know their students well. The team communicates special needs and learning difficulties to plan success strategies on an individual basis. Through the collaboration of these professionals, each child is more successful academically.

    Homework Philosophy

    The main purpose of homework at the middle school level is to increase student academic achievement. We believe homework assignments that are carefully structured by teachers and are meaningful to students have a significant influence on student achievement and academic success. Homework will be a natural extension of the classroom experience and a major opportunity for students to practice and further develop all levels of thinking skills. The completion of homework enhances student achievement, builds student study habits and helps develop a sense of student responsibility. The satisfactory completion of homework assignments or lack thereof, is a factor included in the calculation of student grades for each course. Teachers are expected to work cooperatively with their respective team members, department members and elective/exploratory teachers in assigning homework and in the development of evaluation criteria.

    Course Offerings

    CMS middle schools are organized to educate all students in grades 6-8.

    Schools offer a variety of learning levels to accommodate the students they serve. Course offerings are similar at every middle school, unless there is a special magnet theme associated with an individual school. Every middle school has additional curricula, which are designed to provide students with the opportunity to enter International Baccalaureate or Advanced Placement programs/courses at the high school level.

    Students and teachers form a core team that works as a collaborative unit. Core teams are allowed the flexibility to move students within the team to accommodate academic needs. These core courses are based upon the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.

    Teams accommodate a variety of educational levels based on test performance and develop instructional strategies to best meet individual student’s needs. Core subjects are literacy, social studies, science, mathematics and reading. Within each middle school, beyond the core courses, there are three additional periods of time. This time frame includes a time for lunch, physical education and a wide variety of elective/exploratory courses in areas including fine arts, performing arts, career and technical education, technology and world language.

    Time may be used flexibly to provide for intervention needs; grade-level instruction,and accelerated opportunities. As a result, the integration of instruction takes place to provide more relevance to the student. Innovative, developmentally appropriate instructional strategies are incorporated to meet students’ learning styles and needs.

    Each spring, parents review course selections made by their children for the following school year. They may consult with counselors and/or teachers to ensure accurate placement and course selections. A typical schedule for a middle school student includes advisor/advisee, core classes, electives and lunch.

  • Career Exploration

  • Graduation Credit

  • Grading Scale

    Effective with the 2018-2019 school year, all CMS middle and high schools will use a 10-point grading scale:

    A: 100-90

    B: 89-80

    C: 79-70

    D: 69-60

    F: Below 60

    Note: Pluses (+) and minuses (-) will not be used.

    Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)

    AVID is a college readiness system designed to increase the number of students who enroll and persist in four-year colleges and universities. At the secondary grade levels (grades 6-12), AVID is an elective course taken during the school day. Students enrolled in AVID learn organizational and study skills, work on critical thinking and ask probing questions, receive academic help from peers and college tutors, and participate in enrichment and motivational activities. Students must enroll in at least one of their school’s most rigorous academic classes, such as Honors or Advanced Placement, in addition to the AVID Elective.

    The AVID curriculum, based on rigorous standards, is driven by the WICOR methodology, which stands for Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading. WICOR instructional strategies engage students and scaffold instruction.

    To Be Eligible To Enroll, A Student Must:

    • Demonstrate the potential, desire and determination to attend college
    • Commit to enroll in academically rigorous courses (appropriate for the student)
    • Fulfill the requirements set forth by the school’s AVID contract

    AVID is offered in several CMS schools. Please contact your school for more information about availability and how to enroll in the AVID program.

    *For more information about the AVID College Readiness System, please visit the AVID website at http://www.avid.org or contact the Advanced Studies Department at 980-343-2701.

    Middle School Terms

  • A/B Day Block Schedule or Double Block Schedule

  • Academic Facilitator

  • Advisor/Advisee Programs (A/A)

  • Block/Flexible Scheduling

  • Character Education

  • Common Planning Time

  • Core Classes

  • Differentiation

  • Early Adolescence

  • Exploratories

  • Heterogeneous Grouping

  • Homogeneous Grouping

  • Interdisciplinary Activities

  • Interdisciplinary Teams

  • Interscholastic

  • Middle School Athletics (Grades 7-8)

    The vision of CMS Athletics is to ensure all student-athletes become responsible citizens and demonstrate a spirit of generosity, sportsmanship and teamwork as effective participants in society.

    Sports Offerings

    Fall      Football, Girls’ Softball, Girls’ Volleyball, Golf, Cheerleading

    Winter Boys’ Basketball, Girls’ Basketball, Cheerleading

    Spring Baseball, Boys’ Soccer, Girls’ Soccer, Boys’ Track, Girls’ Track

    Responsibilities of Parents and Student-Athletes

    • Must adhere to all Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and CMS athletic eligibility regulations
    • Must complete and sign all required athletic eligibility participation forms
    • Must provide proof of medical or accident insurance
    • Must pay the participation fee or meet waiver criteria prior to the first contests in each sport season
    • Student-athlete must pass a health screening once every 395 days by a duly licensed physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant
    • Student-athletes and parents must sign the Student-Parent Honor Code
    • Must attend a required preseason meeting at the school prior to the sport season (fall, winter and /or spring)
    • Student-athletes and parents must sign the concussion form
    • Must not accept prizes, merchandise, money or any item that can be exchanged for money as a result of athletic participation
    • May not as an individual or as a team, practice during the school day or on a Saturday or Sunday
    • May only attend summer camps to which the athlete or his/her parents pay the fees

    Athletic Eligibility Requirements

    Only students in grades 7-12 may participate in interscholastic athletic competition (State Board of Education Regulation). No student may be eligible to participate at the middle school level for a period lasting longer than four (4) consecutive semesters beginning with the student’s entry into the seventh grade. The principal shall have evidence of the date of each player’s entry into the seventh grade and monitor the four (4) consecutive semesters.

    In order to qualify for public school participation, a student must meet the following requirements, but is not limited to the following requirements:

    7th Grade

    • A student who is promoted from the sixth grade to the seventh grade automatically meets the requirements for the first semester
    • Must have earned a 2.0 GPA from previous semester (beginning second semester)
    • Must have passed a minimum load of work during the previous semester (beginning second semester)*
    • Must be currently enrolled in at least one-half of the minimum academic course load
    • Must be in attendance at school the day of competition for at least one half of the instructional day in order to participate
    • May participate only at the school where he/she is enrolled
    • Shall not participate if he/she becomes 15 years of age on or before August 31 of said school year

    8th Grade

    • Must meet local promotion standards (Waived for 2022-2023 1st Semester Only)
    • Must have earned a *2.0 GPA from previous semester 
    • Must have passed a **minimum load of work during the previous semester
    • Must be currently enrolled in at least one-half of the minimum academic course load
    • Must be in attendance at school the day of competition for at least onehalf of the instructional day in order to participate
    • May participate only at the school where he/she is enrolled
    • Shall not participate if he/she becomes 15 years of age on or before August 31 of said school year

    *Middle school: For athletic eligibility purposes, a minimum load is defined as passing a minimum of three out of four courses on a 4 x 4 format (or six out of eight courses in the A/B format) of block scheduling during the traditional school day.

    Exceptional Children (Grades 7-8)

    • The 2.0 eligibility rule will be waived if (1) I.E.P. goals are being met; (2) satisfactory progress is being made in mainstreamed classes; and (3) has the principal’s recommendation.

    CMS has two methods of anonymous communication to report suspected violations:

    1. playfair@cms.k12.nc.us
    2. (980) 343-1098

    Additional Information

    Athletic information included in this Parent-Student Handbook is provided as a resource. Specific questions or clarifications of athletic information and/or eligibility should be addressed to the school’s athletic director. For additional information, visit the CMS Department of Athletics website at www.cmsathleticzone.com or call (980) 343-6980.

    Student Locker Assignment

    Students and parents are required to read the following information and sign the student locker assignment form in the Student Forms booklet.

    Schools will collect locker fees not to exceed $2. Students should understand that the locker is the property of the school and is assigned to the student only upon the student’s agreement to the following terms and conditions:

    • The student is responsible for all property placed in the locker. The locker shall be used only for storage of such property as is reasonably necessary for the student’s school activities such as school books, school projects, gym clothes, etc.
    • No guns, explosives, or any other weapons are permitted to be stored in the locker nor to be brought onto the school grounds. No alcoholic beverage or any other drug not prescribed by a physician nor any other contraband is permitted to be stored in the locker and is not permitted on the school grounds. It is a violation of Rule 29 of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Code of Student Conduct to possess any guns, rifles, knives, metal knuckles, razors/cutters, mace, pepper gas, explosives, martial arts weapons or any blunt or sharp-pointed instrument that may be capable of inflicting bodily injury (to include using or threatening to use to inflict injury).
    • In consideration for the school’s assignment of a school locker to the student, the student and parent/guardian grant permission to school authorities to open and search the assigned locker and its contents at any time and to remove unauthorized articles described above or any other items which may endanger the health, welfare or safety of students or school personnel.
    • The student will leave with the principal of the school the combinationof the assigned locker or a key which will open the locker before the assignment of the locker becomes effective. If the student changes the lock, it must be with the permission of the principal at which time the student will list the new combination of the locker with the principal or leave a new key with the principal. In the event the student fails to leave the correct combination or key with the principal, then this default shall constitute permission for the principal or his/her authorized agent to break the lock, open the locker and remove its contents for safekeeping. Any violation of the rules regarding locker assignment will result in the termination of this locker privilege.