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Davidson Elementary Is Ready To Add Grades Despite Rain Delays


A new classroom wing that will convert Davidson Elementary School into Davidson K-8 School will be ready to take sixth-graders Aug. 26, officials say.

With less than two weeks until classes begin, construction equipment was still visible outside the $13.6 million addition, which adds 20 classrooms. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools website says rain delayed some of the outside work.  "The construction schedule remains critical," it says, "but good progress was made in July."

Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board member Rhonda Cheek, who represents Davidson, said she got an update Tuesday, as the board changed the school's name.

"The target date for everybody to be in the building is the 21st, so we’re cutting it close," Cheek said. "But it is ready. And we’re actually over what the projected enrollment was, so super excited."

Some families like combined elementary/middle schools because they offer a smaller setting and avoid the disruption of switching schools. Others are wary because older students may miss out on some of the sports, extracurricular activities and elective classes that a larger middle school offers.

Cheek said school leaders sought the expansion to compete with other K-8 schools in the north suburban area. Many public charter schools offer grades K-8 or K-12.

"They wanted the smaller environment right there in Davidson," Cheek said.

The middle school portion will be phased in, with seventh-graders starting in 2020 and eighth-graders in 2021.

Ann Doss Helms has covered education in the Charlotte area for over 20 years, first at The Charlotte Observer and then at WFAE. Reach her at ahelms@wfae.org or 704-926-3859.