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Merged CMS Schools To Open After Year Of Planning

Lisa Worf
Dilworth Elementary School

Major changes will come to some Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools when classes resume on Aug. 27. Three new schools are opening, more than 100 have been renovated and the somewhat controversial pairing of some schools under the new student assignment plan kicks in.

One pair of schools that will merge this year is Sedgefield Elementary and Dilworth Elementary just south of uptown. When CMS officials proposed pairing the two, many parents vehemently opposed the idea.

Dilworth was rated a B school by the state and most of the students were well-to-do. Sedgefield had a D rating and the majority of the students were low-income—just the type of pairing that school officials targeted for economic diversity.

During school board meetings, parents testified for and against the pairing. At an event at Sedgefield this week, Principal Terry Hall said the merger is going smoothly. 

“All of our Dilworth parents, all of our Sedgefield parents have come together for the new paired school,” Hall said.

Hall says community and faith groups have also helped.

Sedgefield’s name will change to the Dilworth Elementary Sedgefield Campus, with students in pre-K through second grades. Third through fifth graders will attend Dilworth, renamed Dilworth Elementary Latta Campus.  

Credit Gwendolyn Glenn
Superintendent Clayton Wilcox

“It’s an opportunity for us to unite our communities to do what I think many in this community have wanted to do and that is to break down some of the walls that have merged over time between and amongst people of different resource levels,” said CMS Superintendent Clayton Wilcox this week.

Billingsville and Cotswold elementary schools in east Charlotte have merged as well to make them more economically diverse. Billingsville will be a K-2-grade school and Cotswold a 3rd-5th-grade school. Nathaniel Alexander Elementary and Morehead STEM have also merged, and renamed Governors Village STEM Academy.

New schools opening this year are Charlotte East Language Academy built at the old Eastland Mall site, Villa Heights Elementary, and Wilson Middle School, which closed in 2011. 

Gwendolyn is an award-winning journalist who has covered a broad range of stories on the local and national levels. Her experience includes producing on-air reports for National Public Radio and she worked full-time as a producer for NPR’s All Things Considered news program for five years. She worked for several years as an on-air contract reporter for CNN in Atlanta and worked in print as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, The Washington Post and covered Congress and various federal agencies for the Daily Environment Report and Real Estate Finance Today. Glenn has won awards for her reports from the Maryland-DC-Delaware Press Association, SNA and the first-place radio award from the National Association of Black Journalists.