Ann Doss Helms

Education Reporter

Ann Doss Helms covers education for WFAE. She was a reporter for The Charlotte Observer for 32 years, including 16 years on the education beat. She has repeatedly won first place in education reporting from the North Carolina Press Association and won the 2015 Associated Press Senator Sam Open Government Award for reporting on charter school salaries.

She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a master's in liberal arts from Winthrop University.

Ways to Connect

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

Almost everyone who lives in Mecklenburg County has opinions about the school board: Whether they make the right student assignment decisions, whether they're building schools in the right places, why they can't seem to keep a superintendent.

But when it comes time to vote for members, that's another matter.

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

The town of Cornelius is poised to come out of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools penalty box when it comes to school construction.

CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG SCHOOLS

George Battle III, the high-profile attorney for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, will leave the district at year's end to work for UNC Chapel Hill, the district announced Monday.

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

Sterling Elementary School Principal Emily Miles was named Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools principal of the year Monday.

Miles, who is in her third year leading the Pineville school, has also been principal at Montclaire Elementary. Superintendent Earnest Winston praised her work with students and faculty.

CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG SCHOOLS

Competition with charter schools may have played a role in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ enrollment slump this year, a district official says. But while some schools came in under projections, some are growing fast. 

CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG SCHOOLS

Some south Charlotte residents hope a change in superintendents this summer will give them a new shot at revising plans for two new schools in their area.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools seemed locked in on plans for those schools: A high school scheduled to open in 2023 and a K-8 school, informally known as Rea Farms, slated to open in 2020. 

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

Thirty-one days into the school year, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is warning families that their kids have to have lunch money unless they've qualified for free meals.

Gov. Roy Cooper (left) and Sen. Phil Berger
Twitter

Gov. Roy Cooper and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger took to Twitter on Tuesday to blame each other for the lack of North Carolina teacher raises.

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has seen its first significant enrollment drop, according to a report posted Monday. And the district’s Hispanic enrollment hit a milestone as well. 

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

Updated 3:15 p.m. Monday: The board has postponed the selection of an equity committee to its Oct. 22 meeting because board Chair Mary McCray is ill, the district announced Monday afternoon.  

No pay. No authority. Lots of data to digest and a mission that has stymied some of America's best thinkers.

You might think serving on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools equity committee would be a hard sell. But 284 people have applied, and the school board must figure out how to choose up to 40 of them Tuesday.

Huntersville.org

For a few hours this week, the town of Huntersville seemed poised to vote on a resolution endorsing a separate school district for northern Mecklenburg County.

Phil Roeder / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

It may seem early, but families who plan to enroll children in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools next year should start planning now.

That's especially true for parents who want their kids to get seats in the most competitive magnet schools. Students need to be pre-registered to enter the 2020-21 choice lottery, which begins Nov. 4. 

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

Walk into any classroom for gifted students in North Carolina and you’ll probably see mostly white and Asian faces. Those students are seven or eight times as likely to be labeled academically gifted as black students, and five or six times as likely as Hispanic ones.

DAVID BORAKS / WFAE

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has a new deputy superintendent in charge of academics – basically the guy who makes sure 150,000 students learn to read when they’re young and eventually graduate as capable, well-rounded teens.

standardized test
albertogp123 / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/2.0/

Average SAT scores for the Charlotte region's class of 2019 ranged from 1240 at Providence High, a large public school in southeast Charlotte, to 861 at Charlotte Learning Academy, a small, struggling charter school that closed at the end of the year.

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

Last year four suburban towns and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools were locked in a ferocious clash. Today it’s more like a wary truce. 

When the district's Municipal Education Advisory Committee met to talk about school safety Thursday morning, it was almost hard to recall the drama of 2018.

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

Jarod Brown loves the sunlight streaming into his new automotive technology classroom at North Mecklenburg High. But even with the natural light he insisted on when Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools designed the building, you can tell his students can’t wait to get away from their desks and into the shop.

Donevin Hoskins
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools

Donevin Hoskins, a former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administrator now working in Guilford County, was named principal of West Charlotte High on Tuesday.

New cabinet named by CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

This story was updated at 12 p.m. Sept. 11.

Superintendent Earnest Winston named a new cabinet Tuesday, promoting experienced Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools staff to key positions.

Students in Leslie Nielsen's class at Community House Middle School in Charlotte work on posters seeking gift cards for Ocracoke School, which was damaged during Hurricane Dorian.
ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

A south Charlotte middle school teacher has launched a drive to get aid to a tiny island school hard hit by Hurricane Dorian. She says she learned an important lesson from last year's hurricane aid effort.

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