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.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board’s student representative is getting a lot of public love after he grilled the adults in the room at an emergency board meeting this week.

Ann Doss Helms / WFAE

North Carolina’s public schools are moving fast to create emergency child care, meals for students and online learning plans, a state official told the state Board of Education Wednesday.

Deputy Superintendent David Stegall, who is leading the Department of Public Instruction's coronavirus response, and state board chair Eric Davis, say some questions remain unanswered, including how to ensure seniors can meet graduation requirements and whether the two weeks of closing that Gov. Roy Cooper ordered Saturday can count toward required school time if distance learning is provided.

Charlotte Lab School

Updated to reflect Monday night's CMS board meeting.

Last week schools across North Carolina and South Carolina hummed with energy of students learning.

Phil Roeder / Flickr/

This morning every public school in North Carolina is closed as state and local officials hash out a strategy for keeping kids safe and educated during what could be a prolonged closure for coronavirus protection. The first steps were taken in a series of weekend meetings and phone conferences.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order Saturday closing all K-12 public schools in the state for at least two weeks and prohibiting gatherings of 100 or more people amid coronavirus concerns.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board voted Friday to move up spring break in hopes of buying time to prepare for possible longer closings.

Ann Doss Helms / WFAE

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools notified families Thursday evening that all sports, competitions and school-based performances are canceled as the coronavirus pandemic reaches Mecklenburg County.

@ProvidenceDay / Twitter

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the letter from Charlotte Latin Head of School Chuck Baldecchi as saying there was a confirmed case in the school community. Another version said all three schools had decided to shift to online learning after spring break.

Three large private schools in Charlotte are closing their campuses Friday and preparing to shift to online classes after spring break to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Charlotte Country Day, Charlotte Latin and Providence Day School notified families Thursday afternoon that they'll dismiss for spring break Friday,  instead of waiting until next week, and are making plans to launch distance learning after the break ends.

Gwendolyn Glenn / WFAE

Union County, Gaston County and Iredell-Statesville Schools have joined CMS in canceling or restricting field trips to slow the spread of coronavirus, as the World Health Organization declared the virus and disease it causes a pandemic.


Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has canceled all field trips and all staff travel outside of the county  as concerns about the coronavirus spread. 


Justin Parmenter, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teacher and blogger, was honored Monday by the North Carolina Open Government Coalition for his use of public records in researching the state's controversial Istation contract.


Mecklenburg County is expanding pre-K to get 4-year-olds ready for kindergarten – but what about getting younger children ready for pre-K? A national program that’s moving into Charlotte does just that. 

Ann Doss Helms / WFAE

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has canceled international field trips through July and limited domestic travel for staff because of the coronavirus.

Police cars are stationed outside of Butler High School after a shooting Monday morning.

Gun possession in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools spiked to 22 cases in 13 schools last school year, according to a report presented to the state Board of Education this week. And that’s not even counting a fatal shooting at Butler High in October 2018.

Aspire Carolinas Foundation

The North Carolina Board of Education approved five new charter schools Thursday — and two of them will be in Mecklenburg County.

LinkedIn/Greg Lindberg

Updated March 4 to reflect primary results:  

Jurors heard opposing views Tuesday of Durham insurance magnate Greg Lindberg's donations to North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey as lawyers made closing arguments.

Concord Police

Vandals have hit the new West Cabarrus High School twice in the past two weeks, doing more than $100,000 worth of damage, Concord Police said Thursday.


Now’s the time of year when thousands of families are being turned away in charter school admission lotteries. So you might think new charter schools could sail to success. But one charter school veteran learned that’s not necessarily so.  


Leaders of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are trying to get the community thinking about the future of school construction, even as they seek more money for the projects already approved.


The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board voted Tuesday to scale back the size of three new high schools that are part of a 2017 bond package. And CMS staff says there will still be a surplus of more than 4,000 high school seats when those new schools open.