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Back to School


School starts Aug. 26. Goodbye, summer and hello, school — and it’s not too soon to start getting students back into school mode. First days can be exciting and/or anxious, especially for students who will be entering kindergarten, middle or high school for the first time. These students will encounter new expectations, and new faces will surround them. Families can help their students begin the school year with confidence. Visit the school website, review materials sent by the school as soon as it arrives, show your student where the bus stop is, talk about new expectations and meeting new classmates and acknowledge any fears for the upcoming school year. Attend the school’s open house.


Click here to read about other grade specific tips for success and have a great 2019-2020 school year!


Levels of personal, school, district and community safeguards and supports in a circle of safety help keep students, staff and families safe at school. We are improving existing safeguards and protections, adding new security measures, hiring additional safety officers, upgrading locks, doors and fencing at schools, and improving safety plans. (Visit the CMS Circle of Safety page for a downloadable PDF of this graphic).

Clips from the August 7, 2019 Media Briefing on Safety

Back to School Facebook Live Q&A: School Safety 


On the first day of school,1,088 buses will travel a total of 125,000 miles to take students to and from school. Track your school bus arrival with the "Here Comes the Bus" app now available for download. Parents should have students at the assigned bus stops 10 minutes prior to the scheduled morning stop time. We ask parents and students to be patient as we make adjustments once school opens. Contact the Transportation Call Center at 980-343-6715 from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. for more information.
CMS will be making history with the new fleet of 28 propane-powered buses, which are designed to improve air quality and provide a healthier ride for students. The district will be using more propane buses than any other school district in North Carolina. Learn more.
Back to School Media Briefing: Transportation 
Back to School Live Q&A: Transportation

School Nutrition Services 

The mission of School Nutrition Services is to contribute to a successful academic experience and encourage a lifetime of healthy eating for each student by providing affordable meals that are nutritious, appealing and served by caring professionals in a pleasant environment. Apply for free and reduced meals here

Immunizations and Health Assessments

In compliance with North Carolina law (General Statute 130A-152-157), parents/guardian must present certification of the required immunizations at the age required by law on or before the first day a student enters school. Any medical exemption must be in writing from a physician and must state the basis for the exemption. Learn more about immunization requirements here.  

CMS and Mecklenburg County Residency

All children of school age who reside in Mecklenburg County are welcome in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. CMS believes that school should be a safe place for everyone. CMS does not ask for residency status of any student. CMS protects the information of all students according to federal and state laws and Board of Education policy.


The district is committed to providing supports and resources to enable all students and educators to focus on what matters most – teaching and learning in the classroom.


CMS encourages all families to have an emergency plan in place and to share it with their students. This plan should include contact information for trusted adults and safe places to go to should an emergency arise.


The safety and security of all students and staff is always a top priority in CMS. Should law enforcement be present on a CMS campus, school staff will follow Board of Education policy KLG and regulations KLG-R “Relations with Law Enforcement Agencies.” According to this policy, CMS school staff will notify district leadership, ask for proof of a warrant or other judicial authority and await further supports as needed.


When upsetting national or local events occur, students may be traumatized and have feelings of insecurity and emotional distress. CMS staff are prepared to offer support to any student. If your student or any student seems to need support, please notify school leadership. CMS school counselors and student services are available and will be provided. A guide from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network for families and their students who may be experiencing trauma is available here (link to ENG and ESP of attached docs).


A variety of local organizations provide supports to immigrant and refugee families in our community, including:


City of Charlotte Office of International Relations 

International House 

Latin American Coalition


Family Trauma Response PDF (English)

Family Trauma Response PDF (Spanish)


School Nutrition Services

The mission of School Nutrition Services is to contribute to a successful academic experience and encourage a lifetime of healthy eating for each student by providing affordable meals that are nutritious, appealing and served by caring professionals in a pleasant environment. Learn more here
Discover more about Free and Reduced Meals here
Back to School Live Q&A: School Nutrition Services

Student Wellness and Academic Support

Do you fully understand the role of your school counselor? Did you know that your child could miss days of school without up-to-date immunizations? What is the process for anonymously reporting bullying? Learn more about Student Wellness and Academic Support here
Back to School Live Q&A: Student Wellness & Academic Support

Department Contact Information