Morrison answers questions raised by parents

Oct. 4, 2012

121005MorrisonWhat I want to do is have these conversations and ask, what are we doing really well, and what can we do better?

“And then from those conversations we begin to build relationships, with our employees, with our external stakeholders, with our community.

“And when you have great relationships, you start to build trust.

“And from trust, you can have honest, hard, difficult conversations that lead to great ideas, what I call my BHAGs, Big Hairy Audacious Goals.

“Then you have strategies, then you have execution.

Now, that’s a longer way, but I think that’s the right way.

“That’s when you’re not interested in just making things a little better.

“You’re interested in seeing our public education system being part of a transformation of our entire community, where public schools are one of the best parts of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, and a great Charlotte-Mecklenburg make great schools.

“And so that’s what I’m excited about. That’s what I’m committed to.”

– Supt. Heath Morrison, Hopewell High, Oct. 4, 2012

Last night’s crowd left a few hundred seats available at Hopewell High’s auditorium. As he puts everything else that CMS does under the microscope, new Supt. Heath Morrison might re-examine whether towns halls on school nights are the way to reach county residents.

But there’s a lot of policy and practice already under the microscope.

Prompted by questions from the audience, Morrison delved into the details of:

  • Choice and academic offering. He was speaking in the north, and the question raised was about schools there, but he promised a systemwide look, now involving central staff but soon to bring in principals.
  • Making best use of volunteers. It sounded like reorganization to encourage an outside agency to sift through the offers might be forthcoming within months.
  • Recess and the educational benefits of exercise.
  • Strategic stafffing. He all but promised change in the program whose early-year benefits have waned.
  • Project LIFT, and what can be done to encourage integration.
  • Balancing “neighborhood” boundaries with population changes.
  • Charter schools.
  • Hazing, bullying, sexting and lacrosse.

Videos from last night’s conversation are below.

Introductory comments
1: Choice and offerings
2: Volunteers, recess, strategic staffing
3: Project LIFT and integrated schools
4: North Meck, charters, bullying
5: Sexting, lacrosse and budget process
Concluding remarks