CMS, Greater Enrichment Program supporting CMS students with after-school academic programs


CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (WBTV) – Students at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are now back in class five days a week.

School leaders say they are working to overcome the “unfinished learning” that has occurred since the start of the pandemic.

So how do students get the help they need outside of the regular school day?

CMS’s After School Enrichment Program has 80 sites across the county serving students five days a week from termination until 6:00 p.m.

Genevieve McIlwain has worked with ASEP students for over 10 years. She is site coordinator at Chantilly Montessori school and has worked in after-school programs for 20 years.

“It’s not only ASEP that parents need as well, because learning starts at home, but we are here to improve their learning and we are trying to work hand in hand with teachers to see what they need us to do to help these students as well, ”says McIlwain.

Below is the recent enrollment data for the ASEP and CMS preschool programs.

August 2019 – 4,115 in ASEP and 1,364 in extracurricular daycare

August 2021 – 2,729 in ASEP and 801 in daycare before school

Registration didn’t start last school year until November.

Staff help with homework, tutoring, field trips, as well as STEM and art activities.

With the pandemic and the differences in learning models, McIlwain says they have seen struggling students but are now making progress with full in-person learning.

“When you’re on the zoom you tend to lose focus, but with them you can readjust them and redirect them to what they need to do,” McIlwain said.

But with recently published test results showing disparities in performance between black and brown students, the question is … is ASEP succeeding? McIlwain says it does and she saw it with her own eyes even before the pandemic.

“This student was having trouble reading, so I said ‘I’ll help you.’ The teacher gave me his flashcards, we went through the flashcards as he left, he was reading.

School leaders say they are adding a 45-minute skill block to the curriculum to improve K-3 reading skills.

McIlwain says closing the achievement gap isn’t just the job of teachers.

“As they say a village to help students, not just teachers, everyone needs to work with that student to help that student gain self-confidence,” McIlwain said.

ASEP is not the only enrichment program supporting CMS students.

For more than 40 years, the graduate enrichment program has enriched the minds of students in Mecklenburg County.

GEP has six sites, four of which are reserved for CMS students.

“We come to schools to support the learning of the day. We are part of the village, it is not just CMS teachers and the public school system who are able to deliver the academic program, ”said Bronica Glover, Executive Director of GEP.

Earlier this month, CMS released the end of course scores and graduation rates for the 2020-2021 school year.

The data showed declining college and career readiness rates and a lower graduation rate for black and brown students.

CMS also has more than forty underperforming schools – many of which are made up of predominantly black students.

“When I hear these statistics, I know the GEP is needed, but that’s why we’re here to support the public school system,” Glover said.

GEP offers homework support, academic tutoring and other enrichment through highly qualified teachers – some of whom started out at CMS.

Glover realizes that student learning doesn’t just happen at school, which is why they also support students five days a week after school.

“Our school partners are great; the teachers are very helpful, they let us know what the students need to do during the after school hours, ”said Glover.

When it comes to minority students, Glover says they are working on their academics not only for end-of-course testing, but also for their retention.

“At the end of the school day, they come into our program and they get even more richer from the school program we offer,” Glover said. “This is high quality work, this is a high quality program, again to make sure the students get it – because we mostly know our minority students, we have a large ESL population. so they need more than just a regular school day. “

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