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Old 12-28-2006, 09:59 AM
 
1 posts, read 6,832 times
Reputation: 17

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We recently moved to Charlotte. I have a son in kindergarten at the Mallard Creek Elem. School.
I am interested in sending him to charter school and was checking out the Carolina International School - does anyone know about this school? Any opinions/suggestions about other charter schools around?
Also I would appreciate any tips on getting a spot in the charter schools.

Thanks.

 
Old 12-03-2007, 06:19 PM
 
1 posts, read 6,418 times
Reputation: 10
I have had experiences with the school and I think that the school is good for elementary students because it can give them a new kind of experience. In my opinion, I think that the school is nice, except for the lack of experienced teachers for Middle school and High school students, which can be improved over time. I, personally, have heard opinions of some middle school students attending Carolina International School and some of them are negative. If there's any more questions on the school please let me know.
 
Old 01-11-2008, 07:28 PM
 
2 posts, read 12,446 times
Reputation: 14
Default Carolina International School

We attended CIS for two years. Academics are average for elementary, it gets worse into middle school. Safety on campus was a big issue for us, as well as poor management, in our opinion. The school's Financial Director was just arrested in December for embezzlement. I would do extensive research if I were you. If you have specific questions, I would be happy to offer you our opinion. Good Luck.
 
Old 01-11-2008, 07:38 PM
 
264 posts, read 827,985 times
Reputation: 82
Most charter schools have already had their lottery for next year, or are in the process right now. You'll need to start applying pretty much in the summer or early fall, I think, to get in on next year's lotteries. I know a bit about Socrates, Metrolina Scholars, Union Academy and Queen's Grant, if I can be of further help.
 
Old 02-12-2008, 07:47 PM
 
1,166 posts, read 3,543,305 times
Reputation: 378
I have heard quite opposite views of this school. At a party last week, I was a part of a group which discussed CIS in order to help a newcomer to UNCC chose a school for her child. I came away thinking that If I were in her position, I would look very carefully into the school before I sent my child there. This is not to say that I would not in the end chose CIS (I love the concept), just that I would visit the school, talk to the teachers, administrators and other parents before I made my decision. If you are interested DM me and I will put you in touch with a friend whose twin daughters attend the school. She is an educator herself and I think should be able to give you a good evaluation of the school.
 
Old 02-13-2008, 06:24 AM
 
4,222 posts, read 6,709,506 times
Reputation: 1560
The headmaster graduated from Maharaja Univ. in Iowa. That raises questions in my mind. How serious were the academics there? Were they totally into T.M. or other cannibus inspired methods of learning? I prefer traditional methods (those used in "good" schools). I could be wrong. But it is worth looking into.
 
Old 02-16-2008, 02:36 PM
 
1 posts, read 6,153 times
Reputation: 12
You probably wont find a better school in North Carolina, at least not in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Area. All the teachers are friendly, the school has just plain seemed to remain elusive to bullying problems, stealing, (other then Mrs. Vielbaum) and besides some parents, issues in General. Sadly, however, the nearly $200,000 stolen by Sandy Vielbaum has resulted in immense financial issues, and the school could very well be broke by May of this year.
 
Old 02-17-2008, 11:50 AM
 
2 posts, read 11,709 times
Reputation: 14
Default letter from CIS teachers

Well, first off. I, too, was one of the first families and Lynn Milam is a terrific woman. She and her family did much for CIS and all the students there.

Now, I am posting a letter that was signed by 25 of our teachers. You tell me what kind of school you think this is. This has been devastating for all the families. MY family was so thrilled, at first, to be a part of CIS. It has been a huge disappointment. How sad for our children. Sandi Vielbaum, the finance officer accused of embezzling, did NOT sink the school. She did hurt us by stealing money, but, it is the entire mismanagement of the school that has taken us to the point where we cannot pay our bills, have outstanding lawsuits against us, and have teachers who are likely not to be getting paid come April. Here's the letter from the MAJORITY of the staff:


CIS Administration and Board Members,

There was a staff meeting February 6, 2008 and in the staff meeting we heard several things from our Director that upset us. One of the things that continues to come up is that the system works. Our former finance officer was caught and now it is over. Every time our Director makes this statement, teachers cringe because we know the system does not work and we believe he knows that as well. After making multiple attempts over the past years to express our concerns to our Director and to the Board of Directors, we have been very disappointed to never see any changes made.

Several CIS employees took things into their own hands and called Gene Burton at DPI and let him know the severity of the situation here at CIS. This is the only reason for the recent changes in the finance department.
Other concerns are that our Director wishes to push on and add an eleventh grade for next school year. We believe that his hope and dream for a completed environmental and international school is all he is concerned with. CIS is more than a dream, it is a reality that is the present, but has been forgotten because of a dream for great things.
We have been in operation for 3 � years now. During that time many concerns for safety have been brought to our Director, who is also the Head of Campus Safety. One major campus hazard is the huge holes on the k-2 playground. Another problem is the courtyard, every time it rains, the main courtyard floods and covers the sidewalks for several days and our two physical education teachers have nowhere to teach. Proposals have been given to our Director, the Head of Campus Safety, to fix these problems. However, no plan of action has ever been put into place to fix these problems.

Our Maintenance Director uses his van as storage for all of the school equipment because there is nowhere to store things on campus. Request for a storage building has been made every year since the beginning of school and there is never any money. But, there was plenty of money to lay sod and drill a well for a soccer field. As the school is getting older, the trailers now require more money to be maintained. The community well that the school is currently attached to is already insufficient for the current school and our Director wants to add more students and staff. What lengths are the Director willing to go to just to say CIS has an eleventh grade?


Teachers do without or spend their own money. Purpose 4 of CIS�s Charter states that �There will be New professional opportunities for teachers. The School�s professional training programs in thematic inquiry-based instruction and international education are essential to effectively introduce these innovative approaches. Thematic instruction gives teachers significant flexibility within their classrooms in meeting the grade-level standards of the NC Standard Course of Study, within the International Baccalaureate curriculum structure. Additional staff training is structured throughout the year to reinforce these new skills.� The teachers of CIS have received no such trainings. There is no money to send teachers to trainings. Teachers have to have Continuing Education Credits. How can we get them if we never get professional development? We have never received training on thematic inquiry-based instruction. How can we as a school afford to push on and create more problems with the campus when we haven�t yet fixed the ones we have? In our Director�s own words �Other schools were well established and policies, procedures, and routines were in place. Most aspects of school administration were simpler: facilities were set, grade levels were consistent (instead of expansion each year).

It is tax time, and once again people owe money because our Director refused to look into the problem when he was told in 2006 that there were problems with finances. Retirement issues were brought to his attention several times, both state and outside retirement. Incorrect pay checks, as well as pay checks written from the Capital Campaign, were also brought to his attention and to the attention of the Board of Directors. All of these financial issues, including the embezzlement, are not totally the fault of our former finance officer, but also the fault of her boss, our Director, because he refused to look into any of the situations that caused CIS to be in the position that it is today.

CIS has had wonderful teachers and currently have an excellent staff who continues to strive for excellence despite all of the things that have occurred. Great teachers have left CIS because of the poor leadership from our director. As the year is ending, administrators must start thinking of next year�s teaching staff. CIS has always had a high teacher turnover every year, and this year will be no exception. This year it will be worse, because not only are teachers looking for new jobs, but administrators are planning to leave as well. No one wants to work for a leader who does not listen and completely does what he wants all the time. Parents have already asked for his resignation and now teachers and administrators are ready to walk out on a good school because of a bad Director. The CIS Board of Directors should seriously consider replacing our Director; after all, the Board members are responsible to the school community for the successful management, operation and on- going concern of the school. We certainly have not had successful management. If our Director continues to be the Director of Carolina International School, there will not be a Carolina International School for our children.

In the meeting on February 6, our Director told his staff how hard he works. He is supposed to work hard; he is the Director of a K-10 public charter school. Just because you work hard does not mean you do good work. The teachers and staff of Carolina International School work hard too, only they do it for the students. Our current school needs many things in order to be a successful school. One of those things is a new Director.

Who is responsible for holding our Director accountable? That would be the Board of Directors. We have begged our Board for help on numerous occasions, only to be told that we need to go through the proper channels. Someone needs to be held accountable for the actions that have been taking place. The Board, especially the Chairman of the Board, has had an extremely difficult time communicating with the staff. We were told by DPI that the Board is not here for the staff, but for the students. The Board, however, isaccountable for the Director and his actions. If he is not meeting his end of the bargain, then the accountability does fall on the Board of Directors. As teachers, we need accountability to take place. We are held accountable for our actions. Our Director and the Board of Directors should be held accountable for their actions as well.

Sincerely,
Staff members at Carolina International School

Last edited by luvmykids; 02-17-2008 at 12:07 PM..
 
Old 02-17-2008, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 88,294,482 times
Reputation: 39844
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmykids View Post
Well, first off. I, too, was one of the first families and Lynn Milam is a terrific woman. She and her family did much for CIS and all the students there.

Now, I am posting a letter that was signed by 25 of our teachers. You tell me what kind of school you think this is. This has been devastating for all the families. MY family was so thrilled, at first, to be a part of CIS. It has been a huge disappointment. How sad for our children. Sandi Vielbaum, the finance officer accused of embezzling, did NOT sink the school. She did hurt us by stealing money, but, it is the entire mismanagement of the school that has taken us to the point where we cannot pay our bills, have outstanding lawsuits against us, and have teachers who are likely not to be getting paid come April. Here's the letter from the MAJORITY of the staff:


CIS Administration and Board Members,

There was a staff meeting February 6, 2008 and in the staff meeting we heard several things from our Director that upset us. One of the things that continues to come up is that the system works. Our former finance officer was caught and now it is over. Every time our Director makes this statement, teachers cringe because we know the system does not work and we believe he knows that as well. After making multiple attempts over the past years to express our concerns to our Director and to the Board of Directors, we have been very disappointed to never see any changes made. Several CIS employees took things into their own hands and called Gene Burton at DPI and let him know the severity of the situation here at CIS. This is the only reason for the recent changes in the finance department.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Other concerns are that our Director wishes to push on and add an eleventh grade for next school year. We believe that his hope and dream for a completed environmental and international school is all he is concerned with. CIS is more than a dream, it is a reality that is the present, but has been forgotten because of a dream for great things. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]We have been in operation for 3 � years now. During that time many concerns for safety have been brought to our Director, who is also the Head of Campus Safety. One major campus hazard is the huge holes on the k-2 playground. Another problem is the courtyard, every time it rains, the main courtyard floods and covers the sidewalks for several days and our two physical education teachers have nowhere to teach. Proposals have been given to our Director, the Head of Campus Safety, to fix these problems. However, no plan of action has ever been put into place to fix these problems.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Our Maintenance Director uses his van as storage for all of the school equipment because there is nowhere to store things on campus. Request for a storage building has been made every year since the beginning of school and there is never any money. But, there was plenty of money to lay sod and drill a well for a soccer field. As the school is getting older, the trailers now require more money to be maintained. The community well that the school is currently attached to is already insufficient for the current school and our Director wants to add more students and staff. What lengths are the Director willing to go to just to say CIS has an eleventh grade?[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3] Teachers do without or spend their own money. Purpose 4 of CIS�s Charter states that �There will be New professional opportunities for teachers. The School�s professional training programs in thematic inquiry-based instruction and international education are essential to effectively introduce these innovative approaches. Thematic instruction gives teachers significant flexibility within their classrooms in meeting the grade-level standards of the NC Standard Course of Study, within the International Baccalaureate curriculum structure. Additional staff training is structured throughout the year to reinforce these new skills.� The teachers of CIS have received no such trainings. There is no money to send teachers to trainings. Teachers have to have Continuing Education Credits. How can we get them if we never get professional development? We have never received training on thematic inquiry-based instruction. How can we as a school afford to push on and create more problems with the campus when we haven�t yet fixed the ones we have? In our Director�s own words �Other schools were well established and policies, procedures, and routines were in place. Most aspects of school administration were simpler: facilities were set, grade levels were consistent (instead of expansion each year).�[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]It is tax time, and once again people owe money because our Director refused to look into the problem when he was told in 2006 that there were problems with finances. Retirement issues were brought to his attention several times, both state and outside retirement. Incorrect pay checks, as well as pay checks written from the Capital Campaign, were also brought to his attention and to the attention of the Board of Directors. All of these financial issues, including the embezzlement, are not totally the fault of our former finance officer, but also the fault of her boss, our Director, because he refused to look into any of the situations that caused CIS to be in the position that it is today. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]CIS has had wonderful teachers and currently have an excellent staff who continues to strive for excellence despite all of the things that have occurred. Great teachers have left CIS because of the poor leadership from our director. As the year is ending, administrators must start thinking of next year�s teaching staff. CIS has always had a high teacher turnover every year, and this year will be no exception. This year it will be worse, because not only are teachers looking for new jobs, but administrators are planning to leave as well. No one wants to work for a leader who does not listen and completely does what he wants all the time. Parents have already asked for his resignation and now teachers and administrators are ready to walk out on a good school because of a bad Director. The CIS Board of Directors should seriously consider replacing our Director; after all, the [/SIZE]Board members are responsible to the school community for the successful management, operation and on- going concern of the school. We certainly have not had successful management. If our Director continues to be the Director of Carolina International School, there will not be a Carolina International School for our children.
[SIZE=3]In the meeting on February 6, our Director told his staff how hard he works. He is supposed to work hard; he is the Director of a K-10 public charter school. Just because you work hard does not mean you do good work. The teachers and staff of Carolina International School work hard too, only they do it for the students. Our current school needs many things in order to be a successful school. One of those things is a new Director.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Who is responsible for holding our Director accountable? That would be the Board of Directors. We have begged our Board for help on numerous occasions, only to be told that we need to go through the proper channels. Someone needs to be held accountable for the actions that have been taking place. The Board, especially the Chairman of the Board, has had an extremely difficult time communicating with the staff. We were told by DPI that the Board is not here for the staff, but for the students. The Board, however, isaccountable for the Director and his actions. If he is not meeting his end of the bargain, then the accountability does fall on the Board of Directors. As teachers, we need accountability to take place. We are held accountable for our actions. Our Director and the Board of Directors should be held accountable for their actions as well.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]Sincerely,[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Staff members at Carolina International School[/SIZE]
Can you clean this up a bit? I for one cannot muddle thru it!
 
Old 02-17-2008, 01:02 PM
 
2 posts, read 12,446 times
Reputation: 14
In response to mccp. We did pull our son from CIS, over two years ago when he was thrown to the ground and choked nearly unconcious by another student! Your wonderful administration handled it very poorly. But according to the letter that was just posted, it looks like all is well now.
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