Dear CMS families and community members,
I'm Earnest Winston, the ombudsman (pronounced "om-budz-man") for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. My job is to serve as an informal, independent, neutral and confidential resource for the district and the families we serve, assisting parents, community members and employees with school-related concerns and issues. We work to help those who have questions or concerns to find the best channels for resolving them. We also provide assistance on questions or concerns relating to a particular school or about our work at a district level.
The Ombudsman's Office was created in 2017 as part of Superintendent Clayton Wilcox's efforts to make CMS more responsive to all families. The ombudsman is a troubleshooter, who helps remove roadblocks when they occur. The ombudsman also assists in dispute resolution and makes recommendations to the superintendent about potential improvements. We know that the best environment for kids is to have everyone – families, employees and the community – engaged with our public schools. Our office works with families and staff to remove obstacles to full engagement. We're available to help anyone – parents, prospective parents, families, community members, students and employees. We work to help all parties find acceptable options and solutions. If needed, we can also serve as a mediator. We follow mandated protocols for any concerns or issues linked to the safety of students, staff, families and the community.
Thank you for choosing Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for your family. We want every student and every family to find what they need in our district. We also recognize that a large urban district like ours can be sometimes difficult to navigate – and we're here to help.