Smith Language Academy Principal Ynez Olshausen today sent this email to families of students at the magnet school:
Friday, June 12, 2009 1:45 PM
Dear Smith Academy Parents and Families,
This week the names of 12 Smith Academy language immersion teachers appeared on a non-renewal list published in the Charlotte Observer, apparently in error.
Our Human Resources department has determined that the names were generated because these teachers - and teachers at other CMS schools as well - were on H-1B visas or green cards. CMS will continue visa sponsorship for teachers on the H-1B visa, and they are not being non-renewed. Teachers who already have Green Cards are expected to return as full time teachers in the fall as well.
Our HR staff is getting in contact with our teachers to relieve some anxiety they have been feeling. Unfortunately, the HR staff member who takes such good care of our international teachers, Ms. Coston, was unaware that these teachers had been submitted for non-renewal until today.
The HR staff is so sorry for this, and assured us that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools anticipates their return for the upcoming school year. These teachers will receive contracts. CMS Communications is talking with the Observer and the media.
Thanks to all of you for your support and concern. Knowing that parents and families stand behind them meant so much to our teachers! Please let me know if you have other questions or concerns.
Schönes Wochenende, bon weekend!
An Observer reporter contacted a CMS spokesperson Friday regarding the error. The spokesperson confirmed that the list released by CMS of non-renewals for Smith Language Academy is incorrect. CMS, the spokesperson said, would release official corrections to the Smith list and for any other schools on Monday.
- Doug Miller