CHARLOTTE – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is holding off on the development of new tests planned to assess student knowledge in subjects not currently tested by the state.

Although district testing officials have already created more than 50 tests, the district has agreed to partner with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction to create additional statewide exams. Previously, the school board allotted $1.9 million to create the district tests, despite the threat of deep budget cuts.

“We don’t want to duplicate processes,” interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh said Wednesday, Dec. 14.

In previous years, unlike Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the state has decreased its emphasis on testing. But in its successful application for federal Race to the Top funds, education officials showed an interest in testing students in subject areas not traditionally measured by the state.

According to the state, it could begin using field tests in classrooms as soon as the next school year. Students will continue to take the district exams that have already been created, but their scores will not count toward grades or teacher performance evaluations.

Help Bailey Middle with charity projects

CORNELIUS – The Bailey Middle School Sewing Club is collecting cotton fabric, ribbons and sewing supplies as they prepare to make pillowcase dresses for young girls in Haiti. As little as one-half to three-quarters of a yard of fabric will make a dress. All donations may be dropped off at the school. For more details, email Teresa Lester at teresa.lester@cms.k12.nc.us.

The school continues to collect donations to support the 2012 Habitat for Humanity Middle School Build project. Ornaments on the tree in the school’s main office list a household item, such as a light bulb or toilet, and the suggested donation price to pay for the item. Return the ornament and donation to the school’s front office or your child’s homeroom teacher. Checks should be made payable to Bailey Middle School.

The Parent-Teacher Student Association plans to provide each teacher with a crisis bag to use in emergency situations. The group needs bottled water, juice boxes and packs of non-peanut butter crackers. Items should be labeled “for crisis bags” and may be dropped off in the Parent Center, beside the office. Contact Lynn Clary at theclarys@bellsouth.net for more information.

Each year, the yearbook staff collects baby pictures from eighth-graders to be used in the school yearbook, and the school needs parents to send in photos. Photos can be taken to the school or emailed to seventh-grade social studies teacher Margaret Bright at margaret.bright.cms.k12.nc.us. For hard copies, write the student’s name and homebase teacher on the back of the photograph. If sent by email, include the same information in the email. All photos must be received by Jan. 31.