In the last five years, Charlotte Public Schools students, staff and administration have mourned the tragic deaths of four students. Coupled with increasing academic rigor, and social media that openly exposes teens to more at an earlier age, the district is exploring ways to help students face stresses not all are equipped to deal with on their own.
“In conversations with our board, we have to respond to these situations as a district,” said Mark Rosekrans, superintendent for Charlotte Public Schools.
Looking to be more proactive in its approach to some of these challenges, administration and board of education members are looking at new ways to engage families and face these challenges as a community. To help kick off the new school year, CPS administration has enlisted the services of renowned teen expert, Josh Shipp to connect with teens and parents in a meaningful way.
“My hope is that some way, somehow everyone gets that message that we are all in this together,” Rosekrans said.
Shipp, a former at-risk foster kid, is considered a global youth empowerment expert that travels the country, speaking to youths, parents and educators on how to succeed and feel empowered. He is the author of the national bestseller, The Teen’s Guide to World Domination, and gained notoriety from his documentary television series that aired on A&E.
Rosekrans said he hopes Shipp’s presentation shows students there is always someone there to listen.
“I really hope the students will gain the confidence to come and talk to an adult they feel is trustworthy,” Rosekrans said. “We never want a student to feel isolated, stressed or depressed. We want them to know, no matter what the circumstances, we care about our kids.”
Rosekrans is hopeful Shipp’s message will be heard by as many students and parents in the district as possible. The presentation will take place Monday, Aug. 29 at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center with parents attending first from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by teens only from 7 to 8 p.m. Shipp is being presented free of charge, though reservations are required.
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