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Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district weighs academic opening
Options based on COVID spread scenarios
Published Monday, July 6, 2020 10:56 am
by Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

Charlotte-Mecklenburg is weighing its options for opening schools starting Aug. 17 based on the prevalence of COVID-19.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is weighing options for opening the 2020-21 academic year.

The school board rolled out three scenarios last week while declining to finalize a decision on what to do when classes start on Aug. 17 but will vote to approve a plan when Gov. Roy Cooper makes a statewide announcement.

“We received thoughtful and insightful information about the operational models for each of the three plans district personnel have developed,” CMS Chair Elyse Dashew said. “We are confident that these plans give CMS the opportunity to educate all our students while protecting their health, and after the governor issues his statewide recommendation, our decision to implement the chosen plan is one for which we are well-informed.”

Under guidance from Cooper, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Public Instruction, school districts were directed last month to develop three distinct plans designed to address COVID-19 conditions at the start of the academic year. Cooper postponed making a declaration for school openings indefinitely.

Cooper asked public school districts were asked to create plans based on the criteria and scenarios in the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit, which laid out essential health practices. The state distributed personal protective equipment and supplies to 116 public school districts and 203 alternative schools, including 16,500 thermometers, 7,200 face shields, 81,000 gowns and more than 347,000 surgical masks.

“We want to get our students back in the classroom, and we want to make sure we get this right. My number one opening priority is classroom doors,” Cooper said in a statement. “We encourage our public schools to continue planning, with a special focus on how teachers, staff, and students can best be protected – especially those who are high-risk.”

Districts were tasked with developing three plans to take into account improved, moderate and worsening COVID conditions, with a remote-learning option available to parents concerned about sending their students to school under any circumstance.

Plan A, the improved COVID scenario, would require all students and staff to return to campus for in-classroom learning. Health and Human Services requirements will be followed, including health screenings and temperature checks for students and staff, and social distancing in hallways and common areas. Symptom screenings and health attestations will be required for use of school transportation.

Plan B is a mix of in-classroom and remote learning, with classroom instruction Monday through Friday during their assigned week, followed by two weeks of remote learning.

Students in grades 9-11 will have an A, B, C schedule, attending in-classroom learning Monday-Thursday during their assigned week, followed by two weeks of remote learning; these students will have remote learning on the Fridays of their assigned in-classroom weeks.

High school seniors will attend in-classroom learning one day a week with remote learning the other four.

Plan C will is remote learning for all students and staff assigned to remote instruction. No students or staff will be in CMS facilities or use CMS transportation.

“We are committed to helping all students learn and succeed during this pandemic and beyond,” CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston said. “Our teams have worked tirelessly to develop plans that will meet the needs of students and staff, even as conditions shift in our community. Our first priority is to provide a robust educational experience for our students and a safe environment for all.

“While the logistics of starting the school year might be different than in years past, it is nonnegotiable that we uphold our obligation to provide accessible learning opportunities for all our students,” said Winston.

As state leaders wrestle with locating the best scenario, the plan is to keep teachers, staff and students safe.

“We need to do everything within our collective power so that our children can return to in-person instruction,” said NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen. “We can do that with the scientifically proven protective measures in the StrongSchoolsNC guidance and all of us practicing the 3Ws.”

Said Tamika Walker Kelly, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators: “COVID information is changing on a daily basis, and the health and safety of all of our state’s educators, students, and their families is at stake. It is far more important to get this decision right than to get it done quickly.”


I would love to say don't open schools, but realistically for me it did not work. I work front line in the hospital and for me we cannot work remotely. We were fortunate that the hospital partnered with the YMCA to provide a safe space for our kids from March to May. It is very hard and almost impossible to home school kids when working 8-12 hours a day. When you get home, everyone is exhausted and its a battle to start a days worth of class work. By 8:00 everyone is frustrated and nothing is learned. My kids did not learn much during the last three months and honestly I did another of their work just to get it done. For me home school did not work
Posted on July 8, 2020
Am I understanding this correctly? COVID-19 is so deadly that Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen has to be released from prison early, but it is also so benign that we need to be packing the nations children back into their schools pronto? Ok, cool. That checks out.
Posted on July 8, 2020
For the individual who stated that they were not going to send their child to public school because the school is mostly black or latino is just dumb. This virus does not discriminate. If a child is independent and can cope with virtual learning, allow them. I understand the fear especially with kids that are high risk. I understand the need for parents to work. That is where you call on the village to help. Cannot risk the lives of our future. Slow and steady, in my opinion, is the best way. That is until we can see a downward trend.
Posted on July 8, 2020
My kids won't be attending school under this pandemic. Some mother's just don't want to deal with there own kids and school's might be there only break. However the schools are we're children always bring germs home so I could just imagine covid 19 when children don't even know how to keep their hands to themselves. Virtual learning I think will be the best decision for the safety of our children.
Posted on July 8, 2020
I'm not going to send my son to public where most kids are black or Latino. My son is a cancer survivor with a low immune system.
Posted on July 8, 2020
I'm concerned that sending the kids back to school is risky. Let's just continue remote learning with via zoom with the same amount of structure learning as if school is in and not the short periods of time that happened this school year. Teachers were giving work with no clear directions to the students on how to do it. I notice kids not paying/playing in the zoom meetings and the teacher would just sign off.
Posted on July 8, 2020
I feel like nearly everyone has ignored the body of evidence from children who HAVE been in daycare with other children -- such as the kids whose parents were/are frontline COVID-19 workers. The evidence that exists flies in the face of all the panic. Perhaps some think there is not enough evidence and studies, but it should still be considered. https://www.npr.org/2020/06/24/882316641/what-parents-can-learn-from-child-care-centers-that-stayed-open-during-lockdowns
Posted on July 8, 2020
I think they should continue remote learning. Cases are still rising. Sending kids to school can cause them to bring something home or even sending them on an alternate schedule. Whose to say one of those days, they cannot catch it. Putting our kids back in school is too risky. I say continue the remote learning but make the teachers teach through zoom sessions, instead of just doing zoom for an hour or 45 minutes. They should strictly teach through zoom. This way no child is left out and they still learn and are being taught by their teacher.
Posted on July 7, 2020
For all of you who think it will be business as usual for your child while in the classroom, you are mistaken. Many teachers are anxious about being in a close setting all day long with children, especially in the gradeevels where masks are not required. Teachers and students are constantly exposed to the flu, strep, stomach bug, lice, ringworm, colds...all from students who bring them to the classroom and infect others. If you think the high fives will continue, think again. If you think small group work will happen, think again. Many teachers have families and are not willing to put themselves in harm's way on purpose. If you are sending your child to school for the socialization aspect, the 6 foot distance will be maintained during recess and lunch (it may be in the classrooms). So if you think in person "teaching" will pick up where it left off you are misguided and sadly mistaken.
Posted on July 7, 2020
I love my child and I am not going to send her to a public place, just because there will be precautions. Of the 130,000 dead people, I am sure most were cautious but still got sick.

Also, it's not about the immediate disease caused by the covid virus, it attaches to blood capillaries and doesn't fully go away. And, while scientist's learn more about this novel virus, it's best to avoid as much as possible. If I send my kid to a crowded place like school, and something were to happen to her or us, we will have mo other option but to repent. And, please do not compare this to other bad situations, it's always a choice and we have made the choice to keep other around us and ourselves safe as much as humanly possible.
Posted on July 7, 2020
Why does everyone keep saying leave them home with the parents?!!!! What about us parents who are working 8-12 hours at the hospital all day??? HOW will our kids get an education?! My child is going to the first grade and I have NO idea how I'm going to make sure she gets the education she needs and deserves
Posted on July 7, 2020
They should change the plan B to be .5 in the AM and .5 in the PM
Posted on July 7, 2020
I think kids should have to stay home as numbers for Covid-19 are increasing day by day
Posted on July 7, 2020
I'm at a loss bc I don't want to slight my child's education. I'm a single parent and work full time. My child also has Autism Spectrum Disorder. I try not to take him in stores if I don't have to but if I do, 99% of the time is making him keep his hands in his pockets as to not touch anything including his mask. I can't provide the educational support he needs as a third grader and in an inclusive classroom. I don't have any answers to how to provide all kids a safe educational opportunities. I do agree that high schoolers that don't require special education, should work remotely but at the same time, they're high schoolers and some of them are just lazy. They'll need that extra push that should be provided in an in-person classroom. I'm also a firm believer in adaptation but not at the cost of my child's well-being. I know the governor has a lot on his plate and frankly he's doing a fine job. Whatever decision made, we'll all have to adapt and make the best of what we have.
Posted on July 7, 2020
I think the kids should stay home at least half school year to give time for this pandemic to go away. I just don't see how they are going to social distance 30 kids in a classroomqq
Posted on July 7, 2020
I do not think that anyone really wins in this situation. I believe that every child matters and we HAVE to take precautions in every way we can. I agree with the parent who said that you expose your child when you take them beyond your doors and they can be exposed anywhere. That is very true. However I am sensitive to the parents and children who dont want that exposure especially when there are hundreds of children in a place like school. At least in Walmart and in the public you can try and distance yourself or stop while someone else walks by but that may not be the case in a school setting.

I personally think that they should offer each child in a title 1 school or ANY child that does not have access to a computer, food (on a consistent basis) or internet the option to go to school. We have to be mindful of the children who do not have access to the resources that other children do. For the children who HAVE access to those resources and the parent(s) are ABLE to teach them (e-learning) that should be granted. This would cut down the amount of children that are in the classroom and you can have a few teachers who teach via Zoom so the children are connected AND they should be able to log in and check in every morning just like school.

We all want to minimize the risk of being exposed but unfortunately there is nothing that we can really do about it. We can get this virus anywhere but we should try to minimize the risk.

Another point to ponder is what if your child gets exposed to it at school and is Asymptomatic but brings it to the parents and the parents get sick. I do not think that anyone accounted for children carrying this virus to their parents or anyone in the household.

I think that the Governor is doing a fine job by being cautious and careful.

The teachers need to be protected as well. I do not know if they want to be exposed to 20-30 kids in a classroom while the virus is still lurking.

Like I said before no one really wins here but it will ultimately be up to the parent to decided how they will want their children to learn while we are dealing with this outbreak.

I believe the parents will get to choose both e-learning and traditional classroom learning.

Let's be sensitive to everyone and their situation. I would love to see my son go back to school and play with this friends unfortunately that will not be a reality for some time now until this virus is eliminated.
Posted on July 7, 2020
I believe the virtual school could most certainly work for older students.
This generation is a lot more advanced than prior; technology and social media are forerunners in Gen X and Z.
Think for a minute; this is a decade of children as young a 5 having cell phones and 7-18+ year-olds aspiring to be YouTubers, entrepreneurs, and social media influencers.

They have to adjust to current times. As a collective, will-power, independence, self-discipline, and accountability will be exposed to them a lot earlier. Why do most parents want kids to join sports; to build character and such? This is another form of building character!

Trained, knowledgable, committed teachers are critical. That role cannot be replaced with a parent(s) who may have children in different grades plus going to work.

YMCA's or neighborhood community recreation centers could provide tutoring, in-person help by appointment. Utilizing development centers could help minimize classroom capacity.

When it comes to education during this time, we are most certainly in this together!! Parents and teachers will have to work together.

My daughter is 5, I am attending online class and it's hard work being her teacher too, but she will learn how to read. I try my best, she will work with a kindergarten teacher virtually and we will work with her together!
Posted on July 7, 2020
It's a sad situation we are in and I've read all the comments posted and all makes since. Especially the one where we can go everywhere else in public and visitations to various functions. But when it comes to bettering ourselves and our kids knowledge. We seem to create problems from the lack of knowledge,and in God's word it says we suffer from lack of knowledge. And it also tells us to Trust God with all, not some of our heart and lean not into our own understanding. And in all our ways acknowledge him and he will direct our path. And education is of most importance if we are to continue to strive and proceed into the future with Positive results. I say consult the Lord and do whatever he instructs us to do as a whole and as individual cases. Because this is a time of uncertainty but one thing remains true. That God never fails if we trust him and have faith. IJS my opinion alone but education and safety arenif most importance to all. In school or out of school, the world period point BLANK
Posted on July 7, 2020
It is not safe for kids to return to the classroom. The virus is highly contagious and no one knows how ones body would respond if infected no matter what age. The risks outweighs the benefits.I agree the last 3 months of the school year was a complete disaster. It was stressful for both kids and parents and the kids learned absolutely nothing once school ended in March. In person learning is the best case scenario but are you willing to risk your child contracting the virus? I'm not. My kids will not be returning school no matter what the governor decides. I am trying to figure out how I am going to make it all work and yes it is very challenging to say the least but I simply can not take the chance.
Posted on July 7, 2020
I see how bad it is on regular school days when the sickness starts and it starts as soon as school begins with stomach bugs, strep, flu, viruses and the attendance numbers go up in absences this is the norm every year and gets bad in flu season i can imagine how bad it would be if one person started the covid19 virus. I do believe it was at the school before we got out we were just told it was some virus that was prevalent in the community so we got out of school just in time. The health rooms at schools dont always have a nurse everyday so its a high risk for staff to have to deal with sickness as it is. Thermometers aren't a help to have when some parents give the students medicine to mask a fever so they don't show a fever till they've been there half the day and the class is exposed. This time is as uncertain as when we first let out for the virus nothing has changed with the spread and i agree students need school but at what cost? i know its very hard to decide how but its got to be clear that if kids go back to school social distancing is not going to happen just because you say it and kids are going to get sick that's on a regular year and its almost inevitable that someone will carry covid19. its sad but true, better safe than sorry. if you really want students and staff safe keep everyone remote while we're still in the mode of adapting to that change we just had. Better safe that inevitably sorry.
Posted on July 7, 2020
Kids go back to school! There are a lot of variables here. I see all concerned sides, but let's be honest....kids learned "NOTHING" from Feb -June. "Busy work" isn't education. I witnessed single mother's trying to work w/o daycare, and provide education for children... It didn't work! A lot of parents have no clue as how to educate their children at home. The children might know more than the parents. At home schooling doesn't work unless there is a dedicated adult/tutor that is knowledgeable of the students assignments. I feel too many are looking at this selfishly. Not all have the option of staying at home with children w/o consequence. Open school! Be safe! If you're scared for your child, teach them at home with checks and balances and state tests. People who want to send kids to school, just know your kids are at risk and will receive proper edu. Teach your kids how to protect themselves while in public. All of y'all are taking your children to Walmart, family gatherings, the corner store, the park, grandma house, auntie's house, the mall...you get it. Covid19 can be at all those locations and your child can get it from grandma, auntie, cousins, Walmart and dollar tree. I'm just saying.... I witnessed this since Covid19 hit. So stop it! These children need to go to school if they visit all these places and be exposed! My rant, my personal feelings, not affiliated with any job, organization, etc...my personal take on it.
Posted on July 7, 2020
Children need to get back to a regular school environment. I only speak for my child but I'm sure there are tons of children that need this as well. My child struggles with reading as it is and I felt the last 3 months for the school year did absolutely nothing. My child among many others need that live teaching in an environment that they can focus and succeed. If the virus is going to spread it will reguardless whether the children return to classrooms or not. Whether it's off and on biweekly or full day these children need to be able to go to school.
Posted on July 7, 2020
They do zoom meeting, why can't they conduct a live class. These kids need their education but to risk their lives would be crazy. Also, parents have to work and can't home school the kids. The teachers should still be the educator and just do at least 4 hours days live to make sure these kids are really learning.
Posted on July 7, 2020
I don't think it's a good idea to open school's at the moment right now the numbers are going up i think it's to risky for the kid's.
Posted on July 7, 2020
I strongly believe that the online classes should be conducted until the situation gets better.
Posted on July 7, 2020
I dont want my children take the risk to get the vorus, plus of there won't be any school transportation i cant take them to school, i think it should be an option most of parents they want their chosen put of the house and most of them not i prefer my children. Still have on line classes til this situation get better
Posted on July 7, 2020
I dont believe everything that's said i feel they are trying to get all the supplies they need like mask gowns and more to send students back we should have a choice some students have medical issues and this could be very harmful also the risk of them catching the virus and bringing it back home to the elderly family members such as grand parents and there parents
Posted on July 7, 2020
I feel like school should be strictly remote learning at least for the first 3-6 months (half the school year) or until this pandemic has passed us by. This virus is not no joke people are dying on a large scale everyday and as someone stated in one of the comments above yes my son gets on my nerves but I love him and if I lost him to Covid-19 I would never be able to forgive myself! I get it the kids do need to be in school but now is definitely not the time. When the time will be I don't know but I'd rather be safe than sorry! With that being said mine will be at the house until further notice. I'm sorry I don't mean to step on nobody's toes but it is what it is! It's the only safe and loving way to be by this time.
Posted on July 7, 2020
I'm not going to forfeit my children for the greater good. Sorry. If Charlotte decides remote learning isn't right, my kids will stay with me anyway. I'd rather have everyone be alive.
Posted on July 7, 2020
This will not work for the younger grades. They need hands on learning.
Posted on July 6, 2020

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