CMS meets with town leaders to talk about plans to reopen schools

NC holding off on schools decision - so where does CMS stand?

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte Mecklenburg School (CMS) Board met with town leaders Wednesday to talk about reopening of schools and what that would look like.

Schools in North Carolina are supposed to start back Aug. 17. There’s no word if schools will reopen through remote learning or if students will return physically back to their schools.

CMS leaders told town leaders there are three options. They consist of all students returning back to school, students having a combination of remote learning and face to face instruction, and having schools remain closed and continue remote learning.

One town leader told board members he believes schools should reopen on day one.

“There are some countries that have not isolated children,” Cornelius Commissioner Dr. Mike Miltich said. “They have had them return to school - they have not seen a resurgence. This whole COVID thing is very complex and is hard to get good data.”

CMS is waiting to hear from NC Governor Roy Cooper to make a decision about how schools are to reopen. He was supposed to make a decision Wednesday but decided to delay that decision.

While school districts wait - CMS wants to educate town leaders about the options so everybody can be on the same page. One town leader wanted to know since some students thrived during remote learning - can that be an option.

“Does it contemplate an option for parents and families to choose whether or not they are full-time remote with CMS assistance.” Pineville Commissioner Joe Maxim said.

CMS leaders say it would answer that question at a specially called meeting for Wednesday night. CMS admits coming up with a plan where all students can thrive was challenging. It knows it has more work to do.

“We realize that students who were disengaged in brick and mortar model,” CMS Chief Academic Officer Brian Kingsley said. “Continue to be disengaged in the remote model - so continuing to do really strong outreach - home visits while maintaining safety protocols.”

Other town leaders are questioning CMS leaders about continuing Career and Technical Education classes? These are classes students take who are going straight into the work force after high school graduation.

“How are we going to be able to keep those CTE courses moving forward if we ultimately solely online.” Huntersville Town Commissioner Melinda Bales said.

School leaders say that assignment will be up to individual principals to come up with a plan to keep CTE classes going.

CMS says about a little more than 20% of the student population didn’t do well with remote learning last semester. The school district says it will possibly connect with community groups to see if tutors can be available for students who are having a hard time succeeding in this new environment of learning.

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