CMS teachers respond to district’s back-to-school plan

CMS teachers respond to district’s back-to-school plan
CMS teachers respond to district’s back-to-school plan (Source: WBTV)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) teachers are responding to CMS’ back-to-school plan.

It was unveiled Wednesday night.

It includes three plans.

Plan A would consist of students and teachers returning to school.

Plan B would be a mix of remote learning and in-class instruction. The school district says that plan was the most challenging to develop. Plan B would split up students into three groups and those groups would rotate when they would do remote learning and when they would physically come to school to learn.

Plan C would mean remote learning for all and schools would remain closed. Teachers say they would feel comfortable with Plan C.

“If we know that the infection rate in Mecklenburg County is so much we really can’t promise they are going to be safe,” CMS Teacher Justin Parmenter said. “Then we need to be doing Plan C.”

Parmenter also thinks Plan B could be a headache.

That plan calls for teachers to have to prepare lessons for students who opt-in for remote learning every day, lessons for students who are in the classroom for that particular week and students who are doing remote learning for that particular week.

“It sounds to me potentially up to three different lesson plans for each class that I have,” Parmenter said. “And that’s a lot - on top of also we have a lot of classes that are implementing a new curriculum this year, and it’s a huge challenge.”

Teachers are also stressed because they have to juggle work life and home life. They wonder if CMS thought about teachers when it came up with the plan.

“We are like, ‘How did you think about teachers and their families?,” CMS teacher Amanda Thompson said. “Cause I’m an educator right - so let’s just say I have to go to school for those three weeks to teach kids and my child is home for two weeks - what am I going to do with her.”

The teachers applaud CMS for its work and effort on developing the plan but believe there are holes in the plan.

Teachers are concerned about the severely exceptionally challenged students and how can they thrive in the plan CMS put together.

“I do think that even with this remote plan,” Thompson said. “They still may be left behind so I think we are going to have to hire more home-bound teachers.”

The teachers admit coming up with a plan that will please everybody is impossible but they hope CMS will include teachers’ voices before finalizing a plan. Teachers are concerned the plan looks good on paper but executing the plan to keeping schools clean and safe could be a challenge.

“Last night, we heard that we are 60 custodians short,” Parmenter said. “So, if we are 60 custodians short and we have strict new disinfecting protocols that we are expecting to be following in our schools - who is going to be doing that work?”

CMS says the work will get done. The district has already spent around $2 million to purchase items to keep schools clean and safe.

Teachers say they will continue to work with CMS as the district finalizes its back to school plan. School is supposed to start August 17.

If you have a question or concern about CMS’ back to school plan you can call 980-343-3001.

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