CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools called an emergency meeting on Thursday to announce that schools will begin the 2020-21 school year with “Plan C,” the fully remote and virtual option, changing course from their original plans.
Students will start fully remote instruction beginning Aug. 17, and will continue until it is safe to enter the school buildings and be near their peers, according to CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston.
The new reopening plans were voted on by the school board, and it passed unanimously. And although some parents are relieved, many aren’t happy with the school board’s decision.
“In-person school is not only synonymous with quality education, but it’s also the only type of education that fits the social and emotional needs of my children,” said Natali Bollinger.
Bollinger said her two school-aged kids were left feeling depressed after spring’s remote learning. She also said that the instruction was lacking, making her anxious about the upcoming school year.
“My third grader was practically given a packet of paper and told to figure out third-grade math on his own,” Bollinger said. “The zoom calls were used to read a book to him, they were not used for instruction.”
Bollinger and her husband both work full time, she said she’s lucky she can work from home. But she said she feels for the families who don’t have that choice.
“What about the families that can’t afford that? They’re gone, they’re left behind, they’re SOL,” she said. “I don’t need CMS to babysit my children, I need CMS to educate my children.”
And as more parents are forced to look into daycare options and other options like the YMCA, Bollinger is asking why that’s okay.
“It’s safe for the kids to go all those places, and interact with all those other children and adults, but it’s not safe to go into the schools to CMS?” she said.
Bollinger believes kids will be safe at school, as doctors have said they have a low chance of catching the virus.
She sent two of her three kids to daycare’s and a summer camp over the summer. She says the kids’ teacher and camp counselor tested positive for the virus and even though her kids were in close contact with them inside, her kids both tested negative.
Other parents are glad this is what the district chose, like Eric Thompson. He already decided his kids were going to full remote academy because he didn’t want to risk his kids’ health.
“Our students shouldn’t be guinea pigs of what’s coming next,” a parent said.