Date set to discuss CMS plans for phased return to in-person, as parents, board opinions split

Parents sue school district, push for in-person learning

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte Mecklenburg School Board Chair Elyse Dashew says plans are ready for discussion, about a phased approach to bring CMS students back into the classroom.

Dashew says the board will hold a special board meeting on Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. to discuss two things:

  • Plans to return to in-person learning in a phased approach
  • Possibility of employee furloughs

But although plans are in the works, parents and the school board’s opinions on how those plans should play out, are split.

“We are lying to ourselves if we think remote learning is an acceptable substitute for learning," said one CMS parent to the board during the virtual meeting.

“I don’t believe that our board is weighing the risks of having kids at home full time," says CMS parent Natalie Foy.

Foy is one of several CMS parents suing district leaders over remote learning. Foy says remote learning is failing students.

“Particularly those who come from low socio-economic backgrounds or students who have disabilities," says Foy.

That lawsuit calls for a judge to step in to file an injunction which would get CMS operating back in-person immediately. From there, things would go to a jury trial.

But Foy isn’t the only parent pushing for in-person learning.

“Reopen schools for in-person instruction immediately. By immediately I do mean that. I’d love to put my kids on a bus Monday," said another parent during the virtual meeting Tuesday.

But not all parents or board members are ready to send students back in-person.

“I am asking you to wait to send our students back in-person until all of our schools are completely safe," said another parent during the virtual meeting.

“When we started this pandemic there was a lot of 'Were all in this together”

Whether parents were for or against bringing kids back in the classroom, one thing they did agree on was transparency.

Many parents said they’d like the district to be transparent about what metrics they will use to decide when students will come back in the classroom

That’s something the district’s Metrics Advisory Committee says they are finalizing plans for; which will include creating a dashboard for the community. The committee met again on Thursday Sept. 10 to finalize the metrics that will be used for the dashboard.

Copyright 2020 WBTV. All rights reserved.