CMS officials discuss coronavirus, nearing return for students and sports at board meeting

District moving forward with transition to Plan B

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials discussed the status of the coronavirus and the nearing return for students and sports, among other topics during a Tuesday night board meeting.

Officials say Mecklenburg County currently has a 5.2 percent coronavirus positivity rate.

A total of 76 of 77 facilities extensions for Pre-K services have been visited, while more than 72 percent of 176 schools have been visited for readiness assessments.

In less than one week, 1,500 students in the Programs for Exceptional Children (EC) will be welcomed back to CMS classrooms.

Nearly every EC classroom is ready for the return as the final visit is Wednesday. Officials say all facilities will be ready.

CMS says personal protection equipment is either there or on its way and expected by Friday. Transportation preparations are in their final stages.

Board members are asking principals to survey their staff, and provide responses by Friday. This includes getting employees' status on return and including if then intend to take leave.

CMS spoke on vacancies within the district, saying there are currently 20 openings for bus drivers, 32 openings for custodians, 38 openings for nurses and 36 openings for teachers.

Officials say there will be no off-campus workouts allowed expect for certain days in October, due to voting locations.

The staggered return dates for sports teams to return to campus break down like this:

  • Swimming and diving: Sept. 28
  • Basketball and cheerleading: Sept. 30
  • Men’s soccer and women’s lacrosse: Oct. 5
  • Football and (marching band under consideration): Oct. 12
  • Men’s tennis, men’s and women’s golf, women’s soccer and softball: Oct. 19
  • Men’s and women’s track and field, wrestling: Oct. 26

For Pre-K, a total of 53 schools will have in-person instruction

The current Pre-K enrollment is 2,500, using 77 percent of available seats. Last year, CMS had 2,605 enrolled .

Officials say they currently have just over 1,005 applications in process, with 406 remaining applications. Officials say they have received all documentation.

CMS officials say they have requested 6,632 hot spots for students without connectivity, but the ongoing process number of students needing hot spots is likely to increase.

Superintendent Earnest Winston has advised schools to ask their students to find out which students lack internet access.

CMS officials say they have changed their phrasing on how they are asking/surveying students to: “Is the access that students have solid enough for successful learning?”

This is because sometimes additional internet speeds are necessary for remote learning.

As far as overall enrollment at CMS, for the unofficial 20th day, enrollment stands at 142,177 students with a projected number of 147,203 students.

Superintendent Winston ended the meeting talking about Gov. Cooper’s Plan A announcement and how it related to flexibility schools have.

“While we have a plan in place. If things are going better than expected, then we could come back to the board and say ‘Well we could speed up moving kids', it’s an option we do have,” Winston said.

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