Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools releases weekly ‘Readiness Report,' HVAC systems aren’t included. We asked why...

Updated: Oct. 21, 2020 at 7:44 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - It’s crunch time for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools as, in less than two weeks, the district plans to bring their Kindergarten through fifth grade students back into the building.

“Do all classrooms have proper air circulation going through our classrooms?" asks CMS educator Amanda Thompson-Rice.

She says it’s a burning question, teachers want to know.

Teachers say worrying about the air they breath shouldn’t be one of their concerns… but it is.

“Its not just teachers, it’s also students,” says Thompson-Rice.

Each week Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools releases a report on how ‘prepared’ the district is to bring students back into the buildings for in-person learning.

This week, the district listed “School Facilities” in the red zone. According to the Readiness Report, any category listed in the red zone means if students we’re to return to the building for in person learning, the state of conditions would likely lead to sustainable community spread of COVID-19.

“If you’re in a room that doesn’t have proper air ventilation, there’s no way you can say my child is safe," says Thompson-Rice.

Worries over the districts HVAC system has been a constant since the start of discussions to return to in person learning over the summer.

“The HVAC is constantly broken… This is the building you’re asking us to go back into?" asked teacher Elizabeth Mills during a board meeting over the summer.

CMS says HVAC systems aren’t included in the' school facilities' readiness reports.

WBTV asked why it doesn’t include the state of school HVAC systems in the readiness reports and why information on HVAC systems isn’t updated weekly for the public.

WBTV also requested the district to discolse how many work orders have been put-in for HVAC systems since July, along with how many of those orders have been completed.

The district’s communications team has yet to respond to WBTV’s follow-up requests.

Even though the school facilities category is in the red zone now, the district expects conditions to improve as they finish more work before the next wave of students return on November 2nd.

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