CMS board requests staff be prioritized once COVID-19 vaccine is available

CMS requests teachers and staff be on vaccine priority list

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools board is requesting K-12 staff to be among those who receive priority of a COVID-19 vaccine, when available.

The CMS board sent a letter to North Carolina health leaders Tuesday.

“When a vaccine is available, we are requesting that all K-12 staff who work directly with students or in a school be among those who receive priority after health care providers,” the letter from the district board reads.

The district says students are slowly returning to class and schools are monitoring metrics to keep students and staff healthy and safe. “Once a vaccine is available, we believe that our staff who work directly with students should be included among those who receive priority after first-line responders. This priority would be in the best interests of students and staff,” the letter reads.

WBTV spoke to multiple staff members Tuesday evening, some were happy to hear the Board’s request others said they personally weren’t comfortable with getting the vaccine themselves.

“People that I’ve spoken to across different buildings, different positions across the district do not feel comfortable with how quickly they came up with the vaccine,” said Rocky River High School history teacher Antoinette Green.

Green wasn’t the only one who was uneasy. fellow history teacher Stephanie Collins also said she doesn’t plan to get the vaccine, but knows other staff members who say they will.

“They feel like we are front lines workers and we should be vaccinated first and we should have priority just like the healthcare workers,” said Collins, who teaches at West Charlotte High School.

The letter was sent to Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director for Public Health Service and Implementation Science Dr. Nathaniel Smith, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen, and Mecklenburg County Director of Public Health Gibbie Harris.

CMS requests teachers, staff be on vaccine priority list

The CMS board says they are requesting additional accommodation as they are North Carolina’s second largest school district.

The board says they are aware that a COVID-19 vaccine has not yet been approved for use.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools brought back another wave of students into the classroom Monday for in-person learning.

This time it was middle schoolers, but it was a smaller group than originally planned. Students in grades 6, 7 and 8 headed back to the classroom.

The district didn’t have enough drivers to send all middle school students into Plan B at the same time, due to bus driver shortages.

But despite more students going back today, some parents chose to keep their children home from school.

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