Could CMS implement Plan C and go remote learning district-wide?

Published: Dec. 7, 2020 at 7:02 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Sources say there could be a recommendation to implement remote learning across Charlotte Mecklenburg School District.

Three CMS board members have made it known that COVID-19 numbers in CMS schools indicate there should be a consideration.

The district released new information Monday. It showed 102 CMS schools had at least a COVID-19 case reported in the past two weeks. It shows 67 students with COVID-19 and 94 teachers.

“The numbers are telling the story,” CMAE President Lawrence Brinson said. “And the numbers should dictate what happens. We’ve always said that we should follow science and let the science dictate what’s happening.”

Brinson represents more than 3,000 educators as president of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Association of Educators (CMAE). He says his membership wants CMS to go to remote learning which is Plan C.

“No one is saying that we don’t want our kids in school,” Brinson said. “We want to be in school the safest way possible. And right now we don’t feel like it is a safe environment to continue to be at school. And we feel like we should move to a plan C.”

We are told calls were made Monday night to find out which side school board members were on.

Teachers are expected to address CMS school board members at their virtual meeting on Tuesday night. Teachers are planning a virtual rally to send a strong message to board members right before the school board meeting.

“Just to come in and show solidarity,” CMS Educator and Parent Amanda Thompson-Rice said. “Of us as educators and community allies - to also unite our voices and to ask for change.”

Thompson-Rice believes the numbers show something is not working and CMS needs to make a change. She also believes that there should be a simpler way to share the metrics information on the CMS website.

“First of all it’s not as clear,” she said. “It’s not a one-stop-shop. So you got to click in like three different areas to combine information.”

Brinson says he will address the school board on Tuesday to remind them COVID numbers could rise in CMS schools as people celebrate the holidays.

“We know that people have been traveling with Thanksgiving,” Brinson said. “We know that we’re going to have people traveling over the next few weeks. And that is a concern.”

Another concern is if CMS implements Plan C - hourly workers such as bus drivers, custodians, and teacher assistants may not get paid because their jobs can’t be done remotely. Thompson-Rice believes CMS can handle how to pay hourly workers.

“CMS needs to be creative in their practices,” she said. “And not believe it has to be a one size fits all, go figure out how to make this work.”

CMS has already given the superintendent authority to close individual schools but it will take board approval to close schools district-wide to implement remote learning.

Also happening Tuesday is a hearing about a lawsuit filed against CMS claiming remote learning fails students.

CMS parents filed the lawsuit. The school district wants the case dismissed. A judge will decide if the case will be thrown out or if the case will proceed.

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