Parents across the Carolinas share how their students are learning amid district changes

Virtual or in-person? School debate across the Carolinas

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Parents and students are adapting this school year to the changes between in-person and virtual learning, for some it’s only a small difference with a huge impact.

Some school districts in S.C. returned to the classroom this week, while Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools voted to go fully remote on Tuesday.

“I didn’t really know what was right for some families - they want to be virtual, other families they want to have their kids in school as much as possible,” said Megan Dunn whos daughter Fiona attends a CMS school.

Right now Fiona is on an A/B schedule two days a week in-person in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. She spends the rest of her week learning virtually at daycare.

“We feel like our risk is a little reduced by going all virtual and then she’s just at one facility,” Dunn said.

Meanwhile 30 minutes away in Fort Mill, Joe Reilly’s children are in-person five days a week. Reilly’s children were on a hybrid schedule in August but shifted to fully in-person back in September.

He said face-to-face instruction has been extremely helpful for his kindergartener whose time in Pre-K was cut short in March.

“He enjoys school, he’s always writing, I don’t think that’s something that could’ve been replicated in an at home session,” Reilly said.

Dunn and her husband both work outside of the home and rely on daycare not just for support but also for her daughter’s virtual studies. She said with CMS going all virtual will cost them more but she recognizes that’s an option all parents don’t have.

“I see that it’s challenging for parents that are trying to work from home and support virtual learning and so I feel like we’re in a lucky situation,” Dunn said.

Regardless of at-home or in-school, Reilly said he feels both sides are trying to do what they think is in the best interest of their children.

“Whether you send your kids to school or keep them home, that’s your right and you can’t question somebody’s decision for doing either,” Reilly said.

CMS starts fully remote learning on Dec. 14-Jan. 19.

To see the learning plans for the S.C. schools click each county below.

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