CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) -Students, parents, and teachers in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School system are faced with yet another decision on the fate of in person or remote learning.
Students are set to return to the classroom next Tuesday, Jan. 19, but that could possibly change depending on the Board’s decision Thursday.
This meeting comes on the heels of the directive issued by Mecklenburg County Public Health director Gibbie Harris.
The directive was issued on Tuesday and is in effect until Feb. 1, 2021. Harris is asking that people stay home as much as possible. This includes limiting time in gathering places such as restaurants, bars, places of worship, schools and more.
Harris is asking that schools go fully remote during this three-week period.
“With the current environment in our community we did not support bringing the children back into school. At this point in time we felt like we needed a cooling period,” Harris said.
Deanna Hamm has a senior in CMS and another in private school. She said she understands the need for the current directive and guidance to stay remote, but wants both her students to be back in the classroom for their overall progress and well being.
“The numbers are on the rise and have been on the rise so I would be fine with continuing with remote learning, but on February 2nd they need to be back in class,” Hamm said.
Avienna Simpson is a fourth year English teacher at Ranson Middle School in Charlotte. She says in person learning has its benefits, but believes the county’s guidance should encourage the school system to remain virtual for everyone’s safety.
“It should’ve been common sense that we need to protect the welfare of our teachers, our staff and our students by keeping them home as long as we can until we get some guidance that it’s safe to open up things a little bit more,” Simpson said.
Harris said private schools will also have to choose to either bring students back or keep them remote.
Providence Day School is a private school within the city of Charlotte. School leaders made the decision on Wednesday to have students go remote until next week.
After today, Providence Day School will go into a remote learning mode for most grades through Friday January 22 and return to our previously existing modified/hybrid on-campus model beginning Monday January 25. While each independent school is making its own decisions, our understanding is that this time frame is in alignment with our peers at Charlotte Country Day and Charlotte Latin. Additionally, we are all cancelling our after-school extracurriculars through the 22nd.
We will keep our grades TK, K, and 1 learning in person on campus during that time, and you would need to check with other schools to find out if anyone else has incorporated that into their plans. Those parents at PD may opt in to remote learning if they choose.
Regardless of the institution, the message from the county is the same.
“We’re asking them to think very carefully about their situation and to make a decision based on what they believe is best for their school, for their students, for their faculty and for their community,” Harris said.
The school board is having its emergency meeting Thursday morning, Jan. 14 at 10:30 a.m. where they will consider revising the plan to return to in person instruction.