CMS families say students are failing classes, anxiously waiting for decision on in-person learning

Updated: Jan. 29, 2021 at 10:59 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Earnest Winston plans to make a recommendation to the board of education for students to return to in-person learning in mid-February.

But it’s not final until the board votes to approve it on Feb. 9.

CMS says nearly a third of students are failing at least one class. Many parents say that it’s partially due to the burden of virtual learning.

That’s the case for Sharay Timmons. Each one of her four kids is failing a class, even though they had good grades before virtual learning. She says they need the in-person school environment to help them succeed.

Timmons has four kids in 8th grade, 6th grade, 4th grade and 2nd grade. She says they are struggling with remote learning because of distractions at home

“When you’re in the classroom, you have the teacher, even though she got all these students, she still able to pay attention to see who’s doing what,” she said. “When I’m not here I cant see who’s not doing what.”

On top of remote learning, Sharay lost her job. Her new one forces her to leave her kids at home alone.

“They on school from the morning until about 4 o’clock, but I might have to leave out and got to work; so, they’re left here alone,” she said.”

Timmons says her kids need the school environment to succeed.

“Kids need to be free. They need lunch time with the friends, all that extra stuffs,” she says.

She thinks if they were back in school their grades would immediately improve. She believes that’s the case for hundreds of kids, also struggling in virtual learning. For now she’s taking it day by day, waiting on a plan from CMS.

MORE: CMS leadership says they’re ready to return students to in-person learning, but decision is up to BOE

“The board needs to figure out what they’re going to do. My kids are not the only ones failing. I’ve talked to some staff members and they say it’s a problem with what are they going to do?”

WBTV News emailed every school board member asking for a comment about their upcoming decision to return to school. Only two responded.

Elyse Dashew said she was hopeful that kids would return in mid-February under the already approved plan but noted it depends on what case numbers would look like.

Board member Sean Strain said he has “always supported kids in the classroom responsibly. Just like the WHO, CDC, Gov & his HHS Secretary.”

Elyse Dashew’s full statement is below:

“We all want kids back in the classroom as soon as it’s safe. I am pleased that the community COVID numbers are decreasing. It seems the County Health directive has gotten the attention of the community and convinced many of us to choose safer behavior. I pray this trend continues. The Board of Education’s adopted plan is to bring students back into the classroom on February 15 (for those who were in-person before the Winter Break) and February 22 (middle school and high school). Of course we will need a thorough update on the district’s readiness to do that safely, and I cannot predict future community spread numbers, but as of right now I am very hopeful.”

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