CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - For the first time in weeks, students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools returned to the classroom for in-person learning Monday.
Pre-K, elementary including K-8 and students with disabilities approved through the Individualized Education Program (IEP) are returning.
Middle and high school students will return on Feb. 22.
CMS set up a “symptom screener” system to help reduce the chances of COVID-19 spread.
Each morning, a CMS Symptom Screener will come to CMS student email addresses with a link to complete the survey. The link can also be accessed here.
Based on the responses, users will either see a green checkmark enabling students to go to school or a red x mark with further instruction.
In order to board a CMS bus, the Parent Symptoms Screening Authorization Form needs to be filled out. This form will be handed to the bus driver on whatever day is the first day of school for the student that week. Click here or a paper various will be provided at school.
“I have a kindergartner and she has specific learning needs that the iPad just doesn’t work for her. Being in the classroom really benefits her,” said parent Amber Barlow.
Barlow has two children at CMS, a kindergartner and a second-grader. She said there are social skills that can’t be learned through remote learning.
“Relief to get kids back in school. It’s been way too long to get to in-person. While we’re making this good step forward, sooner we can get back to all in-person full time for all levels,” said parent Jamie Keogh.
Keogh has children in fourth and fifth grade.
Students will return under Plan B -- which includes two days of in-person learning. Parents still have the choice of opting out for full remote learning, which is a decision Stacy Staggs made.
“I have twin girls who are both in the exceptional children’s program, they’re in first grade. We’re sticking with the full remote academy for the duration,” said Staggs. “Just won’t risk the lives of my kids or force teachers and staff to make decisions like that when the data tells us it’s not safe to be out.”
School leaders say measures are in place, including mask-wearing on the bus and inside buildings and requiring parents to turn in a symptom screening form before class.
“We have been working hard to ensure the safety and health of our teachers and students,” Superintendent Earnest Winston said earlier this week.
No matter the choice that families are making, parents wanted teachers and staff to know their appreciation.
“I’m very grateful for the teachers and all they’ve done. I understand teachers have concerns about what they’re doing next, I understand that, we all have different aspects in life,” said Keogh.