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CMS addresses vacancies, COVID-19 safety leading up to the first day of school

The first day of school is August 25.
Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 6:47 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 20, 2021 at 9:39 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - In less than one week over 140,000 Charlotte-Mecklenburg School students will start the new school year.

Several school leaders provided important updates on Friday during their back-to-school media briefing.

CMS currently has 130 teacher positions open, 43 bus driver positions, and less than 40 nurse positions open.

Staff say shortages are happening across the country, due in part to the pandemic.

Chief Human Resources Officer Christine Pejot says they are actively recruiting strong talent for their schools.

“We are hoping soon to be able to announce some recruitment incentives across key critical shortage areas pending approval to use covid funding for that purpose so we’re very excited and really very eager to be able to get those off of the ground and substitutes is one of those areas,” Pejot said.

Over 1,600 substitute teachers are on staff.

Unlike last school year, remote learning is not an option for all students in North Carolina.

Remote learning and instruction was made possible and funded under Senate Bill 704, which expired this summer.

CMS is offering virtual schools for students in grades 3-12. This is separate from attending a home school and learning remotely.

“Right now we have roughly 2400 students who have enrolled in that and are being scheduled into those classes. We are still accepting applications into that through the transfer process for our students across the district,” said Matt Hayes the Deputy Superintendent of Academics.

CMS is still accepting transfer applications.

CMS is requiring all staff, students, and visitors to wear masks inside of school buildings.

Below is the quarantine guidance from the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit.

“Students who are not fully vaccinated after a close contact in a classroom or other school setting if masks were being worn appropriately and consistently by both the person with COVID-19 and the potentially exposed person do NOT need to quarantine.”

CMS assures if students have to quarantine at home, that their assignments will be provided to them.

“When students do have to miss time in the inevitable event that they do, there will not be “no” learning going on - there will be learning provided,” said Patrick Smith with the CMS communications department.

The transportation director Adam Johnson is encouraging parents to have their children get to the bus stop early with their masks ready to go.

“Our buses do not have any restrictions on seating capacity this year so buses will be more full, so that’s more of the reason that masks are required but our buses will be sanitized twice a day as we’ve done in the past year. Drivers will also be required to wear face coverings as well as have hand sanitizer for students as needed,” Johnson said.

The first day of school is August 25.

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