Dozens of CMS parents push for virtual learning in K-2

More than 150 CMS parents signed a petition online pushing the Board of Education to allow virtual learning in all age groups.
Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 5:18 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Nearly 2,400 Charlotte Mecklenburg School students will be learning virtually in the 2021-2022 school year.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools expanded its virtual learning options to include more students. Previously, only high school students could opt for virtual learning.

CMS’ virtual learning program is separate from remote learning that most students took part in during the pandemic.

Now, CMS is offering virtual learning to students in grades 3 through 12. Still, many parents hope CMS will expand virtual learning to kindergarten through second grade.

More than 150 CMS parents signed a petition online pushing the Board of Education to allow virtual learning in all age groups.

“CMS is on the leading edge of what school districts are doing but even that is not enough for kids like mine,” parent Stacy Staggs said.

Staggs is the mother of twin girls who are in second grade.

She says they have complex medical needs that make them more susceptible to complications if they get COVID-19.

Staggs hoped to enroll her girls in virtual learning, but because they are in second grade it’s unavailable.

She is keeping them at home until she can get them into homebound schooling. But she knows, not all families will qualify for homebound learning.

“And they still may be going home to someone who has a medical issue that may be more susceptible,” Staggs said. “So, their parents may also be faced with the impossible choice of risking health and safety or attending school in person.”

Nagavalli Sivaraj does not want to risk her son’s health by sending him to school in person, but she says he is too young to qualify for virtual learning within CMS. She put him on the waitlist anyway and is exploring other options.

“We are so concerned about in-person learning with the current situation, so we opted to keep him at home instead,” Sivaraj said.

Emily Lay was also hoping to enroll her second-grader in virtual learning. She said he spent most of his first two years in school learning remotely and he did well.

“He did half of kindergarten, all of the first grade, and he planned to do it in 2nd grade too, until we learned it wasn’t an option at all,” Lay said.

According to its website, CMS is not offering virtual learning to K through 2nd grade because “best teaching practices for this age group require in-person”.

Enrollment for virtual learning has already passed, but if a student wants to make a switch, they will be placed on a waitlist.

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