CMS Board of Education votes to make Nov. 1 a teacher workday

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 5:34 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The CMS Board of Education met Tuesday night, and voted 8-1 to make Nov. 1 a teacher workday.

Nov. 2 was already a planned teacher workday. This will give students a four-day weekend over Halloween.

The board is recommending it to help address school needs and give teachers more time to plan and go through professional development, according to the board’s agenda.

Superintendent Earnest Winston also said that he would add three half-days to the 2021-2022 school calendar, making Nov. 17, Feb. 9 and March 30 half-days for students.

“Our teachers and school staff have stepped up to keep students engaged and learning even when their teachers are sick and there are no substitutes,” said Elyse Dashew, Board chair. “We are so grateful for their flexibility and strength in challenging circumstances, and we hope this will give them some breathing room.”

“I’m going to bed as close to 11 or 12 o’clock at night trying to get extra work done,” West Charlotte HS teacher Ayanna Perry said.

She says having an extra teacher workday is much needed.

“I think that would also serve for teachers to get caught up. A lot of us have state-mandated PD’s that we have to do and we don’t have the time to do it and I mean a lot of us are spending time outside of our school day.”

CMS Student Advisor Breana Fowler supported the move. She says it’ll also fight burnout.

“I love the thought of a teacher work day and I am in favor of voting for November 1 because our students are feeling our teachers being overwhelmed and overworked and for them to have a day to really understand professional development and not have to worry about it during the class time.”

But of course, parents are split on the decision.

A lot of parents are looking forward to this possibility. They say it’s not a bad idea to give students the day off from school, especially when Halloween falls on a Sunday night. There was already a planned teacher workday for Tuesday so to them it just makes sense to give Monday off too.

But some parents fear just a long weekend could contribute to more learning loss for students.

“Every day matters. Every day these children are not in school are a day these children are not learning,” said Glen Stephens, who is a CMS parent. “We just need to remember that every conversation about our school students should begin with and end with how this affects our students, how does this affect their learning, and it’s even more true in the year following the year we just had.”

Glen Stephens says he’s concerned that a long weekend could impact his son’s education, who is in 3rd grade and has a learning disability.

“For the vast majority of students, this creates a disruption of momentum. They’re in the flow, they’re in a routine. My son started crying actually when I started front-loading this telling him this a probability,” he said.

Some parents don’t mind the extra day off but say this is too short of notice for the schedule to change. Many of them can’t find child care during a national wide shortage for child care workers.

Some parents say this could be a good thing in the end. They believe it could be good for mental health for students and give teachers a day to get ahead of their schedule.

Eight board members agreed with the need for professional development but also acknowledged child care concerns from parents.

Sean Strain was the one board member who voted against the move. Here’s why he said he didn’t agree with the decision.

“I understand the challenges. I absolutely acknowledge the value and need for this professional development program but I would’ve liked to have seen another plan besides pulling kids out of classrooms,” Strain said.

Copyright 2021 WBTV. All rights reserved.