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CMS students to return to school as scheduled following holiday break

With COVID-19 cases already surging from the holidays, many parents and teachers are questioning whether it’s safe to return in person.
Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 10:57 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 3, 2022 at 10:58 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers are back from the Christmas holiday for a workday Monday and students are scheduled to return to school Tuesday.

However, with COVID-19 cases already surging from the holidays, many parents and teachers are questioning whether it’s safe to return in person. So far, the district’s plan remains intact.

Related: Safety top of mind as school set to resume for CMS students, teachers

A letter from CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston to CMS families acknowledged the concerns from parents and the community about the high level of COVID-19 spread.

Winston says the district will continue to monitor and assess conditions. In the meantime, the district sent parents a voicemail with some important reminders.

“Masks are still required indoors, and distancing will remain to the greatest extent possible. We will continue to review our practices to help mitigate the impact of the virus on our students and staff. Please keep your children home if they are ill and consider getting them tested,” the voicemail said.

As far as a decision to go to remote learning, lawmakers changed those rules last fall.

Those changes were born out of the learning loss so many students experienced after months-long remote learning during the last school year.

Now, North Carolina school districts can’t do full remote learning for extended periods of time. They can do remote learning on a school-by-school, grade-by-grade, or class-by-class basis due to COVID-19 quarantines. Some schools in Iredell County have done that because of a spike in cases.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction also updated its tool kit schools use to guide their policies. It now says students who are up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations don’t need to quarantine if they’re exposed to someone with the virus as long as they’re not feeling sick.

Students who aren’t up-to-date on those vaccinations and who are exposed to someone with COVID-19 will have to quarantine for five days.

If after five days, they don’t have symptoms, they can go back to school but must wear a mask for an additional five days.

CMS officials said they’re continuing to get updates from the county on the situation. In the meantime, students and staff will have to wear masks and social distance when possible.

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