CMS Mulls Reopen Plans Ahead of Cooper’s Announcement

CHARLOTTE, NC – A decision on how the state will send students back to school delayed on Wednesday. As Governor Roy Cooper takes more time to consider which direction to take, local school districts revealed their plans and preparations for the school year ahead. 

For Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, classes start on August 17th. Whether or not that will be in-person, remote, or some hybrid approach is yet to be determined.

“Our students will be challenged to grow and develop to the best of their abilities,” said Superintendent Earnest Winston.

CMS staff walked the board through the different scenarios for how school may reopen next month. 

“Social distancing is what I call our beast that we have to solve for,” said Carol Stampert with CMS. 

CMS is planning for three different scenarios,

The first: All students attend school with minimal social distancing

The second: 50% capacity with moderate social distancing. Roughly 12 to 16 students per class. 

And the third: Remote learning with no students in facilities. 

“We want our schools open for in-person instruction in August. The classroom is the best place for children to learn,” said Cooper.

Governor Cooper delayed an announcement on which approach would be used. He asked school districts to continue to plan for any of the scenarios. 

“With a special focus for how teachers, staff, and students can best be protected. Especially those who are high risk,” said Cooper.

The state is supplying all 116 school districts with a two month supply of PPE for nurses and staff to use when schools reopen. 

CMS says they’re planning to do daily temperature checks on students, staff, and visitors. Socially distanced classrooms. Frequent deep cleaning. Plexiglass in the front office.  And a limited lunch menu. 

“Parents are concerned about how kids have handled this time out of school. What their particular needs might be and we want to know that,” said Kathy Eling with CMS. 

No decisions were made today by the CMS board. Cooper says he plans to make an announcement in the coming weeks.