Growing Concerns Among Teachers As CMS Plans For School In The Fall

CHARLOTTE, NC. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools 8th grade social studies teacher, Steve Orestkovic, says safety is his biggest concern when school starts next month.

“For the kids, for the teacher,” says Orestkovic.

Orestkovic says in years past, intent to return surveys have been an informal process given to staff by principals. This year it came from the district’s head of HR. It asks teachers to check one of the following for their intent to return:

– remain in current school assignment and report in-person to work as directed by principal or supervisor
– apply or intend to apply for a leave of absence related to COVID-19
– request an alternative work arrangement, e.G. working remotely, if available for my position, for reasons related to COVID-19.

“As soon as that survey came out people started asking questions, what is this? where has it come from? How binding is this?”

Orestkovic says the responses he got from the district were vague. The district tells WCCB the survey is not binding and CMS will rely on the answers as it develops its reopening plan.

The district is looking at three scenarios. The first would have all students attend school with minimal physical distancing. The second: 50% capacity with moderate physical distancing. The third option: remote learning with no students in facilities. What Orestkovic is hoping for.

His message to CMS leaders:

“With, not to. You need to do this with teachers, not do it to teachers.”