Transparency Concerns After Two Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Closed Because Of Positive COVID-19 Cases

CHARLOTTE, NC. — Dorina Cooper is a second-grade teacher at Walter G. Byers School. She says she received an email Wednesday afternoon from the school administration.

“Letting us know that we would be working remotely the next day,” says Cooper.

She says there was no explanation as to why.

On Thursday night, Cooper says she found out W.G. Byers School and Hawthorne Academy were closed because of positive COVID-19 cases, in a CMS advocacy group. She brought her concerns to the school administration.

“I printed the article and came in, and I’m like, ‘What’s this?’ I didn’t get a whole lot of clarification, and I understand privacy and things like that. But I feel like we deserve to be informed.”

The district tells WCCB: “W.G. Byers School and Hawthorne Academy were closed Thursday for personnel and all staff worked remotely while the facilities were cleaned and disinfected due to a positive COVID case in those facilities. Hawthorne academy was also closed on Friday after it was cleaned.”

Teachers are required to show up in person through August 14th, for planning and training for virtual learning.

“Encouraging us to work from school, we want to feel supported, we want to feel valued. We want to feel confident that when we come into this building that we have been given all the information. When situations transpire like they transpired last week, you don’t necessarily feel supported and valued.”

Cooper says she wants to make it clear that she’s not bad-mouthing the district, but hopes they learn from this.

“Maybe we do need to rethink our communication. Maybe we do need to rethink how we notify staff.”

WCCB took Cooper’s concerns to the district. We did not get a response.