CMS Delays Students Return To In-Person Learning

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education voted in an emergency meeting on January 14th to delay students return to in-person instruction as COVID-19 infection rates continue to grow.

CMS officials say students in pre-K, elementary school, K-8th grade, and students with disabilities (who have been identified through an IEP process) will return to the classroom to learn in-person on February 15th.

Students in traditional middle and high schools will return to class for in-person learning on February 22nd, according to a news release.

CMS officials say before the public health director’s directive urging residents to be vigilant in the next three weeks as infection cases rise, students were expected to return to in-person instruction on January 19th.

“None of us wants to delay our students’ return to classrooms,” said Board Chair Elyse Dashew. “But the metrics do not support a safe return right now. We have considered the directive issued by Public Health Director Gibbie Harris in making this decision, but the decision must be — and has been — made by us, the elected members of the Board of Education.”

The Mecklenburg County Health Department launched its directive on January 12th recommending full virtual options for work, school, and other activities where possible, according to a news release.

Mecklenburg County officials say the directive also recommends county residents to avoid recreational contact with others, avoid non-essential travel, only leave home for essential activities, and to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Public Health Director Gibbie Harris says the growing number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and related deaths require immediate action on every member of our community.