Teacher Absences Continue To Climb As CMS Struggles To Staff The Classrooms

CHARLOTTE, NC. — Teaching during the pandemic has taken a toll on second-grade CMS teacher Darina Cooper. With so many covid related teacher absences, she says it hasn’t gotten any easier.

“Some classrooms are having to combine, and then that puts them at a point where how can I social distance when I’m combining two classrooms together,” Cooper says.

According to the CMS Metrics Dashboard, there were 2,206 new confirmed covid cases among students last week. That’s nearly double the weekly total compared to early January. 3,050 students are in quarantine, up from about 2,000 the week before. Cooper says it’s the worst it’s been in her 23 years of teaching.

“I can’t re-teach the same lesson four, five, six times and expected to be as effective as it is the first day.”

CMS Board of Education member Rhonda Cheek represents District 1. She says another issue, confusing guidance by the CDC and the state.

“Everybody’s a little confused because honestly, we get different guidance, it seems like almost daily sometimes, about what the new parameters are if you could exposure if you’ve had a close contact if you have a positive test and no symptoms,” Cheek says.