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'My child won't be there' | Charlotte mom critical of CMS reopening plan

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools board voted to have students start in school before switching to remote learning. Parents are divided on the issue.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Mecklenburg School's back to school plan is getting a major response from parents and teachers.

On Wednesday night, the school board announced a plan to combine in-person and virtual learning. The first two weeks of school will be a rotation of small groups of students in-person.  Then starting on August 31st, all learning will be remote until further notice.  The district’s Facebook page received more than 1,000 comments about the decision.

WCNC Charlotte talked to a CMS teacher who says the decision was a good compromise, even though he was pushing for full virtual learning. However, others remained concerned.

Before CMS announced a decision about the back to school plan, there was an online petition pushing for full virtual learning.

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“I started the petition,” says Stephen Hayes, an English teacher at Southwest Middle School.

However, Hayes says the district’s plan to mix in-person and remote learning balances both sides.

“This is a good compromise because it blends the two plans,” Hayes said.

There will be in-person learning the first two weeks of the school year.  Students will be assigned to one of three groups, which will rotate days in the buildings.

“My child won’t be there,” said parent, Crystal Bitzel.

Bitzel says she won’t be sending her fourth-grade daughter to school because she believes it’s an unnecessary risk.

“Then she brings it into my home and puts me at risk and my family at risk, it’s pointless honestly,” said Bitzel.

In a recording to parents, CMS described a full virtual learning option as well.

“A full remote learning option may be selected by parents who have concerns about sending their students to school during continued pandemic conditions,” the recording said.

Starting on week three, the district will transition to full virtual learning until further notice, which other parents oppose.  On Facebook, Jennifer Stump posted “Remote learning doesn’t work for all kids. It’s time to move out of the county or do our own homeschooling.  I’m done with CMS.”

“I understand it’s a bit divisive, but I just think public safety is paramount,” said Hayes.

Hayes says he hopes the district listens to feedback from as many parents and teachers as possible throughout the process, and when deciding if it’s safe to return to school.


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