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CMS board votes to transition Pre-K and special needs students back to remote learning

Board members have decided to send the remainder of students home for virtual learning.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The CMS Board of Education has voted to modify the return date of in-person, classroom instruction for pre-K students and all students with disabilities.

During an emergency meeting on Tuesday, the school board voted 8-1 to immediately transition Pre-K and special needs students to remote learning until Jan. 19. This means all CMS students are now remote.  

On December 8, the school district decided to move most students back to virtual learning ahead of the Christmas and winter break. Pre-K students and exceptional children with an individualized education plan (calling for in-person instruction) were excluded from the move to virtual learning.

The decision to relocate most students was made because of rising COVID-19 data trends. Most students would return to virtual learning after the holidays with a mix of at-home and in-class instruction resuming Jan. 19.

For nearly the entire semester, Meg Kemp's CMS kids have called their dining room, their classroom. They've learned a lesson or two about frustration.

"It's just a no-win situation," she said. "It doesn't work for them. It may work for some, but it's not working for I think a majority of these kids."

She knows her kids aren't grasping the lessons they need to learn.

"To watch him completely just lose it, crying, screaming -- 'I'm dumb, I'm stupid, I don't understand this.' As a parent, your heart just absolutely breaks," Kemp said.

It's why she is begging CMS leaders to give parents the choice to decide if their kid should be in the classroom or learn virtually.

She understands the concerns teachers have about their health.

"We don't want to put anyone in a position where if they are immune-compromised they're forced to go in a classroom, or if they live with someone who is immune-compromised. 100% this boils down to choice," Kemp said.

On Dec. 18, Mecklenburg County health officials reported the first COVID-19 cluster identified at a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools at Bradley Middle School. A cluster is defined as five or more cases that can be linked to each other. 

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