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26,000 CMS students resume in-person learning Monday

Superintendent Earnest Winston said the district is "doing all that we can" to ensure students and teachers are safe from COVID-19 while returning to school.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Over 26,000 Charlotte-Mecklenburg School students returned to the classroom Monday as the largest district in the area resumed in-person learning for elementary students. 

Monday's group of students included Pre-K through fifth grade and some middle school students with special needs. The majority of middle and high schoolers will resume in-person classes next Monday, Feb. 22. 

"We're starting to feel comfortable about it, my son has been remote this entire time, so all six months," CMS Parent, Jennifer Delacruz said. 

Superintendent Earnest Winston said the district will implement several measures to protect students and staff from COVID-19 exposure, including daily temperature checks, mandatory masks, social distancing and symptom screening. The district is also offering remote learning options for families who don't feel comfortable sending their kids back to school yet. 

"My goal is to see teaching and learning take place on day one of our return to in-person learning," Winston said.

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CMS is on a hybrid schedule with in-person learning two days a week and remote classes the other three days. 

"We're doing all that we can to help ensure a safe and proper environment," Winston said. 

The same can be said for CMS buses. Transportation director Adam Johnson said the district is operating over 950 buses with plans to transport more than 55,000 students by next week. Pre-K through fifth grade students will be sat three to a seat, while middle and high school students will be limited to one per seat. 

Bus drivers will be subject to daily temperature checks and masks will be required at all times. Drivers will be given personal protective equipment for students who don't have a mask when they get on the bus. 

"Bus drivers will clean their buses twice a day but also have a special team of drivers that will sanitize the buses in the morning after the route is completed and again in the afternoon," Johnson said. 

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