CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Parents, students and teachers in North Carolina are all on edge waiting to learn what learning will look like next year in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
And so are Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education members. They desperately want to start planning how the school will reopen but still haven’t gotten guidance from the state.
Governor Roy Cooper was set to announce a plan to reopen schools on Wednesday. Late Tuesday night his office changed course.
The CMS Board of Education planned an emergency meeting for Wednesday night to immediately get to work on that guidance. Now, they’ll keep working on three different options.
"Our staff will be presenting to us their best thinking on three different plans for three different scenarios for reopening and we'll have an opportunity for board members to ask all of our questions and it’s important,” said Elyse Dashew, Chairperson of the school board.
The first option is as close to normal as possible, kids back in the classroom with minimal social distancing and some health precautions in place. On the other end of the spectrum is all remote learning. And the most logistically challenging option is a mixture of the two.
“Not only do we need to make our plans, parents need to make their plans so we need to make this decision as soon as possible,” said Dashew.
Parents battling a mixture of emotions on what option is best.
“I'm a little nervous, we haven't really seen a steady decline in cases and I’m a little nervous to have them around all the children again,” said Lauren Baynham.
But keeping kids home presenting a real challenge too.
“It’s not easy, especially when I have a job to go to. It’s hard to think about doing that again,” she added.
The board's goal, to balance an effective education with the safety of students and staff.
“It is going to take all of us working together collaboratively to pull that off,” said Dashew.
The meeting is at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. No word on when Governor Cooper will make the highly anticipated announcement.