MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools source confirmed to WCNC Charlotte's Hunter Sáenz that schools with pre-approved student performances will now be allowing some parents, guests to attend those performances in-person.
Under these guidelines, each performer or participant can have one to two guests allowed to watch in-person, dependent on venue capacity at each school.
In order to have these guests, screenings must be conducted prior to entry, and face coverings will be required in some situations. Families and guest groups will be required to distance and sit at least six feet apart from other groups.
For indoor events, face masks will be required, and the guests cannot exceed 30% of venue capacity. For outdoor events, face masks are no longer required but are recommended for unvaccinated individuals, or in crowded areas.
After performances, families and guests will be required to immediately exit the campus.
The changes come in light of Governor Roy Cooper's Executive Order that went into effect April 30, loosening many of the COVID-19 restrictions that were in place.
Parents had been calling on CMS to change its policy -- the district originally was planning on not allowing any parents or guests to attend the end-of-year performances, as of late-April.
"I just want to see my son on stage for his final performance," Adam Binder, whose son, Daniel, is a senior at Providence High School, previously told Hunter Sáenz.
Parents were calling on the district to provide a scientific explanation why parents couldn't watch children perform with safety precautions in place.
"CMS has one rule for athletics, and another rule for non-athletes," CMS parent Jessica Daitch previously said. "Basketball, wrestling, volleyball -- they all had their seasons. We're ready for ours. Our show is ready to go."
Prior to the change, the Town of Matthews had announced that CMS students in Matthews could use town facilities for performances so parents could attend.
Parents were pleased with the modification announced on Wednesday,
"We're going to consider that a win," Jessica Daitch, whose daughter, Ivy, is set to perform in Providence High School's 'Spamalot' said.
"The fact that we're all able to be on there and have our loved ones near is just a really incredible feeling and we're all extremely grateful for it," Ivy said.
"We're excited that the curtains are going to rise, the lights are going to light, and our kids are going to be on stage," Daitch added, noting the play will happen in late May.
CMS said the guidance previously issued for fifth and eighth-grade promotion ceremonies and other end-of-year activities will not change.
Additionally, CMS said high school athletics will now be following N.C. High School Athletic Association guidance updated April 30. Specifically, effective May 6, CMS students, staff and visitors will no longer be required to wear a face-covering when outdoors on school property.