CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The school year is quickly approaching for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools families as there are just two weeks until the first day of class for students.
CMS detailed its plans at Tuesday night's board of education meeting, addressing the COVID-19 situation and the issues students may be facing surrounding it.
“We plan to open and operate schools as close to normal as possible,” CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston said.
The opening of schools comes as COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state continue to rise as the highly contagious delta variant spreads.
“We believe we are prepared to open schools and keep them open,” Winston said. “Our one factor that leads to our confidence is the availability of effective vaccines.”
CMS requiring universal masking indoors for students, staff, and visitors.
Students who test positive for COVID-19 must quarantine for 10 days. However, students who are close contacts no longer have to quarantine if masked and symptom-free.
Winston said at this time, the COVID-19 vaccine is not required within CMS. It is highly encouraged, and several schools will be hosting vaccine clinics in the near future.
CMS still has 123 teacher vacancies, 77 driver vacancies, and 35 nurse vacancies heading into the school year as of 11 a.m. on Aug. 10. It is proposing recruitment incentives to fill the positions.
CMS acknowledged in its plan that it will take a multi-year recovery effort to make up the learning that was lost amid the pandemic.
“We are focusing on students and instruction,” Dr. Ruby M. Jones, a CMS board of education member, said. “We’re doing what the Board of County Commissioners criticized us about.”
Contact Kendall Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Wake Up Charlotte To Go is a daily news and weather podcast you can listen to so you can start your day with the team at Wake Up Charlotte.
SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || TuneIn || Google Podcasts
All of WCNC Charlotte's podcasts are free and available for both streaming and download. You can listen now on Android, iPhone, Amazon, and other internet-connected devices. Join us from North Carolina, South Carolina, or on the go anywhere.