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CMS votes to approve virtual instruction plan including K-2 students

“We have heard from parents of younger students who are medically fragile,” board chair Elyse Dashew said in a statement.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education voted Tuesday to approve a virtual instruction plan that would include students in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade with certain medical needs.

When the 2021-2022 school year began, children in K-2 grades were not able to participate in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Virtual Elementary. Now, children who met the district's definition of "medically fragile" are eligible to apply for a transfer into the CMS Virtual Elementary School. 

This decision expands the district's COVID-19 pandemic remote education options, which were already being offered for older children.

Enrollment runs from Oct. 4 through Oct. 10, with accepted students starting on Nov. 1. Applications submitted after that window will be approved and enrolled on a rolling basis. 

To enroll, applications must be submitted via the district's transfer portion. Both the 2021-2022 Request for Reassignment/Transfer form and a completed medical packet (signed by the student's physician) must be submitted.

“We have heard from parents of younger students who are medically fragile,” board chair Elyse Dashew said in a statement. “We are glad that CMS can offer students this expanded educational choice.”

RELATED: Parents say they were forced to homeschool because CMS left them with no choice

Students who enroll in the virtual magnet school are to remain there through the 2021-22 school year. 

Additionally, the board voted to allow CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston to transition schools to remote learning in the event of severe weather or other emergencies. Up to five remote instruction days may be used at the superintendent's discretion, according to the decision. 

"I am grateful to the Board for allowing me this opportunity for extended flexibility,” Winston said in a statement. “It will help us deal with unexpected circumstances such as snow, ice or power outages in a quick and effective way.”