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Education
An in-depth look at our region's emerging economic, social, political and cultural identity.

Two CMS Schools Close For COVID Cases While 175 Open Doors To Teachers

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Superintendent Earnest Winston talks to Quail Hollow Middle School Principal Rachael Neill on the first teacher work day Thursday.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools opened to teachers and other employees Thursday to prepare for a pandemic school year like no other.

At least, most of the district's 177 schools opened. The district confirmed Thursday evening that Walter G. Byers K-8 School and Hawthorne Academy of Health Sciences told employees to work remotely "while the facilities were cleaned and disinfected due to a positive COVID case in those facilities."

CMS officials provided no further details and did not respond to WFAE's request for an interview.

The state's COVID-19 guide for schools says districts are required to "disseminate COVID-19 information and combat misinformation through multiple channels," but does not give specifics about how that applies to individual school circumstances.

Energetic Returns

Social media was also full of reports of schools welcoming back teachers, handing out masks and hand sanitizer and providing socially-distanced training for a year that will open remotely for students on Aug. 17.

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Credit @ArdreyKellHS
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@ArdreyKellHS
Temperature checks as faculty arrive at Ardrey Kell High.

Jamie Brooks took the helm of Ardrey Kell High, one of the district's largest schools, in July. She welcomed about 200 employees back Thursday.

She said administrators were at the door with symptom surveys and temperature guns, even though CMS had rolled out a self-screening app the day before. 

Brooks said everyone reported to one entrance, with three doors spaced more than 6 feet apart. Once they cleared the screening, they picked up supplies and information packets and went to their classrooms for welcome messages and a Zoom staff meeting.

They picked up box lunches to eat in their classrooms, Brooks said, and spent the afternoon doing professional development on Canvas.

"Educators are some of the most flexible, creative group of doers that I have ever known in my life," Brooks said.

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