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CMS Full-Remote Numbers Show Big Differences When Students Return In Person

Gina Navarrete
Alex Rambo-Navarrete is a senior at Myers Park High, where less than 20% of students chose the Full Remote Academy.

When CMS brings students back for socially-distanced classes, about one in three will stay home by choice. That’s because they’re enrolled in the Full Remote Academy, which ensures they won’t come back before second semester begins in January.

But those numbers vary widely from school to school, which means the in-person return will look different depending on the percent who have opted out.

At five schools -- Governors Village STEM upper school, Ridge Road Middle, Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology, Barringer Academic Center and Statesville Road Elementary -- more than half of students are enrolled in the Full Remote Academy.

That's according to preliminary numbers CMS provided to WFAE. They're based on Full Remote enrollment in August and estimates of total enrollment when schools opened. An official 20-day enrollment count will be taken Monday, which could reflect changes.

That list shows Full Remote enrollment under 20% at 18 schools. Some are small, opt-in high schools on college campuses. But others are large, neighborhood schools, such as Providence, Hough and Myers Park high schools.

Phased-In Return

For now, there's no real difference between students who chose the academy and those who didn't. But the school board plans to vote Wednesday on a phased-in plan for bringing students back to classrooms. It's likely to start with preK-3 students and students with disabilities, but could include other grades or targeted groups.

The board will also review a data dashboard for deciding when it's safe to start that process. It's unclear if they'll pick a date next week or instruct staff to keep watching the numbers.

Once the return begins, Full Remote students will continue to learn from home, sticking with teachers at their school who have been assigned to the remote academy. The others will come back on a rotating schedule -- presumably the "one week at school, two from home" rotation outlined this summer.

Myers Park High, where 18% chose the academy, is the only school projected to have more than 3,000 students returning, though they'd be split into thirds.

At Selwyn Elementary, only 10% of the 666 students chose the remote academy. That means about 600 will come back, approximately 200 on any given week.

At Barringer Elementary, just over half of almost 500 students enrolled in the remote academy. That leaves 240 students coming back, with about 80 coming each week.

Families who chose the Full Remote Academy committed to keeping their kids home for the first semester. There will be a chance to opt in or out for second semester.

Full Remote Breakdown by WFAE on Scribd

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Ann Doss Helms has covered education in the Charlotte area for over 20 years, first at The Charlotte Observer and then at WFAE. Reach her at ahelms@wfae.org or 704-926-3859.