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

CMS Will Let Staff Children Come To School For Remote Learning Days

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools staff who must report for duty as schools bring students back won’t have to leave their own kids home alone, district officials said Wednesday.

The school board approved plans to start bringing students back into building on a phased-in schedule that runs from late September to mid-January. Most students will attend classes only one week out of three, but teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria staff and others will work every day as three shifts of students cycle through.

Children of staff who are in grades K-8 can report to schools to do their remote-learning weeks under adult supervision, based on the plan announced at Wednesday's board meeting. Only students who are enrolled in CMS are eligible, and they can go their assigned school or the school where the parent works.

That doesn’t mean staff children will be in regular classes every week, said human resources chief Christine Pejot.

“It’s like a learning lab,” Pejot said. “It’s a safe space for students to be able to come and engage in their remote instruction. It is not instruction that’s provided face to face by their regular teachers.”

The plan removes a barrier that might keep essential staff from working, and may help avert furloughs or cuts in hours by providing jobs supervising those areas, Pejot said. Board members applauded the project.

“This was one of my big hot buttons: How were we going to support staff with some day-care issues,” said board member Lenora Shipp.

The board voted unanimously Wednesday to authorize Superintendent Earnest Winston to furlough employees as needed, but Pejot said she doesn’t think that’s likely. She reported that only 144 of approximately 19,000 employees are at risk of full furlough, but she doesn’t believe that will happen any time soon. Another 1,225 could see their hours cut.

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