© 2020 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Education
Coronavirus news and updates about the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

Southwest Charlotte Charter School Has A COVID-19 Cluster

Steele Creek Prep from FB.jpg
Steele Creek Preparatory Academy
Steele Creek Preparatory Academy

Steele Creek Preparatory Academy in southwest Charlotte became the first Mecklenburg County public school on the state's COVID-19 cluster list Tuesday.

The list says two students and three staff members have tested positive, but a school spokesman says four students are sick with COVID-19.

The state defines school clusters as five or more cases that appear to have spread at the school. Most of the schools reporting clusters are private schools, which don't have to follow state safety rules for public schools. The list posted Tuesday includes seven student cases at the private Covenant Day School in Matthews.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has had no clusters so far, but Gaston County Schools and Iredell-Statesville Schools, which started in-person classes earlier, have had clusters.

Steele Creek Prep, which will eventually serve K-8 students, opened in 2019. It was founded by former Mecklenburg County Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour and is part of the Charter Schools USA chain. Charter schools are public schools that report to independent nonprofit boards, rather than school districts.

Ridenhour said Wednesday one grade level has moved into remote-only classes for 14 days because of the COVID-19 cases. He said one student in that grade level initially tested positive, but three more got sick after they were sent home.

Steele Creek Prep offers families a choice of all-remote, all in-person or a combination of styles. Ridenhour says the school will continue with screening and sanitation measures to control the virus.

Want to read all of WFAE’s best news each day? Sign up here for The Frequency, WFAE’s daily email newsletter, to have our top stories delivered straight to your inbox.