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Education

Charlotte-Area Schools Take Another Step Toward Normal This Week

Carmel Middle masks CMS.jpg
Nancy Pierce
/
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Students at Carmel Middle School wear masks in class.

Students across the Charlotte region are returning from spring break this week, and for many of the older students it will be the closest thing to normal they’ve experienced since last March.

Middle and high schools in Mecklenburg, Union, Cabarrus, Gaston, Catawba and Cleveland counties will reopen this week with all students attending at the same time, for either four or five days a week.

For most of this year, North Carolina students in grades 6-12 had to maintain 6 feet of distance in classrooms and on buses. That generally meant splitting them into two or more groups that alternated between in-person and remote learning. The state lifted that requirement in mid-March, and many districts used spring break and the time leading up to it to prepare for bringing everyone back at once. Only students who have chosen full remote learning will remain at home.

By the end of this week, 88 of the state’s 115 school districts will have all grade levels offering in-person classes at least four days a week. That’s based on a tally from the North Carolina School Boards Association. Some districts, including Iredell-Statesville, Mooresville and Lincoln County, made that change earlier.

The return to more crowded classrooms comes about six weeks after North Carolina’s frontline educators became eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. Starting last week, students 16 and older can also get their shots.

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