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CMS To Offer Virtual Learning For Grades 3-12 Next School Year

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Courtesy Charlotte Barber
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First-graders Zanne Rickles (upper left) and Levi Barber do their remote classes in a socially distanced neighborhood learning pod.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced that it will provide virtual learning for students in grades 3 through 12 for the 2021-22 school year. The offering had been expected after nearly half of families who responded to a survey about Full Remote Academy said they would definitely prefer virtual learning next year.

CMS will not provide virtual learning for grades PreK through 2.

In an announcement emailed Friday, according to The Charlotte Observer, and posted to CMSchoice.org, the school system said there will be three virtual schools available: one serving grades 3-5, one serving 6-8 and the last serving grades 9-12. Students who register for virtual school are expected to participate for the full school year.

CMS already has a virtual high school and some nearby districts, such as Iredell-Statesville, Cabarrus and Gaston counties, offered online learning for all grade levels before the coronavirus pandemic.

Students who enroll in virtual learning will still be eligible to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities at their home school.

CMS surveyed about 36,000 families whose elementary and middle school children attended Full Remote Academy this year. About 9,400 responded, and about 4,200 said they’d definitely prefer to continue with virtual learning next year. Almost 2,800 said "no" to continuing with remote classes, and the rest were undecided.

CMS plans to offer in-person classes five days a week starting in August. Teachers will not be expected to do in-person and remote instruction at the same time, as many did this year.

Information and registration for virtual school for grades 9-12 is available here. Registration for grades 3-8 is "coming soon," according to the website.

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Jodie Valade has been a Digital News and Engagement Editor for WFAE since 2019. Since moving to Charlotte in 2015, she has worked as a digital content producer for NASCAR.com and a freelance writer for publications ranging from Charlotte magazine to The Athletic to The Washington Post and New York Times. Before that, Jodie was an award-winning sports features and enterprise reporter at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. She also worked at The Dallas Morning News covering the Dallas Mavericks — where she became Mark Cuban's lifelong email pen pal — and at The Kansas City Star. She has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University and a Master of Education from John Carroll University. She is originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan.