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CMS Cancels International Trips, Limits Staff Travel Because Of Coronavirus

Ann Doss Helms

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has canceled international field trips through July and limited domestic travel for staff because of the coronavirus.

Superintendent Earnest Winston notified employees Friday that they will not be allowed to travel to or through Washington state or California on business because those states have multiple active cases of COVID-19.

The letter also says all CMS-sponsored international field trips "will be paused until at least July 31. We realize this may have a financial impact for some students and families, and we'll work with our partners to find alternative options for these students. We will share details as we get them."

The letter says Winston doesn't plan to close schools unless there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a student or employee.

A public statement posted on the CMS website and social media Friday evening says only that "CMS has provided schools with guidance on travel for field trips for students and some restrictions on travel for staff to attend conferences." An employee provided WFAE with the more detailed letter.

One parent responded to the CMS Facebook post by saying robocalls to parents gave "no clear direction" about field trips and worried about a coming field trip to Florida. Another said he has paid $1,200 for a field trip to Washington, D.C., and worried about losing the money.

The letter to employees says "domestic field trips to areas that have not been identified as places of community transmissions of the coronavirus will proceed as scheduled."

Here's a link to the Centers for Disease Control guidance for schools. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction shared this information with superintendents this week.