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Charlotte Talks: As Public Schools Reopen, A Conversation With Our Superintendents


Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020

Rotating schedules. Face masks. Online education for students of all ages. Today we speak to the superintendents of our local school systems to discuss what is working, what isn’t, and what the rest of the semester might look like.

We have begun the second week of an unparalleled school year, and the pressure to succeed and stay healthy is paramount.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is operating under Plan C, a fully remote option. Initially, CMS proposed two weeks of in-person orientation followed by online classes. This faced significant backlash and staff shortages, however, and the administration voted to operate under a fully remote plan.

Iredell-Statesville and Union County, on the other hand, are operating under plan B, meaning a blend in-person classes, rotating schedules and partial online learning. Parents also have the option to choose fully remote learning in these counties.

All three counties have had issues to some degree. On the first day of school, the online program CMS used to access remote learning and virtual classrooms crashed, and cases of COVID-19 have been reported in both the Union Couty and Iredell-Statesville school districts in just the first week.

We speak to the superintendents of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Union and Iredell-Statesville school districts to understand how our public schools are operating in an incomparable year.


Earnest Winston, superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Andrew Houlihan, superintendent of Union County Public Schools

Jeff James, superintendent of Iredell-Statesville Schools

Ann Doss Helms,  education reporter for WFAE

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Jesse Steinmetz is Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.