Education

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

Students, parents and school employees are waiting anxiously to hear whether North Carolina’s schools will reopen in May – and so is the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board.

Thursday’s state Board of Education meeting brought more than $30 million worth of good news for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools – and accusations from the state superintendent that board leaders aren’t being transparent about spending. 

YMCA of Greater Charlotte

If this were a normal spring break, hundreds of kids from across the Charlotte region would be in YMCA camps.

The YMCA of Greater Charlotte normally hosts 13 spring break camps in Mecklenburg, Union, Iredell and Lincoln counties. The coronavirus has closed them all.

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

North Carolina education officials are pointing fingers over a controversial method of distributing COVID-19 relief money that excluded Mecklenburg County.

Jodi Felton

For families across the region, this week is a spring break like no other.

Schools have been closed for four weeks, and the remainder of the year remains uncertain. Family trips have been canceled. Parks, playgrounds and spring break camps — all closed to prevent coronavirus contagion.

Every household has a different story. We spoke to two parents, a teacher and a high school senior to get snapshots of the strange week ahead.

The North Carolina Board of Education on Thursday approved a wish list of temporary legislative changes to get through this year’s coronavirus crisis. But a state lawmaker says policymakers also need to think about long-term change. 

Superintendent Earnest Winston told the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board Wednesday that his request for a $37 million increase from the county probably isn’t realistic. 

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

About 900 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools employees who are staffing school grab-and-go meal sites and other essential on-site duties will get time-and-a-half pay starting Monday.

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

The state Board of Education is handing out $25 million in COVID-19 relief money to schools using an unusual formula that shuts out Mecklenburg County. That has local lawmakers baffled and angry.

Want to give the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board your thoughts on the budget or the coronavirus closing plan? If all goes well, members of the public will be able to use Zoom to offer three-minute comments at Wednesday's board meeting.

Queens University Facebook page

Queens University of Charlotte Friday announced a new scholarship program designed to help the class of 2020 and entice students who may be rethinking their college choices. 

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

When the coronavirus pandemic forced public schools across America to close, each had to find its own way to quickly reinvent itself.

McClintock Middle School in southeast Charlotte faces some big challenges, and has a powerhouse partner helping out.

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

At the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board’s last in-person meeting to talk about coronavirus responses, at-large member Jennifer De La Jara was absent. She now says that was because COVID-19 had reached her home. 

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Student teachers can’t graduate because schools closed. College students who can’t go home are living on mostly empty campuses. High schoolers who would normally be touring campuses now are living in isolation and uncertainty.

Those were just a few of the challenges outlined by North Carolina's higher education leaders when they met Thursday with a House panel studying the effects of COVID-19 on education.

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

North Carolina paid out almost $35 million in teacher performance bonuses this year. On Thursday the state Board of Education looked at data to figure out whether the state is getting its money's worth.

As students and teachers across North Carolina grappled with distance learning this week, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board held its first all-electronic meeting Tuesday.

If you've been working from home and trying new technology, you can probably guess how that went.

 

UNC Charlotte saw a quick and generous response when it launched an emergency fund for students who lost their dorm rooms and meal plans when the university abruptly closed because of the coronavirus. But the need quickly outstripped those donations. 

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The North Carolina Board of Education approved Friday an emergency paid leave policy to ensure that school employees get paid through the COVID-19 crisis.

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How do you grade students who are learning from home, some of them without internet access, adult guidance or other means to keep up?

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North Carolina's year-end testing is likely to be put on hold for this year, as students face at least nine weeks of learning from home to avoid the coronavirus.

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

It was a strange morning in the Olde Providence parking lot Wednesday, what with the suit of armor wearing a surgical mask and the teachers whooping it up like it was Friday night before a big game.

Then again, there haven’t been any normal days at the south Charlotte elementary school or anywhere else, with schools closed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

Even if North Carolina's schools can reopen in mid-May, families and school employees may see their summer plans disrupted by the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, a key legislator said Wednesday.

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools pulled the plug on spring proms Tuesday night, as the county prepares to go on stay-home orders to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston wants an additional $36.8 million from the county for the coming school year. 

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

It wasn’t a surprise, but it was still kind of shocking: North Carolina students will have at least nine weeks carved out of their classroom time because of the coronavirus pandemic. In the best-case scenario, they could return on May 18 for a very truncated school experience.

ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE

North Carolina's public schools will remain closed through May 15 as the coronavirus pandemic spreads through the state, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Monday.

Gaston College has named John Hauser as its new president, starting June 1. He’s currently president of Carteret Community College and has more than 30 years of experience in North Carolina’s community college system, including more than 20 at Wilkes Community College. 

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board’s student representative is getting a lot of public love after he grilled the adults in the room at an emergency board meeting this week.

Santi Vedri / Unsplash

It’s now the fourth day public schools in North Carolina have been closed to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Eric Davis, the chairman of the state board of education, says the school system is doing everything it can to deliver instruction, but that the closure has highlighted inequities across the state in delivering distance learning to students.

Ann Doss Helms / WFAE

North Carolina’s public schools are moving fast to create emergency child care, meals for students and online learning plans, a state official told the state Board of Education Wednesday.

Deputy Superintendent David Stegall, who is leading the Department of Public Instruction's coronavirus response, and state board chair Eric Davis, say some questions remain unanswered, including how to ensure seniors can meet graduation requirements and whether the two weeks of closing that Gov. Roy Cooper ordered Saturday can count toward required school time if distance learning is provided.

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