The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education voted March 23 to return students in high schools and traditional middle schools to classrooms four days a week beginning April 12. This new calendar applies only to families who opt to have their students attend in-person learning. In addition, the board voted to keep open 82 After School Enrichment Program (ASEP) sites and allow them to remain operational throughout the remainder of the academic year.
The decision to return students to classrooms four days a week ensures that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will comply with recent state legislation requiring schools to provide in-person instruction. All CMS students not enrolled in Full Remote Academy, will attend school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday reserved for remote instruction.
In addition, all students receiving in-person instruction will attend school five days a week effective May 10 and extending to the end of the school year in order to accommodate state testing.
"As a mom, I know students will be overjoyed to be back with teachers and friends in the classroom four days a week. Safe, in-person learning is what our students need," said Board Chair Elyse Dashew. "I also know that all of this change is exhausting for the CMS family. The board has responded to ever-changing COVID guidelines for over a year now, including new rules announced by the state as recently as last week. We thank our staff, students, and families for your resilience. The light is at the end of the tunnel."
As part of the move to increased in-person instruction, families will have the option to choose between the Full Remote Academy (FRA) or in-person learning. The deadline to make this choice is April 1. The new calendar for high school and middle school students begins April 12 and will remain in place through the end of the school year.
"This year has been unlike any other year," said Superintendent Earnest Winston. "But bringing students back into the classroom for in-person instruction is an important milestone in our effort to return to some kind of normalcy. We know that in-person instruction is most effective for our students."
The Board also voted to keep 82 ASEP sites operational through the end of the year, rather than closing many of them as announced earlier this year. Keeping the centers open is possible due to increased demand and enrollment. ASEP is self-contained financially, using fees from families to operate.