A Note from Superintendent Winston
January 2, 2022

Hello CMS Families,
I hope the holidays have given you an opportunity to relax and spend quality time with loved ones. 
Please be mindful that tomorrow (Monday) is a teacher workday. As your students prepare to return to classrooms Tuesday, January 4, I want to provide some updates. We have heard concerns from some parents and community members about the high level of spread of COVID-19 in our area, and I continue to review our practices and procedures to help mitigate the impacts of the virus on our students and staff.

It’s important to note that a state law passed in August doesn’t allow CMS to go to full remote instruction like we did last school year. We can go to remote learning daily on a school-by-school, grade-by-grade, or class-by-class basis due to COVID quarantines, but not district-wide for extended periods of time.

I continue to monitor and assess conditions and will provide you updates accordingly. In preparation for January 4, I met late last week with new Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH) Director Dr. Raynard Washington and Gibbie Harris, who has retired.
Also, we share the following:
  • In light of new guidance put forward by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the NC Department of Health and Human Services updated its guidance in the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit. Mecklenburg County Public Health will have   updates for isolation and quarantining as it applies to schools.
  • Please remember that students who are experiencing COVID-like symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat) should stay home and are advised to get tested. Our school nurses will continue to assess students with COVID-like symptoms who are referred to the school health room and make decisions about the need for a student to isolate at home, seek COVID testing or visit a physician.
  • Masks continue to be required indoors, and physical distancing of 6 feet between adults, and children and adults to the greatest extent possible is expected.
  • Staff will continue to report positive cases, which will be reflected weekly in the COVID-19 data dashboard on the CMS website.
  • In conjunction with our state-provided testing partners, our pooled/rapid testing program for staff and PCR testing for consenting staff and students will resume the week of January 3. MCPH contact tracing staff will continue to be placed at schools until all schools have been assigned a staff person.
  • The StarMed partner clinics at Barnette Elementary, James Martin Middle, Garinger and Rocky River high schools, and Waddell/virtual schools are offering free family/community testing and vaccines beginning Monday.
Please know as school begins January 4 that I remain committed to the health and safety of each student in CMS. In order for our students to be safe and healthy, it will take a strong partnership between parents/guardians, community partners, health experts, Mecklenburg County agencies and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. I look forward to working with all our partners to prioritize the academic, health and socio-emotional needs of our students.

P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools website ( is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any website accessibility concerns may be brought via the following, Email the Web Accessibility Team at WebAccessibility or Call: 980.343.0115. In compliance with Federal Law, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administers all education programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities, may be referred to the District's Title IX Coordinator at titleixcoordinator or to the Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.