Families
COVID-19 Updates

Safety Measures and Protocols


CMS is offering rapid antigen COVID testing in schools for symptomatic students. This will provide an added layer of support to the health and wellness of our students and staff. Testing will be conducted by school-based coordinators or trained staff and offered in addition to PCR tests. A signed consent waiver is required for all students who request COVID testing and can be filled out at any time. Students who have a completed consent waiver on file will be eligible for the rapid test soon as it is available at your school. Contact your school for more information.

Protect Yourself and Others. Stay Home When You're Sick!

The safety, health and well-being of our students, staff, families and community is a top priority.  We continue to monitor local metrics, consult with our partners at Mecklenburg County Public Health and follow the guidance of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services as shared in the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit

CMS is committed to consistent and layered prevention strategies to ensure safety in our buildings including: 

  • Encouraging anyone who is eligible to get vaccinated

  • Social/physical distancing is encouraged and reminders posted throughout the building

  • Face coverings are optional beginning March 7 by all students, staff and guests in CMS facilities. Face coverings are optional to wear on buses or other transportation vehicles.

  • Hand sanitizer stations are placed strategically throughout schools.

  • Buses will be disinfected once per day. Sanitizer can still be provided along with masks if a student requests one.

  • Prior to arrival, monitor for symptoms at home and stay home if sick.

The Custodial Services Department has therefore committed to the following:

  • Cleaning and disinfection of all areas throughout the school will be conducted at the end of each school day to include high touch surfaces in classrooms, offices, restrooms, water fountains, and common areas.

  • Custodial staff will continue daily monitoring and restocking, as needed, for custodial supplies (paper towels, hand soap, toilet tissue, hand sanitizer, cleaning products, etc.)

Frequently Asked Questions (updated 2/28)

Masks are optional. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, masks can help protect you and others from COVID-19. Among the reasons the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recommends you wear a mask:
  • You are at high risk for severe illness
  • You are unvaccinated or not up-to-date on your vaccines
  • You have COVID-19 or were exposed to the virus
  • You want an added layer of protection
  • You are in a high-risk setting
No. Any student, staff or visitor to a CMS facility is encouraged to wear a mask while indoors. This just means it is no longer mandatory to do so. 

The consensus among public health experts is that cloth masks were not as effective in preventing spread of the recent Omicron surge as they were against previous variants. Masks have been proven effective at slowing spread of previous strains of the virus. 

Data from school districts, including some in North Carolina, have shown that the majority of asymptomatic students and staff required to quarantine after known exposure to individuals with confirmed cases never developed symptoms and never tested positive for the virus. This would indicate days absent from school that proved to be unnecessary. There also is indication that much of our state has developed sufficient immunity to warrant this change, either because of high vaccination rates or high levels of natural immunity in the community. 

We will continue to follow best practices for mitigating the impacts of infectious disease, including COVID-19. This includes encouraging social distance between individuals whenever and wherever possible. 

School staff will not be required to enforce masking once the mask optional policy goes into effect. Masks remain recommended as part of the multi-faceted approach to reducing spread of the virus, but once masks are no longer mandatory individuals are expected to make that choice for themselves. Students whose families want them to continue wearing masks will be responsible for complying with that request. 

Vaccination status is protected medical information and may not be shared without consent of the individual. Schools will not provide that private information. 

We encourage teachers or staff members to listen to concerns, but a mask optional policy means staff members may make the choices with which they are most comfortable. 

The consent forms are available online for families who choose to participate in this free program. Schools will also send information with the links directly to families via email. Paper forms are available by request.  
Yes. Face coverings are now optional to wear on buses or other transportation vehicles.

The bill, though passed by both houses of the legislature, has not been signed into law by the governor. The bill also applies only to students. Our Board’s action applies to students, staff and visitors to our facilities. If signed into law, the current bill would take effect immediately. 

Not without documentation of a qualifying medical condition and approval from the district’s external medical review committee. Families may request a transfer to a virtual school for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year based on the student’s medical or health condition. Transfer requests require a completed medical packet. The transfer request will be approved if the external medical review committee affirms the medical / health condition and there is space in the grade / classes requested.

The school choice lottery period for the 2022-23 school year is closed. Families may make a request for reassignment or transfer to a virtual school for the 2022-23 school year. Requests will be approved based on available space in the grade / classes requested.

All athletic events that occur between tonight and the effective date of March 7 must continue to follow the current district policy. That means all students, staff and visitors from CMS or elsewhere must wear face coverings while inside CMS facilities. Beginning March 7, masks will be optional.  

Social & Emotional Health

How do I talk to my child about Covid-19?
We understand the fear and anxiety that news and developments related to COVID-19 can cause in children. The National Association of School Psychologists offers tips on talking to children about COVID-19. Contact CMS School Counseling Services for additional resources.


What emotional supports are available for students?

Student services staff (school counselors, social workers and psychologists) are available to students during the school year. We encourage students and families to reach out to their school's staff members for support. 


What emotional supports are available for staff?
Any employee seeking additional social-emotional support is encouraged to contact DeerOaks Employee Assistance ProgramMore information is available for staff on the Employee Intranet.  

P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools website (www.cms.k12.nc.us) 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.