In an emergency meeting Thursday, Jan. 14, the Charlotte Mecklenburg School Board of Education voted 8-1 in favor of having students remain in remote learning through at least Feb. 15.
The change in direction was prompted by a new public health directive from Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris. The directive urges Mecklenburg County residents to minimize all in-person contact and asks for schools and businesses to shift their operations to virtual platforms unless required otherwise.
Although the decision came suddenly, just days before students’ expected return date, Board officials feel as though sending students back at this time is not safe.
“Even though remote learning is working fine for some kids, it’s not working fine for a lot of kids,” board chair Elyse Dashew said. “And yet, the numbers are just in a really bad place… I don’t see how we can go back on Jan. 19. I just don’t think that’s responsible.”
Under the plan, pre-K, elementary, and a fraction of middle school and special needs students will return to in person learning on Feb. 15. Middle and high school students will not return until Feb. 22. The board will reevaluate these dates at their scheduled Feb. 9. meeting.