Aug. 17, 2021
Watching their Covid updates and their employee vacancy lists, members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education today fielded questions from Forum participants about plans for the coming year.
Chairperson Elyse Dashew did most of the presentation. Five members of the board were present at one point or another. Central office staff did not take part in answering questions about Covid, how federal Covid rescue dollars would be spent, or the bond-financed construction programs being put to use this fall.
Sarafina Wright’s report for QCityMetro on what Dashew said is here.
Much information was shared in today’s chat box. Excerpts are below the video.
Presenter Elyse Dashew asked her school board colleagues to drop some links and other information into the chat box. Other participants added questions or comments. Excerpts:
Elyse Dashew: You can see updates on all our school bond projects – new schools as well as renovations and replacements – on this website: https://cmsbondconstruction.com/
Carol Sawyer: Here’s the link to the NC Strong Schools Toolkit: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/media/164/download
Jennifer De La Jara: CMS will host its next vaccine clinic for staff and students, ages 12 and older, on Tuesday, Aug. 17 at the CMS Education Center located at 4221 Stuart Andrew Blvd. Staff and eligible students may attend the event on a walk-in basis at any time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Carol Sawyer: CMS is also working with our partners at the Council of the Great City Schools to share best practices on how to invest American Rescue Plan funding. https://www.cgcs.org/Page/1283
Jennifer De La Jara: Link to our latest school board meeting with the back-to-school report. https://fb.watch/7rri0umBoS/
Carol Sawyer: CMS is also expanding a proven literacy initiative: CMS has partnered with Professor Jimmy Kim and the Harvard READS Lab on the Model of Reading Engagement (MORE) curriculum for four years. Previously, this research study included 26 elementary schools, a representative sample of all learning communities and socioeconomic levels. Due to strong engagement and promising outcomes, MORE will be expanded to all third-graders in 2021-2022. Read more here: https://www.cms.k12.nc.us/News/Pages/CMS-expands-MORE-program-for-third-graders.aspx
Jackie Edwards Walton: How are Teach for America persons being engaged this year? What are the numbers of provisional persons in the system?
Jennifer De La Jara: New Teach for America teachers were included as CMS welcomed 751 new teachers total to the district in a two-day training event that took place between August 10-12. The theme for this year’s New Teacher Experience was “Uncommon Grit: The Future Depends on What We Do in the Present.”
Carol Sawyer: Student will have access to their technology at home, but we cannot pivot to hybrid learning.
Tom Bowers: I hear students getting more attention via Title 9 task force. What about soliciting protected teacher inputs?
Carol Sawyer: From the Safe Schools Toolkit: Quarantine is required for an individual who has been in close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes cumulatively over a 24-hour period) of someone who is determined positive with COVID-19, either through testing or symptom-consistent diagnosis, with the following three exceptions:
- Individuals who are fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms do NOT need to quarantine after a close contact. Individual should get tested 3-5 days after exposure and wear a mask around others until receiving a negative test result.
- People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered and do not have symptoms do NOT have to quarantine.
- Students who are not fully vaccinated after a close contact in a classroom or other school setting if masks were being worn appropriately and consistently…. (Source: StrongSchoolsNC: Public Health Toolkit (K-12) Interim Guidance • Published June 8, 2020; Updated August 10, 2021)
Carol Sawyer: The base pay for substitutes has not changed, but CMS is providing a bonus to subs in Title I schools.
Carol Sawyer: Please encourage any of your young relatives and community members age 12 and up to get vaccinated.
Jackie Edwards Walton: Adults, please get your vaccines also!
Winston Robinson: Are measures and procedures being considered for crowded, maskless cafeterias during lunch?
Carol Sawyer: Lunch protocols will be handled on a school-by-school basis. Some may increase the number of lunch periods, some with use other protocols to spread out students.
Carol Sawyer: Good news this year: All students are eligble for free lunch. And breakfast is free also.
Greg Phipps: Will all CMS classrooms have the requisite supplies on hand, or will teachers be expected to supplement out-of-pocket occasionally?
Regina Tisdale: Great Info we needed to know what is in store for the CHILDREN.
Timothy Emry: We spend too much on police and prisons to adequately pay teachers and substitutes.
Louise Woods: CMS has a program now where good teacher assistants can become teachers – a key to getting more minority teachers and more teachers committed to Charlotte-Mecklenburg.