CMS Expands Virtual School to Kindergarten to Grade 2 Students With Health Problems

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (WBTV) – Younger students will now have the option to enroll in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School’s Virtual School Program.

The board of directors voted unanimously in favor of the expansion at Tuesday night’s meeting.

The change is part of a plan that must be submitted to the Ministry of Education by October 1.

“We have heard from parents of younger students who are medically fragile,” said Elyse Dashew, chair of the board. “We are pleased that CMS is able to offer students this expanded educational choice. “

“I think this is an appropriate way to balance safety and learning and I’m glad we were able to offer this option,” said Margaret Marshall, Board Member.

According to CMS, once a student signs up for the virtual magnet, they will stay there for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year. The initial registration window opens on October 4 and ends on October 10. Students accepted during this initial window will begin their registration on November 1. Applications submitted and approved after the initial window will be entered on an ongoing basis after November 1.

Prior to Tuesday’s vote, the virtual school was only available to students in grades 3 through 12 with a health or medical condition.

Last month, principals said virtual schools would not be extended to kindergarten to grade 2 students because of the program.

“Our K-2 teaching is largely performance teaching, it requires many of our students to be in small groups. It forces them to have various manipulatives and we don’t have any program content right now, ”said Matt Hayes, assistant superintendent of studies.

Parent Stacy Staggs says the move is long overdue.

” It is better late than never. It would have been great if it had been an option at the start of the school year, ”said Staggs.

Her twin daughters are in second year and both have complex health issues. CMS hospital home containment program as a safety measure after initially being told the virtual school would not extend to Kindergarten to Grade 2.

“I am desperate to stay attached to the CMS program and have access to this information,” Satggs said.

General Member Jennifer De La Jara says several families have expressed their desire for this option over the summer – some of whom have left the school system.

(Jennifer De La Jara, Member at Large)

“I think that instead of asking students to unsubscribe now, we could have done a better job. I’m only saying this because I want the people hearing this, the directors, anyone to make sure that people are communicating with the right people to get the right information so that we can make the best decision up front and not be reactive but maybe a little more proactive.

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Perry A. Thomasson