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CMS trying to determine if it will offer full remote learning next school year

Wednesday is the last day CMS parents can weigh in on whether or not the district should offer full-time remote learning next school year.

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Wednesday is the last day parents of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students will have to weigh in on whether the district should offer an option for full-time virtual learning next year. 

The district is garnering responses from a survey sent to parents whose children are enrolled in the CMS remote learning academy. A spokesperson for CMS told WCNC Charlotte's Billie Jean Shaw that the district will take responses from the survey to the school board, who will then make the final decision about offering virtual learning next year. 

Michelle Sanchez hopes the district offers an option for both in-person learning and remote classes. Sanchez said her son Jake, who is in ninth grade, thrived in the virtual learning atmosphere. 

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"Really excelled, straight A's," Sanchez said. "Although he was very social at school, he's just very independent, also."

However, her other son, Joshua, who is in 11th grade, does much better with in-person learning. 

"It's been more challenging not having that interaction of his friends," Sanchez said. "We've stepped things up for him and have reached out to provide more avenues of support."

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So when it comes to virtual school for the Sanchez family, it’s a house divided. Michelle says she would love to see CMS offer an option for remote learning next school year. 

A spokesperson for CMS issued the following statement to WCNC Charlotte:

"Current state law does not allow districts to offer full remote academies as part of each school for the next school year (2021-22).

CMS is exploring the option of a virtual school for K-8 students. We are surveying current full-remote families about their interest in such a program. When those survey results are complete we will look at out options. If we decide to proceed with the option, we will need to present it to the Board of Education for their approval.

The K-8 option would be in addition to the current Charlotte-Mecklenburg Virtual High School for grades 9-12."

If the decision is made to allow virtual learning, details remain unknown about how the online academy would operate. The district did not specify if teachers would be assigned to teach online only.

“I think that’s really hard to engage the students that are there and engage the students online but the teachers have done that and I appreciate it," Sanchez said.

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Contact Billie Jean Shaw at bshaw@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.