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Pupils of 2nd and 3rd grades of Orehek primary school arrive...

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools decided to stick with its plans and students return to the classroom on Monday. The CMS Board met on Tuesday night to discuss the option of having students break away from all-virtual and decided to bring the traditional setting into play.

Starting Monday, Feb. 15, Pre-K, elementary students, and some older with special needs will be put on a rotation between days in classrooms and virtual learning. This will be the same model for middle and high school students starting Feb. 22.

However, Gov. Roy Cooper has yet to approve a return for middle and high school students due to the higher rates for COVID-19 transmission with those groups over the age of 12. Although, many believe the governor will allow for all students to return given his recent comments about a need to open schools in North Carolina.

CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston was optimistic, but cautious about having students return to the classroom for the first time in nearly a year.

“We do approach this return very mindful that COVID remains a concern in our community,” Winston said. “We won’t be eliminating all risk, but we do believe we put practices and procedures in place to reduce those risks as much as possible.”

After last night, CMS Board member Rhonda Cheek feels the conversation was upbeat and the district heading in the right direction. She also feels the decision to have students back in the classroom is six months past due.

“Schools were closed by the Governor. We did have the opportunity to get kids back into school back in August, and we missed that opportunity,” Cheek told WBT’s Bo Thompson Morning Show on Wednesday.

She went on to say she would “like everybody back at least four days a week in the younger grades. And to get us back so that kids are in the building weekly– High school kids are back in the building, at least for a portion of it.”

Listen to the entire interview with Rhonda Cheek below.