First Day Back: CMS knows this school year will be far from ordinary

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CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are putting in a system to do COVID testing within its schools. The superintendent says parents could choose to have their child tested for COVID once the system gets up and running, but testing would not be required for students at all or for teachers and staff who are vaccinated.

The CMS superintendent says the district has chosen a vendor for COVID testing, but they’re still working out the details to get the program up and running.

“What it will essentially entail is that it will be pool testing and students will have to opt-in so parent consent and families will give us permission to do that and then testing will go into the pool so that classroom and then we’ll be able to get that to the lab and look at those results and then come back and share with that particular classroom what those results are,” said CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston.

The superintendent says CMS is working to implement the COVID testing as quickly as possible. He says it will help mitigate the spread of COVID in schools.

CMS is also short on bus drivers, teachers for exceptional children, and substitute teachers along with HVAC workers, as the new school year begins.

The district is offering signing bonuses up to $2500  depending on the position. CMS will use American Rescue Plan funding to help fill the vacant positions.

Winston said there are a number of HVAC issues in schools affecting one to two classrooms to entire hallways.

Winston says CMS is working to address the HVAC issues as quickly as possible and that the hot temperatures outside are stressing the HVAC systems at some schools.

CMS at its end-of-first day briefing Monday said the HVAC issues include some parts of schools either without AC or the air conditioning running at half capacity.

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