As school year winds down, here’s what CMS families can expect next

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There’s some good news for Charlotte-Mecklenburg students and parents as the countdown begins for the end of the school year: the district is planning on next year being as normal as possible.

Many parents are already planning for a transition to summer learning.

There is more time for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools families to sign up for its summer-learning program. The district reopened registration for “Camp CMS,” which is “an endeavor that will be like nothing we’ve ever done before,” officials said.

Registration for the free six-week, in-person camp has 50,000 openings for students. So far, 22,500 have signed up.

Families have until Friday to register.

Lauren Meseroll’s fifth grader and soon-to-be middle schooler has enrolled in CAMP CMS.

“We thought that this would provide her a good opportunity to strengthen her foundation, be ready to go to middle school with a little more confidence,” Meseroll said. “Though remote learning went OK, I think just having her back in the classroom, it’s just an opportunity we couldn’t pass up to get a few extra weeks in.”

The free program is unlike anything the district has ever done, after a year unlike anything before.

Families can expect in-person learning, along with physical activities and enrichment Monday through Thursday.

Meseroll hopes that will build on the in-person return.

“She misses going to school,” Meseroll said. “She misses being with her friends, and she’s been inside our house for a long time. So I think having a change of scenery has really helped, as well”

Beyond the summer, what about fall?

CMS Board Member Margaret Marshall said the district is planning to return to full in-person instruction, five days a week in the fall.

“Next year, we are planning on being as normal as possible,” Marshall said. “Five day a week programming just like we always have, in-person instruction.”

Parents like Haske said they are hoping for the best and hope the district will be able to return to five days a week safely.

“I’m hoping for the best and hoping that they will be able to do five days safely but if not, I’m hoping there’s some sort of comprehensive contingency plan,” Haske said.

In addition, Marshall said they are exploring a full virtual option for families who want it. It would operate as a standalone school with teachers dedicated to remote instruction.

(Watch the video below as CMS Board Member Margaret Marshall explains more about the potential full virtual option)

“There’s not one size fits all so we want to make sure kids get their best academic performance in whatever way,” Marshall said.

Marshall said the virtual option would require board action, and she hopes the legislature will agree with them on that.

Parents can expect a survey to gauge interest soon.