Saying the decision to close schools for a May 16 teacher protest left Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in "uncharted waters," district leaders rolled out a plan Monday for rescheduling exams, providing child care and paying hourly employees.
Superintendent Clayton Wilcox announced the closing Friday evening, saying at least 2,000 of the district's 9,000-plus teachers had requested leave for a "March for Students and Rally for Respect" in Raleigh on the opening day of the General Assembly.
CMS is part of a wave of such closings that, as of Monday, included Wake, Guilford, Durham, Chapel Hill-Carrsboro and Mooresville, leaving families of more than 420,000 North Carolina students with an unplanned day off. Thousands of teachers now say they're going to the state capital to demand better pay, safer schools, more support staff and better working conditions.
Here's the plan:
Advanced Placement exams scheduled for May 16 will be given on makeup days offered by the College Board, with the national testing organization waiving the makeup fees and assuring that results will be delivered on schedule. However, the plan for AP exams at early and middle college high schools remains uncertain because those schools have earlier graduation dates.
International Baccalaureate exams cannot be made up, so principals and faculty are working to ensure those tests can still be offered on May 16.
Students who are enrolled in CMS after-school enrichment programs will be able to attend those programs from 6:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 16.
Students won't have to make up the day.
Many CMS employees, such as teacher assistants, bus drivers and cafeteria staff, are paid only when students are at school. They will have three options: Take an annual leave day May 16, take the day off without pay or report to work, where paid training will be offered.
May 16 is an optional work day, which means teachers who don't opt to take leave can report to work but students won't be there.
Middle school games scheduled for May 16 will be played a day early. High school playoff games will continue as scheduled.
Trips scheduled for May 16 will be rescheduled or canceled. Rescheduling time is limited; CMS is asking that new dates be submitted by Thursday so they can be approved and buses reserved.
A celebration of retirees scheduled for May 16 will be rescheduled.
The work day won't interfere with graduation schedules.