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Here's what CMS is monitoring as kids return to classrooms

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools released its dashboard of COVID cases, and other critical measures that will determine when kids go back to in-person instruction.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg School leaders unveiled their red, yellow, and green dashboard system that they will use to guide decisions on when students will move between in-person, remote, and hybrid instructional phases.

The "CMS COVID-19 Dashboard" will be updated weekly to provide families, community members, and school staff a snapshot of conditions in the schools.

One of the most important things the dashboard will showcase is the number of positive cases within the district's 177 schools.

For the week ending October 2, CMS reported 7 faculty members with positive cases and one student. The data, which will also be reported to the health department, will be updated every Friday by 6 p.m.

The first data set also reflects the first week that approximately 1,200 CMS students were allowed to return to school buildings for some in-person instruction.

CMS plans to slowly reintroduce more students to schools over the course of the next month.

RELATED: CMS pivots, votes to bring K-5 students in the classroom twice a week, every week

The dashboard divides the readiness scale into three categories: 

  • green means conditions are right for in-person instruction
  • yellow suggests district leaders need to proceed with caution or consider additional safety measures
  • red categories mean a return to remote learning could be imminent

In addition to COVID-19 cases in the schools, CMS is also watching the spread of the virus in the community. While cases in schools are currently classified as green, the cases in the community are currently in the yellow category.

The dashboard also measures the conditions within the schools. Things like PPE, staffing levels, and cleaning supplies will all be closely watched. 

CMS previously reported a concern with insufficient nurses, bus drivers, and janitorial staff.

RELATED: Here's what CMS did and did not buy for the approaching return to in-person instruction

Right now, all of those categories remain classified as green. 

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said Tuesday that he believes transparency in schools will be a critical part of keeping schools open.

"I think anything we can do to help to slow the spread is important," he said.

North Carolina's Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen agreed, but also cautioned that privacy is important.

"These schools are small we don’t want [people] to be bullied or targeted in any way," Cohen said. "I think school districts are going to have to work through how to share enough information to make sure they’re protecting those around them, making sure to talk to those who have been in direct contact, and making sure they are quarantining and getting tested, but we also have to respect individual privacy."

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