CMS Board requests state flexibility to limit remote learning screen time

In an August 27 letter to state legislators, the Charlotte Mecklenburg School Board requested flexibility on remote learning instructional requirements which have seen young children spend many hours each day sitting in front of computer screens.

With COVID still spreading at dangerously high rates and insufficient resources to guarantee safe in-person learning, CMS has started the 2020-21 school year under Plan C, which means all students are learning from home.

The struggle to balance staff and student health and safety with learning needs and legal requirements during a pandemic has been a challenge to say the least.

Two weeks into the new school year, parents have complained that the amount of mandatory screen time is unhealthy and unsustainable, especially for elementary students.

With state legislators due back in Raleigh on September 2, yesterday CMS Board Chair Elyse Dashew and members of the board’s Intergovernmental Relations Committee sent a letter to General Assembly leadership requesting flexibility in the number of instructional hours required under state law.

The letter, addressed to Senate Pro Tempore Phil Berger, House Speaker Tim Moore, and chairs of education committees in both the NC House and Senate, asks the General Assembly to “provide LEAs with flexibility in providing six hours per day of instructional time so that screen time can be limited when needed.”

You can read the letter in its entirety below:


7 thoughts on “CMS Board requests state flexibility to limit remote learning screen time

  1. I feel that 7 hrs in front of a computer & then hours of homework after “class time” is ridiculous! My high schoolers are spending at least another 2-3 hours doing homework EACH night on top of that and most of that is on the computer as well! This is absurb!!! As if them not having the benefits of in person learning is not bad enough, now they are not getting to socialize after classes! I realize that my kids are taking many AP classes but I still feel like this is way toooo much!

  2. It’s too much. Half of in-the-building school time is transition – time spent lining up, getting down halls, waiting in lines for the cafeteria, etc So on-line learning should be shorter, with the opportunity to complete homework (even for slower workers) before dinner. My kids’ eyes are burning by noon and they’re fried at 4:10. 😫

    • “Half of in-building time is transition”….where did you get that???? No it’s not. I teach in a high school, and students have 6 minutes to get from one class to the next, which means only 18 minutes of the school day is for transition. Lunch is 30 minutes, which includes getting food, eating, and starting class back. Soooo, the grand total would be 48 minutes. ******That obviously is NOT half of of the in-building school time.

  3. My three are elementary ages. So far so good on the screen time but we hear that it will be increased on Monday. Can it be arranged to start each class at the mentioned time, but allow the last third to be off screen for the student unless he needs to text a question? I believe the Duke research shows learning is maximized with 25m intense study followed by some physical activity and a short rest before next topic of intense study.

  4. Thank you for sharing this important article. Our students are truly feeling the pressure and we as their teachers need to stand up for them.

  5. I definitely agree. My son is on the computer from 9:10-3:00 he’s drained afterwards. The program I had to enroll him in so I could continue working does not complete his assignments so as soon as we get home it’s dinner time then assignment time. He’s tired, as well as I in-turn I’m continuously behind on assignments. I really feel less screen time would leave time for rest and allow parents to catch up on assignments especially for working parents. On my days off I’d prefer to catch up on work than spend a day doing zoom. 5 days is way too much. Charter schools are only doing 2 days of screen time and the remaining 3 are left for assignments.

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