CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte Bilingual Preschool couldn’t reopen at its original location because of COVID-19 restrictions.
The preschool operates at an adjacent building to Hickory Grove Elementary, which is owned by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Charlotte Bilingual Preschool Principal Marta Duran said since the district started the school with remote learning, the preschool could not reopen in-person either at their original location.
“It was challenging for them and for us because they were not opening the doors for any other CMS school, and it was hard to make an exception for us,” Duran said.
Once those at Thompson Childhood Development Center heard about their challenge, they offered their space.
Charlotte Bilingual preschool is now renting two of their classrooms.
“The LatinX community is a very vulnerable community in the city, and we didn’t want to leave our families with no support at all. We wanted them to have an option,” Duran said.
Parents like Betcimar Mayol are grateful for the in-person option, which she believes is essential due to her son's age.
“When they told me there was a possibility for in-person learning with rules, social distancing, and safety measures, it made me feel safe having my son here,” Mayol
Lead English teacher Jonell Franklyn also missed teaching in person.
“It was really hard because I wasn’t face to face with the children, and on the computer screen is not the same. They just need that face-to-face interaction,” Franklyn said.
Mayol's son and 12 other children will continue learning at the Thompson Childhood Development Center through the end of the school year.
“I’m happy with the classes, with his learning, with what he shares with me when he gets home. I’m very happy how they are doing things,” Mayol said.
Charlotte Bilingual Preschool will reopen its original location on October 12, which is the date all pre-K students in CMS will return to the classroom. The nonprofit organization still plans to keep the two classrooms at Thompson Childhood Development Center through the end of the school year.