TMSA Public Charter Schools Go Online - July 2020

TMSA Public Charter Schools Go Online - July 2020
Posted on 07/21/2020
TMSA and QCSS GO FULL ONLINEFor Immediate Release
July 21, 2020

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Mehdi Mustafa
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TMSA Public Charter Schools Reopen with Plan C for First Quarter

The Boards decided that all TMSA students will start the 2020-2021 academic year on August 11 with full remote synchronous instruction due to the recent statewide surge in COVID-19 cases.

Cary, NC – TMSA Public Charter Schools (TMSA PCS) announced that Triad Math and Science Academy, Triangle Math and Science Academy, and Queen City STEM School will reopen on August 11 with Plan C (full remote instruction) for the first quarter of the school year as decided by TMSA and QCSS boards in special meetings on Saturday. Under TMSA PCS’ Plan C, students will attend online synchronous classes as proposed by Superintendent Ben Karaduman.

“We have to put the health and safety of our students, staff, and families first,” said Mr. Karaduman, content with the boards’ decisions. “After all the information and feedback gathered through surveys from staff, families, community members, and experts,” Karaduman recommended to the boards that “it is not safe to reopen TMSA Public Charter Schools for in-class instruction at least for the first quarter.”

“I would love to make everybody happy, but we just can’t,” said TMSA Board Vice President Liz Firm a mother of three. “It is not an ideal situation, but we need to keep everybody safe.”

The recent decision came in line with the expectations of TMSA staff and parents surveyed in mid-July. Of the 2,375 parents and staff who completed the survey, almost 85% of the parents and 96.4% of the staff reported they are comfortable or extremely comfortable with full online synchronous learning.

The survey also asked participating parents to share additional feedback and concerns for the 2020-2021 reopening plans. “Social distancing is very unrealistic in an educational setting,” wrote a concerned parent. “My son has asthma, which is a great concern for us.” “There is no possibility of my children returning to the school,” wrote another, adding, “if digital learning is not an option, I will homeschool.” “We have an old grandmother living with us. She is about 92 years old,” wrote another, concluding that “it is not a good idea to let the kids potentially spread the virus to her.”

TMSA Public Charter Schools were among the first in North Carolina to go online after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. The schools used synchronous e-learning systems that involve real-time chat, and videoconferencing and require active participation of students. According to the survey, TMSA PCS completed the 2019-2020 school year with 91.2% parent satisfaction. TMSA Board Member Dr. Mustafa Atay also agreed that “TMSA did much better compared to the local districts last semester,” but warned that “we should focus on our effectiveness and challenge ourselves with standard test results. We should devise our own benchmark tests to measure our online success.”

“This has been an unprecedented time for us all, but we at TMSA gained much experience from Spring semester,” said Mr. Karaduman, who is very optimistic about shouldering upcoming hurdles. He said that TMSA PCS will prepare another survey to canvass the parents and staff needs to improve the remote instruction curriculum and achieve more successful results.

The boards will meet in September to decide how to proceed for the upcoming quarters. However, TMSA Public Charter Schools will continue to provide online-only instruction for students who wish to choose this option for either the entire semester or entire school year.

The TMSA system includes Cary’s Triangle Math and Science Academy, Greensboro’s Triad Math and Science Academy, and Charlotte’s Queen City STEM School, all of which serve more than 3,000 students in North Carolina.

About TMSA Public Charter Schools

Triad Math and Science Academy (TMSA) Public Charter School system focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for elementary, middle, and high schools in North Carolina. With a well-defined STEM curriculum, TMSA creates a safe, nurturing, engaging, caring, and culturally responsive learning environment to build a strong school-family-community relationship in today’s globalized, technology-based society. Students are equipped with strong core knowledge and higher-order skills, including critical and creative thinking, problem-solving, effective communication, and collaboration skills for an enriching educational experience. To learn more, visit:

Superintendent Karaduman’s TMSA Public Charter Schools 2020-2021 School Reopening Presentation


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