Beginning Feb. 1, Cincinnati Public Schools will begin returning to a blended learning model through a phased approach.
The Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education shared its decision in a statement, noting that the anticipated return will begin with specialized classrooms and young students.
CPS largely has conducted remote-only learning for its students since late November, when rising COVID-19 cases and staffing challenges affected the schools’ learning environments and safety. The board now says that those challenges are being addressed to adequately sustain a blended in-person and remote environment.
The board also says that the district will sign the Ohio Department of Education’s “Notice of Intent,” which asserts that a school will employ an in-person or hybrid learning model by March 1. The commitment form is required for school staff to be included in phase 1B of Ohio’s statewide COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
“As CPS returns to blended learning, additional back-up staffing, new CDC guidance that lowers quarantine time for many individuals, and the roll-out of the vaccine to district staff, will assist in addressing these challenges going forward,” the board says in its statement.
CPS will continue to review in-person options for Walnut Hills High School, as well as when it may make sense to return all CPS students to full-time in-person learning later in the school year.
Hamilton County became purple on the Ohio Public Health Advisory Map last week, meaning the county has a severe exposure and spread of the COVID-19 virus and it is recommended that people only leave home for supplies and services. Every county in Ohio exceeds the CDC's incidence rate for a very high level of COVID spread — which is 100 cases per 100,000 people.
For more information about Cincinnati Public Schools, visit the CPS “Back to School” website or call the CPS customer care hotline at (513) 363-0123.