CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Public Schools kicks off the year online Monday, and the district is planning to do at least the first five weeks of school remotely before deciding if it’s safe for students and staff to return to school.
Classes and assignments won’t start until next week. The different schools are doing orientations and device pick-ups throughout the week to give students and families time to prepare for the virtual school year.
CPS initially planned to start the year with a blended learning model, which would have students come to school for part of the week and study at home on the other days.
The district says it could still switch to that model as soon as Sept. 28 if COVID-19 cases and the spread of the pandemic is a little more under control by then.
CPS Director of Curriculum and Instruction Emily Campbell said the district will also ensure teachers and students set up designated instruction time to mimic the same support and attention students would get in classrooms.
“We will be there to make sure that kids have access—all kids have access—to the high quality curriculum that they would have gotten had it been face to face," she said.
The district officials said they spent months planning for virtual instruction knowing it was a possibility. After listening to students, parents and teachers about the experience last spring, CPS has decided to primarily use one hub or starting point for remote instruction called Schoology.
The district has made changes with parent input in mind to try and improve the remote learning model it rolled out unexpectedly last spring, Campbell said.
“The spring was about reaction to a worldwide pandemic and the fall is about preparedness. We did a lot of work listening in parent focus groups, family focus groups,” she said.
The CPS grading system for students is now back to normal, and attendance will be required during remote learning. Students must log into their device and check in each day and attend designated virtual lessons scheduled by their teachers.
Later next month, school leaders plan to take a second look at public health data to decide whether to transition to a blended learning model.
Find more information on the back-to-school plan for Cincinnati Public Schools here.