CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education voted Monday night to move forward with a blended learning plan which includes one virtual day, and two groups of students who will be taught in-person for two days.
The switch to the blended learning plan from their current remote model will begin on Oct. 5.
With the exception of Walnut Hills High School, students will be divided into groups A and B, each attending in-person learning either Tuesdays and Wednesdays or Thursdays and Fridays. All students will attend school via distance learning on Mondays.
“It's a safe and smart move,” said Kilgour parent Ryan Wenstrup-Moore. “I think we're just glad to get some classroom time in.
His son Callum Moore is a sixth grader at Kilgour Elementary.
“From my point of view, the mixed one is good, but like a couple days a week, I'm seeing my friends and getting properly in classrooms which is much easier and the other days of the week, I'm being safe,” Moore said.
Data played heavily on Monday’s vote. Cincinnati COVID-19 potitivity rate is currently 3%.
“We appreciate the work of the community to help lower our transmission and positivity rates in the last several weeks,” said Superintendent Laura Mitchell. “Our team is committed to providing the safest possible environment in our schools, and we will continue to regularly review the data. Agility and flexibility continue to be crucial as the health situation evolves.”
Specialty classrooms for students with disabilities and preschool will begin phasing in at 50% capacity beginning Oct. 5 and will take classes via distance learning on Monday and report for in-person instruction Tuesday through Friday.
“The former teacher in me has rested on consistent disruption is better than inconsistent disruption, which is why I'm still stuck on the virtual piece,” said CPS board member Mike Moroski, who voted against the change in plans. “And the public health professional in me is still stuck on erring on the side of safety - there are too many ‘I-don't-knows.’”
The change in plans also comes with several questions for parents. “It’s going to be hard for everyone no matter what, and I completely sympathize with people for whom childcare is an issue,” Wenstrup-Moore said.
CPS will hold virtual town halls on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 6 p.m. and 23 at 4 p.m., and one for non-English speakers at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24.