CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Public Schools will begin phasing most students into its "1/2/2" blended learning model starting Monday, Oct. 12, according to a CPS statement Monday evening.
Here's what that will look like:
Week of Oct. 12
- Preschool and specialized classrooms return -- Monday distance, Tuesday-Friday in person
- Grades K-2; Montessori third grade -- Monday distance, A group in person Tuesday/Wednesday, B group in person Thursday/Friday
- Grades 7-8 – Monday distance, A group in person Tuesday/Wednesday, B group in person Thursday/Friday
Week of Oct. 19
- Grades 3-6 – Monday distance, A group in person Tuesday/Wednesday, B group in person Thursday/Friday
- Grades 9-12 – Monday distance, A group in person Tuesday/Wednesday, B group in person Thursday/Friday
Walnut Hills High School will remain in distance learning five days a week "due to safety concerns associated with high enrollment and small classroom sizes," according to a release from CPS.
CPS previously announced schools would remain in their distance learning plan after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Hamilton and Clermont counties were again at the Ohio Department of Health’s second-highest alert level for COVID-19 cases. In that announcement, CPS officials said they planned to phase in the blended model as soon as Oct. 12.
CPS officials said a vote isn't required for the date change to start the blended learning model, and the board already voted on this model several meetings ago. A statement on the decision was shared with WCPO 9 during public comment at the board meeting Monday night.
CPS is also evaluating an option to allow students to continue distance learning from their current school. Parents will receive a commitment form from their school, and those who are interested in this option are asked to return the form by Oct. 9, and those students will be provided with alternatives to in-person learning beginning Oct. 12.
That option will require a minimum level of participation by families (8,750 students), and may result in a change in teachers, according to CPS. Students who sign up for that option will attend Google Meet sessions with their current class on Monday and access Schoology lessons Tuesday through Friday.
Families can also enroll their child at Cincinnati Digital Academy.
"Going forward, CPS will use additional flexibility and allow for either blended or distance learning when Hamilton County is in red status, according to the State of Ohio Public Health Advisory System," read a message from Superintendent Laura Mitchell to families. "This will allow for additional analysis of community health data to determine the safety risk associated with in-person learning."
Reactions from parents who spoke at the meeting were mixed.
“It’s sickening. Disgusting. It’s a shame," speaker Katy Long said. "We are doing okay and now every chance you guys get you want to slip in that in-person. Just keep going remote.”
Others were concerned that the move to in-person learning wouldn't last.
“I hope any return won’t be followed by knee-jerk reactions to close schools at the drop of a hat like we saw last week," Jessica Powell said.
For some, the board's decision couldn't come soon enough.
"I also urge the board to start the plan for five days now," Megan Rivet said. "It’s taken us months to get here. I don’t want to lose any more precious time."
For more information, click here. You can also call the CPS Customer Care hotline at (513) 363-0123.
WCPO will update this story.