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CPS Board votes against reconsidering return to blended learning Feb. 1, releases transition plan

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Posted at 9:50 PM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 07:36:37-05

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education voted against a motion Wednesday to reconsider resuming its blended learning model on Feb. 1, meaning it is still on track to phase-in its blended model next month. The district also released its plan to transition to blended learning Wednesday night.

The vote on the motion to reconsider came nearly a week after Hamilton County was designated "purple" on the Ohio Department of Health’s color-coded COVID-19 risk map, indicating severe spread in the area. County residents have been advised not to leave their homes except for essential supplies and services.

The Board of Education determined Saturday that schools will use a phased-in plan to return to blended learning starting Feb. 1.

On Wednesday, the district announced that instruction will move forward with same blended learning schedule as the fall; most students will attend in-person classes two days a week and remotely two days per week, with all students distance learning on Mondays.

Walnut Hills High School will also move out of distance learning and follow an A/B blended learning schedule. The district said details and timing of that schedule will be shared soon.

Here's what the transition to blended learning will look like:

Week of Feb. 1 - Grades PK-3 and Specialized Classrooms

  • Monday: All students distance
  • Tuesday-Friday: Specialized Classrooms & Preschool in person
  • Tuesday/Wednesday: K-3 Group A in person
  • Thursday/Friday: K-3 Group B in person

Week of Feb. 15 ­- Grades 4-6 and 9-12 return

  • Monday: All students distance
  • Tuesday/Wednesday: 4-6 and 9-12 Group A in person
  • Thursday/Friday: 4-6 and 9-12 Group B in person

Week of March 1 - Grades 7-8 return

  • Monday: All students distance
  • Tuesday/Wednesday: 7-8 Group A in person
  • Thursday/Friday: 7-8 Group B in person

The district said a “Remote from Current School” option will not be available districtwide due to "staffing and technology constraints." Families wanting to stay in five-day distance learning can enroll in the Cincinnati Digital Academy, and students who choose this option will keep spots in their current school for the next school year, according to the announcement.

A motion to reconsider going back later than Feb. 1, brought by CPS Board Member Mike Moroski, failed Wednesday night.

"I felt it was important to have this on the record. I still maintain that it would be a sound decision to wait until March 1st so teachers & staff could get vaccinated, but I will work to make sure that Feb. 1st is safe and conducive to learning," Moroski wrote on Twitter Wednesday evening.

MORE: Teachers, parents question CPS decision to return to class before vaccinating

CPS transitioned to a distance-learning model in November due to pandemic-related staffing challenges. The district previously said additional staffing, shorter quarantine time for individuals and the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine to staff will make a return to in-person instruction possible.

The district also pledged to bring back an in-person learning model in some form by March, which would ensure CPS staff is included in Ohio's Phase 1B vaccinations in early February.

For more information, click here or call CPS Customer Care at (513) 363-0123.