Cincinnati Public Schools: ‘Despite the closure, learning continues’

Cincinnati Public Schools: ‘Despite the closure, learning continues’
Cincinnati Public Schools launched CPS TV on Sunday. The community access channel will feature recorded online lessons presented by CPS teachers, along with other educational programming from zoos, libraries and museums. (Source: CPS Twitter account)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday that all school buildings in Ohio will remain closed for the rest of the school year.

For Cincinnati Public Schools, the last day for students is May 21, 2020.

“The level of creativity, flexibility, and commitment over these last several weeks are unparalleled. However, we also want to acknowledge how much we miss our students and families right now. It’s hard to imagine that we won’t be able to see our CPS kids the rest of the year. And this is an especially difficult time for our seniors, who should be celebrating rites of passage, such as prom and graduation with their friends, extended family, and schools," Superintendent Laura Mitchell said.

The district’s remote learning plan can be found by clicking here.

For those without access to technology, CPS says the learning packets passed out at meal hubs are intended to last through the end of the year.

In the meantime, launched CPS TV on Monday to broadcast lessons for students and their families, the district announced on its website.

CPS TV will be carried on Cincinnati Bell channel 804 and Spectrum channel 15, starting at 7:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

The community access channel will feature recorded online lessons presented by CPS teachers, along with other educational programming from zoos, libraries and museums.

“CPS TV is another way for our students to continue learning while our schools are closed during the stay-at-home order to curb the spread of COVID-19," said Tianay Amat, deputy superintendent.

About 83 percent of students in the district qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, Amat said.

“Some of our students do not have access to the internet or a computer, but may have cable TV in their home,” she said. “We want to reach as many students as possible.”

“It’s critical that learning continues for all students in this time of uncertainty,” added Emily Campbell, curriculum director.

CPS officials say Mark Comanducci, founder and CEO of The 305 Education Group, a Cincinnati-based educational consulting organization, approached the district with the idea of offering the recorded online lessons on the community access channel.

"I was excited to bring this idea to CPS and to help CPS operationalize and launch this teaching and learning opportunity, which will bring unique and curriculum-aligned educational programming to over 100,000 households in the Cincinnati region," Comanducci said.

Daily programming will kick off with storytime for preschool-age children and continue throughout the day for elementary and high school students.

Each day, programming will focus on a theme. Literacy is the theme on Mondays and Wednesdays while Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) will be the focus on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

"Fun Fridays will showcase programming from other educational resources, such as museums, parks or libraries," Campbell said.

In addition to the lessons from CPS teachers, Campbell said grade-level programming from Great Minds, a curriculum provider, will also offer lessons, organized by grade level and taught by experienced teachers nationwide.

As each day begins with storytime for children, each day will conclude with storytime, but this one is for adults, Campbell said.

At 2:30 p.m., they can tune-in and listen to the segment she is calling, “One Book, One City.”

CPS TV will also feature important announcements and messages from school officials to keep students and families informed during the school closure.

Videos from the district’s YouTube channel, highlighting the strategic plan, magnet lottery and Vision 2020 schools, will also be broadcast throughout the day.

“We are launching CPS TV to serve our families at this critical time. But this channel has so much potential for the future,” Amat said.

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