Cincinnati Public Schools announce plan for 2020-21 school year

CPS chooses blended learning model for next school year

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Public School Board has made its decision on the plan for the upcoming school year and it will combine in-person and remote learning.

On Monday, the CPS board decided on option one, which is a blended learning format, for the 2020-21 school year.

Option 1 Blended:

  • All students - alternating between two and three days of in-person class per week
  • Students will stay in their schools and won’t spread across other buildings or community spaces
  • Students will be divided into two groups to maintain 6′ social distancing
  • Remote learning on days when students are not in class

Example: on week one, Group A will attend in-person classes for two days and attend remotely the other three days; while Group B will attend in-person classes for three days and attend remotely the other two days. On week two, Groups A and B will switch schedules.

Find out more about the plan, including upcoming key dates, in the district’s official release.

The school board did break down some of the pros and cons of the plan Monday.

CPS said the blended learning format will allow for more social distancing inside of school buildings but the downside will effect parents more than the students.

Since this option requires remote learning, CPS says this means some parents might have to find childcare options on these days.

In terms of additional costs for the school year, the blended learning option was the cheapest, but will still cost another $23 million.

“We thank our community members – especially our parents, guardians, students, and staff – for the outpouring of ideas, questions and concerns as we have spent the last few months reviewing more than seven different options for a return to school in the fall,” said Laura Mitchell, CPS superintendent. “Importantly, parents and guardians can decide between an in-person option and a fully digital approach through our Cincinnati Digital Academy. We will continue to use data to make decisions that balance health and safety of students and employees with academic success. As a result, we all need to be flexible and prepared to quickly migrate to remote learning should the health situation within a school or our community warrant it.”

CPS is still offering a fully remote learning option for those concerned about returning to class.

For parents or guardians worrying about their child’s health during in-person classes, they can enroll the student in the Cincinnati Digital Academy, which is a full-time online learning option for all grades.

Starting in July, CPS said they will start to distribute devices for students in grades 2-12, who are in need of appropriate technology.

Monday’s choice to implement a blended learning format for the upcoming school year was chosen from the original five models presented by the board.

After hearing from parents, teachers and community members the board narrowed down their choices to three options for Monday’s meeting.

Here were the other two options the board could have chosen from:

Option 4 In-person:

  • All students would be in school five days a week
  • In their current buildings
  • 3′ social distancing must be observed

Option 5 In-person:

  • All students would be in school four days a week
  • One day of remote learning
  • Students would remain in their current buildings
  • 3′ social distancing must be observed

If it becomes necessary, the school board said they are prepared to move to a complete remote learning environment.

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