• Wed. Oct 20th, 2021

Five days a week for the spring and fall

By Frances Russ

Cincinnati Public Schools

Students at Cincinnati Public Schools will return to in-person learning five days a week, beginning March 31, including Walnut Hills High School. In addition, the school board agreed to return to five days a week of in-person instruction for the

2021-2022 academic year.

In a survey conducted last week, 58 percent of parents, excluding Walnut Hills High School, indicated that they want their children to return to in-person learning five days a week during fourth quarter. At Walnut Hills, 54 percent were in favor of this. Walnut Hills will follow a phased-in approach and details will be shared with families at a later date.

The school board unanimously decided to return to five days per week in-person for the 2021–2022 academic year, with a concurrent learning option for families who prefer five-day per week distance learning from their current school. Families may also choose to enroll in Cincinnati Digital Academy or distance learning through a student’s current school.

“The district will continue to upgrade its infrastructure, and we are excited to offer a concurrent learning option for all interested families during the 2021-2022 school year,” said Superintendent Laura Mitchell. “Concurrent learning means students will continue with distance learning from home, but will be able to remote into their classroom for their daily lessons with their teacher. Families at Walnut Hills will participate in a pilot for concurrent learning during the spring.”

Schools continue to be among the safest places with low transmission rates. CPS continues to follow

stringent protocols including:

●       Universal masking

●       Hand and bathroom hygiene

●       Achieving 4-6 air changes per hour of ‘clean’ air through any combination of ventilation and filtration (or outdoor classrooms)

●       Physical distancing, 6-feet where possible

●       Isolation, quarantine, and contact tracing practices

●       Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities

Families who prefer five-day per week distance learning may choose to remain at their current school, or enroll in Cincinnati Digital Academy (CDA). Since Walnut Hills High School has been in distance learning the entire year, they will be part of a concurrent learning pilot program, which provides an option for five-day per week distance learning following a student’s current schedule. Details on this pilot will be provided to families by the school.

  What does this mean for families?

  • Spring break will be extended by a day for students, through March 30, so teachers can prepare their classrooms.
  • On March 31, Students will begin either five-day per week in-person learning or five-day per week distance learning at their current school. Students may choose to enroll in Cincinnati Digital Academy. 
  • If you wish to choose the five-day per week remote option from your current school, please notify the school office by March 22. 
  • Walnut Hills High School students will receive additional details, including an optioning form for in-person learning or the concurrent learning pilot, from Principal Chambers.
  • District officials expect to open the concurrent learning option to remaining schools in the 2021–2022 school year. An optioning form will be sent to families in April to make their choice for the fall semester.

Why was this decision made?

  • We are using essential strategies that decrease the risk of spread within school environments, and we know these strategies are working because there is limited transmission within schools.
  • The community health data is improving: 
    • New positive cases per 100,000: 12.3
    • City of Cincinnati positivity rate: 4.6 percent 
    • Hamilton County outside of Cincinnati positivity rate: 5.5 percent
  • Sixty-nine percent of teachers and staff have been fully vaccinated. 

A recent survey indicated that the majority of parents and staff preferred increasing in-person instruction time this school year, and district officials continue to offer choices for those families who prefer a distance learning option.