By Kathryn Robinson
Media Relations Associate
Cincinnati Public Schools
The Cincinnnati Herald
Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) Superintendent and CEO Iranetta Rayborn Wright shared how the District is igniting the ABCs of Academics, Behavior and Culture to shape CPS’ future through the newly-adopted Strategic Plan during the second annual State of the Schools address on November 10. Each of the District’s five strategic priorities– Support Our Students, Equip Our Educators, Connect Our Community, Ignite Innovation and Optimize Operations– outline and clarify intentional areas of work to improve student outcomes aligned to the Board’s approved Goals and Guardrails.
“Our new Strategic Plan reflects our unwavering commitment to empower and equip every student through high-quality instruction and equitable opportunities,” Wright said. “I am fully committed to making CPS a model district, not only in Cincinnati, but throughout our state and across the country. Our Strategic Plan outlines our efforts and directs our path for the next several years to accomplish the Board’s Goals and Guardrails. I appreciate the work by our Board and the collaborative energy to engage with our community to define our path forward in terms we all can use to guide towards success.”
According CPS’ new Strategic Plan, it leverages the framework of the Board’s Goals and Guardrails, new vision and mission statements and forecast, unifying the District and community under a shared approach. By implementing the Strategic Plan, the District will value and support the work of all employees, uplift students’ voices in decision making, ensure equitable outcomes for all students, continually improve in cultural competency and responsiveness and be rigorous and transparent in pursuit of equity.
The District’s academic work for the 2023-24 school year is focused on instructional shifts, pedagogy and student engagement. By enhancing Professional Development plans, adding support for ELL (English Language Learner) families, studying and strengthening our student progression plans and enhancing and expanding instructional reviews with a deep focus on data, CPS will be on a path to reach the Board’s Goals and Guardrails that is in alignment with the new strategic plan.
Behaviorally, CPS is focused on aligning the District under a new Code of Conduct, which emphasizes restorative practices and promotes equity to reduce discipline disparities. Additionally, the District is proactively monitoring and reducing chronic absenteeism through school-level supports and new roles, expanding a focus on PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Supports) and updating security equipment and systems to promote safety.
The District is committed to a culture of learning, respect, celebration and support with a focus during the 2023-24 school year on elevating and celebrating programs and resources, monitoring and refining transportation services, leveraging climate survey results, continuing recruitment for key roles and encouraging Be Present! engagement and initiatives.
“We see promising signs of success in the District, from our improved transportation services to an increase in our Culture and Climate survey and improved academic performance, as evidenced by the number of schools showing improvement on the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Report Card,” Superintendent Wright said. “It’s imperative that we build on our achievements through a culture of accountability and a celebration of our students, staff, families and community as we come together to “Be Present!.”
Wright asked public “to share in the beginning of our greatness together. The Board of Education is focused on student outcome, for at end of day we have to assure good outcomes for students. We must be sure all students have high quality education and the support they need. We have the opportunities as educators to show our children there is a better way. However, it will not be easy.”
Wright said CPS will continue to adopt the best practices of educators throughout the country, because wonderful teachers have been doing them for years.
“There has been a disinvestment in public education for decades, and the COVID pandemic taught us that everybody cannot teach,” she said.
The good news,” Wright said, “is that CPS has improved in every culture and climate surveys. All schools had some improvement in academics. We are on the right track.”
A focus, however, is needed on chronic absenteeism, she added.
She mentioned Walnut Hills has identified as national rated school and is the only comprehensive school in Ohio to receive three national blue ribbon awards.
She closed by saying how much she appreciates the involvement of parents and community partners “in letting us take care of your children. Thank you.”
View the District’s Strategic Plan here: https://www.cps-k12.org/strategicplan
The Cincinnati City School District, also known as Cincinnati Public Schools serves about 36,000 students in over 66 schools spread across southwest Ohio. CPS is Greater Cincinnati’s largest, and Ohio’s second largest school district. CPS offers families high-quality educational choices and a variety of academic programs. With a focus on Academics, Behavior and Culture, CPS is committed to developing the whole child, ensuring students thrive and graduate prepared to enroll in college, enlist in the military or become gainfully employed. For more information visit www.cps-k12.org