Cincinnati Public Schools

Dear CPS Community,

Thank you for your guidance and feedback as we prepare for a return to school in the fall. We began planning in April, and we are grateful for the outpouring of questions, perspectives and ideas that have been shared in the last several weeks and months.

We heard you through participation in planning committees, focus groups and our survey of more than 6,200 employees, parents, students and community members. We have seen record-breaking participation in recent board meetings.

Earlier today, the CPS Board of Education approved a go-forward plan that we believe provides the best balance of safety and academic success for our students. This plan will return students to in-person instruction 2–3 days per week. Because no plan that includes classroom instruction is completely without health risk, we encourage families for whom in-person instruction does not make sense to explore our Cincinnati Digital Academy for the 2020–2021 school year.

Future of Schools Plan

Our guiding principles — safety and health, as much in-person learning as possible, equity, data-driven decision making and fiscal responsibility — remain at the forefront of our planning process.

Our return to school plan includes three important components:

1. Blended Learning

This model includes dividing our students into two groups in order to maintain the CDC's recommended six-feet of social distancing. Each group will receive a minimum of two-days per week in class (Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday) and will alternate attending in-person on Wednesdays. On days that students are not in the classroom, they will utilize remote learning. Students will stay in their schools, and will not spread across other buildings or community spaces.

2. Cincinnati Digital Academy

For parents and guardians concerned about their family’s or their student’s health in an in-person school environment, a full-time digital learning option is available. Our Cincinnati Digital Academy offers a K–12 curriculum which includes both virtual time with teachers and digital classroom lessons.

We are glad to have this option already in our portfolio of choices for our CPS families, as many districts are working to quickly launch a fully online option. We are spending the summer enhancing the curriculum and ensuring that we are prepared for a potential increase in enrollment.

Importantly, students who enroll in Cincinnati Digital Academy for the upcoming academic year will be able retain their position in their current CPS school for the following year. Families can also make this choice on a semester-by-semester basis. We encourage families who are interested in an existing, accredited fully-remote option to explore our Digital Academy.

If you’re considering this option, please complete our interest form and a Cincinnati Digital Academy representative will contact you.

3. The ability to quickly flex to remote learning.

Throughout both the summer and academic year, we will continue to follow guidance from Governor DeWine, the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Board of Education and the Hamilton County Health Department regarding the overall health and transmission risk within our state and the community. We are prepared to transition to a completely remote environment should that be necessary.

It’s important to note that current CDC guidance recommends schools close for two to five days for deep cleaning and monitoring of symptoms in the event of a confirmed case. Although we are currently making final decisions about when and for how long schools might close in the event of an outbreak, we all need to be prepared to make this transition quickly and smoothly.

We learned a lot during the state closure, and we also received feedback from parents and staff about how to improve the experience. As a result, remote learning will look much different than it did in the spring, including:

  • Detailed requirements in place to ensure a consistent remote learning experience,
  • Clear communication for students and families,
  • Access to technology and Wi-Fi, and
  • More robust paper packets connected to specific curriculum.

Health and Safety Protocols

We understand any return-to-school plan presents risks. For this reason, we are partnering with Cincinnati Children's Hospital to develop health and safety protocols that help protect our employees, students and families as much as possible.

These processes will be based on guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and any state direction that is provided in the next several weeks. We will be able to share specifics later this summer, and expect these protocols to include:

  • Rigorous prevention techniques, including at-home and in-school health assessments, temperature checks, and staff and student mask-wearing; and
  • Quick decision, communication, and, as necessary, isolation protocols in response to confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Access to Technology

Regardless of whether we are in-class or learning remotely, technology and internet access are essential tools for our students. Digital disparities between households is one of the greatest sources of inequity in our district. This is why we are expanding our 1:1 device program, and children grades 2–12 will have a take-home device that is safe and includes the tools needed to work from home.

In addition, we are incredibly grateful to be a part of the Cincinnati Bell "Connect Our Students" program, with support from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and other partners. This program will give all CPS students free access to Wi-Fi, and is currently in a pilot phase through July with five of our schools, Rockdale Academy, South Avondale School, Hays-Porter Elementary School, Roberts Academy and Fairview-Clifton German Language School. We expect to be able to launch the full program prior to the start of school.

Please visit our website for more details.

Please Update Your Contact Information

One of the most critical steps you can take today is to ensure your home address, phone and email are updated. Please call your school office; or Customer Care at (513) 363-0123 or email Customer Care to do so. This information is necessary to ensure all families receive updates this summer, including confirming eligibility for free internet connectivity, a survey about whether or not you intend to return your child to an in-person classroom, important by-school details and safety protocols, and transportation.

Upcoming Key Dates

Launch of Cincinnati Bell 5-school pilot programCincinnati Bell Wi-Fi connectivity program
Parents and guardians update contact information for future communicationsEmployee Return-to-School meeting
Survey for parents to understand plans to return children to schoolState of the Schools, including details about returning to school
Employee meetingsTechnology and safety workshops for parents
Safety protocols finalized in partnership with Cincinnati Children's HospitalTechnology and safety workshops for students
Detailed planning by school 
Devices distributed to students without technology 
Enrollment deadline of July 17 to help ensure transportation for those who qualify 

Summer Communication Timeline

The Future is Now

While the 2020–2021 school year will be different, it creates new opportunities for us to be more innovative and flexible than ever. And through it all, our commitment will remain the same, preparing our students for life through academic achievement, personal well-being and career readiness. We will come out of this together stronger and better than ever. Thank you for your support along the way.


Laura Mitchell

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Student Records (FERPA Compliance)

Records of former students often are needed for employment, continuing education and entrance into the military. 

Cincinnati Public Schools maintains high standards in records management and is dedicated to providing student records in a prompt, reliable manner for parents, students and qualifying organizations. CPS follows procedures set by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the privacy of student education records.

Types of Records

Requests for student records fall into three main categories:

  1. Transcripts — A record of classes taken and grades received.
  2. Graduation Verification — Official letter verifying the graduation date. (Diplomas are unique records, and no copies are made. The only record available is the graduation verification.)
  3. Other Records from the Student Cumulative File — Enrollment and withdrawal information; activities; attendance; test results; discipline records; health and medical records; psychological records (restricted access); child abuse/neglect referrals; work permits; food service applications; and emergency contact information.

Student Records Requests

Student records are confidential. It is important that the district releases these records only to the proper parties. Student records cannot be released until all financial obligations owed to the district by the student have been paid.

An Inactive Student is a student who graduated from a CPS school prior to 2006; no longer attends a CPS school; or was a CPS resident while attending a now-closed CPS or a now-closed, non-CPS school. (Students who graduated after 2006 should request records directly from last high school attended; if that school has closed, make request to the Customer Care Center.)

For students who attended and/or graduated from a now-closed, non-CPS school, a verification of graduation cannot be provided; however, the documents received from the now-closed, non-CPS school will be released. To receive requested records, complete and sign a Student Record Request Form (link below), provide a copy of your valid state-issued identification or state-issued driver's license, and payment to the CPS Customer Care Center or last high school attended.

To request records of former students (allow 6-8 weeks for requests to be completed), fill out a Student Record Request Form, and mail or deliver it to:

Cincinnati Public Schools
Customer Care Center - Inactive Records
P. O. Box 5381
Cincinnati, OH 45201-5381

Processing fees - Payment is by cash or money order only. (No personal checks accepted.)

  • Transcript Request = $5 per request
  • Student Graduation Verification = $2 per request
  • Other Records/Information = $2 per request

Special Education Records

If requesting records about a former special education student, such as the child's Individualized Education Program (IEP), contact CPS' Department of Student Services, (513) 363-0300. 

The Customer Care Center does not have access to Special Education Records.

Right to Privacy

Ohio law permits public release of Directory Information on a student unless the parent or guardian requests privacy.

Board Policies

Where to Find Student Records

Records travel with each student, so records are kept at the school the student last attended. Contact Information for CPS Schools

Current Student with Program & School Still Open

If the student currently is enrolled in a Cincinnati Public school, and the school and program the student last attended still are operating, contact the school and ask to speak to the School Registrar. These requests usually take about two weeks to fulfill.

Former Student with Program & School Still Open

If the student no longer attends a Cincinnati Public school, but the program and school the student last attended are still operating, contact the school and ask to speak to the School Registrar. These records may be kept off site, so requests may take two to four weeks to fill.

    Former Student with Program or School Closed

    If the program or school the student last attended has closed, those records have been moved to the Inactive Records Department.

    For example, a request for records of a student who attended night school at Western Hills High School would go to the Inactive Records Department because the night school program has been discontinued (even though the high school still is open). Inactive Records are stored off site. Requests may take six to eight weeks to fill. Contact CPS' Customer Care Center:  (513) 363-0123

    Where to Try to Locate Other Records (such as yearbooks, school pictures)

    Contact the school directly.
    The Public Library
    Cincinnati Historical Society Library

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