Office of the Superintendent

March 30, 2020

Dear Families,

In response to Governor Mike DeWine’s extension of the school closure, Cincinnati Public Schools’ buildings will remain closed through at least May 1, 2020.

However, teaching and learning will continue. We have been working for weeks to ensure that students can continue their studies remotely. We also are prepared to serve students who do not have access to technology or internet at home.

Our meal distribution program will continue, as well as the services we offer to students with special learning needs. A limited number of our School-Based Health Centers will remain open, and you can find a list of those locations on our website at cps-k12.org.

To keep students engaged in learning, we will launch our Remote Learning Plan for all students, grades preschool to 12. Included will be digital lessons, hard-copy Enrichment Learning Packets, resources for parents, tips for structuring the school day, and more. We also are exploring opportunities to broadcast academic lessons through cable partners to ensure that content gets to as many students as possible. We will be releasing more information about our Remote Learning Plan later this week.

As we navigate these challenging times, I remain hopeful. Our school family – including teachers, staff and community volunteers – has truly stepped up for our city’s young people. So far, we have given out more than 50,000 meals and countless hygiene kits. Our teachers are instructing from their homes and are reaching out to students without online access. It is clear that our passion for empowering the next generation of world leaders has only grown stronger.

I also am grateful to you, our parents and guardians. I know this hasn’t been easy. But I am hopeful today because I know that we can get through this together.

The challenge of educating more than 37,000 students without classrooms is momentous. But, I am confident that learning in Cincinnati Public Schools will continue. We are #CPSUnited, and we will come through this stronger than ever before.

Please continue to visit our website at cps-k12.org for important updates. We will have much more information to share in the weeks to come.


Laura Mitchell, Superintendent

Education Center · P.O. Box 5381 · Cincinnati, OH 45201-5381 · 513-363-0050 · Fax: 513-363-0060 · cps-k12.org

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Student Dining Services

CPS Feeds Thousands Every School Day

Cincinnati Public Schools is the nation's first large school district to offer lunches to students, starting in 1898.

number of breakfasts, lunches and snacks served during 2018-2019

In May 2018 and 2019, CPS' Student Dining Services Department received a Champion of School Breakfast Award from the Ohio Department of Education. CPS was one of 10 districts around Ohio recognized for their innovative and collaborative school breakfast practices.  

Every school day, CPS serves 16,000 breakfasts and 23,000 lunches — more meals than any restaurant chain combined in Cincinnati! 

We pride ourselves on our "restaurant-style meals," such as curry chicken and gyros with tzatziki sauce, while keeping our menus healthy, culturally responsive and surpassing USDA requirements. For example, we have no fryers in our school kitchens, and we serve no pork products. 

Leading in School Nutrition — SchoolCafe School Menus

Cincinnati Public Schools menus have gone digital. You can easily view information about what is on our school menus for breakfast and lunch each day. This new innovative and interactive site, and our mobile app, make our school menus more convenient and informative.

Introducing SchoolCafe, an interactive online way to view your child’s school menus.

With SchoolCafe you can:

  • View images and descriptions
  • View nutrition information for each food
  • Filter the menu for specific food allergens
  • Rate foods and see carb counts
  • Access menus with the SchoolCafe mobile app!

On your computer, visit: SchoolCafe.com

School Year Menus, along with nutrition information, specific food allergens, and carbohydrate counts, are available online and via mobile app on a smartphone. 

Monthly menus can be printed from the online site at SchoolCafe. On your smart phone or tablet, search for SchoolCafe by PrimeroEdge on Google Play or the App Store to download the app.

all students eat breakfast for free imageMeal Costs

  • Free breakfast is served to all CPS students.
  • Lunch — Elementary = $1.75; Secondary = $2 
  • Milk — All grades = 50 cents

Nutrition and Learning are connected. Cincinnati Public Schools is recognized as a leader in developing best practices in promoting healthy school nutrition and its important connection to learning. Information on school meal requirements, nutrition guidelines, healthy lifestyles and diet, and the benefits of school lunch are provided.

Classroom Celebrations — Easy and Affordable!

If your child’s teacher allows classroom celebrations that include food and beverages, you can order a classroom celebration from CPS' Food Services Department. (No need to scramble the night before trying to pull together a healthy snack for a classroom of kids — now, that's a great idea!) We will supply everything directly to the classroom. Please get approval from your child's teacher first, then submit your order to the school's lunchroom manager at least five days in advance.

Dietary, Cultural or Religious Food Restrictions Policy

Cincinnati Public Schools believes it is our responsibility to serve students with respect and dignity. CPS is aware of cultures and religions that observe customs related to diet, and we know that some students have sensitivities to certain food products.

CPS' Dietary, Cultural or Religious Food Restrictions Policy
Special Dietary Needs Medical Form

Other Food-Related Information

The annual Parent's Guide to CPS Student Dining Services gives parents helpful information.

  • Food & Fitness — resources to help CPS families of elementary children and teens build healthy habits.
  • Free Summer Meals — provided to all Cincinnati children during summer months. Guidelines and free meal locations also are provided. 
  • Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program is available to children from families whose annual income is at, or below, the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. Paper and online meal applications available.
  • Student Meal Accounts can be created using SchoolCafe. Parents can access an online account to monitor what food items their children are purchasing, replenish lunch money or set up automatic payments.

In accordance with Federal Law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (Voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider.

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