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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CPS Scholarship Partnerships

Colleges Want Cincinnati Public School Graduates 

Below is a list of generous scholarship opportunities reserved for CPS graduates at partner colleges and universities.

Most Colleges and Universities charge for admissions applications. Students who demonstrate financial need can apply for college application fee waivers. More information.

Art Academy of Cincinnati

Chatfield College

  • Name: Achievement Grant
  • Number of Spots: Unlimited
  • Amount: Cost of Tuition and Fees + Book allowance (when combined with federal, state, and institutional aid)
  • Application deadline: no deadline
  • Requirements:
    • Graduate of Cincinnati Public Schools during or after 2018
    • Must have attended Cincinnati Public Schools for a minimum of 1 academic year prior to graduation
    • Attending college for the first time
    • 2.20 GPA or better
    • Must be Federal Pell Grant eligible (linked to FAFSA completion)
    • Once you begin college, you must be continually enrolled in full-time course load for Fall and Spring semesters (12+ credit hours)
  • Next Steps:

Cincinnati State

  • Name: Be Great Grant 
  • Number of Spots: No limit
  • Amount: Up to $1,000 for tuition and up to $1,000 for books 
  • Application Deadline: undefined 
  • Requirements: 
    • Graduate of Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) high schools and Cincinnati Youth Collaborative (CYC) high school. 
    • First-time freshman 
    • Pell-grant Eligible
    • Must attend Cincinnati State full-time (at least 12 credit hours each term)
  • Next Steps: 

Cincinnati Public Schools — Intended for Any College or University 

  • Name: Superintendent's Housing Award
  • Amount: $600 per student (one-time award in summer prior to starting college)
  • Number of Spots: Pending funding (Class of 2018 — 7 awards; Class of 2019 — 9 awards)
  • Application Deadline: April 10 
  • Requirements:
    • Have applied and been accepted to a college or university 
    • Intend to live in on-campus housing at the college or university of choice 
  • Next Steps: 
    • Fill out Application (April 10 Deadline
    • Must attend the May 8 College Signing Day event to receive the award

Eastern Kentucky University

  • Name: New Horizons
  • Number of Spots: Up to 4
  • Application Deadline: March 1 
  • Amount: Full Cost of Tuition  
  • Requirements:
    • High school grade point average of 2.75 or higher 
    • ACT composite score of 20 or better (or SAT equivalent) to be considered.
    • Students must also have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have submitted a Dr. Rodney Gross Scholars' e-application
  • Next Steps: 

Gateway Community & Technical College

  • Name: Tri-State Scholars
  • Number of Spots: Undefined 
  • Application Deadline: March 1 
  • Amount: Unmet Financial Need 
  • Requirements:
    • 2.0+ High School GPA 
    • Resident of : Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, Warren or Indiana Counties: Dearborn Ripley, Switzerland 
    • Must be at least ½-time student enrollment (6 credit hours) 
  • Next Steps:

Miami University

  • Name: Cincinnati Scholars
  • Number of Spots: Up to 20
  • Application Deadline: Miami Bridges (September 27) and Admission Application (December 1)
  • Amount: Full Cost of Attendance 
  • Requirements:
    • Minimum of 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale or top 25 percent of graduating class
    • Rigorous curriculum
    • Demonstrated leadership/co-curricular involvement
    • Test scores (PLAN, ACT, SAT, PSAT)
    • Attend Bridges Program 
    • Priority will be given to participants of the Girls to Women and M.O.R.E. programs — though this is not a requirement for eligibility 
  • Next Steps: 

Northern Kentucky University

Northern Kentucky University

  • Name: SOAR
  • Number of Spots: Up to 5 
  • Application Deadline: February 15
  • Amount: Up to $10,000 toward tuition, books and/or housing based on need 
  • Requirements:
    • Study of STEM major (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) 
    • Math ACT Subscore of 23 or SAT Math Subscore of 560 
    • Fill out FASFA Application 
  • Next Steps: 

Ohio State University

  • Name: Youngs Scholars
  • Number of Spots: No limit if requirements met and part of program
  • Application Deadline: February 1 
  • Amount: Undefined "Generous Aid Package" 
  • Requirements:
    • Must apply and participate starting in 8th grade 
    • Be currently enrolled in 8th grade and entering 9th grade 
    • Have a strong desire and motivation to enroll in and graduate from a 4-year college or university
    • Qualify as low-income and have a family income that is at or below the household maximum income guidelines
    • Parents or guardians have not received a bachelor's degree
    • Have an interest in attending The Ohio State University and residing on campus in Columbus, Ohio, during their first and second years
    • Maintain a minimum, unweighted grade point average of 3.3 or above
    • Have earned grades of all or mostly As (with few Bs and Cs) in core academic subjects
    • Demonstrate good school attendance and positive behavior
    • Reside in the state of Ohio and be enrolled in a public school
    • Commit to successful completion of a college prep curriculum in high school
  • Next Steps: 

Skidmore College — Saratoga Springs, New York

  • Name: Skidmore College Opportunity Program
  • Number of Spots: Up to 4
  • Application Deadline: January 15, though November 15 is suggested for priority 
  • Amount: 100 percent of demonstrated need, often leaves families paying $0 out of pocket, books and supplies are covered, students have access to free printing, photo copying and faxing, cultural experiences and, supplemental academic advising, social support tools 
  • Requirements:
    • 3.3+ GPA — while taking a courseload more challenging than average peer 
    • 22+ACT Composite or 1,050+ SAT is preferred, though scores are not required
    • Ideally Maintained four years in the five core subjects (English, Science, Social Studies, Math, and Foreign Language)
    • Interview is not required, but suggested  
    • Must fill out FAFSA as well as a CSS profile 
  • Next Steps: 
    • Apply to Skidmore ($65 application fee) (January 15 deadline
      • Skidmore will waive application fees if students request it and have a demonstrated need.
    • Fill out FAFSA (free application) (February 1 deadline
    • CSS Profile (February 1 deadline

University of Cincinnati

  • Name: Pride Grant 
  • Number of Spots: No limit
  • Amount: A combination with federal, state and institutional aid, that equals the full cost of tuition and a book allowance for those who might not otherwise be able to afford a college education. 
  • Application Deadline: March 1 
  • Requirements:
    • 2.2 GPA & graduation from CPS school 
    • Cannot first attend another college (unless that other college is Cincinnati State)
    • Must qualify for the Federal Pell Grant (linked to FAFSA application) 
  • Next Steps: 

University of Cincinnati

  • Name: Gen 1 
  • Number of Spots: 25 
  • Award: $2,000 per Semester Scholarship for Living On Campus + 1 year of scholarship to cover the an unlimited mealplan. 
  • Application Deadline: February 1 (Priority for December 1 applicants
  • Requirements:
    • First Generation — neither parent earned a bachelor's degree within six years of high school graduation 
    • Pell-eligible (determined by FAFSA application) 
  • Next Steps:

University of Dayton

  • Name: Flyer Promise
  • Number of Spots: 3-4 students
  • Application Deadline: December 1 
  • Amount: Full Cost Of Tuition 
  • Requirements: 
    • 3.0 high school GPA (can be weighted), 
    • Total family income of $75,000 or less (including non-custodial parents), 
    • Pell Grant Eligible (this is linked to Federal Financial Aid *FASFA* Application) 
  • Next Steps: 
    • Apply to the University of Dayton by December 1 (free application) 
    • Fill out your FAFSA application by December 1 (free application) 
    • If you meet above criteria and deadlines, you'll be invited to interview in January before final determination of scholarship award is made
    • No additional steps are required, you will be considered if you apply and meet the above requirements 

Looking for more general scholarship offers that can bulid on these CPS opportunities? Check out this page.

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