CPS Answers Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19
At Cincinnati Public Schools, the health and safety of our students and staff are top priorities. We are in frequent contact with the Cincinnati Health Department, which is monitoring the COVID-19 situation with the Ohio Health Department and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
FAQs are updated here every Friday afternoon.
FAQ update April 4, 2020
How do I reach Cincinnati Public Schools during this extended closure?
Call (513) 363-0123 to reach the CPS COVID-19 Information Hotline.
At this number, you will be prompted to select from a variety of topics, including our meal-distribution program, enrichment learning packets for students, and ways to support CPS' students and families during this closure. You also may speak to a CPS representative.
You also may contact CPS via email on our website.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, the Cincinnati Health Department asks that you call your primary care doctor or call the Cincinnati Health Department's Hotline: (513) 357-7462.
You also may call the Ohio Department of Health's COVID-19 Helpline: (833) 427-5634
I've paid tuition for preschool classes that are closed. Will I get my money back?
After this COVID-19 school closure ends and CPS returns to normal operations, parents who paid preschool tuition will be reimbursed for the number of days that schools were closed (if the account is up to date and payments are not late for days a child attended preschool classes).
It also is not necessary for parents to continue paying tuition during this closure (again, if the account is up to date).
What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus — now named COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) by the World Health Organization — is a new version of a common virus. It was first identified in 2019 in Wuhan, China, and now has spread worldwide.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms include respiratory illness with a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms have ranged from very mild (including some with no reported symptoms) to severe, including illness resulting in death.
What can I do to help prevent getting sick?
The Ohio Department of Health and the Cincinnati Health Department recommend these precautions to reduce the risk of infection:
- Wash your hands often for 20 seconds or more with soapy water.
- If soap and water are unavailable, use hand sanitizer — an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol is best; rub it on hands until the sanitizer dries.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing to help stop the spread of airborne germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to keep germs from entering.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home while you are sick (except to visit health-care professionals) and avoid contact with others.
- Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals.
Seek medical advice from a health-care professional before initiating self-quarantine.
Have any COVID-19 cases been diagnosed among CPS students and staff?
As of March 19, 2020, the answer is no, per Cincinnati Health Commissioner Melba Moore. We are hopeful the precautions we are taking, including closing schools per Gov. DeWine's order and closing our Central Office, will prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into our CPS community.
How can I help spread some good news during this unprecedented school closure?
Use the hashtag #CPSUnited on social media to help us spread good vibes. For example, tell us about any fun activities you and your family are doing to keep boredom away, or acts of kindness you've witnessed from your friends and neighbors.
With schools closed, how will classroom instruction continue?
CPS teachers have prepared weekly lesson plans for students to support continued learning. These enrichment learning packets were sent home with students and also can be accessed online via Schoology and on our website.
The packets contain work for students in the core content areas — English, math, science and social studies — with ways for students to test themselves and offering help sections by grade level.
My child doesn't have an enrichment learning packet. What can I do?
Will CPS be providing meals while schools are closed?
Since March 17, CPS has distributed 41,738 to-go meals to our students, and we will continue to provide breakfast and lunch meals during the extended break.
Cincinnati Public Schools' Student Dining Services Department is distributing meals at school sites located around the district. Click here for a list of sites, dates and hours of meal distribution, and additional information.
What is Cincinnati Public Schools doing to help prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into our schools?
Cincinnati Public Schools has closed all of it buildings, including the Central Office, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. In the time before the decision to close was made by Ohio Gov. DeWine, CPS did the following:
- Instructed our custodial staff to do extra cleaning and sanitation of all school buildings, including enhanced cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets and keyboards
- Provided instructions to students and staff about properly washing hands
- Instructed our yellow-bus vendors to do extra cleaning and sanitation
How will this time missed from school be recorded?
Students missing classes because schools are closed receive excused absences.
Why did it take so long to close the school district?
Many of our students and their families depend on CPS for meals and other services, and we believe that classroom instruction is valuable to learning. We were monitoring the COVID-19 situation daily with input from the Cincinnati Health Department and the Ohio Department of Health. Given how this situation changes daily, we wanted to give parents as much time as possible to prepare for a closure. The health of our students and staff remains our highest priority.
Has CPS canceled student activities?
While schools are closed, all sports, field trips and after-school activities are canceled.
Cincinnati Public Schools also has canceled all district-sponsored international and domestic travel for students and staff.
What is being done to clean yellow school buses?
CPS instructed our yellow-bus vendors to do extra cleaning and sanitation of all vehicles, with special attention to hand rails and other places that students and drivers touch frequently.
What about cleaning for the Metro buses that our high school students ride?
Metro officials are cleaning buses with a chlorinated sanitizing disinfectant to all inside surfaces, including poles, stanchions and seats. A special sprayer is being used to help the disinfectant adhere to surfaces.