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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Walnut Hills Student to Become First-ever Black Actress to Play “Annie”

February 10, 2020

By Kristen Swilley, WCPO

Fourteen-year-old Walnut Hills honor student Diana Hutchinson will become the first-ever black actress to play "Annie" in the Children's Theatre of Cincinnati's production of the classic musical.

It's a role that's close to Hutchinson’s heart, she said Wednesday. She's grown up performing in church plays, watching her older sister act and admiring Broadway actresses Sutton Foster and Idina Menzel, but "Annie" is special.

When she was younger, "my grandma would do my hair and we would watch old movies, and one that was on repeat was 'Annie,'" she said.

She knew she needed to audition as soon as her drama teacher told her Children's Theatre would be staging it in spring 2020. With help from her teacher, she sent in a video audition, attended a live callback and — a week later — got the good news.

She was a natural fit, director and choreographer Eric Byrd said.

"One of the best things about my job is when we discover new talent in the city that we didn't know were around and out there, and that is truly the case for Diana," he said. "We wanted to make sure we saw everyone in town who had the chops to do it, and when she walked in, she just blew us all away with her vocals and her maturity and her professionalism."

The show opens Feb. 29. In the meantime, Hutchinson will attend 18 hours of rehearsal each week, stay on top of her homework and (hopefully) find time to hang out with her friends.

Full story and video at WCPO.com


News Public Affairs Department

Office of Communications and Engagement

Email: media@cps-k12.org
Phone: (513) 363-0020

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