Cincinnati Public Schools says it's prepared to move to in-person learning next week

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Cubbies are still full in a first grade class that now sits empty at Oyler School in Lower Price Hill after Cincinnati Public Schools switched to remote learning Jan. 12, 2022. The plan is to return to the classroom Monday, Jan. 24.
Cubbies are still full in a first grade class that now sits empty at Oyler School in Lower Price Hill after Cincinnati Public Schools switched to remote learning Jan. 12, 2022. The plan is to return to the classroom Monday, Jan. 24.

Cincinnati Public Schools Interim Superintendent Tianay Amat says the district is prepared to welcome its 36,000 students back to in-person learning on Monday after going remote last week.

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Cincinnati Public is the largest school system in the region and the third-largest in Ohio, serving students in more than 60 school buildings.

"We are looking forward to returning to in-person learning on Monday," Amat wrote in a Tuesday letter to district families. The district also reaffirmed the plan with a tweet.

The board of education voted 6-1 to go virtual districtwide on Amat's suggestion. Amat told the board of the district's staffing crisis due to COVID-19 illnesses.

The absences of staffers put pressure on teachers in the buildings to cover other classrooms during their planning periods and lunches. Central office workers were also continuously being tapped to fill in for absent teachers, officials said, and dozens of bus drivers were filling in for paraprofessionals and security personnel at schools the week before the district went virtual. A number of district buildings went to virtual learning during the first week back from the holiday break.

The only board member who voted against remote learning was Eve Bolton, who said the district doesn't "have a lot of credibility" on its promise to return on Monday after continuing remote learning last year well after other districts in the region had returned to school buildings.

But Amat aimed to put those fears to rest Tuesday in her message to district parents. By accelerating hiring procedures, adding substitute teachers, increasing parent and partner outreach and deep cleaning buildings and classrooms, Amat said the district is ready to welcome students back to in-person learning.

"We are looking forward to being back in person and appreciate everything that our teachers and staff, families, partners and students have done to ensure learning has continued while we've been in our remote learning model," Amat wrote Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: CPS prepares to return to in-person learning on Monday

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