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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

At Meeting, CPS Students Call For Removal Of Police; District Preps For Remote Learning

Ambriehl Crutchfield

Students across Cincinnati Public Schools are calling for the removal of police from the school district. During a regular board meeting on Monday, students voiced their requests from home and just outside the building where the meeting took place.

Yousif Munir was one of those students. He’s with the Young Activists Coalition and said that police "disproportionately target Black and brown students." He also criticized a draft of the district’s anti-racism policy.

“We want you to make a good decision,” Munir said. “We want you to implement transformative and restorative justice in our CPS schools because your students deserve better and your students deserve justice, not an anti-racism policy that doesn’t begin to mention the police.”

Board Member Mike Moroski said the police weren’t brought up in task force sessions when discussing the policy. However, he said once it passes, they could look at how school resource officers, or SROs, are being implemented in the district.

COVID-19 And Distance Learning

As COVID-19 cases keep growing across Cincinnati, the public schools are also seeing upticks in numbers right before they head to distance learning next Monday.

Nearly 30 staff members tested positive within the past week and more than 100 students have tested positive since the pandemic began. Superintendent Laura Mitchell said the cases within the community have an impact on CPS.

“Just as an example, (the previous) Friday in the city of Cincinnati, we were averaging about 100 new cases a day,” Mitchell said. “Friday, it was 500 new cases.”

Credit Cincinnati Public Schools (screenshot from Nov. 17, 2020 meeting)
Cincinnati Public Schools (screenshot from Nov. 17, 2020 meeting)

Mitchell said she will take part in a conference call with Governor Mike DeWine on Tuesday, along with Mayor John Cranley and Health Commissioner Melba Moore. The city’s positivity rate is at 7.2%.

On Nov. 23, CPS will be moving to distance learning due to staffing issues caused by COVID-19.

Students across the school district will need to clear out their lockers by Friday.

School offices will be open twice a week and the central office will remain open Monday through Friday.

CPS plans to return to blended learning next January.

Cory Sharber attended Murray State University majoring in journalism and political science and comes to Cincinnati Public Radio from NPR Member station WKMS.