What to Expect for Back to School 2021-22

August 13, 2021

Excitement is in the air at Cincinnati Public Schools as we prepare for the first day of the new school year for all students on Thursday, August 19!

The information below outlines what to expect as we return to classrooms. It includes the latest on:

  • Yellow bus and Metro transportation
  • Safety Protocols
  • Vaccination Clinics
  • Academic Calendar
  • Healthy Start Times
  • Weekly Meal Packs
  • Technology Support
  • Extended Hours for Customer Care
  • Program Enhancements at Cincinnati Digital Academy

We hope you enjoy the rest of summer break and we’ll see you soon!


Yellow Bus

If you have any questions, please call 363-RIDE. The Transportation Department is continuing to offer easy-to-use apps to help you find your child's bus route information or track the expected arrival time to the bus stop. PowerSchool and My Stop will provide all the information you need at your fingertips. Find more information here. Please click here for more information.

If you have any questions, please call 363-RIDE.


Students and families can access the new Metro Bus schedule to determine the best routes to and from school utilizing Metro’s Transit mobile app. Please ensure when checking routes that you insert the date August 19 or after.

  • Access the Trip Planner — this will take you directly to the Metro page that links to the Transit app and to Google Maps.
  • transit app logoYou can download the Transit App directly through the Google Play and Apple stores.
  • There are many transit apps available, so please be sure to download the app with this icon. 

If you have any questions about routing, please call Metro's Customer Care Center, (513) 632-7575.

Safety Protocols


Universal masking helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 and is still required for all school personnel, Preschool–12 students, families, and visitors for 2021–2022. Regardless of vaccination status, masks will continue to be worn:

  • In classrooms and in common areas, except when eating
  • On school buses (a medical exemption may be required if mask wearing is not possible for a student)
  • Masks are not required to be worn outdoors

Lunch and Recess

Students will practice physical distancing to the greatest extent possible during lunch but at a minimum of three feet. To ensure physical distancing, schools will use other common areas for lunch such as hallways, gyms, outdoor areas.

Updated Quarantining

  • If a student has been identified as a close contact of a COVID positive person at school, the student’s family will be notified. The student may continue to attend school while free of COVID symptoms.
  • If the student develops symptoms, the student will quarantine at home.
  • Please note that if the exposure is from a friend or family who is a close contact outside the school environment, original quarantine rules apply.
  • These updated processes also apply to CPS employees.
  • Find our District's safety plan here.

Safety Protocols — No longer required

  • Temperature checks at building entrances
  • Staggered bus arrival and departure

Safety Protocols — Now permitted

  • Field trips
  • Visitors and volunteers in school buildings must follow all safety protocols
  • Work-related travel
  • Shared materials among students, such as crayons, pencils, etc.
  • Three-feet minimum social distancing during meals when masks are removed

Vaccination Clinics

Throughout the school year, the Cincinnati Health Department will continue to offer COVID-19 vaccine clinics for our students and staff. We will communicate important dates and times on our website and via email.

Academic Calendar

Click here to view school holidays, winter and spring breaks and end-of-quarter days.

Healthy Start Times

Nine CPS high schools will be implementing healthy start times this year. The following schools will have a later arrival and dismissal time: Aiken High School, Clark Montessori High School, Gamble Montessori High School, Hughes High School, Riverview East Academy, Taft High School, Shroder High School, Spencer Center and Woodward Career Technical High School.

As you may recall, the CPS school board passed a resolution in 2019 to phase in later start times at the high school level. This is the last group of schools to make the transition. The other CPS high schools have already made the switch.

Weekly Meal Packs

Beginning August 18, five-day remote meal packs will be available on Wednesdays from 7–9 a.m. and 3–5 p.m. at Virtual High School, 425 Ezzard Charles Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45203.

Technology Support

Technology throws a curve ball occasionally when software is going haywire or a laptop simply will not start. For CPS students and their families, help is a phone call away by dialing the Family Technology Support Center, (513) 363-0688 or email.

Tech support is available in English and Spanish from 8 a.m.–6 p.m., Monday through Friday when school is in session. Some examples of available tech support include:

  • Resetting passwords for Google, Schoology and PowerSchool
  • Troubleshooting connection issues
  • Logging into the computer
  • Offering assistance with Google Meet, Calendar, Gmail and standard software
  • Coordinating the repair of a CPS device that is damaged, broken or not working

Customer Care Department Extended Hours

Customer Care representatives are available from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. to answer your questions by email or by calling (513) 363-0123.

Extended service hours are available to accommodate our families at the beginning of the school year.  Representatives are available from 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Thursdays and from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturdays through September 25.  On September 4, Customer Care will be closed for Labor Day weekend.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CPS' Customer Care Center currently is open to visits from the public only by appointment. Appointments are available 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Click here to schedule an appointment.

Program Enhancements to Cincinnati Digital Academy

Cincinnati Digital Academy is an alternative, technology-based learning option for families who do not wish to send their children to in-person school. It will be the only distance learning option for the 2021-2022 school year. Cincinnati Digital Academy students will have flexible access to online curriculum to accommodate their unique needs and schedule. This year, we have made several enhancements to Cincinnati Digital Academy:

K–6 Classes

  • Students can attend daily Google Meets for math and English language arts. Sessions will be recorded to provide anytime access to students.
  • To accelerate learning, students can attend one-on-one and small group Google Meets.
  • Students also have access to a wide variety of instructional intervention resources.
  • English to Speakers of Other Languages and other related services provided.

7–12 Classes

  • To maintain regular communication with our students outside of lesson time and understand their unique needs, we are placing an increased focus on Google Meets for one-on-one conversations.
  • Middle school students have new electives including civics, health and additional foreign languages.
  • High school students have 22 new courses across math, African American history, business, careers and technology.
  • English to Speakers of Other Languages and other related services provided.

To enroll your child in Cincinnati Digital Academy, please call Customer Care, (513) 363-0123.