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CPS Board Discusses Vaccinating Staff And A Return Plan

Ambriehl Crutchfield

Cincinnati Public Schools is working with the Cincinnati Health Department to get staff vaccinated for COVID-19. The vaccine is expected to be delivered to the health department in three weeks.

During the board meeting on Wednesday, Chief Strategy Officer Sarah Trimble-Oliver said plans are being made for the logistics of the vaccinations. This includes dates, identifying school locations that can be used and how staff can sign up for an appointment.

“It is possible that we would receive the vaccine in phases and if that is the case, our team is working on a phased-in list by staff group,” Trimble-Oliver said.

Nearly 400 staff members and nearly 240 students have tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. CPS is reporting only six transmissions within schools.

Data is also being reviewed to determine if it’s safe to return to blended learning.

For that to happen, Cincinnati needs to average 40 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people. CPS returned to distance learning last semester due to an increased amount of staff members contracting the virus. Trimble-Oliver says CPS is ramping up the backup staffing plan.

“When the community spread does lead to staff absences, we are better able to continue with blended learning with more subs and subs for our paraprofessionals,” Trimble-Oliver said.

During a meeting on Nov. 11, Superintendent Laura Mitchell said while every school has a staff backup plan, schools were running out of staff.

Across Hamilton County public schools, 2,127 students and 1,420 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Unrest In D.C.

CPS held their meeting as unrest was occurring in the nation’s capital.

Pro-Trump extremists broke into the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. as Congress was tallying President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. One woman was killed during the insurrection and Congressional leaders were taken to safe locations.

CPS Board Member Ben Lindy said addressing the situation is a part of their charge as an educational institution, mainly to find ways for younger generations to engage in civil dialogue.

“We’re educating the next generation of civic activists if we do this right,” Lindy said. “I think we have a lot of work to do in this country. I’m grateful to work with you all and I hope that the next six months are better than the last six months, but there’s a lot of work to do.”

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Cory Sharber is a student at Murray State University majoring in journalism and political science. He was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Prior to joining WKMS, Cory wrote for the Murray State News as a beat writer for the rifle and tennis teams. When he’s not at WKMS, he typically listens to music, plays guitar, video games, and crams for all of the assignments he puts off.