Current School Year News

October 18, 2017

CPS Board of Education Names Timmons to Board

Mr. Lannis TimmonsCincinnati (OH) – Today Cincinnati Public School District Board of Education unanimously voted to select Mr. Lannis J. Timmons of Cincinnati to serve on the Board through December 31, 2019. Timmons was appointed to serve the remainder of the term formerly held by Mr. A. Chris Nelms, who passed away in September.

“As a former teacher and coach within Cincinnati Public Schools, Mr. Timmons brings a strong background in education and leadership to the Board,” said Ericka Copeland-Dansby, President of the Cincinnati Public School District Board of Education. “We are excited to appoint a candidate who has committed his career to supporting the education of our students.”

Timmons, a graduate of Woodward High School and Central State University, has been a teacher and coach in Cincinnati Public Schools. He first taught physical education at Sawyer Junior High School in 1976 to 1977, and Western Hills High School from 1998 to 2001. After a brief stint in Middletown, he returned to Western Hills in 1995 as the head basketball coach, where he was named “Coach of the Year” in 1999, 2000 and 2001. In 2003, he took his talents to Woodward High School, where he was a physical education teacher and head basketball coach. Timmons retired in 2013.

“As a retired school teacher and coach in the Cincinnati Public School District, I’m passionate about kids and education,” Timmons said. “I’m honored to work with those who now dedicate their time and talents to our school system, our children and our community.”


October 16, 2017

Join Us for a Tribute to A. Chris Nelms

A Tribute to Alton Chris Nelms, Cincinnati School Board Member and Civic Leader

Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education cordially invites the community to a tribute in memory of School Board Member A. Chris Nelms. We will honor his career and commitment to our community and our students. Remarks will be made by many who were touched by Nelms throughout his vibrant life, including former students, fellow board members, family and friends.

  • Monday, October 23, 2017
  • 7:00 p.m.
  • Rosa Blackwell Interactive Learning Center in the Mary A. Ronan Education Center, 2651 Burnet Avenue (Corryville)

Note: The Cincinnati Board of Education will have their regularly-scheduled meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 23. The hearing of the public will be suspended for this meeting, and the memorial will begin at 7:30 p.m


September 28, 2017

Cincinnati Board of Education Announces Process for Replacing Vacant Board Position

Cincinnati Board of EducationToday, the Cincinnati Board of Education announced it will appoint a replacement member to the Board on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, to complete the term of Chris Nelms, who passed away in September.

The Board outlined its procedures to solicit applications, conduct interviews, and engage the Cincinnati community in the appointment process, which must be done within thirty days of a vacancy according to Ohio Revised Code. The new member will serve the duration of Nelms’ term through December 2019, and is eligible to run for election in November 2019.

“We are seeking a qualified and committed pool of candidates who represent the diversity of the students in our district,” said Cincinnati Board of Education President Ericka Copeland-Dansby. “It is my personal hope and intent to identify a candidate to serve the remainder of Mr. Nelms’ term who embodies his tenacity, his spirit and his dedication to our community.”

Interested candidates may apply for the position by submitting an application and résumé starting at 9 a.m., Friday, Sept. 29. Applications must be received by the Board of Education Office no later than 5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 5. Applicants are required to be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, and a resident and registered voter in the Cincinnati City School District. Application materials will be available on the Cincinnati Public Schools website at

The Board also invited the public to participate in a community survey to determine the top characteristics of a potential new board member. The Board will use this input in its deliberations for choosing the next member. The survey will remain open until Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, and the Board will release the results on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. The survey is available online.

Questions about the application can be directed to Phyllis Davis in the Board Office at


September 27, 2017

Press Conference to Address Board Vacancy

WHAT: The Cincinnati Board of Education will host a press conference to announce its
process for replacing Board member Chris Nelms, who recently passed away. Under Ohio Revised Code, the Board may appoint a new Board member to complete Mr. Nelms’ current term, which expires December 31, 2019.

The Board will announce its timeline and process, which will include opportunities for community input.

WHEN: Thursday, September 28, 2017 — 12 noon

WHERE: Cincinnati Public Schools Mary A. Ronan Education Center

2651 Burnet Avenue (45219)
Room 1A

WHO: Cincinnati Board of Education members, Superintendent Laura Mitchell, CPS staff and community supporters


September 26, 2017

Sasha Savvy Loves to Code Author Visits Hays-Porter Elementary School

Gasps could be heard from down the hallway as author Sasha Ariel Alston entered a classroom at Hays-Porter School on September 15, 2017.

Author Sasha Ariel Alston sitting at a table autographing her book for two studentsAn inspiring young woman, Alston is only 19 years old and a junior at Pace University in New York. She spent two years writing the children’s book, "Sasha Savvy Loves to Code", because she wanted to get girls and minority students excited about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

“Hays-Porter is a High Technology school, and Sasha is the perfect role model for our students,” said Hays-Porter Principal Nedria McClain. “She’s ambitious, smart, successful and proves that you don’t have to look a certain way to be interested in science.”

Hays-Porter introduced its High Technology program during the 2016-2017 school year through Cincinnati Public Schools’ (CPS) Vision 2020: My Tomorrow program. Alston was the perfect choice to bring in as a special guest to talk to students about STEM and how it can be infused into their studies and day-to-day life. Students had prepared for her visit by reading her book and using technology in the classroom every day.

Alston started her visit with a tour of the school, stopping in classes ranging from Pre-K to sixth grade. She then enjoyed a “Girls Who Code” luncheon with a group of hand-selected fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade girls who were given the VIP treatment with a velvet rope entrance to the gym; pink, black and white balloons; and the chance to have their books signed by Alston.

Next, Alston made her way to the second floor where she spoke with third graders and read an excerpt from her book with a reading specialist. She finished her day talking to the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at an assembly.

At the assembly, Principal McClain announced that Alston’s visit was serving as the kick-off to a new program, “Tech It to the Next Level.” The program is designed to engage students and provide them with enriching technology experiences.

To activate the new “Tech It to the Next Level” program, each student was given a passport booklet filled with technology-based activities that can be done in the classroom or at home. Example activities include the Nepris Challenge, in which students learn about careers in Information Technology and complete letters to featured speakers, and the HTTP student event, a talent program featuring student work. For every task completed, students receive a stamp. Earning stamps qualifies them to be entered into a drawing for a scholarship to a summer technology camp with the University of Cincinnati and a spot on the Hays-Porter IT Legacy Wall.

Visit the Hays-Porter website to learn more about what’s happening throughout the school year.



September 26, 2017

My Tomorrow Family Engagement Conference

Discover how My Tomorrow is leading students toward promising careers:

October 21, 2017
8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The Rosa Blackwell Interactive Learning Center
Cincinnati Public Schools Education Center, 2651 Burnet Avenue, Corryville

At Cincinnati Public Schools, our role extends far beyond getting students to graduation. The true measure of our success is determined by whether our students can graduate fully prepared to compete for promising careers that allow them to support their families and contribute to our society in meaningful ways.

My Tomorrow, launched during the 2014-15 school year, helped reimagine the high schools of CPS to better prepare students for their futures. It is a bold vision for education that combines higher expectations, technology and mentoring to ensure that students are ready for the workplace – regardless of whether their path requires a two- or four-year college degree, an apprenticeship or internship, an employment certification, or military enlistment once they graduate. The goal is to offer students more meaningful, real-world experiences centered around their own interests, skills and needs.

Join us for this exciting conference to see how My Tomorrow works and how it will benefit your family. Enjoy helpful interactive sessions, door prizes, food and more!

A Sampling of Sessions

  • What is a Growth Mindset and why is it important?
  • How can parents support their children academically, mentally and emotionally?
  • Understanding the new graduation requirements
  • Career-based learning opportunities for students
  • And more…

Register for the Conference

Come Connect with CPS — #CPSandME


September 22, 2017

UC, CPS Partner to Tackle Region’s IT Talent Deficit

CINCINNATI, Ohio — Sept. 14, 2017 — Few professional fields are growing faster today than information technology. However, the continued growth of our region’s IT ecosystem is threatened by a talent deficit industry experts estimate exceeds 2,000, as well as an ever-widening skills gap.

The University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Public Schools are working together with Cincinnati’s information technology industry leaders to address the shortage of qualified IT professionals through the creation of a new Early College Information Technology Program. The novel partnership will give CPS students the opportunity to complete their first year of UC’s IT bachelor of science degree program while they are in high school and earn automatic admission to UC.

UC President Neville Pinto and CPS Superintendent Laura MitchellUC President Neville Pinto and CPS Superintendent Laura Mitchell will formalize the bilateral agreement in the Annie Laws Library at Teachers/Dyer Complex, the home of the College of Education, Criminal Justice & Human Services (CECH) at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20.

“This program will help in our efforts to achieve the state of Ohio’s goal of graduating  more Ohioans with college degrees,” Pinto said. “We are also proud to create an innovative program that partners with our Cincinnati Public Schools to provide students with opportunities to pursue college studies in a promising field with a high demand for workers.”

A class of 30 9th-grade students at Hughes STEM High School was selected to participate in the first year of the program, which is already underway. The agreement allows the program to be rolled out to other CPS high schools in future academic years.  
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students,” Mitchell said. “Our My Tomorrow program aims to provide students with a pathway to college and lucrative careers. This program gives our students a competitive edge for the jobs that are driving the world’s economy.”

Participating students will need to complete six IT-related high school courses, as well as College Credit Plus courses in English, college algebra or pre-calculus, and three hours of communication, history, social sciences, or fine arts, as well as an introduction to co-op class during the first semester their senior year. All classes must be passed with a grade of C- or above to qualify for automatic admission.

“Students in the Early College Information Technology Program will get nearly two years’ professional experience and the opportunity to simultaneously earn their master’s degree while graduating debt free,” said CECH Dean Lawrence Johnson.

CPS students who complete the Early College IT Program will be eligible to participate in co-op as early as the summer following the completion of their senior year of high school. Such students also have the option of earning a master’s degree in as few as four years after their high school graduation.


September 21, 2017

PRM Parents Bond with School, Each Other

Pleasant Ridge Montessori faculty, students, parents and families gathered on school grounds Tuesday, Sept. 12, to put their hands around the school—actually around the school. Parents and students, many with siblings in tow, checked in at the front of the school to be assigned to an area of the school grounds to meet up and get acquainted with families of fellow classmates. It wasn’t “just” a Back-to-School event. For some families of Pleasant Ridge Montessori, it was a “get-to-know” event.

“Our school community is very representative of the larger CPS community. Our neighborhood is very diverse and made up of all kinds of people,” said PRM Principal Jenny Mauch.

Mauch and fellow faculty and staff dug into data collection efforts last school year to understand what made people feel so connected to the school.

“The overwhelming answer was ‘word of mouth,’” Mauch said. “We asked what it was that made parents feel disconnected from the school, and many people said they didn’t know anybody. So there was our task: to get everybody to come out for their kids, form authentic relationships and get to know each other.”

One of the ways families could get to know each other was through a beach ball. Staff wrote questions on the beach ball, such as “What was something that made you happy today?” and “What do you love about PRM?” for families and students to answer as it got tossed around the circle. Someone attached a camera to a drone to capture the magnitude of attendance at the event, as the entire perimeter of the school was “hugged” by the crowd.

two children playingAfter spending part of the beautiful evening outside, students could play games and watch the “Kids on the Block” puppet show in the gym while Mauch led a presentation for the parents discussing the school’s goals for that year, the complexity behind the State Report Card, and how they can continuously improve the experience of students while remaining true to the Montessori method.

The chance to “reset” at the beginning of the school year helped parents internalize the uniqueness of Pleasant Ridge Montessori as a public urban neighborhood school.



September 8, 2017

Rockdale Academy students remove a ton of waste from the Ohio River—literally, a ton

A group of sixth-grade students, staff, and community partners from the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden took global conservation concepts and applied them to an out-of-classroom excursion focused specifically on pollution in the Ohio River.

“We are showing the students that their new school vision of ‘Global Conservation & Health’ starts in our own backyard,” said Fia Cifuentes of the Cincinnati Zoo.

The service-learning experience kicked off with a presentation from Living Lands and Waters. The workshop helped educate students about the varied causes and complex consequences of river pollution, sparking motivation for the tasks ahead that afternoon.

“We have the tendency to think that our garbage is thrown away and ends up where it should be, like a landfill or recycling center. Sadly, that’s not always the case,” said Dr. Terry Scott, Rockdale science teacher for grades 4-6. “Many of our natural landmarks, rivers, parks and habitats are overwhelmed with garbage that is literally destroying and consuming life.”

Students riding on a boat to remove waste from the Ohio RiverWhile students got to enjoy some views of the river and feel the excitement of riding on a boat, the most important aspect of the day was making connections between the Vision 2020 curriculum they were learning about in the classroom and acting on it in the community. They held open discussions throughout their afternoon activities about how trash could have ended up where it did, and what they could do to prevent it in the future in their own lives.

The students share these simple things you can do to reduce river pollution and its negative impact:

  • Refrain from using one-time plastics such as straws, bags, eating utensils and bottles. Also refrain from using Styrofoam (it doesn’t decompose in a landfill).
  • Save water in your toilet by putting a brick or a half-gallon container in the toilet tank to reduce water use per flush.
  • Avoid using a garbage disposal and keep solid wastes solid.
  • Super tip: Fruit and vegetable scraps make great contributions to a compost pile!
  • Do not pour fat from cooking or any other type of fat, oil, or grease down the sink.
  • Do not use the toilet as a wastebasket—do not dispose of household chemicals or cleaning agents down the toilet (or sink). Do not flush pills or medication down the toilet.
  • Do not pour motor oil and other automotive fluids into storm sewer systems.
  • If you have chemicals or fluids to dispose of, keep an eye out for a waste collection day in your community where these items can safely be disposed of.

Read more about Rockdale’s Vision 2020 focus on Global Conservation.



September 6, 2017

Mt. Washington School Awarded Grant to Expand After-School Program

Mt. Washington School is the proud recipient of a 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant, which will provide $850,000 over the next five years to enhance the school’s after-school program.

“For the past few years, we have been able to offer a free after-school enrichment program thanks to generous donations from our school partners,” said Deb Klein, principal. “Although the students love the program, we could only offer it a few days a week. This year, however, the tide has turned.”

The new grant allows Mt. Washington to expand its after-school program from three days a week to five days a week, and the program’s hours will be extended as well. Through the grant, Mt. Washington’s program will offer:

  • Literacy Lab 3D Printer Club
  • STEM Bicycle Club
  • Art
  • Yoga
  • Nature Club
  • Hand Bell Choir
  • Chorus
  • Drumming
  • Running Club
  • Tennis
  • Extended Care
  • Field Trips

Mt. Washington’s longtime Partner in Education, the University of Cincinnati, applied for the grant on the school’s behalf. The school was one of 107 to successfully earn the grant out of more than 300 applicants throughout Ohio.