Family Updates: Return to Distance Learning

November 16, 2020

Good evening, Spencer Center Families,

The safety of our community comes first. I am incredibly proud of the diligent approach we have taken as a staff and the broader school community in executing our safety plan here at school. As we prepare to return to remote learning for all students, as a part of our District’s response to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Hamilton County and Cincinnati, we wanted to be sure to communicate our student schedule as quickly as possible. We are not closed as a school — we are merely transitioning to a safer method for instruction which will provide our students with continued access to their curriculum, teachers, and their classmates.

On November 10, 2020 the Cincinnati School Board decided that we would return to online remote learning beginning November 23, 2020, and would look at a return date of January 4, 2021, pending a review of relevant safety data at that time. We have also been instructed to maintain our current 1–4 Distance Learning Model for next week (November 16–20) for those students who are participating in distance learning, rather than switching to the streaming program we had previously designed to launch this coming week. This means that for the week of November 16, 2020, all distance learning students will participate in one day of online virtual classes and four days of independent learning, and our in-person students will participate in one day of online virtual classes, two days of in-person instruction, and two days of independent learning. Then, beginning on Monday, November 23, all students will participate in five days of online learning, following the schedules attached to this email.

You will notice that the remote schedule for students looks very similar to the remote schedule we used for the first six weeks of the school year, with just a few adjustments based on our learnings. One change affects our whole school, while the second affects our Upper School students specifically. Our goal in designing this schedule was to maintain as much continuity as possible while offering our students plenty of opportunities to interact with each other, with their teachers, and with the content so as to most closely as possible mirror the in-school experience.

First, we have moved the District-wide Teacher PD Days to Mondays, which allows us to have our shortened days on Mondays for both Upper and Lower School students. Second, we know that our Upper School students would like and in many cases need more time with their teachers to complete work. You will see that in any classes that a student has a C or lower, there are mandatory office hours that they must attend in the afternoons for those subjects. We believe this will provide students with the additional time and support necessary to help catch up on work, cover unfinished learning, or seek clarity from their teachers. Teachers will share the google meet codes for these classes, but this will serve as a key intervention to promote clarification, more time on content, and increase work completion for our students. All students are welcome to attend these sessions, however, they are only mandatory for our students with a C or lower in that particular subject area.

Attendance and Illness Reporting

Please note that despite our remote status, families should continue to contact the school if your student or family is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, has a known exposure to COVID-19 or a confirmed case of COVID-19. This information is important for our records and for keeping our community safe. Please plan to call the Main Office at (513) 363-5800 or the Nurses Office at (513) 363-5821 to report any related illnesses. If your student will be absent for any reason from their scheduled online classes, please use our online attendance reporting tool or call the Main Office at (513) 363-5800. You may also email us if you are unable to get a hold of the Main Office by phone.

Please review the three schedules below for Lower School, Middle School and High School as we prepare to launch remote learning on November 23, 2020. Thank you for your support, persistence and flexibility as we move through this school year together. If you have any questions, please reach out.




Nina Ginocchio
Principal, Spencer Center