• Covid19

    For written translations of this webpage: use the "Translate" links found on the upper left corner of the website.

A Message from CCS Nurses - May 27, 2020

Class of 2020 Graduation - May 19, 2020

  • Attention Class of 2020: we’ve announced plans for virtual graduation ceremonies for all of our high schools, to be held in June! You can find all the details for the virtual ceremonies on our graduation hub: www.ccsoh.us/classof2020. You can also read a letter from Dr. Dixon announcing the news (in various languages) by clicking here.

CCS Partners To Host Virtual Prom - May 18, 2020

  • With support from Columbus City Council and Radio One, high school students in Columbus City Schools will still get to celebrate prom season with a first-ever city-wide Virtual Prom. The online and on-air event is scheduled for May 23, from 7:00 p.m. - midnight, and will feature Radio One DJs, local and national government officials, celebrities, and members of the Class of 2020.

    The four-hour event will kick-off with a live red carpet show hosted by Columbus Youth Council members. The prom will begin at 8:00 p.m., and will feature music from radio personalities DJ Mr. King and CeCe, as well as virtual shout-outs from celebrities and local leaders. The Virtual Prom will be live-streamed on Instagram, Facebook and www.mycolumbuspower.com

    You can read more information about the event here.

District Announces Plan for Student Belongings Pick-Up And Drop-Offs - May 15, 2020

Nationwide Children's Hospital Expands Mobile Health Program - May 15, 2020

  • Do your children need help with medical needs such as shots, physicals, or sore throats? The Nationwide Kids Mobile Care Center is available three days a week at select school locations, with a new fourth location recently added. Please see the flyer linked here for more information.

Columbus Metropolitan Library Curbside Pickup - May 14, 2020

  • A message from Columbus Metropolitan Library below:

    Starting Monday, May 18, we’ll offer curbside pickup at three branches:

    • Gahanna Branch | 310 Granville St.
    • Hilliard Branch | 4500 Hickory Chase Way
    • Parsons Branch | 1113 Parsons Ave.

    Curbside pickup will be available Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., with no service on Sunday.

    If you have received a notification from the library that you have items ready to pick up at these three locations, you may do so with curbside pickup. If you have items ready to pick up at any other location, please watch for updates for when additional locations will be offering curbside pickup.

    We’ll be closely monitoring this process next week with the hope of expanding curbside pickup to other locations later this month and – ideally – reopening additional locations in June. 

    For detailed information about curbside pickup and your currently held items, please click here.

    This curbside pickup will be contact-free and allow you to drop off materials and pick up reserves. You may return items through the Book Return slots at our Gahanna, Hilliard and Parsons branches during those hours as well, and returned materials will be handled by staff wearing masks and gloves and will be quarantined for 72 hours, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). There will be no public access into these buildings.

    Remember: You can visit columbuslibrary.org 24/7 for free access to regularly updated, trusted information about COVID-19 and to keep up-to-date with what we’re doing. 

    You can also Contact Us:

    • Live Chat: Our live chat feature is a convenient way to get the help you need Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday & Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.
    • Phone Lines: Call us at 614-645-2275 to get the help you need Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
    • Reserve an Expert: Schedule a one-on-one, virtual appointment with a librarian to get help with genealogy, local history, business information, searching for a job or downloading digital content.

    Thank you again for your trust and support as we all continue to navigate this new way of living and learning together.

Superintendent's Report to Board of Education - May 8, 2020

  • Dr. Talisa Dixon presented her Superintendent's Report to the Columbus Board of Education at its virtual meeting this week. You can watch the full report above, or read a transcription here.

Virtual Enrollment Appointments - May 7, 2020

  • Columbus City Schools is currently enrolling for the 2020-2021 school year. Parents wishing to enroll their child in Columbus City Schools can do so through virtual appointments online.

    The secure, online process makes it easier for prospective families to share needed information with qualified enrollment specialists on their time, from anywhere, saving families time and frustration.

    Chief Accountability Officer Dr. Machelle Kline provides an overview of the ease and flexibility of the process in securing reliable and accurate enrollment information.

Fourth Quarter Grading Policy Modification - May 7, 2020

  • At its regular business meeting on May 5, the Columbus Board of Education unanimously approved an update to the Fourth Quarter Grading Policy (5421) as it pertains to the 2019-2020 school year only.

    To read the full policy as originally announced, please click here.

    The policy modification will allow a student that is earning a letter grade of an A, A-, B+, B or B- in the fourth quarter grading period, to elect to receive that grade in place of the previously approved (P) for Pass or (I) for IncompleteMaking such an election will allow for the student’s quarter four grade to be considered in the Quality Points calculation for the final grade and grade point average. 

    The deadline for students and families to elect this option is May 18, 2020 at 2:30 p.m. These requests should be made via email to the Teacher of Record and the Building Principal. 

    Dr. Machelle Kline, the District’s Chief Accountability Officer provided an overview of the ran overview to the Board on the fourth-quarter grading policy modification means for students and families and what they need to take to inform their teachers and building principals of their selected choice.

Additional Wireless Hotspot Purchase - May 6, 2020

  • At this week’s Columbus Board of Education regular business meeting, held virtually, the Board authorized District administration to purchase 1,000 personal internet access points, commonly known as hotspots, from AT&T. This purchase comes on the heels of April’s previous authorization to acquire 500 similar devices from Verizon through a donation from longtime community partner I Know I Can.

    In an effort to provide access to online curriculum and the CCS Online Academy for those students who do not have access to the internet in their homes, district staff have been working with partners to secure personal wireless access points. Demand for these devices is high as all school districts work through this unprecedented time. 

    The funds allocated will be used to purchase 1,000 personal access points for students to borrow. Each device includes unlimited data and AccessMyLAN, an internet content filter service for CIPA compliance for two months.

    Families who are in need of internet access should email their student’s school principal for more information.

Mobile Produce Market Extended Through May - May 3, 2020

  • CCS, in partnership with the Mid-Ohio Food Collective and Columbus Recreation and Parks, has extended the Mobile Produce Market available at various food service sites through May. Free bags of fresh produce will be provided to adults on the below dates.

    Alternate languages are available here: Arabic | French | Nepali | SomaliSpanish

Class of 2020 Virtual Town Hall - April 30, 2020

  • On April 30, Columbus City Schools held the first Virtual Senior Town Hall for students in the graduating Class of 2020. Representatives of the senior classes from several of our high schools had the opportunity to pose questions to Superintendent Dixon and other district experts - with topics ranging from changes in graduation requirements and college planning to the possibility of proms and graduation ceremonies.

    If you missed the Virtual Senior Town Hall, click here to read the students’ questions and detailed answers. You can also watch a replay of the online meeting above.

Children's Hunger Alliance Partnership - April 27, 2020

CCS Online Academy Grading - April 24, 2020

Mobile Health Units - April 21, 2020

  • Do your children need help with medical needs such as shots, physicals, or sore throats? The Nationwide Kids Mobile Care Center is available three days a week at select school locations. See below for more info.

Schools Closed Through 2019-20 Academic Year - April 20, 2020

  • Governor Mike DeWine announced today that Ohio schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. Above please find a message from Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon regarding the news. You can also find a transcription of her message in multiple languages here. Please see below for translated audio files of her message in various languages.

ESL Language Assistance - April 9, 2020

  • Parents, nurses, teachers, and other school personnel in need of assistance with communication are reminded to call the District's Language Assistance Center. Phone numbers and more information can be found here.

Chromebook Distribution and Repairs Update - April 9, 2020

  • Columbus City Schools families who are in need of a Chromebook can make an appointment to get a computer at Central Enrollment (430 Cleveland Ave., 43215). The District will loan out two computers per household.

    Beginning on Wednesday, April 15, families can call (614) 365-6471 between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to schedule an appointment.

    Chromebooks will be given out by appointment Tuesday, April 21, through Saturday, April 25, between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at Central Enrollment. 

    Chromebook Repairs

    For troubleshooting or repairs to Chromebooks, families can call the IT Helpdesk at (614) 365-8425. The Helpdesk will determine if an appointment for a repair is needed and schedule the appointment. Repairs will be completed at the Kingswood Data Center (1091 King Ave., 43212) on Tuesdays between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

    Alternate languages of this text: Arabic | French | Nepali | Somali | Spanish

Mobile Produce Market - April 8, 2020

  • CCS, in partnership with the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and Columbus Rec and Parks, is bringing a Mobile Produce Market to each of our food service sites. Free bags of fresh produce will be provided to adults on the dates listed on our food service page, starting at today’s lunch.

CML Live Homework Help - April 7, 2020

  • Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) is offering K-12 students free help with their homework by way of a new live chat feature on its website, columbuslibrary.org. CML staff members are available to directly respond to students’ questions and refer them to the many free resources available to them. This new digital service is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on CML’s new Help For Students Learning From Home web page, which also includes dozens of other resources to help students be successful while learning from home.

     While thousands of central Ohio students continue to work from home during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, CML is working to provide digital resources not only for students, but for all who are impacted by the outbreak. Visit CML’s new and frequently updated COVID-19 Coronavirus Response web page for information on everything from foodbanks, internet service providers, volunteer opportunities, home learning options for the whole family and much more.

     During normal operation, CML offers free, in-person homework help at all 23 of its locations in Franklin County. All locations remain closed through at least May 2 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Dixon Message to the CCS Community - April 6, 2020

  • Dr. Talisa Dixon shared a message with the CCS community on the day that our Online Academy begins. You can watch the full message above or read a transcription here.

Spring Break Food Service Update - April 6, 2020

  • Food Service locations will be closed on Friday, April 10 through Tuesday, April 14, reopening Wednesday, April 15. CCS will provide additional meals (an additional three breakfasts and three lunches) on the Thursday before break, April 9.

CCS Launches Online Academy - April 3, 2020

  • CCS Online Academy Logo

    Beginning on Monday, April 6, CCS will transform into a virtual learning organization with all of our educational resources and school-related activities available through the new Columbus City Schools Online Academy. For more information, how to access, and a letter from Superintendent Talisa Dixon, please click here to access the CCS Online Academy hub, available on the left-hand side of this page.

Student Email Access - April 2, 2020

  • Beginning April 6, 2020, Columbus City Schools is providing each student with their own school email account. 

    FULL INSTRUCTIONS, MORE INFORMATION, AND ALTERNATE LANGUAGES: School Email Accounts

    Student email addresses are in the format of studentIDnumber@columbus.k12.oh.us (for example, 12345678@columbus.k12.oh.us). Students will use the same password that they use to log in to district computers at school. Students can access their email account from any device by visiting ccsoffice.org.

    Students will be able to use their new email address to connect with their teachers, principals, and school support staff about online assignments, coursework, and other school-related activities.

    Students are only permitted to send or receive internal email messages. This means that they are only allowed to send and receive messages from other email addresses that end with “@columbus.k12.oh.us”. There are a number of exceptions including Google Classroom, Webex video chats, and other educational resources and institutions. 

    The new student email addresses are governed by Board Policy 7540.03 - Student Education Technology Acceptable Use and Safety

    Any deleted email message in student accounts can be recovered by District administration. Messages will not be permanently stored and will be deleted by District administration when they are determined to no longer have value after a period of time.

    How to Access Student Email

    1. From any device, visit ccsoffice.org.
    2. For the username, enter your student email address (for example, 12345678@columbus.k12.oh.us).
    3. For the password, enter the same password that you use to log in to a computer at school.
    4. Contact your school principal or the IT Help Desk (614-365-8425) with any questions or login problems.
    5. Note: If you are using a shared or public computer, always remember to log out of your email account before closing your browser or leaving the computer.

School Choice/Enrollment Update - April 2, 2020

    • High School and Middle School Lottery Results will be published the week of April 6, 2020. 
    • The deadline to submit an Elementary School Lottery application, to be part of the lottery draw, has been extended to April 30, 2020.
    • The deadline to be part of the Pre-K Lottery draw has been extended to May 15, 2020.
      • In an effort to handle changes due to COVID-19 equitably for all Pre-K families, a School Choice Lottery will be conducted for all available seats at all Pre-K locations.  This lottery will replace the First Come, First Served enrollment approach the District has used in the past.  PLEASE NOTE: At the end of the 20-21 school year,  General Education Pre-K students attending a non-100% lottery school will be enrolled into their school of address for kindergarten.  Families wishing to remain in the Pre-K school for the 21-22 school year, will need to re-apply through the lottery for an opportunity to stay.  General Education Pre-K students attending a 100% lottery school, will transition to kindergarten in the same school.  The 100% Lottery Schools in which General Education Pre-K students will transition to the same school for kindergarten are: Columbus Africentric, Columbus Spanish Immersion, Duxberry, Ecole Kenwood and Oakland Park.

    Families who need to complete enrollment, must complete the Online Registration and schedule an appointment.  Due to social distancing, all appointments are being conducted virtually at your scheduled appointment time.  Families will receive an email at least one day prior to their appointment with instructions and an invitation to join a virtual enrollment meeting online.

    • The deadline to be part of the Pre-K Lottery draw has been extended to May 15, 2020.
      • In an effort to handle changes due to COVID-19 equitably for all Pre-K families, a School Choice Lottery will be conducted for all available seats at all Pre-K locations.  This lottery will replace the First Come, First Served enrollment approach the District has used in the past.  PLEASE NOTE: At the end of the 20-21 school year,  General Education Pre-K students attending a non-100% lottery school will be enrolled into their school of address for kindergarten.  Families wishing to remain in the Pre-K school for the 21-22 school year, will need to re-apply through the lottery for an opportunity to stay.  General Education Pre-K students attending a 100% lottery school, will transition to kindergarten in the same school.  The 100% Lottery Schools in which General Education Pre-K students will transition to the same school for kindergarten are: Columbus Africentric, Columbus Spanish Immersion, Duxberry, Ecole Kenwood and Oakland Park.

    Families interested in Pre-K must complete the Online Registration and schedule an enrollment appointment.  Due to social distancing, all appointments are being conducted virtually at the scheduled appointment time.  Families will receive an email at least one day prior to their appointment with instructions and an invitation to join a virtual enrollment meeting online.   All Pre-K Lottery applications must be submitted via the Parent Portal account.  Families will be provided an access code for creating their account at the scheduled enrollment appointment.

Playground Update - March 31, 2020

  • The District’s Operations staff is restricting access to our school playgrounds and basketball courts to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Playgrounds are being roped off with caution tape, and basketball hoops are being blocked with wood 2x4s. Please help slow the spread of COVID-19 by staying off all playgrounds, basketball courts, and other recreational equipment that could transmit the virus.

Columbus Metropolitan Library Update - March 31, 2020

  • A message from Patrick Losinski, CEO
    Columbus Metropolitan Library

    Like many of you, we are keeping a close eye on the news coming out of the governor’s office, as well as guidelines from local, state and national health officials as this pandemic continues to evolve.

    Governor DeWine has extended the closing of all Ohio K-12 schools through the end of April. Accordingly, I am announcing today the continued public closure of all Columbus Metropolitan Library locations through at least Saturday, May 2.

    Keep using our digital resources; we are working hard to provide you and your family with even more options during this uncertain time. Visit columbuslibrary.org for free access to information, materials and resources. For updates, follow us on social media (FacebookTwitter).

    Thank you for your trust and support as we all continue to navigate this new way of living and learning together.

Superintendent's Message - School Closure Extended - March 30, 2020

  • Dear CCS Families,

    Today, Governor Mike DeWine announced that all schools in the state of Ohio will remain closed through May 1 in response to the continuous spread of COVID-19.

    Fortunately, our Academic Services team has been preparing for the possibility of a long-term school closure. Up until this point, we have been operating under the Governor’s short-term closure order, which set an end date of Friday, April 3. 

    With this new directive, families will be receiving information this week about our new distance learning program for all grades and all students. This program will begin on Monday, April 6, and last through the end of the Governor’s extended school closure of Friday, May 1. 

    We will also observe the District’s scheduled Spring Break, April 10-17, with no required school activities on those days.

    The information we will be providing to families this week includes:

    • How to access your student’s online distance learning platforms through Clever. These platforms will vary by grade level and subject.
    • How to connect with your student’s teacher, principal, and school support staff. This can include email, phone, and Webex video chats.
    • How to access your student’s new email address. Our IT team will be activating email addresses, to be used for communication within the District only, for all students on April 6.
    • Where to find Wi-Fi access across the city if you don’t have reliable access at home. Many of our school buildings have signal strengths that reach into the parking lot, while a number of community partners have stepped up to offer Wi-Fi services or access.

    Despite these new challenges that we are now facing, our staff is confident we can provide quality educational experiences, resources, and supports for all of our students. Our teachers and principals have been training on the distance learning platforms during the short-term closure and will be ready to welcome students virtually on Monday, April 6. 

    We understand there will be many questions, growing pains, and unforeseen hiccups as our school district transitions into providing remote education. I ask for families to be patient in this process and to partner with us in educating our community’s students.

    I also understand that education is just one factor that our families are dealing with during this pandemic. Please know that our team is here to help and to support you. It is my hope that all of our families, students, and staff stay safe and follow the recommendations and orders given by health experts. I encourage you to “Stay Safe, CCS!”

    Sincerely,

    Talisa Dixon
    Superintendent/CEO, Columbus City Schools

WOSU Programming - March 30, 2020

  • WOSU TV is responding to the statewide school closures by changing its weekday schedule to help students, teachers and families with at-home learning. Beginning Monday, March 30th, WOSU TV 34.1 will feature a full schedule of curated daily educational programming geared to serve students in grades Pre-K–12 from 7:00am to 5:30pm each weekday.

    Please click here for more information and for a programming schedule.

H.B. 197 Emergency Legislation - March 27, 2020

  • Governor DeWine signed H.B. 197 into law today, providing relief for COVID-19-related issues. As an emergency measure, it goes into effect immediately. Here's what it means for Columbus City Schools and our families. Click here to read full details of the bill.

    HB 197 What It Means For CCS Graphic

Chromebook Distribution - March 25, 2020

  • Starting on Friday, CCS will continue distribution of Chromebook computers for students who do not have access to a computer at home, this time for middle and elementary schoolers. For distribution schedules and more info, please click here.

Physical Activity and Social Distancing - March 24, 2020

Message from Superintendent Dr. Dixon - March 23, 2020

Food Services Update - March 20, 2020

  • We continue to access and review our feeding sites around the city to determine if we are taking the best care possible of the children of our community. We are adding Dominion Middle School starting Monday, March 23, 2020 to support the Clintonville Community. Please visit our Food Services page for an updated map as well as translated maps and all timeframes.

Message from Superintendent Dr. Dixon - March 19, 2020

Transportation Update - March 19, 2020

  • Updating previous communication items regarding transportation: COTA announced today that all transit fares will be free for anyone during the COVID-19 pandemic. All children and adults may now ride COTA for free during this pandemic.

Message from President Adair - March 19, 2020

  • Board President Jennifer Adair began yesterday evening's Board of Education meeting with a message to the CCS community. You can watch the speech below, or read a full transcription here.

Family Needs Survey - March 18, 2020

  • We have posted a Family Needs Survey here to collect information on what families are most in need of so that we can link you to those community resources for assistance. Please take a few minutes to fill out the form and follow the prompts to submit. 

    TAKE THE FAMILY NEEDS SURVEY

    The Community Resources page is also where you’ll find updates, enrichment activities and links to many of our community’s non-profit, business, and social service partners working with Columbus City Schools to assist families with access to essential services. You can call 211 or visit www.211centralohio.org to reach thousands of resources in Franklin County to address any problem you might be facing.

    Remember, you can stay up to date from CCS regarding COVID-19 on the CCS website, and at StaySafeCCS.org where we continue to add resources and post updates as we learn more.

    Thank you again for working with us as our entire community responds to COVID-19. 

Transportation Update - March 18, 2020

  • We are seeing an increase in the number of families stopping by all fourteen of our school food sites to pick up free breakfast and food meals. We look forward to seeing more families taking advantage of this opportunity.

    During this challenging time, our friends at COTA are offering support for our students as well. COTA will provide free transportation for any child to and from any of the District’s 14 school food sites on bus routes supported by COTA through at least April third. Any child who needs to access a meal site can tell the COTA operator they need a ride for no charge.

    A detailed map of the COTA transit lines that stop near CCS meal sites is posted on our Stay Safe CCS Food Services page. If you have any questions or concerns, please call COTA’s Customer Care at 614-228-1776.

Transportation Update - March 16, 2020

  • CCS' friends at COTA announced the following this evening:

    With the announcement of breakfast and lunch distribution centers for Columbus City School children, COTA wants to remind the community that children under 48 inches tall always ride COTA at no charge. During this challenging time, children taller than 48 inches who need to access a meal at these school food locations can make the COTA operator aware they need a ride for no charge as well.

Food Services Update - March 16, 2020

  • We have added East High School as a location for our free food service program, beginning with tomorrow's meals (Tuesday, March 17).

    The full map and list of locations can be found on our COVID-19 Food Services page.

    We have also mapped both www.StaySafeCCS.com and www.StaySafeCCS.org to this page, our COVID-19 hub, to make the website a little easier to remember and type!

School Choice Lottery Update - March 16, 2020

  • Central Enrollment is closed. Families will be able to reschedule their appointments, once a date is confirmed for schools to resume, via the link provided in the cancellation text/email.

    Modifications to the School Choice Lottery procedure due to COVID-19:

    • High School and Middle School Lottery results will be published once school resumes.
    • The Elementary School Lottery deadline will be extended for three weeks following the reopening of school.
    • Please watch the website for updates in regards to the Pre-K Lottery timeframe and information.
    • Additionally, in an effort to handle changes due to COVID-19 equitably for all Pre-K families, a School Choice Lottery will be conducted for all available seats at Pre-K locations. This lottery will replace the First Come, First Served enrollment approach the District has used in the past. PLEASE NOTE: At the end of the 20-21 school year,  General Education Pre-K students will be enrolled in their school of address for kindergarten. Families wishing to remain in the Pre-K school for the 21-22 school year will need to re-apply through the lottery for an opportunity to stay.

Volunteering/Donation Update - March 14, 2020

  • Many organizations and individuals in Central Ohio have reached out to Columbus City Schools offering to volunteer or donate funds or various items to assist our community through this unprecedented situation we are facing in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic.

    If you would like to volunteer or donate, you can submit your information at this page, located on the left side of our COVID-19 hub.

Food Services Update - March 13, 2020

  • During the period when classes are cancelled (through Friday, April 3), CCS will offer free meals for ALL children age 18 and under, Monday through Friday. This applies to CCS students as well as children who are not CCS students.

    Please visit the Food Services tab on this page for a full map and more information.

    On Friday, March 13, Columbus Board of Education President Jennifer Adair spoke to the media concerning the District's staffing, academic, and food service plan during class cancellation.

Athletics Update - March 13, 2020

  • In light of Governor DeWine’s order to close all K-12 school buildings for the next three weeks, all CCS athletic practices, scrimmages, meets, and games will be cancelled beginning March 13, 2020, through Friday, April 3, 2020.

    During this time period, any type of optional practice or team function is not authorized and should not be attended. All District facilities are closed and not permitted for use, including athletic facilities. 

    Further decisions and information about the spring sports season in its entirety will be assessed in the coming weeks in accordance with guidance from public health and government officials.

Update - March 12, 2020

  • Columbus City Schools has canceled all classes beginning Monday, March 16, through Friday, April 3, due to the order announced today by Governor Mike DeWine. CCS will remain open on Friday, March 13.

    Governor DeWine announced an order today to close all K-12 school buildings across the state for three weeks at least through April 3.

    Beginning Monday, March 16, all class and school-related activities are canceled for three weeks through April 3.

    The District is finalizing its distance-learning academic plans and staffing scenarios and will share more information on Friday, March 13.

    Columbus City Schools officials will continue to monitor the development of COVID-19 and will plan accordingly, in partnership with local, state, and federal health and government officials. Stay up to date from CCS regarding COVID-19 on the CCS website, where we continue to add resources and post updates as we learn more.

    On Thursday, March 12, District officials meet with the media to answer questions related to COVID-19 and the cancelling of classes through Friday, April 3.

Letter From The Superintendent - March 11, 2020

  • Columbus City Schools Families, Students, and Staff,

    As news about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and new cases increase daily across the state and country, we wanted to reiterate what Columbus City Schools is currently doing to help prevent the spread of this virus — and illness in general — in our schools to keep students and staff safe.

    While there are no confirmed cases in Columbus or Franklin County at this time, we will be heeding the advice of Governor DeWine to limit large gatherings of people in our buildings due to the confirmed community spread of the virus in another part of the state.

    In an abundance of caution and to help slow the spread of the virus, all school-related and district-sponsored evening events are canceled through the end of March. This is effective immediately and includes concerts, plays, school dances, competitions, PTA and booster club meetings, and any other non-essential events that include outside spectators.

    Schools will remain open for the time being as we continue to rely on the feedback from healthcare professionals. After-school clubs and activities, including athletic practices, will still be held as scheduled.

    Additionally, to limit the risk to our students and staff we are canceling all field trips and professional travel and conferences through the end of March. No new staff travel/conference requests or school field trips will be approved during this timeframe.

    We will also cancel and restrict the use of our school buildings by outside organizations and entities through the end of March.

    District administration will continue to assess these precautions and the timeline and make adjustments as necessary based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ohio Department of Health, and Columbus Public Health officials.

    We understand the inconvenience that these restrictions may cause to our families, students, staff, and the community. We feel that this is the best decision at this time in order to do our part in helping to slow the spread of the virus. Now is the time to lead by example and work together as a community to protect the health of our students, staff, and families.

    Sincerely,

    Signature

     

Columbus City Schools COVID-19 Response FAQ - March 11, 2020

  • Is CCS considering closing schools? And, if so, what is the remote education plan?

    Closing schools is a last resort and will be done with great care, transparency, and in partnership with Columbus Public Health.

    In addition to Columbus Public Health’s recommendation to stay open, there are several factors we are evaluating. While education is our primary responsibility, public schools are also the access point to critical social services for thousands of students and families. Many of our families rely on our schools and staff for basic needs, including regular meals, health care, and after school child care. If our schools shut down, vulnerable families are at a higher risk of being negatively impacted.

    Another consideration is the unintended impact on our health care community and our collective response to COVID-19. Columbus is fortunate to have great medical institutions and providers. If schools close, fewer people will be able to provide front-line support. Parents who are health care providers will be forced to stay at home with their children vs providing services. The longer we can keep our doors open, the better it will be for our students and the entire community. As soon as healthcare officials determine schools should close, we will.

    Our goal is to keep our doors open as long as possible while prioritizing the health and safety of our students and staff.

    The District is developing a plan to provide long-distance learning “if” we experience long-term closures.

    Are any District events canceled?

    While there are no confirmed cases in Columbus or Franklin County at this time, we will be heeding the advice of Governor DeWine to limit large gatherings of people in our buildings due to the confirmed community spread of the virus in another part of the state.

    In an abundance of caution and to help slow the spread of the virus, all school-related and district-sponsored evening events are canceled through the end of March. This is effective immediately (March 11) and includes concerts, plays, school dances, competitions, PTA and booster club meetings, and any other non-essential events that include outside spectators.

    The typical school day will remain in session for the time being as we continue to rely on the feedback from healthcare professionals. After-school clubs and activities, including athletic practices, will still be held as scheduled.

    Families should contact their school principal with any questions regarding events or activities.

    How are athletic competitions affected?

    High school athletic events are governed by the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA), a state-wide organization. OHSAA makes the final determination regarding upcoming championship events. As of March 11, OHSAA will limit spectators for the remaining boys and girls basketball contests to the immediate family of participants and personnel.

    There are no additional CCS-sponsored athletic events until the end of March, when the Spring outdoor season begins. At that time, we will reevaluate those outdoor competitions.

    Are school field trips and staff professional travel canceled?

    To limit the risk to our students and staff, we are canceling all field trips and professional travel and conferences through the end of March. No new staff travel/conference requests or school field trips will be approved during this timeframe.

    For any upcoming personal travel, we encourage families and staff to consult the CDC Travel Guidelines.

    Will outside organizations still be allowed to use District facilities?

    Effective March 11, we have canceled and restricted the use of our school buildings by outside organizations and entities through the end of March. Questions will be addressed through the Facilitron system.

    How is the District preventing the spread of germs in school buildings?

    We are taking extra steps to protect our students and staff by creating more time for hand washing during the school day, prioritizing regular cleanings in high-traffic areas, and providing more supplies to all schools for classroom cleanings. We are also making program and practice adjustments to better ensure the safety of our students and staff.

    Hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the most effective way to contain the spread of illness and disease, including COVID-19. Learn more about hand washing and proper technique by watching this video.

    We are asking schools to prioritize student hand washing when students arrive at school, anytime they have used the restroom, and prior to lunch. These are always good habits and critical to the containment of the disease. Our school-based staff will be prioritizing hand washing, and custodial staff will keep soap fully stocked in bathrooms and classrooms to support these efforts. Staff will also reinforce good hygiene and remind students to not touch their face, nose, or mouth, sneeze into a tissue or elbow, and reduce physical hand contact (high fives, first bumps, etc.).

    The expectation is for all District custodians is to clean all horizontal surfaces and common touch point areas with a hospital-grade disinfectant. This is done as part of the evening cleaning process. During the day, the head custodian will focus on cleaning common touch point areas and public areas. The major mode of transmission is mainly person to person through respiratory droplet, produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes and the droplets land on another person's mouth or nose or even eyes who are nearby. So transmission is mainly person to person through respiratory droplet. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

    District buses will be disinfected twice a day – once after the morning routes, and in the evening after the p.m., routes with a hospital-grade disinfectant.

    It is important to remember that the best way to prevent the spread of any respiratory illness is to follow routine hygiene etiquette:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes with your arm or a tissue.
    • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

     For the most reliable information, please visit the CDC website or the Ohio Department of Health website which is updated daily at 2:00 p.m.

    If you’re currently having symptoms and would like to talk with someone, please contact your healthcare provider. If you need a referral to a provider, please contact the School Nurse at your school. Columbus City Schools will keep you up-to-date on the Department of Health guidance. The District will continue to work with our partners to provide referrals to care during the school day when needed.

    If a student does need to stay home, how can they receive assignments?

    If a student is sick, and the school is not closed, families should follow the standard procedure of contacting their school and teacher and ask for assignments.

    Student absences are handled as they are currently, with a medical excuse or parent authorized excuse (up to 9 days). If your healthcare provider or Columbus Public Health determines a quarantine is necessary, this would be considered a medically excused absence.

    If a staff member is sick, they should stay at home. If a staff member exhibits symptoms, they should contact their healthcare provider and provide medical documentation to the Human Resources Department following standard operating procedures for absences.

    When should a student or staff member stay home?

    If students or staff experience a fever of 100 degrees or higher, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, they should stay home from school and contact their healthcare provider immediately.

    If a student demonstrates these symptoms while at school, they will be immediately isolated to another space in the school while continuing to be monitored by an adult, and a family member or emergency contact will be called to pick them up. We know this may cause anxiety and fear for our students, and we will do our best to address any concerns. We are committed to ensuring students are supported with love, compassion, and care.

    How does the Public Health “at-risk” population guidance effect Columbus City Schools?

    The health, wellbeing, and safety of our students and staff is our top priority. People at higher risk, according to Public Health, include those who are 60 years and older; people who are pregnant; people with weakened/compromised immune systems or underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes. Columbus City Schools has close to 9,000 part-time and full-time employees, and some who meet the “at-risk” criteria. In our effort to help disrupt the spread of COVID-19 and protect our staff and students, these employees, with required documentation, may need to stay home. Parents of an at-risk student should contact the student’s health care provider for guidance.

    Our goal is to keep our doors open as long as possible while prioritizing the health and safety of our students and staff. With that said, we are tracking staff and student attendance daily. In order to keep schools, open we need to have enough staff to provide a safe learning environment for students. We also want to make sure that staff who need to self-quarantine because of high risk or illness take time off.

    How are you protecting vulnerable populations?

    We are taking extra steps to protect our students and staff by creating more time for hand washing during the school day, prioritizing regular cleanings in high-traffic areas, and providing more supplies to all schools for classroom cleanings. We are also making program and practice adjustments to better ensure the safety of our students and staff.

    How can families and the community support healthy schools?

    Keep your children home when sick. If they have a fever, they need to stay home a minimum of 24 hours until fever-free without medication. Continue to practice good respiratory etiquette:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes with your arm or a tissue.
    • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

    What conversations should families have with their children at home?

    If families need resources to share with your children, here’s an informative graphic resource from NPR.

    Where can I find more information?

    As with any newly emerging infectious disease, knowledge evolves with time. Early on, it is difficult to know the source of the disease, the ways in which it spreads, how effectively it spreads from person to person, and how severe the infection is.

    For the most reliable information, please visit the CDC website or the Ohio Department of Health websiteColumbus Public Health. We recommend you follow CDC guidelines, including those on the CDC travel page. ODH has also created a website for up-to-date information and a call center 1-833-4ASKODH to provide information.

    How will CCS keep families, staff, and students informed regarding Coronavirus?

    This is a rapidly evolving situation, and CCS staff is continually monitoring the new information and guidance we receive daily. The District continues to follow the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Ohio Department of Health, and Columbus Public Health in our response to COVID -19, including decisions to close schools and whether students or staff would need to be quarantined.

    CCS will keep families and staff updated through regular messages via the district website, email, letters, and auto-dialers. As soon as new information becomes available, we will let you know.

    In the event a school would need to close, families will receive notifications similar to weather-related closures, through an auto-dialer, email message, and the local media. Please make sure your contact information is up to date at your child's school.

    The safety, health, and well-being of our staff, students and school community is, and will always be, our top priority. We will continue monitoring the development of COVID-19 and will continue to plan accordingly, in partnership with local, state, and federal health and government officials.

    Stay up to date on the Coronavirus on the CCS website, where we continue to add resources and post updates as we learn more.