Superintendent's Weekly Message - January 14, 2022
Dear CCS Community,
This week, Dr. Sara Bode, our district’s Medical Consultant, and I had the opportunity to speak with our local media outlets about the ongoing challenges the pandemic continues to create for school districts across the nation. We remain committed to in-person learning. Our schools are the safest place for students, and the data we continue to review with local health officials shows that our mitigation strategies are working.
Teaching and learning are happening in Columbus City Schools - remotely and in person. Our schools are continuing to navigate staff illnesses and availability, and this has led to several schools shifting to remote learning. We will continue to have minor disruptions, and as we review daily staffing availability, we will make determinations on a school-by-school basis.
Despite these challenges, our entire district staff has stepped up at every opportunity to support students and fellow staff members. Whether that’s been covering classes, quick responses to maintenance issues, or delivering additional PPE materials for classrooms, we recognize the importance of being there for our CCS family.
I realize everyone may not agree, but it is important that our students are learning and engaging in their classrooms, in person every day as safely and as best as possible.
Our students deserve to be in school, and I appreciate the efforts of our teachers, principals, staff, and partners to make that happen. We will get through this critical time, but we must do it together.
Podcast on Remote Learning and Academic Initiatives
Transitions from in-person instruction to remote learning have impacted several schools since we returned from Winter Break, and they have served as a reminder that COVID-19 is still present in our community. Despite these inconveniences and disruptions, quality teaching, learning, and engagement are still happening across CCS.
Listen to a special episode of our “Inside CCS” podcast to hear from members of our academic leadership team about how we’re accelerating and extending learning despite the challenges of the pandemic, especially in light of the recent shifts to temporary remote learning.
Pathway Express Travels to the Center of Science & Industry
Last weekend, I had a chance to join hundreds of CCS families at COSI to kick off our Pathway Express initiative. I’m excited that we’re able to create unique learning opportunities for students with the help of partners in our community. Students were able to explore all of the new exhibits at COSI, including getting up-close and personal with props from their favorite Marvel superhero movies. They also spent the weekend engaging in STEM activities led by our academics team and COSI staff, and they even left with STEM learning kits and new books for their home libraries.
From speaking with our families and the leaders at COSI, there is so much appreciation for programs like Pathway Express. I hope our families continue to include a free weekend visit to COSI this month, and I can’t wait for you to join us at the Columbus Museum of Art in February.
Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I have the tremendous honor of will providing remarks and introducing students during the 37th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Virtual Birthday Breakfast on Monday. The theme of the online event is “HOW Long? NOT Long,” taken from the “Our God is Marching On!” speech delivered by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., concluding the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march.
Dominion Middle School eighth-grader Elena Earley will join the City of Columbus MLK Oratorical Winner Linden Young, a senior from Franklin Heights High School in the South-Western City School District, and King Scholar Tyler Micah Washington, a junior at Morehouse College as student speakers during the virtual event.
The annual breakfast is considered the largest of its kind in the United States honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Click here to learn more about CCS Student Speaker Elena Earley.
Panorama Family Survey
To all of our families, we would like to learn more about your child’s school experience this year. CCS is collecting responses for a Family-School Relationships Survey to learn how we can better support our community during the rest of the school year and beyond.
Earlier this week, you should have received an email with directions and a link to access the survey. It only takes 10-15 minutes to complete. The survey window will be open from through January 28. All responses are completely anonymous and will help us to plan programs, resources, and services for the remainder of this school year. Click here for more information on accessing the survey.
School Schedule for Next Week
All schools are closed on Monday, Jan. 17, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Students will not be in attendance on Tuesday, Jan. 18, for a staff professional development day or on Wednesday, Jan. 19, for a staff records day.
We will monitor staffing levels in our schools for Thursday and communicate with families and staff in buildings that must transition to remote learning as soon as possible.
Superintendent/CEO, Columbus City Schools