Superintendent's Message to CCS Families - March 23, 2020
Superintendent’s Message to CCS Families
March 23, 2020
Dear CCS Families,
On Sunday, Governor DeWine issued a “Stay at Home” order for all Ohioans, requiring everyone in the state to remain at home and limit trips to essential travel and essential activities only. The order will go into effect Monday, March 23, at 11:59 p.m.
If you have questions about what this “Stay at Home” order means, there is a helpful Frequently Asked Questions page on the Ohio Department of Health website. You can find this link from our website, StaySafeCCS.org.
It is important that we all take this order seriously to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Governor and the state’s Director of Health have been proactive in their efforts to fight the spread of this virus, keeping the health and safety of all Ohioans at the center of their decisions.
I’m sure many of you are wondering what this new directive means for Columbus City Schools and your students. Here is what I know currently, but please keep in mind that this situation changes often. We will continue to communicate with our families as new information becomes available.
We will continue to serve free “grab-and-go” breakfast and lunch meals to all children age 18 and under. Our 15th site -- Dominion Middle School -- is opening on Monday to provide another location for our families to choose from. COTA is providing free transportation throughout the city.
We are committed to feeding our children so long as it is deemed safe by the Governor and the Director of Health. Our meal sites can remain operable and are considered an essential activity in the new order.
Class of 2020 Students
My heart goes out to all 50,000 of our students who are missing out on many activities during this ordeal. But I especially feel for our Class of 2020 students who have been preparing for years to walk across the stage and receive their diploma this spring -- an unforgettable moment in one’s life for sure.
For those students who are on track to graduate, our academic team will do everything they can to make sure you remain on track and receive your diploma. For those students who are not on track and need additional supports, please know that we are working tirelessly on your behalf. Our academic team is considering all options that will allow these students to get back on track and complete the requirements for graduation.
To our Class of 2020, one way or another we will find a way to have you walk across the stage and receive your diploma, whether that is during our scheduled commencement ceremonies in May or on another date when it is deemed safe by state officials.
Distance Learning Plan
To all of our families and students across the city, thank you for your patience during the first week of this shutdown. Many of you have remained engaged with learning activities at home, either virtually with your classroom teachers or on your own. This is a truly unique situation we are in, and your commitment to remain engaged with school work is inspiring.
As we prepare for what could possibly be a long-term closure, our academic services and curriculum team has been putting together a distance learning plan for all students. This will include a standard curriculum, required activities for students, and virtual instruction from teachers. We know that there will be barriers to implementing this plan district-wide, but our team is working to create solutions that will allow us to overcome these obstacles. Educating our community’s children is too important to let barriers stand in our way. I ask for your patience and for your partnership when we are ready to launch the long-term plan.
Access to Technology
This week we are beginning to distribute Chromebook computers to students who are in need of borrowing a device for home. We are starting with our senior students so that they may complete coursework required for graduation. We are then continuing down through the grade levels. We do not have enough computers for every student, but our goal is for every household that needs a device, is able to access one. Please keep an eye out for further information or contact your school principal with questions.
Community Resources for Families
Columbus City Schools is working with many of our community's non-profit, business, and social service partners to assist families with access to essential services as our city responds to the threat of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
We have launched an online survey for families, so we can best match our community resources and partners with the greatest needs of our families. I encourage all families to take the survey at StaySafeCCS.org.
Finally, please continue to check our website for the latest updates and information. We are here to help no matter what the need is. Now is the time to work together as a community, follow the orders of our health experts, and get through this ordeal.
As always, I encourage you to “Stay Safe, CCS!”
Superintendent/CEO, Columbus City Schools