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Columbus City Schools Find Success with Teacher-Driven, Collaborative Approach

teacher and students doing science experiment

October 09, 2023 -- Teach at a distance—and learn how to do it as you go. That is what many educators across the nation were asked to do when the pandemic hit more than three years ago.

Columbus City Schools (CCS) met that challenge by harnessing the power of teacher voice and expertise in creating a wide net of literacy support through the channels of schools, families, and the community.

The CCS student population is as vibrant and diverse as the Columbus community. Serving nearly 47,000 students, CCS families represent 104 countries and 110 languages spoken.

To serve this student base, CCS is guided by its “Power of One” five-year strategic plan that relies on a collective of students, teachers, staff, families, and partners working to ensure each student is highly educated, prepared for leadership and service, and empowered for success in a global community.

“Any one person in the district, I don’t care who you are, what your job is, has an impact on the students that we teach,” said Jennifer Ey, CCS director of literacy.

With an intentional focus on helping teachers, families, and students recover outside of the classroom, CCS used Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund dollars to create and distribute materials closely aligned to classroom content. ESSER funding has been provided to state education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) to address the impact COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools.

In the first year of the #TogetherWeReadCCS At-Home Library Initiative, a reading component of the Power of One program, CCS saw an 8 percent increase in reading scores between the spring and fall semesters for grades 1-6, far exceeding the national average and indicating the dreaded “summer slide” had been successfully avoided. (Click here to read more)

Power of One

Priority 1 - Whole Child FocusedPriority 2 - Equitable Opportunities for AllPriority 3 - Strong Learning Communities in Every RegionPriority 4 - Authentic EngagementPortrait Attribute 1 - AdaptabilityPortrait Attribute 2 - CommunicationPortrait Attribute 3 - CreativityPortrait Attribute 4 - Critical ThinkingPortrait Attribute 5 - Global EmpathyPortrait Attribute 6 - Technology