Superintendent's Community Message - February 10, 2023
Dear CCS Community,
February is a busy month at Columbus City Schools, and for me, it has been a great time to reflect on the love and compassion that we share with those closest to us and our community.
This month, we can look at ways to go beyond ourselves and share kindness with the world as we celebrate the achievements through Black History Month and cultivate supportive relationships through Relationship Week.
Last week kicked off Black History Month. Although we celebrate the achievements of African Americans throughout the year, February is a great time to honor the history and vital contributions to our communities. Throughout this month, I am eager to see students gain valuable knowledge and that their appreciation continues to grow for African American history. Many schools throughout the district will be hosting assemblies and events to honor this month. I am looking forward to celebrating this month with our CCS family.
This week, staff and students participated in our seventh annual Relationship Week, and celebrated our school counselors for National School Counselors Week. Throughout the week, students learned ways to cultivate relationships with themes of offering simple greetings, giving one act of kindness, forgiveness, celebrating diversity, and making sure no one eats alone. Supportive relationships are critical to students’ learning, well-being, and success. These efforts are also critical to support our first priority in our strategic plan of a whole child focus, while teaching ways to embody all Portrait of a Graduate attributes.
I also want to recognize and thank our school counselors for the work they do every day to support our students. These talented, dedicated, and compassionate individuals are critical to our schools. They work tirelessly to ensure they meet the needs of our students. We see the work you’re doing and want you to know that you are very much appreciated.
Looking out for the well-being of our students and staff is a critical priority, whether that’s within our Columbus City Schools or in the surrounding community. Our neighbors in Pickerington went through an immense tragedy that has impacted the lives of students, staff, and the community. Our CCS Care Team recently spent some time with two of the district’s school social workers to provide support and communicate our care and solidarity. Pickerington Schools remains in our hearts, and we will continue to do what we can to provide support and services to our neighbors and community.
While at Pickerington, our team came across a compassionate couple who represented “Way to Battle,” with boxes of “Battle Pups” they left for students, staff, and families to take home. Each stuffed pup came with the message that No One Battles Alone. Chris and Kristin Martin created the pups after their son Brady was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia, and they wanted to bring love and comfort to those going through life-changing battles. This led to a conversation about how we could support our Highland Elementary School family, who have experienced tragedy over the past year. This week, we delivered Battle Pups to Highland Elementary School to not only show support but to hopefully bring a smile to the faces of students and staff, while also delivering that symbolic and important message that no one battles alone.
I think about the battle that the Martins fought, how they were experiencing extreme grief but were so heartfelt in their intentions to make sure that others don’t feel alone in the world. You never know what battle another person is fighting, and a caring word or act of kindness may make a big difference in someone’s life.
Dr. Angela Chapman
Interim Superintendent/CEO, Columbus City Schools