- Oakland Park Elementary School
Superintendent's Weekly Message: Announcing "Wellness Week"
Dear CCS Community,
As October draws to a close this weekend, November's arrival unofficially marks the start of the holiday season. Soon we'll all be getting together with family and friends to celebrate and give thanks.
During this time, it's also important to focus on our overall health and wellness. I write to you this week with news of a decision I have made to prioritize the mental well-being of our teachers, staff, and students.
I am declaring the week of Thanksgiving as "Wellness Week" in Columbus City Schools. Monday, November 22, and Tuesday, November 23, will be asynchronous remote learning days for all students. Teachers will assign independent work to be due after the Thanksgiving break, but there will be no in-person or synchronous remote learning that week.
Most of our district operations will be closed for the entire week to give the majority of our workforce time off. Our schools are already closed that Wednesday through Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday, so this adjustment gives our teachers, principals, staff, and students a whole week off to reset and recharge.
This school year has been challenging as we transitioned back to five days a week of in-person learning for the first time in 18 months, not to mention the national shortage of bus drivers, security threats, and the continuing pandemic.
I recognize that our schools need a break. Our teachers, principals, and nurses are exhausted, our classified staff is stretched thin, and our students are drained.
Of the many lessons we have learned during the pandemic, we know that mental health is essential. That's what this decision is about, to prioritize the mental well-being of our district community so we can come back ready to meet all of the challenges in front of us head-on.
I understand that transitioning to remote learning for two days during that week could be a hardship for some of our families. Still, I believe this decision is a necessary step as I consider the state of our district community.
I wanted to let you know now so that you could reasonably plan. We will be following up soon with updates and supports that we're able to provide that week.
Thank you to our families for your continued support and engagement. I know that this school year has been tough on you too. I hope you can take the time that week to slow down and focus on your loved ones.
Our Teachers and Staff
For our teachers, principals, nurses, and staff, I thank you for the tireless efforts you have put forth over the past two months. Your energy and dedication to serving our students and community have been remarkable. I see you and hear you, and I hope you can use this "Wellness Week" to rest up for the journey ahead of us.
Be on the lookout for additional information about new initiatives and incentives as we prioritize staff wellness for the remainder of the school year.
My goal is that our Columbus City School employees can enjoy the time off for "Wellness Week." For those of you who may still need to work in support of CCS or charter/non-public schools, your supervisor will follow up with more information on how we can honor and thank you too.
Superintendent/CEO, Columbus City Schools