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Superintendent's Weekly Message - December 17, 2021

Dear CCS Community,

Happy holidays to all of our students, families, teachers, staff, and community members! As we prepare to bring 2021 to a close, I hope you will all take time during the upcoming Winter Break to rest, recharge, and spend time with your loved ones.

I am especially excited for the festivities this year as we debuted a new holiday card contest in Columbus City Schools, asking our students to submit designs that we could use on cards we send to our community partners. 

All of our schools were invited to have student artists submit entries in the contest. Our Unified Arts and Engagement teams evaluated the submissions and chose 15 finalists. 

I was overwhelmed by the amazing work our student artists submitted -- I could not choose just one holiday card design! Instead, we selected the artwork from four students and will use each of their designs to print and send out holiday cards.

Click here to see the winning artwork.

Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones Over Winter Break

As we prepare for winter break, we want to remind our Columbus City Schools students, staff, and families about the best way to protect yourself from the spread of COVID-19.

Holiday traditions are important for families and children. There are several ways to enjoy holiday traditions and protect your health. Because many generations tend to gather to celebrate holidays, the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep your family and friends safer is to get vaccinated if you’re eligible.

  • Get a COVID-19 Vaccine as soon as you can; test to prevent the spread to others.
  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others.
  • Remember to social distance – at least 3 feet from others who don’t live with you.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
  • WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN with soap and water (greater than 20 seconds). Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available, and clean high-touch surfaces often.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands and cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • For a list of locations providing the COVID-19 vaccine to ages 5 years and older, visit or 

If you are considering traveling for a holiday or event, visit CDC’s Travel page to help you decide what is best for you and your family. CDC still recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated.

By working together, we can enjoy safer holidays, travel, and protect our own health as well as the health of our family and friends. We look forward to seeing our students and staff back in the classroom on January 3, 2022.

Safe Fun During Winter Break, Courtesy of Columbus Recreation and Parks

In Columbus City Schools, we are “safer together” when everyone in our community all works together to prioritize safety for our city’s young people. That’s why I so appreciate our partners at Columbus Recreation and Parks, who will be hosting special activities free of charge for CCS students at 28 of our city’s rec centers over the next two weeks.

The School’s Out Winter Break Program starts Monday and runs through next Thursday (closed on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve) from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. each weekday. The free programs are aimed at students ages 6-12. One shelf-stable meal will be provided daily, and students are encouraged to pack a snack each day. Parents must Sign-In and Sign-Out their children each day. And you must register ahead of time, either in-person at your neighborhood rec center or at

Get Ready to Board the Pathway Express

I’m very excited about a special opportunity for our students starting when we get back from Winter Break. Our Academic teams are set to launch the new Pathway Express - and it’s going to provide our families with free access to some of our city's most popular attractions.

Starting in January, you will hear more about this unique learning opportunity at various family-friendly destinations throughout Columbus -- with free admission to fun spaces at COSI, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the North Market. Not only will you get free weekend admission for the entire family each month, but you’ll also have a chance to win prizes and take home free learning kits and activities. 

Stay tuned for more about the Pathway Express…and stay safe this holiday break. 


Talisa Dixon
Superintendent/CEO, Columbus City Schools