CAHS Family Update

Columbus Alternative High School

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November 9, 2021

Important Dates

  • November 11: Virtual Teacher Conferences
  • November 13: All Together Now! Musical Benefit @ Dominion Middle School
  • November 16: Virtual Teacher Conferences
  • November 16: APEX Credit Recovery Meeting (virtual)
  • November 18: Chorale Repertory Concert @ CAHS
  • November 22: Asynchronous Day (students at home)
  • November 23: Asynchronous Day (students at home)
  • November 24-26: No classes/Thanksgiving Break
  • December 1: CAHS Chipotle Fundraiser

At-Home Learning Nov 22 + 23

CCS announced Nov 22-23 are now asynchronous days, to give teachers and staff an extended break that week. Here's what that means for students:

  • No Zoom classes

  • Students should check online for any work posted for those days

  • All work is done remotely, at home

  • Take-home meals will be provided for those days (I don't have details on that yet)

Sign up for Teacher Conferences

Sign up now for Teacher Conferences, held virtually on November 11 and 16 from 3:00-6:30 pm, through this link >>

Teachers are listed alphabetically. You can also sign up to speak with your child's counselor or grade level administrator.

On the night of your conference, find the teacher's Zoom link here:

Help Feed the Teachers

Don't miss your chance to say thank you to CAHS teachers and staff by providing food or drinks (or set-up/clean-up time) for Teacher Conference nights on 11/11 or 11/16! Lots of slot are still available for things like drinks, desserts, and salad. Sign up here:

APEX Credit Recovery Meeting

There will be an information session on APEX credit recovery and credit advancement on Tuesday, November 16th from 5:30 to 6:00 PM on Zoom. If your student has any APEX to complete, either for credit recovery or credit advancement, please join using the following Zoom passcode: 897 2306 1504.

New School Calendar: Share Your Thoughts

CCS is creating the 2022-2023 School Calendar, and families have an opportunity to share their thoughts. Proposed changes include a longer Thanksgiving break and a later last day of school (June 5). Share your opinion in the survey before Friday, November 12 at Noon.

Chipotle Fundraiser

Take a mid-week break with CAHS and let Chipotle make your dinner! Wednesday, December 1, 5:00 - 9:00. 4489 N. High Street (near intersection of Dominion and High). Mark your calendar! Be sure to mention the fundraiser at the cash register, or use the code 4MJP99B when placing an on-line order.

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PE Waivers Available

Students who have completed two seasons of high school athletics can apply to have their PE 1 and PE 2 requirements met for graduation. This should be completed by any student athlete who needs either PE 1 or PE 2 credit for graduation. Access the Waiver here.

New Covid Policy

Here are 5 things to know about CCS' new "Mask to Stay, Test to Play' COVID guidance:

1. If your student is identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID...

  • They may stay in school as long as they wear a mask per usual and have no symptoms.

  • If they are in sports, band, or other school activities, they should wear a mask whenever possible (on sidelines, etc). They should also get tested on the day they're notified and again on day 5-7. Schools have free test kits.

2. If they have symptoms, they should isolate and get tested regardless of the severity of the symptoms. (Again, schools have free test kits.)

3. If you want to keep your child home because they were exposed, even if they aren't symptomatic, you CAN do that and your child will have those absences excused (just let the school know).

4. If someone in the home tests positive for COVID, this does not apply. In this case, student must stay home for quarantine.

5. CCS has contracted licensed nurses to assist with contact tracing, so you may get notified by a nurse who is not our building nurse (Nurse Fabian for CAHS). You may also see a different number when they call (380 instead of 365). These nurses are working together with CCS nurses.


All Together Now!

From Mr. Shirley: We are pleased to announce a special one night only musical benefit All Together Now! featuring students from CAHS, Dominion MS and Whetstone HS to be held at Dominion MS auditorium at 100 E Arcadia Ave, on Saturday, November 13 at 7:00 pm.

The show features songs and performances from many of your favorite musicals including Beauty and The Beast, Hairspray, Guys and Dolls, Frozen, Once On This Island, Waitress, Newsies and others. All proceeds will benefit the theatre departments at all 3 schools.

Tickets can be purchased at: CCS has mandated that only family members of participants should attend performances.

Please mark your calendars now and plan to come out and join us on what promises to be a special night! See you at the theatre.

Chorale Fall Repertory Concert

Tickets are now on sale for the CAHS CHORALE FALL REPERTORY CONCERT, November 18 from 7-8pm in the CAHS Auditorium. Limited seating is available, first come first served (once the ticket limit is reached, sales will close). Tickets are $5. Buy tickets here >>

Instrumental Music Winter Concert + Bake Sale

The Instrumental Music Winter Concert is coming up on December 9th, and there will be a bake sale happening, with the proceeds going back to the program. They could use some help, so check out the link to donate baked goods or help out at the sale:

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Instrumental + Vocal Music Fundraisers

Need holiday gift ideas? Shop these fundraisers!

Support the Instrumental Music Department

This fundraiser features popcorn and other food items.

Please go to and enter the Seller ID in the Shop Online section to start shopping.

Seller ID: 00616290



Thank you for your support!

Support the Vocal Music Department

This fundraiser features kitchen cutlery.

Go to:

This is an online purchase program, & items will be delivered directly to you.


Graduation Date Announced

Save the Date!

Class of 2022 Graduation
June 3, 2022 @ 8:30pm in Convention Center's Battelle Ballroom

Free FAFSA Workshops

Complete your FAFSA form at a free I Know I Can FAFSA workshop! Families may register to

attend ANY session at ANY location. REGISTER FOR A WORKSHOP HERE

DON'T FORGET: Create your FSA ID before your workshop. The student and (one) parent must register for an FSA ID. Visit and be sure to bring your FSA ID login-in to the workshop!


PTA Officers

The CAHS PTA officers for the 2021-22 school year:

Stephen Hardwick--President

Keisha Whitfield--Vice President

Daniel Iven--Secretary

Christine Creagh--Treasurer

Your Opinion is Valued

Please take a moment to take the CAHS Family Engagement Survey. We are attempting to make some big changes and that can only occur with your input. Thank you. Take the survey here.

Easy Ways to Give

Help the CAHS PTA while you're grocery shopping by signing up for Kroger Community Rewards. Go here:

You can also help out by registering with Amazon Smiles.

  • Log in using
  • Click on the drop-down menu next to your name
  • Choose YourAmazonSmile.
  • Choose 'Friends of CAHS PTA' as your charity

When you go to Amazon use this address and a portion of your sales will go to the CAHS PTA: If you use the Amazon App, click on the 3 lines in the bottom right (the menu) twice and then click on Amazon Smile and choose Friends of CAHS PTA. You will have to renew your charity designation on the Amazon app twice a year.

What's Your Passion?

If you are interested in getting involved at CAHS, the PTA is looking for volunteers for committees around Fundraising, Student Engagement, Teacher Involvement, Student Involvement, and more. No experience needed! Please reach out to PTA Vice President Keisha Whitfield at or 614-746-5565.

Does Your Student Play Sports?

PTA vice-president Keisha Whitfield put together a bulletin board in the cafeteria to highlight CAHS athletes at all the various home schools. If you have any sports schedules, rosters, or photos she can post, please send them to
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NEW: Vax Cash Available!

Children ages 5-17 are all eligible for a free Covid vaccine. Columbus Public Health is offering $100 Vax Cash at participating clinics while supplies last. Here's more information on clinic locations and hours,

Free Rapid COVID-19 Tests

CCS has partnered with Columbus Public Health to offer a limited number of voluntary, at-home COVID-19 rapid test kits for any student or staff member in a school or transportation center who is symptomatic or a close contact of a positive case.

This free option option is available to students and staff.

Families can notify their school of their positive or negative status by submitting:

  • Printed copy of BinaxNow test results;

  • Emailing digital copy of BinaxNow test results to the school (principal/nurse/teacher); or

  • Emailing detailed, verifiable screenshot of BinaxNow test results.

New Quarantine Guidelines

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and Columbus Public Health (CPH) have released new guidance for K-12 schools in an effort to reduce the transmission of COVID-19:

  • Students who develop symptoms of COVID-19 at school or home will be required to show a negative COVID test or isolate for a 10-day period before returning to school and extracurricular activities. Symptomatic students must remain in isolation until test results are confirmed.
  • Other students in the household attending school within CCS will also be required to quarantine until the symptomatic student has been medically cleared (tested negative) or completed the required isolation, per new ODH and CPH guidance.

School-based and a limited number of at-home rapid tests may be available for students who develop symptoms while at school. Families can also opt for testing completed by a medical provider.

Symptoms include:

  • Temperature greater than 100 degrees;
  • Loss of taste or smell;
  • New or worsening:
    • Sore throat;
    • Cough or difficulty breathing;
    • Runny or stuffy nose;
    • Diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting;
    • Headache, especially with a fever;
    • Body aches; or
    • Fatigue.

A negative COVID-19 test can allow students and their sibling(s) to return to school if they have improving symptoms and are fever free for 24 hours. Only the student in the home with symptoms needs to complete a test.

Quarantine Q&A

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Quarantine Guidelines:

How will I be notified if my child is symptomatic and will require a COVID-19 test or isolation?

Families of any student showing symptoms of illness at school will be contacted by the school’s nurse or contact tracing team. Schools will have a limited number of at-home rapid tests, and school nurses may also offer in-person testing. Schools will contact families and notify them of testing options.

If I have multiple students in CCS, how will their school(s) be notified of their quarantine status?

Once a student in your household has been identified as symptomatic and required to test or isolate, the District’s contact tracing team will notify schools of any additional students in your home that must quarantine.

Will all students in my household be required to isolate/quarantine for a 10-day period?

Yes. All siblings within the household will be required to quarantine until a negative COVID test result is received for the symptomatic student or the 10-day quarantine period is complete.

If my student tests negative for COVID-19, are they able to return to school and extracurricular activities?

Yes. A negative COVID-19 test can allow students and their sibling(s) to return to school if they have improving symptoms and are fever free for 24 hours.

Is Your Student Vaccinated?

If your student has received the Covid-19 vaccine, you have the option of emailing a screenshot or scan of their vaccination card to Having proof of vaccination on file will help streamline the process of contact tracing. Thank you!

Important Health Reminders + Info

  • Stay home from school if sick, even if symptoms are mild!
  • Keep a mask on at all times- on school buses and in the school building (masks are not required in outdoor areas but students eating in the Courtyard should maintain appropriate distancing of 6 feet while mask is off).
  • With mask on indoors and outdoors, stay at least 3 feet apart when possible.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when entering and leaving the building, also do this frequently throughout the day.
  • Notify the school immediately if your student receives a positive Covid-19 test and do not send them to school. You will need a confirmed date for return to the school.
  • If a student at CAHS tests positive for Covid, all families will be notified (no personal information will be shared).
  • If your student is exposed to Covid at school, you will receive instructions on next steps.

Remote Learning FAQ

The district put together answers to common questions around students quarantining and being home with Covid-19, including "Will technology assistance be available when my student is home?" and "After their 10-day quarantine or isolation, will students be required to show a negative COVID-19 test before returning to school?" Access the full FAQ here.


Leaf Raking with CRC

CAHS is partnering with the Clintonville-Beechwold Resource Center to send droves of CAHS leaf-raking crews out to the 43202, 43214 and 43224 zip codes. Secure your team of 3-5 individuals and complete the form below. Your team can consist of CAHS students, other high school friends, middle school students, family members, etc. Ms. Smith will then connect you with the CRC Volunteer Department to help out those in need.

Your team is committing to at least three periodic visits to rake leaves for neighbors who may experience mobility issues. Bring your own rake, but the CRC can provide rakes as needed.

Be sure to keep track of your community service participation by completing an Internship Hours Claim Form which can be found outside Ms. Smith's office.

Teams can register online at

Contact Ms. Smith with questions at


Calling all juniors and seniors! CAHS will participate in the Soles4Souls donation drive as part of the larger Columbus City Schools community. Soles4Souls is affiliated with DSW and takes used shoes (even those smelly, worn-down shoes you don't know what to do with!) and repurposes them while providing relief and fighting poverty.

You can learn more about Soles4Souls at

We need a team of 5-7 students to lead this initiative at the building level, including communications, shoe collection, and shipping donations. If you're interested in putting your leadership skills to the test, send me an email at

This definitely counts towards your Community Service hours for internship. Also, we'll use this project as part of the Columbus Rotary Club Service Above Self Project Fair.

Nationwide Children's Hospital

Students interested in job shadowing with Nationwide Children's Hospital on non-attendance days for CCS should complete the linked Google Form. Nationwide Children's Hospital reserves the right to ask for proof of vaccinations as a condition of participation. Students may select up to three dates and should research hospital specialist areas to shadow. Selection is not guaranteed.

Possible dates are:
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Monday, January 17, 2022
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Wednesday, February 2, 2022

CAHS Interest Form available at

Ohio Drive Smart Mobility

DriveOhio – an initiative of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) – is developing a new Smart Mobility Ambassador program for STEM early-career and youth volunteers, in collaboration with educators and community partners, to engage students of all ages in conversations about smart mobility career opportunities across Ohio.

This program will provide high school students with professional development, and mentoring and networking opportunities, while learning about smart mobility career pathways, sharpening their coding skills, and earning volunteer hours.

DriveOhio will recruit college and high school students to volunteer to become Smart Mobility Ambassadors. We will provide training to STEM volunteers on smart mobility content and interactive STEM coding programs, in preparation for delivery through classroom and virtual platforms, with support from DriveOhio Alliance industry experts.

Program features include:

  • On-Boarding – Once they become Ambassadors, college and high school students will have the opportunity to learn from DriveOhio and our industry partners about automated and connected vehicles, and other emerging transportation technologies. During online training sessions, students will be encouraged to ask as many questions as they’d like, to develop a broad understanding of smart mobility technologies, applications, and career opportunities.
  • Training – After learning about automated and connected vehicles, Ambassadors will then learn about the importance of coding as a key enabler of smart mobility and an essential 21st century career skill for their generation. Ambassadors will be taught how to code with Ozobots using paper and markers, in a way that will allow them to lead younger groups of students through coding exercises during or after school.
  • Workshops – As Ambassadors conduct the workshops (after-school or on weekends), they will be able to interact and connect with younger students in their area and develop a mentor-mentee relationship. In addition, academic organizations within the Ohio STEM Learning Network and potential employers within the DriveOhio Alliance will be able to interact and accompany the ambassadors for some of the workshops, creating good opportunities for high school students to network and practice professional skills, including presentation, communication, and teaching.

Program Benefits

The Smart Mobility Ambassador Program will be an all-encompassing program that attempts to give high school students an opportunity to mentor younger students and improve their intangible skills to better prepare them for their professional career later in life. The program also highlights coding as an integral piece of new STEM curriculum. Coding is emphasized within the workshops because of how essential it is to the operations of many of the technologies we use today; ranging from autonomous vehicles to drone technologies and surveillance services. In addition, Ambassadors will have an opportunity to directly contribute to the ongoing development of new smart mobility content and curriculum for PreK-12 students, in collaboration with DriveOhio and our network of education partners, industry and community stakeholders.

Program benefits and outcomes include:

  • Volunteer hours, supporting high school graduation requirements
  • Increased awareness of smart mobility and transportation technologies and career opportunities
  • Development of professional skills, including presentations, communications, and etiquette
  • Networking and connections to potential employers
  • Mentoring and leadership experience

Application is available online at


Not Getting Alerts (Or Getting Too Many)?

The best way to stay informed about what's going on at CAHS is to get alerts through Infinite Campus. Make sure the district has your correct phone number and email address. Go to Parent Portal > More > Annual Update and you'll be taken through a series of steps to make sure your information is up to date.

You can also set preferences for how you're notified, whether by phone, text, email, or all of the above. Go to the Parent Portal > Person Icon > Settings > Contact Preferences

After School Help with APEX

Starting Tuesday, October 12th, Mr. McCoy will be holding after school Apex support in Room 107. After school Apex sessions will be each Tuesday and Thursday from 2:45 - 4:00 p.m.

Reminder: CCS will have teachers available to unlock Apex assignments after school from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m. (Monday - Thursday). Please fill out all the necessary information on the Google Form (link below) to request to have Apex assignments unlocked after school: CCS Apex Unlocking Form.


NEW! Toys + Food For the Holidays

Families can register starting November 1st to receive free toys and food for the holidays from the Salvation Army. Tap the button below to see the flyer with more information.

NEW! Free Clothing

Charity Newsies is offering clothing packets to students that consist of one winter coat, knit hat and gloves, 3 pairs of pants, 3 shirts, 6 pairs of socks and underwear. Tap here to apply.

NEW! Free Tutoring

If your student needs extra help with classwork, there's a new, free tutoring service available to CCS middle and high schoolers called Paper. Paper tutors can help with things like math problems and essays, and they're available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Students just log in through Clever (click the "Paper" icon) and ask a question. Go here for more info.

Find a Vaccine

If you or your student (age 12 and older) haven't received a Covid-19 vaccination, here’s a resource to find a location. It’s easy and free!

Free Passes To Local Attractions

Our partners at the Columbus Metropolitan Library have an exciting new option for library card holders: free admission to several Columbus-area cultural institutions and attractions. The new Culture Pass program enables families to borrow passes just as they would a book by using their library cards. The one-time pass, which must be checked out in person, grants customers limited free access to institutions that would otherwise charge admission fees. Current participating cultural organizations include: • Columbus Museum of Art • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium • Franklin Park Conservatory • National Veterans Memorial and Museum • Ohio History Center • Wexner Center for the Arts Culture. Passes are only available for in-person customer checkout at specific library locations and cannot be reserved like traditional library items. Customers can check their availability at by typing “Culture Pass” into the catalog search bar.

Free Job Training + Coaching

Residents in zip codes 43205, 43206, 43207, 43211 or 43224 can get FREE training and coaching to help you get a job and grow your career. Classes are available each month to help you:

• Find out what you’re good at

• Create your resume

• Develop career goals

• Learn new skills

• Find the perfect job

• Potentially earn more money

Training is available in two locations:

Linden Community Center in Linden Park, 1350 Briarwood Ave., Columbus, OH 43211

Residences at Career Gateway Training Center, 747 E. Whittier St., Columbus, OH 43206

To get started, contact Kenneth L. Hunt II, Engagement Specialist, at (614) 355-4056 or

Resources for Linden Families

The One Linden Community Resource Guide is full of great resources for those living in the Linden area, including info about programs for youth, food and nutrition, employment, parenting, and health and wellness. Read the guide here.

Free Fresh Food & Pharmacy Services

Just opened: The Linden Fresh Market, which provides free fresh food and pharmacy services! It's located at 1464 Cleveland Avenue at the intersection of Chittenden Avenue. The market is run by Community Development for All People, the Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Hours are:

  • Tuesday: 12-4 p.m.

  • Wednesday: 2-6 p.m.

  • Thursday: 12-4 p.m.

  • Friday: 12-4 p.m.

  • Saturday: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Free Homework Help

Columbus Metropolitan Library is offering FREE School Help Centers for students K-12. Plus there's 24/7 access to free tools and resources. Students can also get connected with virtual tutors for one-on-one help Monday through Friday from 2-11 p.m. using HelpNow.

Masks are required to attend the School Help Centers. Hours vary by location. Visit for more information.

Help With Rent


Columbus City Schools wants families to know about this importance resource from our partners at Franklin County Job and Family Services. The new Prevention, Retention, and Contingency (PRC) Emergency Rental Assistance Program can cover up to 100% of delinquent rent costs to get your family caught up with your landlord... plus you may be able to get help covering the cost of up three additional months of rent in advance as well as help with utilities.

Learn more at

Help for Kinship & Adoptive Families

If you (or a family you know) are a kinship or adoptive family, OhioKAN can help you and connect you with resources you may need. Visit their website or call 1-844-OHIO-KAN 8:30am-6:30pm M-F.

Utility Bill Assistance

Emergency funding is available to eligible City of Columbus residential water, sewer, stormwater and power customers who are having difficulty paying their utility bills. This expanded program offers a one-time credit of up to $750 towards an eligible water/sewer/stormwater bill and/or up to $500 towards an eligible City of Columbus electric bill. Learn more here.

Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests

The Ohio Department of Health is providing Ohio's 251 public libraries with Covid-19 rapid tests at no cost to customers. Go here for more information.

Get in Touch With Us!

Have a question?

Don't know who to ask? Here's a guide to help you:

  • For questions about behavior incidents, contact your student's grade level administrator.
  • For questions about specific classes, contact the teacher.
  • For questions about social/emotional or academic concerns, contact your student's counselor.

Here are emails you might need. You can also tap the button above to access the full list of staff emails.

Principal Darryl Sanders:

Assistant Principal Michelle Lewis (9th & 11th grade administrator):

Assistant Principal Aaron Moore (10th & 12th grade administrator):

Counselor Megan Higgins (last names A-G):

Counselor Drew Milligan (last names H-M):

Counselor Victoria Goodwin (last names N-Z):

I Know I Can Advisor Nicole Jaburek:

Internship Coordinator Samantha Smith:

Advanced Studies Coordinator Alice Webb:

Attendance issues: Attendance Secretary Leslie Stanford

General CAHS questions: Principal's Secretary Rhonda Clayborn or (614) 365-6006

Nurse Gretchen Fabian: call the office at (614) 365-6006

Family Ambassador: Sally Kuzemchak

How to Report an Absence

If your study is absent from school, call the CAHS office (ideally by 9:30am). Or you can send an email to and include the following:

  • Student's name and student number
  • Reason for absence
  • Date of absence

Have a Newsletter Submission?

Do you have something to suggest or submit to future newsletters? Please email me, Sally Kuzemchak, Family Ambassador,

CAHS Norms

  • Be present
  • Explore your excellence
  • Communicate your needs
  • Assume best intentions
  • Have healthy habits
  • Step forward/Step backwards