September 2022 Northtowne News

Inside: Meet Some Staff, Hispanic Heritage Month, Resources

Welcome to the 2022-23 School Year!

It's been said several times already, and it is the absolute truth; we are excited to welcome students to the building and families to our Northtowne community! Some of you are returning from previous years, and we have several new families of pre-k and kindergarten students. We also have families who have just recently moved into our area and the school's boundary zone. We hope each and every one of you is able to feel that you are a part of the school and the education that is happening here.

We know communication goes a long way toward helping people feel included, and that's why we take the time to put out newsletters. This year you can expect to see monthly news letters, like this one in addition to extra information newsletters during the month. Extra information newsletters will contain information on several time sensitive topics that the District asks us to highlight or on a single large topic (like the Parent Portal Newsletter...gentle reminder to please do your annual update if you haven't already).

Morning Drop Off

Please stay with your child prior to 8:30 a.m. and/or when there is no adult supervision. For the safety of your child, please wait until a staff member is outside.

Children should not be dropped off before 8:30.

Attendance Email

Did you know that you can send an email to let us know your student will be absent from school? You can! You can also take a photo of the appointment excuse note and attach it to an email. No more wondering if your student remembered to turn in the paper. Contact us with all things concerning attendance here:

September and early October Important dates

We already had Labor Day and the next school calendar important dates are coming up in October.

October 5 - Pre-k students ONLY, no class

October 21 - No school for teacher professional development

*** Please note that October 21 is a change in date from the original calendar that was published. On the original calendar, October 14 was the date with no school. Students will now attend on October 14 and have a day of no school on October 21. It is highly unusual for the District to make a late change like this one, and we want to be sure to get the information out to you all. We apologize for any inconvenience as we all adjust our plans.

You can keep up to date with the school calendar by clicking here or using the button below.

Northtowne Elementary PTO

A Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) exists in a school to support teachers' special project dreams and to provide caregivers a way get involved with their children's school. Each PTO will define for itself the number and type of projects that it will attempt. Ideas include:

  • Fundraising to raise Money for your purpose - There are many ways to get the funds you need to fulfill your objectives, and they don't have to involve having the kids selling things like candy and wrapping paper.

  • Field Trips - Talk with teachers to see if they could use your support and talk with your principal.

  • Cultural Arts Assemblies - Bring culture and educational events to your school.

  • Projects that Support Needs - Whether it be a new playground equipment, special events, programs for teachers to augment lesson plans, etc.

By clicking on the survey link below, you can let us know your level of interest and support for a PTO. If you are willing to commit to being the president, vice president, secretary or treasure of the 2022-23 PTO you can indicate that as well.

PBIS Mission Statement

I am prepared and ready to learn.

I will be respectful, responsible and focused.

I will make choices that focus on teaching and learning.

My hands are for helping, NOT hurting.

And my words are for encouraging.

I will be the best ‘me’ I can be.

Principal’s Corner - Welcome to School!

Hello Families, Caregivers, and Students,

You are all a part of Northtowne Elementary and I am so glad that you are here! Despite a bumpy start to the school year, we are all settling into the routines and expectations of the year. Speaking of routines and expectations, Mrs. Huges and Mr. Dickerson have once again done a great job of working with each classroom to review school behavior expectations. They took groups of students to various locations in the building and on the playground to discuss and define what our values of respectful, responsible and focused look like in the different settings.

The Ohio School Report Cards were recently released. I am very proud of the efforts of our teachers and students and the support our families give their young learners. These efforts have resulted in Northowne Elementary being recognized for making more progress than the statewide expectation in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. We also ranked as similar to the statewide expectation in Science. We also scored strongly in the area closing educational gaps for our learners. These are things that we should celebrate! We expect to continue this great work in the 2022-23 school year. One thing you can do at home is to keep asking your student to tell about something they have learned each day.

Something that will really help give us the best opportunity to teach our students is to further reduce our rate of students being chronically absent. We had a chronically absent rate of 37.1% last year. To be clear, when students are ill they should stay home to keep from spreading illness. That said, a student is considered chronically absent if they miss 10% or more of school hours during a year. Did you know that is like missing the equivalent of just two days of school per month? May not seem like a lot of missed school, but it is. This helps to explain why you hear so much about making sure your children get to school when they are healthy! Please let us know if your family is experiencing transportation difficulties that would impact your child's attendance. We may be able to provide resources to help. Look for announcements about exciting initiatives coming soon from the District to help encourage students to be present at school and ready to learn.

This year is now off to a great start. We look forward to keeping that momentum going! Let's go, Northtowne Knights!

Who Are the People in Your School?

Our teachers aren't the only ones doing great things for students and families at Northtowne. Take a moment to read about some of our staff who interact with students and families beyond the classroom setting.
Sesame Street - Who Are The People In Your Neighborhood?

From the Guidance Counselor

What is PBIS? PBIS is an acronym that stands for Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports. According to the Ohio Department of Education, PBIS is defined as a framework that guides school teams in the selection, integration and implementation of evidence-based practices for improving academic, social and behavior outcomes for all students. Simply put, PBIS is the mindset that schools get the best from their students by focusing on and rewarding good behavior. Do good things, and good things happen.

At Northtowne, we have a great PBIS program. We were even recognized by the state of Ohio for last year’s program! Our expectations can be explained with three letters: R-R-F. RRF stands for Respectful, Responsible, & Focused. We teach RRF. We expect RRF. We reward students when they are being RRF. Everything we do is RRF.

With the beginning of the school year, our PBIS support team focuses heavily on teaching the Rules and Expectations. What does RRF actually mean? We define Respectful as being kind to people, places, and things. Treat people the way they want to be treated. Take care of our school and our school will take care of us. We explain Responsible as making good choices. Follow the rules. Be where you’re supposed to be. Listen to and follow directions the first time they are given. We teach the meaning of Focus as putting 100% of your effort into what you’re doing. Be the best student you can be, the best friend, or even just having the best attitude.

If you’re able, please complete the PBIS survey. We want to hear from our families about their ideas or concerns about our program. Stay tuned to the Northtowne Newsletter for more information about PBIS at Northtowne.

Notes from Nurse Brandi

When to stay home
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny Nose
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Immunization Update

Letters have been sent home for children who need immunizations. Shot records need to be turned in by September 23rd, or they cannot come to school until we get them.

Thank you so much for your support and involvement with your child’s learning. Whether it’s conferences, attending the family meetings, or a quick chat throughout the day, we appreciate your involvement and efforts to build the lines of communication between home and school.

Report cards/grades will be available in the Parent Portal. If you need help accessing the Parent Portal please contact our Family Ambassador, Sarah Bowman. She can even link families to interpreters (Bilingual Engagement Liaisons or BEL) to help with understanding the Parent Portal set up process. Email: or you can call or text: 614-859-9654

A Bit of Compassion

Our Northtowne students have many lovely qualities. Sometimes they show these qualities in surprising or unique ways. Recently, 2nd grade teacher Ms Smith injured her foot and requires special medical footwear until the injury heals. Students are starting to wear mismatched shoes as a sign of compassion and caring about their teacher. How sweet!
Big picture

September 15-October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the histories of our neighbors from Hispanic and Latin cultures. The background of this newsletter celebrates Hispanic culture. Here are a few facts for this heritage celebration month:

  • President George H.W. Bush first declared the 31-day period on September 14, 1989.
  • The start of the festive month on September 15 marks the Independence Day of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Then on September 16, Mexico celebrates its Independence Day, followed by Chile on September 18 and Belize on September 21.
  • In the latter half of Hispanic Heritage Month, Mexicans observe the Día de la Raza (Race Day) on October 12, which was previously known as Columbus Day. Día de la Raza (Race Day) recognizes "the mixed indigenous and European heritage of Mexico."
  • A person who identifies as Hispanic is from or has ancestors from a Spanish-speaking territory or country.
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda was born of Puerto Rican descent in Washington Heights, New York, and is a composer, actor, writer and activist. His most famous accomplishment is writing the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, which became a pop culture phenomenon, and earned the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2016.
  • Ellen Ochoa has gone down in history for being the first Hispanic American woman to go to space when she joined the 9-day mission aboard the Discovery shuttle in 1993. Ellen Ochoa’s grandparents emigrated from Mexico to the USA and eventually settled in California, where Ochoa was born. After earning her bachelor’s degree in physics, she went on to gain a master’s and doctorate in engineering from Stanford University.

  • Born in Arizona to a Mexican-American family, Cesar Chavez was a labor leader and civil rights activist. Having worked as a manual laborer, he was concerned with farm workers’ rights. After serving in the Navy, he became involved with the Community Service Organization (CSO) in California, an important civil rights organization for Latinx people. Along with Dolores Huerta, he co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA), and led peaceful protests and marches to advocate for Latinx civil rights. After his death, Chavez was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and his legacy lives on today in workers’ rights movements.

Books you can read with your student:

Girls On the Run

Girls on the Run inspires 3rd-5th grade girls of all abilities to recognize their individual strengths, while building a sense of connection in a team setting. Volunteer coaches facilitate lessons that blend physical activity with life skill development to enable girls to adapt to whatever comes their way. At the end of the season, the team completes a 5K together, which provides a sense of accomplishment and sets a confident mindset into motion. The fall season race will be Saturday, November 19th, at 9:00 AM. It will take place at the Columbus Commons, and supporters of the girls are encouraged to attend.

Currently, all Northtowne spaces are filled and registration is closed.

Our Northtowne coaches are Ms Jen, Nurse Brandi, Mrs. Cole, Ms Flannelly and Mrs. Litman.


Tuesday 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM

Thursday 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM

Final Third Foundation Soccer and Literacy Program

This year, Northtowne 3rd-5th grade boys have an opportunity with the Final Third Foundation (F3). The F3 Soccer & Literacy Program uses the power of sport to uplift communities. They support a youth development model that focuses on organizing programs that combine soccer with the following skills:

  • Teamwork and leadership building
  • Higher-order thinking skills (e.g. critical thinking, problem solving)
  • ​Comprehension and vocabulary development
  • ​Reading and writing fluency
  • ​Interdisciplinary connections (Science, Technology, English, Arts, and Math content)
  • Culturally relevant and sustainable pedagogy
  • ​​Discussion-based, student-centered inquiry

Currently, all Northotowne spaces are filled and registration is closed.

Our coaches from Northtowne are Mr. Taylor and Mrs. Weaver.


Wednesday 3:45PM-5:00 PM

Portrait of a Graduate

Our students are in elementary school, some of them just in pre-k or kindergarten. Yet, we are already talking about when they will graduate? Yes, absolutely! In order to meet all of the milestones for educating our students, it is important to have long term goals and plans (for CCS, getting students to successful high school graduation) as well as the short terms goals that keep our students on the path and excited about learning. The path won't always be an easy one to travel, but it will be worthwhile, and our students are more than capable of persevering. We at Northtowne are honored that you have trusted us with your children in one of the earliest steps of their education and development of life skills. Please take 20 minutes to view the Portrait of a Graduate video below. We think it helps to emphasize the importance of the foundation that is being built in the elementary school stage of life and how it impacts the later stages of education.
Columbus City Schools' Portrait of a Graduate

Upcoming Virtual Family Engagement Sessions:

The first Engagement Session this week is on a topic that is already highlighted on our school web site! If you have questions or want to hear more about the Charity Newsies clothing program, please join the Zoom session.

TUESDAY, September 20: " Free School Clothes from Charity Newsies" - For more than a century, Charity Newsies has provided new clothes to students of every age in Columbus City Schools... and now is the time for your family to register to receive free school clothes. The application process is easy. During our Tuesday Virtual Family Engagement Session, we’ll hear from our partners at Charity Newsies and about their mission to make sure no child skips school because of a lack of adequate clothing.

Past sessions are recorded and posted on the Virtual Family Engagement Session Library in case you are unable to attend.

Big picture

Pathway Express is back for the 2022-23 school year!

Columbus City Schools is kicking off the new year with a reimagined learning opportunity for our pre-k thru 12th grade students and families - Pathway Express. Families are invited to join the District in unique learning and exploration experiences in our Columbus community.

Each quarter, Pathway Express will transport families to a different family-friendly destination where they’ll participate in hands-on academic activities that directly align with our vision for student success. Students will also receive take-home learning kits designed to stimulate their minds and make learning fun.

More information will be coming about the October location and activities. While we wait please save the date for:

Sunday, October 9, 1pm - 4pm:

Ohio History Center

Portrait of a Graduate focus: Global Empathy & Technology

Community Resource: Expanded Rental Assistance Benefits Available in September

Now through September 23, 2022

IMPACT Community Action has Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance funding available that will expire September 23, 2022.

Who is eligible for rental assistance at IMPACT?

An eligible household is a household of one or more individuals who are obligated to pay rent on a primary residential dwelling. Households including undocumented immigrants are eligible for assistance. For more information visit Impact Community Action.

A Kid Again is an organization that tries to make life for families caring for a child with a life-threatening condition “normal” again by helping them gain back moments of positive, family-shared experiences and memories. Part of how they do this is by sponsoring multiple “adventures.”

What is an adventure? A chance to be a kid again; time away from the hospital; an opportunity to forget about being sick; a group experience to a local destination with tickets, food, parking, mementos, and memories to last until the next adventure. A Kid Again is specifically designed to involve the entire family (not just the child who is ill) to improve the well being of everyone affected by the situation. This approach helps protect and strengthen the children’s primary support network and personal resolve during the most difficult period of their lives.

  • A Kid Again provides consistent, cost-free, year-round Adventures for children and their families, to remember what it was to live carefree.

  • They provide family support, peer-to-peer connections and other resources to help families cope with the extended effects of life-threatening conditions.

  • They serve children under the age of 20 years who are qualified by a medical physician as having a life-threatening condition. Enrollment is easy!

  • Some qualifying conditions include seizure disorders, diabetes, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, Down syndrome, spinal muscular atrophy, muscular dystrophy, congenital heart defect and spina bifida

  • Adventures are ALWAYS FREE to families!

Thank you for reading this month’s newsletter.

Send a note to let us know what you thought, make suggestions or ask a question. We would love to hear from you. Please send a note to your child’s teacher or send a message.


Austin Taylor, Principal

Phone: 614-365-5488

Fax: 614-365-5487


Sarah Bowman, Family Ambassador



Susan Bryant, Building Coach



Frank Beickelman, Grant Provider