Dragon Dispatch

September 17, 2021

Big picture

Dear Students and Families,

Greetings from the Deans!

We are all about Family Engagement at The Graham School! We hope you will join us for our first September Crew (invitation below). Learn more about our Crew structure and Standards-Based-Grading. See you there!

We are thrilled to be offering another free vaccination clinic for our students and families for individuals interested in both their second follow-up shot and their first shot. Crew teachers will be passing out information and permission forms. More information can be found below.

We would like to remind you that in alignment with CDC guidelines and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther's executive order, mask use indoors is required at all The Graham Family of Schools buildings for all persons (regardless of vaccination status), including parents, teachers, staff, visitors, and children over the age of two. We are also enforcing the wearing of masks at The Graham School because:

  • Masks are the first line of defense against the COVID virus and its variants.
  • The health and safety of our students, staff, and families is paramount.
  • We want to be able to stay IN SCHOOL to learn.

We appreciate all that you are doing to prevent community spread of COVID-19 by continuing to practice social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and monitoring daily for symptoms before sending your student to school or arriving for work. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and commitment to keeping our community safe. We have attached the The Graham Family of Schools' COVID-19 Policy below for your review.

As of Friday, September17, TGS currently has 0 students/staff isolating with positive COVID cases and 1 student/staff quarantining as a close contact. At this point, individuals who are fully vaccinated and/or consistently wearing their mask AND safe distancing do not need to quarantine, even after close contact with a person who later tests positive. Please continue to consider vaccination for your student, and remind them of the importance of consistent mask use.

We are CREW, not Passengers!


Deans; Amy Vickroy, RJ Larry, & Sarai Correa

FCPH and CPH statement on masks in schools

Franklin County and Columbus Public Health guidance on masks in school, released 7.28.2021.

TGS Free Vaccination Clinic

WHO: Walgreens and You! Students and Families of The Graham School


WHEN: Friday, September 24 from 8:00-12:00

WHERE: The Graham School, 3950 Indianola Avenue

WHY: From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic The Graham School has been committed to creating a healthy and safe environment for students and staff. Approximately 97% of our staff are now fully vaccinated and we continue to follow COVID mitigation strategies in our building. As noted on Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s website (nationwide children's.org): "Getting yourself and your child vaccinated are important steps in protecting against infection and our return to normalcy. Having your child vaccinated can help:

  • Protect your child from severe COVID-19.
  • Protect loved ones by stopping the spread of the virus.
  • Return to traditional in-person school, sports and other extracurricular activities.
  • Eliminate mask wearing requirements.
  • Reduce the spread of the virus within the community."

Additionally, according to the latest school guidance from Columbus Public Health, vaccinated students will not need to quarantine if exposed to COVID.

Family members who wish to be vaccinated are invited to schedule an appointment, as well. All vaccine recipients must complete the COVID vaccination consent form, linked below. Students under the age of 18 also need permission and the signature of a parent/guardian. Once completed, please scan and email to frontdesk@thegrahamschool.org or turn in at the front desk.

Even though the consent form asks for insurance information, there is NO COST TO YOU for the COVID vaccine. It is FREE to get vaccinated.

CLICK HERE to sign up for the FREE COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

Please direct any questions or concerns to frontdesk@thegrahamschool.org. Thank you!

Big picture

Rising Youth

Columbus' Rising Youth program supports Latino youths ages 8 to 18 with homework help, mentoring and mental health support in an effort to reduce violence in the community. TGS senior Carlos Vargas-Flores is pictured above mentoring and working with younger Rising Youth participants. Well done, Carlos!

Announcements & Important Dates

Please take note of the following important dates, reminders, and announcements:

Important Dates and Times:

  • School hours are 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Office hours are 7:30-4:00. Students will not be able to enter the building before 7:30 a.m. and MUST be picked up by 4:00. We cannot guarantee adult supervision before 7:30 or after 4:00.
  • September 24: Early Release at 12:00
  • Tuesday, September 21: Family Crew 6:00-6:45
  • Friday, October 8: Early Release at 12:00
  • Wednesday, October 13: NO SCHOOL, Staff PD & Invited Conferences
  • Friday, October 15: End of Quarter 1
  • Thursday, October 21: Picture Day (this has been rescheduled from September 21)
  • Tuesday, October 26: NO SCHOOL for Grade 12; PSAT&NMSQT testing for Grades 9-11.
  • Thursday, October 28 & Friday, October 29: NO SCHOOL, Staff PD

Free Breakfast and Lunch for the 2021-2022 school year: All students, regardless of whether they qualify, are entitled to a free breakfast and lunch this year, providing every family completes, signs and submits the Free and Reduced Lunch Application.

September Family Crew

Tuesday, Sep. 21st, 6-6:45pm

This is an online event.

Join Zoom Meeting

Crew is a core practice at The Graham School that is essential to bringing our community together by allowing for relationship building, promoting shared understandings through equity and inclusion, and building positive connections with peers. Crew is also a vehicle for developing and supporting students socially, emotionally and academically. During these challenging times, Crew is perhaps more important than it has ever been for our community. Last year we expanded Crew work to include Family Crew, with intent to engage and connect our families through our culture of Crew.

This year we are hosting monthly Family Crew sessions to engage and connect with our families. Each Family Crew session will have a specific focus related to the work we do at The Graham School, such as Crew, Mindfulness, Restorative Practices,Social-Emotional Learning, etc. The format of the meetings will be determined each month as we keep an eye on the evolving COVID situation in Franklin County and continue to prioritize the safety of students, families, and staff.

Please mark your calendars for the 2021-2022 Family Crew Dates.

Tuesday, September 21 6:00-6:45

Tuesday, October 19 6:00-6:45

Tuesday, November 16 6:00-6:45

Tuesday, December 14 6:00-6:45

Tuesday, January 18 6:00-6:45

Tuesday, February 15 6:00-6:45

Tuesday, March 15 6:00-6:45

Tuesday, April 12 6:00-6:45

Tuesday, May 17 6:00-6:45

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

P.M. Pick-Up Information

  • Students are to be picked up NO LATER THAN 4:00. We can not guarantee staff supervision after 4:00. Thank you!
  • Do NOT park in the parking lot of FunTrail, our neighbors to the north. The additional traffic is interfering with their business.

Tired of that long line to pick up your student after school?

  • Try parking on Glenmont Avenue! Your students can cross Indianola Avenue safely at the traffic light and meet you at your car- avoiding the pickup line and the crowd in the TGS parking lot.
  • Plan to arrive 5-10 minutes AFTER dismissal so that the pick-up lot can clear out before you arrive. Students are welcome to sit up front on the benches while they wait for your arrival.
  • Follow the directions of and be kind to staff as we do our best to expedite traffic and more importantly, maintain the safety of students and staff in the parking lot after school.

We thank you for your patience!

TGS COVID Safety Precautions

In addition to requiring that all persons wear a mask while indoors, The Graham School has implemented the following prevention strategies in order to prepare for the most enriching and safe learning experience possible.

  • Extensive, daily disinfecting of all classrooms
  • Modified extracurricular activities and events to limit crowd size
  • 3 feet spacing of desks/workspaces
  • Air ionizers and filters in all classrooms
  • Increased ventilation in large group indoor meeting spaces
  • Continued emphasis on frequent hand washing with hand sanitizing stations in classrooms and common spaces
  • Controlled access to the school building
  • Drop-off and pickup plans that avoid the congregation of large groups of students and families
  • Requirement of families to keep their children at home if sick or being tested for the coronavirus
  • Quarantining of students or staff that test positive for the coronavirus
  • Reporting of all confirmed coronavirus cases and contact tracing via Franklin County Public Health
  • Water bottle filling stations in both buildings - Students, please bring a water bottle marked with your name!
  • Hallways in Building A are now one-way
  • Outdoor seating has been added to allow for spending more time comfortably outdoors
  • Students will eat breakfast in classrooms, which minimizes students moving through common spaces while eating and drinking
  • One lunch period during which several classrooms will be opened up so that we can more comfortably and safely spread out while eating
Big picture

About Us

The School:

TGS is a public community secondary school with a charter granted by the State of Ohio. Open to Ohio students in grades 9-12, the school's main focus is experiential education in a small-school setting where all students are known by all staff members. The Graham School serves approximatly 250 students annually. Its demographic characteristics reflect those of urban Columbus and Central Ohio.


The Graham School (TGS) has a particular mission to urban students in Central Ohio preparing them for lifelong learning and informed citizenship through real-world experiences and rigorous academics. Fostering ownership and responsibility for their education prepares our students to be successful in college, the workplace, and other endeavors they undertake upon leaving Graham.

Vision Statement:

The Graham School’s vision is to be an innovative leader in the educational world by engaging students in authentic academic work, networking with community partners, and nurturing social emotional growth to empower future citizens and leaders.

Core Values:

  • We are committed to listening, learning, unlearning, and putting our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into action
  • We vow to stand together to embrace one another fully, empower students continuously, and pursue educational justice unapologetically
  • We are a safe, positive school climate
  • We solve problems together in a peaceful, restorative way
  • We reflect on our experiences in order to gain fresh perspective and inform future outcomes
  • We encourage a growth mindset for students and staff
  • We believe that learning is a priority and time spent in class and community is essential
  • We use these Habits of Learning as foundational principles --Adventure & Risk, Perseverance, Self-Direction, Service & Stewardship, and Teamwork & Collaboration
  • We believe that cultivating these habits has a profound impact on student achievement and the ability to thrive
  • We create belonging within our school and honor our connection to the world community
  • We are CREW, not passengers