The Family Connector
June 1, 2023
Message from the Superintendent
Dear CCS Community,
As we embark on a new school year, I want to welcome each of you back into our buildings. The start of a school year is always packed with anticipation, promise, and the buzz of newfound energy.
I began the first day bright and early at the Frebis Avenue bus compound. There's something refreshing about witnessing the sunrise alongside our dedicated transportation team that helps our students get to school safely. What a joy it was to see our bus drivers, those unsung heroes of our school community, with smiles and enthusiasm, prepared to transport our 45,000 students on the path to academic excellence.
My journey continued beyond the bus compound. As the day progressed, I had the privilege of visiting multiple schools across our District. At each stop, I was greeted with our students' infectious energy and our staff's unwavering dedication. It was evident that the spirit of learning is alive and well in CCS.
This year’s theme is “Start Strong. End Stronger!” This theme encompasses the excitement that comes with the start of the school year and guides us throughout the school year. It’s also a reminder that strength can mean different things and each day, we have the opportunity to begin again and to try our very best. We know that our personal best looks different every day.
Regardless of where our journey begins, we can become a little stronger each day when we lift each other up and zoom out enough to see our progress by celebrating our big and small victories.
Also, mark your calendars for some important dates coming up:
August 28 is the first day for all Kindergarteners
September 5-6 are orientation days for Pre-K
All Pre-K students will report on September 7
As hectic as the start of school can be, give yourself the time and space to get back into familiar routines. Make sure to check out our Back to School Hub for the latest information. I can’t wait to see many of you throughout the year!
Dr. Angela Chapman
Superintendent/CEO, Columbus City Schools
Watch: CCS Welcomes Students Back for the 2023 - 2024 School Year!
The 2023-2024 CCS Guide to Student Success is Now Available!
The 2023-24 Student Guide to Success is now available. The publication contains important documents that must be filled out and returned to your student's school of attendance OR completed as part of the Parent Portal Annual Update (preferred method) in Infinite Campus. The Annual Update can be accessed in the Parent Portal by first clicking on “More” and then “Annual Update." If your scholar has a form on file and he or she is remaining at the same school this year, a new form will not have to be submitted. If your scholar has changed schools or matriculated to a new school, a new form must be submitted. Separate forms must be on file for each individual student.
Transportation Updates for CCS Families
A new school year is upon us, and we have a few brief reminders to ensure the safe and timely transportation of our students:
- Update Contact Details: Please check the Parent Portal to ensure your contact information is current for emergencies or if a bus driver needs to reach you.
- Stay Informed on Bus Schedules: Be aware of your child's bus timing and location.
- Drop-Off for Younger Students: If your child is in Pre-K to second grade, kindly be at the bus stop during drop-off for their safety. Our drivers will only release a child from Pre-K to second grade if an adult 18 or older is at the stop. However, parents can sign a release allowing the Pre-K to second grade student to be dropped off without an adult. Release forms can be obtained from your student's bus driver.
Additionally, adjusting our transportation system may take approximately two weeks as we roll into the new school year. Every year, schedule changes, drivers familiarizing themselves with new routes, traffic variations, construction, and unpredictable weather can affect services.
We're committed to continual improvement and ask for your patience and understanding. Our shared goal is a safe and efficient transportation experience for all our students.
Columbus City Schools Launches Virtual Family Engagement Sessions FACES
Columbus City Schools proudly presents FACES, the online Family and Community Engagement Series program created to inform and connect families, the community, and schools. You can find FACES, the Family and Community Engagement series, exclusively on CCS's Facebook and YouTube channels.
Our second episode provided a tour of our new school-based health clinic on the Ft. Hayes campus, provided valuable mental and physical health resources, and featured a round table discussion with Dr. Sara Bode, CCS' Chief Medical Consultant - and Dr. Carole Sullivan, Director of Health, Family and Community Services.
Tune in every second and fourth Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. for FACES, and let's build a stronger CCS community together!
Missed an episode of FACES? Watch the recap below.
Connecting Students to Healthcare with CCS School-Based Health Services
We are excited to get this new school year started and want to remind you that the Nationwide Children’s Mobile Care Center and school-based health centers are here to help you stay healthy and in class. The school-based health centers are open to all Columbus City students and their siblings, ages 3+. Find a location and learn more here by clicking the link below.
Columbus Metropolitan Library School Help Centers Now Open!
Columbus Metropolitan Library’s School Help Centers are now open, offering the students in your family free after-school help, plus 24/7 virtual support; hours vary by location. Learn more at columbuslibrary.org/school-help.
Need Help With Parent Portal Account Access?
Is Your Parent Portal Account Activated? Stay engaged in your child’s education by setting up and signing into the Columbus City Schools Parent Portal. Through the Parent Portal, you’ll be able to securely access valuable information on your student(s):
- Teacher Contact
- Transportation Information
- Grades and Course Schedules
- Daily Attendance
- Missed Assignments
- Update Contact Information
- Pay Fees
If you have not yet created your portal account, click the button below to activate your account.
In order to activate your account, you must have an Activation Key. If you do not have an Activation Key, please contact your child’s school. You will be asked to provide proper identification before receiving the key. NOTE: Each parent/guardian has their own Activation Key to create their account, which can be used to access all of their children enrolled in Columbus City Schools.
Connect with CCS
Please contact the Superintendent's Office of Customer Relations for any school-related inquiries or concerns. You can reach them at 614.365.8888 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For any transportation questions contact our Transportation Call Center at 614.365.5074 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Should you have any further questions about Columbus City Schools, feel free to contact the FACTline at 614.221.FACT (614.221.3228) or email us at Factline@columbus.k12.oh.us.
FACTline Coordinator Barbara Reed can assist you Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
CCS District Calendars
Below please find the 2023-2024 academic calendars for the traditional school years and the year-round school, Woodcrest Elementary.
Join The Columbus Crew's Get a Kick Out of Reading Challenge
School is back in session for Columbus communities, and the Columbus Crew, alongside Cardinal Health, invites everyone to participate in the Get a Kick Out of Reading - Reading Challenge.
From August 23 to September 6, Columbus Crew supporters ages 5-18, are encouraged to read for an overall amount of 360 minutes. Which is the length of the last four regular-season Columbus Crew soccer matches at Lower.com Field. You can read on your own, read with others, or be read to.
Those who complete the challenge will receive one bookmark and a drawstring bag, with a chance to win two tickets to the Crew September 30 match, a family 4-pack to the same match, or the grand prize!
- Autographed Columbus Crew Swag
- Four (4) tickets to the Crew v. Philadelphia Match on September 30.
- Crew Cash
- Watch Warmups from field level
Learn more about the reading challenge and submit your minutes here: https://www.columbuscrew.com/community/read
Columbus City Council to Offer Free Produce Boxes
Columbus City Council has partnered with Mini-Super merchants and Yoder Family Farm to distribute free produce boxes to families in need.
There will be two more planned scheduled giveaways:
- Tuesday, August 29: Brentnell Community Center
- Tuesday, September 5: Gillie Community Center
Each event runs from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Produce boxes will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis.
Application Deadline for City Leaders Academy Extended to September 8
Do you have a sixth through ninth grader who is interested in helping lead Columbus into the future? Encourage them to apply for the City Leaders Academy! During this nine-month program, they will learn about the inner workings of the City of Columbus, increase their citizenship skills and receive mentoring from City and community leaders, preparing them to become a community leader.
The deadline for applications has been extended to Friday, Sept. 8, at 5 p.m. Applications may be scanned and emailed to ANCombs@columbus.gov or returned by hard copy to the Jerry Hammond Center, located at 1111 E. Broad St., 43205. Hard copies may be mailed or left with the guard desk. Learn more, and start filling out your application now!
The Breathing Association Offers Water Assistance Program
The program helps eligible Ohioans with assistance paying water, wastewater and sewage bills. Call the Breathing Association's 24-hour appointment hotline at 614.969.0978 to schedule an appointment. For emergency assistance, call 614.457.2997 to schedule an appointment within 24 hours. The deadline to apply is September 30.
Apply for Clothing Assistance with Charity Newsies Clothe-A-Child Program
The Charity Newsies Clothe-A-Child program is designed for families in need of back-to-school clothing assistance. Qualifying families may submit one application per child per school year. All children of the family are to be on the same application.
Applications are submitted on-line only. Charity Newsies no longer accepts in-person applications at its headquarters. Applicants will receive an appointment confirmation email within 3 business days of submitting the application. The confirmation will include the date and time of pick-up and a card number to claim the clothing. A recap of the children to receive clothing along with the school chosen and the clothing sizes selected will be included in the confirmation email.
Clothing will be provided based on the dress code (if any) of the school indicated and the clothing sizes selected on the application. Clothing cannot be returned or exchanged, so it is important to select the correct sizes.
Any questions regarding the application or the Clothe-A-Child program should be directed to email@example.com.
As of August 21, 2023, Charity Newies are at over 15,000 applications for clothing assistance. If you need clothing assistance, please apply as soon as possible. If you apply today, you will be able to pick up your clothing towards the end of October.