Dragon Dispatch

February 2, 2021

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Dear Students and Families,

Greetings from the Deans!


February marks the observance of Black History Month in the United States. Black History Month was originally established as "Negro History Week" in 1926 by historian, author, and pioneer in the field of African American studies, Dr. Carter G. Woodson. "Negro History Week" was one of Woodson's many endeavors to ensure that African American voices, stories, and achievements would continue to be lifted and celebrated throughout the United States. The original week of commemoration was chosen to coincide with the February birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. President Ford extended the observation to the full month of February in 1976. At The Graham School, we strive to honor and lift up African American and BIPOC voices, stories, and achievements during the month of February, throughout the year, and across the curriculum.


In 2012 Congresswoman Yvette Clarke released the following statement to commemorate the observance of Black History Month: “Throughout the month of February, our nation will pause to celebrate the many contributions and achievements of the African-American community. We must recognize those who have made great strides in this nation, paving the way for future generations. We have heard and read stories that recount the experiences of this community and their efforts to seek equality and fair treatment in an unjust society. Though we have come a long way to fulfill the dream of Dr. King, the journey is not yet over. Let us never forget that Black history continues to define American history.” As purveyors of history, thought, stories, and ideas educators wield great power and potential in paving the way for current and future generations to pursue Dr. King's dream. At The Graham School we heartily accept our role in the shaping of a just society.


From his Birmingham jail cell in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote: "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." The Graham School actively pursues educational justice by analyzing data and creating action steps that support the fair and equitable treatment of our students; participating in professional development designed to combat racism and bias; weaving multiple perspectives throughout our curriculum; and seeking to understand rather than to be understood. As Congresswoman Clarke suggested, we too will pause in the month of February to celebrate the many contributions and achievements of the African-American community AND we will continue our work to empower students and seek educational justice unapologetically. At the same time, we have much learning, unlearning, and listening yet to do. The journey is not yet over.


Please click the links below to explore Black History Month virtual events and resources. Also, please scroll down to check out highlights from our first TGS Family Crew night and information on how you can join us for the next one. Thank you!


Sincerely,

Amy Vickroy, Sarai Correa, & RJ Larry

TGS FAMILY CREW

Our first Family Crew was a resounding success! Families, students, and staff members enjoyed introducing themselves and participating in the greeting. Discussing Crew gave the students a chance to shine! JJ and Nia shared that Crew is their safe space and Ana mentioned that the academic check-ins in Crew have helped her stay on track and feel knowledgeable about her progress. Finally, staff took a few moments to discuss the important role that mindfulness has at The Graham School before leading us through an activity designed to ground us in the moment and engage our senses.


Parents said:

  • "Glad you did this, it centered me."
  • "Thank you for doing this. It was helpful."
  • "We are new to TGS and appreciate this opportunity."
  • "Thank you for hosting this Family Crew meeting!"
  • "I really appreciate Crew. So glad my student has the chance to connect, especially without synchronous learning!"
  • "Thank you so much for Family Crew. I look forward to next month!"


Bravo to all facilitators and attendees. We hope to see you next time! (Invitation is below!)

Family Crew Mindfulness Resources

Click here to explore mindfulness and its benefits.

TGS Family Crew- February

Wednesday, Feb. 24th, 6-6:45pm

This is an online event.

Join Zoom Meeting

ID: 95366748330


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. With all that is going on in our world today- a global pandemic, rampant injustice, political turmoil, and economic strife, Crew is perhaps more important than it has ever been for our community. We believe that if there has ever been a need to wrap around our Graham family, it is now and it is urgent.


We have recently 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 5 evening Family Crew sessions and offering an accompanying Family Crew workbook. Each Family Crew session will have a specific focus. The focus for February is Social & Emotional Learning (SEL).


Please mark your calendars for the remaining Family Crew Dates:

February 24; March 24; April 21; May 12 from 6:00-6:45


We hope to see you there!

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

COVID-19 Update

We want to remind you that, due to the current trends in COVID-19 cases, our plan is to continue with our remote learning model through the end of Quarter 3- Friday, March 5. As we prepare for Q4 and May Days, we will continue to evaluate the feasibility of bringing students into the building by taking the following factors into consideration:

In the meantime, TGS will also continue to pursue strategies to engage with and support all of our students online. We urge you to continue to wear your masks, wash your hands frequently, and maintain social distancing. At The Graham School we are CREW, not passengers.


If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out by email or call the school at 614-262-1111. We wish you all the best for a safe, healthy, and happy 2021.

Schoology Help Videos

TGS Instructional Coach, Kate Livingston, graciously created a series of helpful videos to support families in supporting their students. Check them out!

Announcements

  • Due to COVID-19 community spread in Franklin County, the building continues to be closed. You can still contact the front desk at 614-262-1111 or at frontdesk@thegrahamschool.org if you have questions or need assistance. Meal pickup will continue as scheduled.
  • STUDENT PROGRESS: Asynchronous (independent) assignments/homework are VITAL to both attendance and grades. If a student is failing a course they may be missing assignments.
  • ATTENDANCE REMINDER: While we are engaged in virtual learning, students must attend ALL virtual class meetings (synchronous) AND submit all ALL independent assigned work (asynchronous) by Friday at 3:30 p.m. in order to be counted as present. It is imperative that students engage in synchronous classes AND complete asynchronous work to avoid being considered truant. If your student is unable to log into class or complete asynchronous work on a given day due to illness or tech issues or you have questions about attendance, please 614-262-1111 or send an email to: frontdesk@thegrahamschool.org. Also CREW is a required course. Students must attend every synchronous Crew session and complete the asynchronous work.
  • GOGUARDIAN is a tool that TGS teachers and adminstrators are using to better support students in the virtual classroom. Click here to watch a video demo of GoGuardian Teacher.
  • EXTENSION LEARNING CENTERS: Do you lack high-speed internet? Do you need additional help with your work? Could you use a quiet work space, an extra meal from time to time, or emotional support during these trying times? Rock City Church is providing extension learning centers throughout the Columbus area. Click here for more information. Click here to find an e-learning center near you.
  • SCHOOLOGY occasionally experiences connections issues. We recommend the following:

    • frequently refreshing the Schoology website
    • emailing teachers to let them know that you or your student are unable to get in
    • monitoring the Schoology status page
    • checking school email for instructions from teachers.

Attendance Codes in PowerSchool

Please be aware of the following PowerSchool attendance codes and their meanings:
  • TU (Tardy Unexcused): the total time missed from classes totals less than 3 hours
  • HU (Half Unexcused): the total time missed from classes totals approximately 3 hours
  • AU (Absent Unexcused): the total time missed from classes totals more than 4 hours

Additionally, Fridays in PowerSchool reflect the percentage of independent (asynchronous) work that was completed and submitted for the week.

Slater and Zurz Scholarship

The Slater and Zurz law firm is offering a $5000 scholarship to be awarded to a high school student in May 2021. Click the above link to learn more information and to apply!

BigSun Student Athlete Scholarship

The BigSun Organization is proud to be able to continue to help young athletes succeed in their academic pursuits. They are offering an annual $500 scholarship to a deserving student athlete. Click the above link to learn how to apply!

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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.


Mission:

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