Dragon Dispatch

August 6, 2021

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Dear Students and Families,

Greetings from the Deans!

Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year! While school looks and feels different in some ways this year, we are proud to say that the elements that make Graham who we are still look and feel the same. Our staff and students continuously strive to embody our Habits of Learning: Adventure & Risk, Perseverance, Self-Direction, Service & Stewardship, and Teamwork & Collaboration. At The Graham School we see these habits in action as both staff and students pursue challenges outside of their comfort zones, solve problems creatively without giving up, take initiative- striving for mastery and expertise in their craft, care for each other and our surroundings, and work together to meet goals. We are Crew, not Passengers!

Along with Habits of Learning, our commitment to the social and emotional education and support of our students, in addition to maintaining rigorous and engaging academics, has never been more important. We created a plan for this school year that we believe will maximize safety, learning, and student support. We understand that these are challenging and unprecedented times yet we are excited for the opportunities that are to come this school year.

In alignment with CDC guidelines, 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. The health and safety of our students, staff, and families is paramount. 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.

Please be sure to read all the way through this newsletter, as there is important information regarding TGS Covid Safety Precautions, TGS' COVID vaccination clinic for students and families, Open House/Registration, and the first weeks of school.

We welcome you. We value you. We look forward to working with you to make a terrific 2021-2022 school year!


Deans; Amy Vickroy, RJ Larry, & Sarai Correa

TGS FREE COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

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


WHEN: Friday, August 27 from 8:30-4:00

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. There will be additional hard copies available at Open House, as well as 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.

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


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
FCPH and CPH statement on masks in schools

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

Announcements & Important Dates

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

Open House: We will be hosting Open House for all grade levels at the school and hope you will make a commitment to joining us. You will have an opportunity to meet teachers, staff, and other students, as well as obtain information and answers to questions.

Wednesday, August 18, 5-7 p.m. - 9th and 11th-grade students

Thursday, August 19, 5-7 p.m. - 10th and 12th-grade students

Important Dates and Times:

  • The first day of school is Monday, August 23, 2021.
  • 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.
  • Friday, August 20 from 3:30-5:00, food donation pickup at TGS
  • Friday, August 27 from 8:30-3:30,TGS COVID vaccination clinic
  • Monday, September 6: NO SCHOOL, Labor Day
  • Friday, September 10 & September 24: Early Release at 12:00

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.

Enrollment Forms and Required Documentation: Please keep in mind that it is imperative you submit all necessary forms and documents in order for your student(s) to be officially enrolled in The Graham School for the 2021/2022 school year. Students will not receive class schedules or Chromebooks, nor will they be able to attend classes in the absence of a completed, signed Registration Packet (enclosed) and a copy of a utility bill dated on or after June 1, 2021 for Proof of Residence (POR.) Please support our endeavors to engage your student with enriching, high-quality learning experiences by submitting the required paperwork ASAP. Thank you!

Monthly Boxes for Families in Need

In partnership with Neighborhood Services, Inc Food Pantry, we are offering monthly pre-packed boxes of food to Graham School families in need! Boxes will contain staple items such as bread, rice, pasta, vegetable oil and more, as well as snacks and other items to help nourish your Graham school student. To receive food, you must make a reservation through one of the links below. You will pick up your food at The Graham School: 3950 Indianola Ave., not at NSI Food Pantry.

August Distribution Date:

Friday, Aug. 20 - 3:30- 5:00pm *NEW TIME*: https://freshtrak.com/register/event/50812

Please bring your photo ID and wear a face mask when you come! Please note, this event is only available to families with a student currently enrolled at The Graham School.

Please reach out to Lindsay Barber at info@neighborhoodservicesinc.org with any questions.

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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.


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