December 27, 2020
Dear Columbus Academy Families,
We hope you are enjoying additional time with your children during this break from school. While we have been away from campus, Central Ohio has been at the center of national attention near the end of a very difficult year. Most recently, the death of André Maurice Hill has had a negative impact on many children and adults in our community, especially coming so soon after the killing of Casey Goodson Jr.
These senseless tragedies continue to fuel the pain of racial injustice in our city and nation. Although these moments can be particularly challenging to process when we are not together as a school community, we must stay committed to our shared values that diversity, inclusion, equity and justice are essential to the excellence of our school. Events like these in our own city compel us to continue to engage in conversations around racial justice and take care of those in our community who are most impacted by racism. Below are several resources to support well-being, racial competency and racial justice to support our community and foster our school values.
Caring for the immediate well-being of our students:
We understand that many of you will be trying to help your children process ongoing news about these recent horrific deaths. This resource can help you process the news with your children.
If you have concerns about your children’s struggles with anxiety and sadness around these or other events, the most important thing to remember is to stay calm, listen and react in a caring, non-judgemental manner to what your children are saying. This article provides information about the signs and symptoms of depression and when to seek professional help. If needed, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and OSU/Harding operate crisis lines for immediate support. Their numbers are 614-722-1800 (ages 17 and under) and 1-888-276-2273 (over 18).
Please feel free to contact Middle School Counselor Shekyra DeCree or Upper School Psychologist Dr. Suzanne Ritter if you have any questions or concerns. Our counselors have a diverse list of therapists so that they can make personalized recommendations about where to begin when seeking therapy for your children.
Resources to provide ongoing care for and empowerment of children:
Resources to get involved:
When school begins for the second semester, we will have increased attention on our students’ well-being and also continue our intentional work to educate students about race and racism. Some of the programming will include:
- Providing affinity spaces for students of color to support social emotional well-being and student success, especially during these difficult times.
- Continuing programming in all three divisions that educates and empowers students to understand and talk about race and racism.
- MLK week activities across divisions that educate about and inspire youth empowerment, community leadership and allyship.
- Implementing new programming that elevates the visibility and excellence of people of color. A feature of this new programming is the “Dream Readers” initiative that will feature students and parents of color reading to our youngest Vikings.
- Partnering with race experts to engage our school and community in practices that foster racial competence and excellence for all.
- Hosting workshops led by the YWCA for our Board of Trustees that empower skills for understanding and addressing systemic racism, privilege, difficult conversations and institutional outcomes.
We hope these resources support the diverse needs in our community. Please do not hesitate to reach out if we can be of additional support.
Dr. Pascal Losambe, Upper School Dean of Students and Special Assistant to the Head of School for Student Outreach