Volume 13, Issue 14

Head of School Melissa Soderberg recently provided our families with a message about how Columbus Academy is planning to begin the 2020-21 school year. "As of now we have seven scenarios that range from having all students in school on our campus (scenario 1) to having all K-12 school campuses closed by the state and being completely online in our learning (scenario 7)," she wrote in Monday's letter. "In scenarios 2-6 (blended learning of both in-person and online), we are examining every aspect of school including our physical campus, our school calendar, daily schedules, programming and social habits as they may require modifications based on recommendations from national, state and local health authorities. Given the lack of predictability of these times, we are expecting to use whatever scenario our circumstances call for during the next year."  

Back in March, the Chinese-American families in our Columbus Academy community initiated a fundraiser to purchase essential PPEs for medical staff, police officers, firefighters and other frontline workers in the COVID-19 pandemic. They eventually joined efforts with a pair of other Chinese fundraising groups and have raised over $100,000, which has allowed them to purchase more than 70,000 surgical masks, 12,000 surgical gloves and materials for over 1,000 handmade face masks. Along with the PPE donations, which were delivered in boxes decorated by their children (pictured are fourth-grader Leah Shi in the middle photo, eighth-grader Matthew Fang and his mother Yancy Xue on the bottom left as well as Jenny Zhang with a hospital staff member in the upper left), our Chinese families who own restaurants helped to provide delicious meals and drinks to those on the front lines!

If you find yourself in a position to support our school community at this time, we hope you will do so through the newly established Academy Community Fund. Gifts to the fund will provide CA families with expanded tuition assistance and help the school respond to critical needs as they arise during the 2020-21 school year. You may donate at any time by clicking here, or mark your calendar for The Columbus Foundation's online giving event, The Big Give on June 10-11, when your donation can earn additional funds from a bonus pool. 
Some families have also inquired about how to donate their 2020-21 tuition credits to help fellow CA families. If you would like to donate your tuition credit to the Academy Community Fund, please email Erich Hunker '81, Assistant Head of School for Development/External Relations. The Development Office will record your pledge as a tax-deductible gift and send a reminder after July 1 with fulfillment options. Your reduced tuition for the 2020-21 school year will be billed by the Business Office through the new tuition processing system, FACTS. 

We encourage you to join us in thanking Melissa Kass and Greg Gorospe for their year of exceptional service as co-presidents of our Parents' Association! To view the 2020-21 PACA officers, who will be led by new co-presidents Tracie Klinefelter and Joyce Masek, click on the link below. And if you have a lower-schooler enrolled for next school year, please consider expressing your interest in serving as a grade or room parent by clicking here. Thank you to all our parent & guardian volunteers!

Don't forget to sport your Viking spiritwear over the summer! Our parent-run Viking Corner store is holding its end-of-year sale with up to 40% off select items. Curbside pickup is being offered from between noon and 2:00 p.m. on May 27 and June 3. Click on the site link below to peruse all the offerings, and please email vikingcorner@icloud.com with any questions.

Academy alumnus Dr. Kyle Alexander '02 provides very valuable ergonomic tips to anyone working from home in the latest installment of our "How To" video series. Be sure to also check out the other recent additions including chef Stephanie Campbell revealing how to make our dining hall's broccoli cheese soup at home, PE teacher and boys basketball coach Jeff Warstler leading drills to improve ball-handling skills and alum Chad Underwood '04 sharing how to properly stretch and relieve tension from his Modo Yoga studio.

Congratulations to all our uppers-schoolers who earned 2020 performing arts letters and pins! This video, which includes the announcement of this year's recipients of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, John Philip Sousa Award, National School Choral Award and National Orchestra Award, should have also named Cydney Platt as a first-year letterwinner in theatre in addition to orchestra first pins for Sarah Silver, Anna Linder, Hanrui Xu, Emma Smith, Andrew Cahall, David Narayanan and Howard Wang (updated orchestra awards video coming soon).

"Through the environmental branding of our athletic entrance, we celebrate our students' sportsmanship in action because this positively shapes our collective experience," says Director of Athletics Jason Singleton about new installations created by TENFOLD, the award-winning strategy and creative firm owned by Academy parent Rachel Friedman. "Just like our students, our space now tells a well-rounded story. What we stand for at Columbus Academy is evident: we're all on-board together. Welcome to our ship!"
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