Volume 13, Issue 11

Following the State of Ohio's guidelines for schools during these unprecedented times of physical distancing and sheltering in place, Columbus Academy established online learning for all grade levels on March 30. Near the end of a busy Spring Break for our administrators, faculty and staff, Head of School Melissa Soderberg sent out this message to all our families that was recorded in her living room by her son Phil, a current Academy senior. Please click on the link below to access an archive of all recent schoolwide and division-specific communications, as well as other resources related to the coronavirus epidemic and transition to online learning.

Columbus Academy has postponed All Day 4 CA, Academy's annual online giving event, which was scheduled to start this Thursday, April 2. Our students' educational experience is our top priority, and we will need all of our attention to be focused on supporting and caring for our faculty, staff, students and families as they adapt to working together in new ways. We know many in our community enjoy coming together to celebrate and support our school during All Day 4 CA, and we hope to reschedule once we have ensured that the immediate concerns of returning to school have been addressed.

Academy's Admissions Office asks that you consider volunteering to welcome a newly enrolled family to Academy. As a Host Family, you would be connected with a new family that has a child matching your child's grade. Your responsibility is low-key and fun: welcome your assigned family and serve as a contact to answer any questions and ease any concerns that come up. Host Families would connect with their assigned family in a video chat and/or by phone and email. In addition, we highly encourage your children to get involved, so that new students can get to know a friendly face! Volunteers are needed from all grade levels, but particularly from families with children in this year's Explorer Program, PreK, Grade 1, Grade 5 and Grade 8. If volunteering to be a host family is something you feel you can do, please send an email to admissions@columbusacademy.org. We truly appreciate your consideration. 

Families, alumni and friends should have received the Spring 2020 edition of our redesigned school magazine earlier this month. Reimagined and retitled as Experience, the issue celebrates alumni, teachers and students in vibrant, colorful spreads while digging into the issues facing education and the trends affecting Academy students. If you did not receive one, or if you would like to request additional copies, please let us know at info@columbusacademy.org.

Our school nurses would like to share a few resources related to COVID-19, which are now archived under "COVID-19 Health Updates" on our special coronavirus webpage. Beckie Hoagland (614-332-2764) and Janet Fireman (614-496-9591) can both be reached at nurse@columbusacademy.org or via their mobile numbers during normal school hours of 8:00am to 4:30pm. They would also like to thank Academy parent Beth Harpster for all her assistance in their office these past few months! 

With many families preparing meals at home and trying to keep their children engaged, SAGE Dining Services has developed a video series with easy, delicious recipes to prepare at home, instructions for various cooking techniques, nutritional guidance, and even home food sanitation and hygiene tips. You can view the recipe videos (currently up to 10!) from our dining hall partners at https://vimeo.com/showcase/athome. We hope these bring a little joy to your families during this difficult time. If you have suggestions for other content you'd like to receive from SAGE, we encourage you to contact them at communications@sagedining.com.

In mid-February, the Board of Trustees' Cultural Consciousness Committee invited all Columbus Academy parents and guardians to spend an evening with the school's trustees, leadership team, PACA leadership and each other in a fun, interactive setting. "Stories were told, connections were made, and rich discussions were had creating understanding of our similarities and differences," said Dr. Rita Agrawal, chair of the Cultural Consciousness Committee. "It is our hope that events such as the Dinner of Great Conversations foster a sense of closeness in our community and create authentic relationships between different members within our community." Your feedback is essential to making events like this a success. Whether you were present at the dinner or not, please take a few minutes to fill out a survey to provide information on how the Board can make the gathering better and how it can partner with the Academy community to garner greater support for events like this in the future.     

Columbus Academy was one of the first school's in the nation to embrace the "country day" philosophy, a belief that the educational process is a cooperative effort between parent and teacher, school and home. We take great pride in how engaged our parents are, and that was evident during recent events such as a Lower School Parent Coffee that demonstrated morning meetings as well as the guiding principles of responsive classrooms, this month's PACA Forum that highlighted our public speaking programs (including third grade Wax Museum characters and a pair of Junior Speeches), the sixth grade "Evening with Middle School Counselor Shekyra DeCree" and College Counseling Preview Night for sophomore families.

We hosted families of freshmen and sophomores at College Counseling Preview Night on March 4. Topics included our college counseling philosophy, communication from our office, self-reflection and research tools, MaiaLearning platform, presenting yourself to colleges, college admissions (what matters most), financial aid basics, and planning for standardized testing. Click below to access resources from our presentation.

A total of 37 pieces by 21 different upper-schoolers from Columbus Academy earned honors in the 2020 Scholastic Art Awards! Works by seniors Annalise Grammel, Ryan Hunker, Sarah Neltner and Livy Seline all received Gold Keys. Photographs by Ryan and Sarah also garnered Silver Key recognition along with images by junior Vera Anderson and fellow seniors Ellie Jeffers, Belle Kornberg and Charlotte Vogel, a video by Olivia Pierre-Louis and a sculpture by Calvin Wade. Honorable Mentions were awarded to ceramic works by Calvin (3), Livy, senior Noelle Boltz (2) and junior Sona Santry, photos by Ellie, Belle, Sarah, Olivia, seniors Luis Blanco-Hoyos and Aniv Ray (2), juniors CJ Leet, Cooper Schnitzer and Tsega Seleshi and sophomore Isabel Robeano (2), and paintings by seniors Helene Duebel (2) and Anna Ruhl and sophomore Alexandra Butinariu (3).

Columbus Academy enriches its academic traditions of excellence by valuing a broad diversity of students as it seeks to develop the complete person: mind, body and character. Our Student Support Services Team is a group of professionals dedicated to assessing the needs of and providing services and accommodations for students with different learning styles and other needs. These nurses, counselors and learning specialists hope to empower teachers, parents, administrators and students with an understanding of their unique personalities and learning styles. 

At the Division III district wrestling tournament, Gyvnn Mendenhall placed second in the 195-pound weight class to become a state-qualifier as a sophomore! The two-time sectional champion pinned his first three opponents on the way to the district finals, where he lost 5-2 to a senior from Martins Ferry (view brackets). He was hoping to become Academy's first state-placer since Scott Smith '03 won the 189-lb state title in 2003. His coach, Paul Bukky, was quoted in a news article about the state tournament's cancellation. Click on the link below for more on Gyvnn as well as a recap of our boys basketball season, which culminated in Carter Warstler earning All-Ohio honorable mention honors! 
Additional Sports Links
Middle School