State of the School 2017
Each year, we share State of the School with to deliver a snapshot of the many, many wonderful ways CSG inspires students and cultivates their collective leadership capacity. I am also sharing a few data points that will demonstrate the overall “health” of CSG as an institution. Following the data, you will see how we are already starting to make progress in the execution of our Strategic Plan, Inspiring Girls, Cultivating Leaders.
We are grateful to have a community that supports and is committed to not only our students, but to an educational program that considers the full growth and development of each girl. Encouraged and excited, we look forward to our continued mission of empowering girls to discover their distinct potential as learners and leaders.
Head of School
Earlier this year, CSG released a Strategic Plan that will guide us over the next five years. As we execute the plan, solidify our place as the premier school for educating central Ohio's brightest girls, and continue to inspire the young women who will be our local and national leaders, the Strategic Plan will be our compass.
We opened the 2016-2017 school year with a higher-than-predicted enrollment of 567 students, an increase over the previous year. The 88 new students came from all over central Ohio and include daughters and nieces of alumnae and CSG colleagues, little sisters of students, and several girls whose families relocated to central Ohio. Our student body is racially, socioeconomically, and culturally diverse. Attrition is healthy, finances are sound, and our girls are applying and being admitted to some of our nation's most prestigious colleges and universities.
Enrollment: 567 Students
New Students: 88
Students of Color: 36% (African American, Asian American, Multiracial, Latino/Hispanic American, Middle Eastern American)
Top Sending School Districts: Columbus City Schools, Bexley, New Albany, Upper Arlington, Gahanna
Retention at csg
Our attrition rate of 6% is healthy and lower than our benchmarks.
After CSG: College Outcomes
96% of students accepted to at least one of top 3 choices
79% accepted to their first choice
$8.3 million in scholarships awarded to Class of 2016
Looking forward to 2017-2018, preparing our students for the next leg of their academic and life journeys will remain our first priority, but we will also focus on expanding our footprint in central Ohio as thought leaders in the arenas of educating girls and advancing young women as leaders. Enhancing that external image and awareness will come from an internal focus on the four points of the Strategic Plan: Lead, Deepen, Flourish, and Thrive.
LEAD: Strengthen and implement a signature girls' program for leadership and wellness.
Design and launch the Center for Girls and Young Women’s Leadership and Wellness.
The Upper School continues to tweak and expand its social-emotional curriculum, Life Skills. Our new director brings a passion for civic involvement to our girls and has found many ways to connect us to the community. For example, students made tie blankets and then donated them to the YWCA Family Shelter. They also organized one of the school's largest food donation drives benefiting families in Vinton County. The morning of the Thanksgiving Program, students gathered outside to assemble flour and sugar into baking kits to distribute at a local food pantry. We have also had a variety of speakers join us for our Life Skills meetings and wellness programming, and we are continuing events like the Women's Leadership Breakfast that help to establish CSG as a source for information and and perspective on women's leadership throughout the greater Columbus community.
In Middle School, our social-emotional learning curriculum is thriving through health classes and advisory sessions. Form VII has explored the intersection of body image and the media by analyzing advertisements and discussing how they portray women. The discussions help build awareness of how the images and messages we are inundated by can affect our perception of ourselves.
In Lower School, we acknowledge unconventional leadership. Charlotte Stiverson, Form IV teacher, has been trained as a Quiet Ambassador through the Quiet Revolution. Charlotte was one of only 50 teachers nationally trained in this first pilot year. Quiet Revolution was established by Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking to help us gain a better understanding of introverts and extroverts. Charlotte has been training the faculty during each division meeting this year on how we honor and engage introverted students. Charlotte also facilitated a parent coffee on the topic on February 13.
DEEPEN: Enhance our excellent academic program.
Create a robust, empowered teaching community of excellence.
CSG teachers are thought leaders who have shared their expertise with colleagues nationally by presenting at many conferences. On February 22, Middle School teachers Kimberly Ditty, Vince Maite, and Lynn Sweeney will present at the annual NCGS Educating Girls Symposium in New York City at the Nightingale-Bamford School. At the conference, we will share how our middle school community is collaborating to create spaces where our students can feel safe, valued, and appreciated in advisory, clubs, and family groups.
Three Lower School faculty members presented at the ISACS conference this past November. Maureen Reedy and Staci Schulte presented their Form III “Making Learning Visible” project, in which the girls use an inquiry-based approach to research the history of Columbus.
Program for Young Children faculty members Jenny Morgan and Jill Smith will share a Multimedia Overview of the Children in Nature project at Environmental Education Council of Ohio’s Annual meeting.
In addition to presenting at conferences, three of our Lower School teachers published books this year: Charlotte Stiverson, Nellie’s Walk, Jessica Fries-Gaither, Notable Notebooks, and Kay Fetters, Will I Ever Have a Best Friend?
FLOURISH: Ensure our optimal enrollment size and composition to support our mission of developing girls to be learners and leaders.
To reach optimal enrollment, we added staff in the admission office to allow for new outreach initiatives such as Admission Ambassadors, neighborhood-targeted admission receptions, and two new merit scholarships—a community partnership with Huntington Bank, and a new Middle School Scholarship.
We have also hired two new Marketing/Communications staff members who are planning a strategic marketing approach to build awareness and recognition of the School.
All teams are collaborating to inspire an authentic sense of belonging and investment in the CSG community. For instance, the alumnae office in Development hosted several alumnae events (trunk shows, cocktail parties, a reception at the Columbus Museum of Art and receptions in Chicago and Jacksonville) to keep alumnae connected to the School. One program- Coffee and Careers- brings alumnae to campus to talk with seniors about post-college opportunities. Kristen Orlando '01 spoke to students in January just after her first book, You Don’t Know My Name, was published.
Lastly, we are also working more intentionally to maintain our relationships with retired faculty by inviting them back to CSG for theater productions and other events.
THRIVE: Inspire competitive athletic programs and robust visual and performing arts programs.
2016 proved to be a strong year for our student-athletes.
Our 2016 tennis team qualified for the OTCA State Team Tournament by beating Columbus Academy in the district finals. The team finished 4th in the state.
We had a national signing day celebration where Miranda Donley '17 signed her National Letter of Intent to North Carolina State and Lexie Armstrong '17 signed with Butler University.
Our swim team was dominant at the Ned Reeb Swim Meet in mid-December. Miranda Donley '17 broke two school and meet records in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle. Jordan Arnou-Rhees '20 broke a school record in the 200 yard individual medley.
The team of Jordan Arnou-Rhees '20, Maggie Wagenbrenner '17, Natalie Merryman '19 and Miranda Donley '17 won the 400 freestyle relay. The team of Jordan Arnou-Rhees '20, Emily Dewolf '19, Maggie Wagenbrenner '17 and Miranda Donley '17 won the 200 freestyle relay.
Community partnership will be a significant part of our arts program this year as we prepare to co-produce Anne of Green Gables with CATCO. The partnership with our Middle School theater program will happen this spring.
In a recent lesson in our PYC studio class, girls in our 4/5 class began using watercolors to paint their self-portraits. Their classroom discussion centered around a book, Same, Same, Different. The teachers talked about the uniqueness of each person, the beauty of skin color, and how each person's skin color is unique. The girls were guided in applying a sample of paint on their hand to match the color they would use to paint their faces. As they worked to match their own skin colors they supported one another in trying to find the right blend. Their conversations sounded like this:
“I’m making my skin color.” “Maybe you should try to add gold.” “Maybe a little red.” “Hey, I have dark brown.” “A little more pink.” “My skin is a little tan.” “Everyone has skin.” “Mine looks like cream in coffee.” “I did it! I put a little bit of white, then red and a little bit of gold and brown, mixed them all together and got me!” There's a little red and gold in all of our CSG girls! Activities like this emphasize the great strength we find in celebrating our differences.
THRIVE: Maintain, enhance, and secure our CSG facilities and equipment.
The maintenance and enhancement of our facilities and equipment have been under review as we worked with a security consultant, Armada. The company completed a thorough assessment of our current security status and developed a strategic plan for bringing CSG’s security systems up to the gold standard. We planned a series of trainings for our faculty and staff, created an Emergency Operations Team, and increased security for our community by reducing the number of entrances from two to one. In the next six months, we will establish and document security policies and additional training for faculty and staff.
A long-term plan to enhance and preserve our athletic campus, Kirk Campus, is in place, and with the support of the Crane family, we were able to realize our vision for landscaping on Columbia Avenue.
Diversity is a cornerstone of who we are at CSG, and a commitment to celebrating the many individuals, cultures, and backgrounds that compose our community is a continued effort.
Our Board of Trustees and standing diversity committee held a retreat on diversity initiatives and topics with board members in October.
I.D.E.A. (Inclusion. Diversity. Equity. Advocacy.), the inclusion committee, which includes faculty, administrators, staff, and parents; continues to serve as an advisory committee to the school, providing community reading opportunities, film-screenings, education, and discussions to advance our diversity initiatives and standards.
Student Life at CSG includes a celebration of diversity and inclusion with clubs like the Beauty of African American Culture Club (BAACC), the Jewish Culture Club, and the Gay Student Alliance (GSA). The student groups plan events and activities to share their knowledge and experiences with their classmates, faculty, staff, and all of our community. February 23, the BAACC club will host its annual Food for the Soul Feast benefiting the Ronald McDonald Charities. March 6, I.D.E.A. will host a Watch and Discuss featuring Ava Duvernay's acclaimed documentary 13TH.
Training for faculty and staff is ongoing with a full year of workshops with outside facilitators as well as our own Director of Diversity and Inclusion Betsy Esser. Future plans include an AIMS (Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism) study to create a strategic plan for diversity work (including examining the curriculum as well as co-curricular programs, systems, policies, traditions of school) and efforts under SEED (Seeking Education and Equity through Diversity).