Basic Yet Important Information
Posted September 9, 2010
Dear Upper School Students and Parents, I hope you and your family are enjoying the end of summer!
As summer days pass by, my CSG colleagues and I are planning an exciting 2010-2011 school year in the Upper School! This letter is meant to convey some very basic yet important information to help you and your CSG child/children make the transition to the 2010-2011 school year as smooth as possible.
First of all, I want to share with you some words that come to mind as powerful examples of the role that a CSG education plays in the life of our students. They are Challenge, Character, and Community. These are words that you will notice being repeated over the course of this year as we focus on continuing to provide the best education for girls in central Ohio. Whether it is in the classroom, the stage, or on the field of play these three words are vividly manifested in our students and in the program that CSG provides to make these students ready to take on the world. Coupled with this is the importance of challenging one’s self while keeping the value of one’s character as central to our educational philosophy. The CSG Honor Code states:
“As a member of the CSG community, I pledge to conduct myself honorably, with truthfulness and honesty at all times. I will live in our community, practicing respect, responsibility, and reverence.”
An academic program that emphasizes the importance of acquiring and developing knowledge without addressing doing something useful and positive with that knowledge is not educating its students to the fullest extent possible. The Honor System at CSG provides our school with a firm foundation on which to continue to build a challenging academic environment, coupled with a deep desire to make this world a better place for all of us and the generations of people that come after us.
As the first day of school approaches, I have a number of reminders and pieces of information that will help you better prepare for the beginning of classes.
NEW FACULTY MEMBERS
We have three new teachers who will be joining our community:
- Ms. Suzanne Besanceney: Department of History
- Ms. Melissa Jaeb: Department of Mathematics
- Ms. Ping Wu: Department of Modern and Classical Languages (Mandarin Chinese)
I look forward to introducing you to each of these wonderful teachers at Upper School Night.
UPPER SCHOOL ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS
The Upper School is privileged to have the wonderful support of two administrative assistants:
- Ms. Tarah Morris works in the Upper School Office and is the voice you hear when you call the Upper School Office by phone. She is a wealth of information. Feel free to contact her with any questions or concerns you may have. She can either answer your question or steer you in the proper direction. Tarah is coming back from maternity leave, so we enthusiastically welcome her return! She may be reached at ext. 116 or email@example.com.
- Ms. Re’Kiya Hamilton is located just inside the Drexel entrance to the Upper School. Ms. Hamilton does a great deal of work for the College Counseling Office, but she also performs other important duties connected to the Upper School. She may be reached at ext. 297 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPPER SCHOOL SCHEDULER AND REGISTRAR
- The Upper School has a gifted person who spent a great deal of time over the spring and summer working on your daughters’ individual schedules and on the new daily schedule in general. Ms. Ann Taylor. Her office is located on the second floor in a side office just off the small computer lab. If there are any scheduling questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or Ms. Taylor. You can reach her at ext. 373 or at email@example.com.
TECHNOLOGY AND TABLET PCs
- All Upper School students have a Tablet PC that they received when they first came to Upper School. The school continues to commit itself to the development of a vibrant 1:1 Tablet PC program. Students and teachers continue to develop ways to use technology in such a way that it better prepares all of us for the challenges of living in the 21st century. Like all technology, at times, Tablet PCs can need attention and repair. The Upper School runs a Help Desk to respond to any sorts of technology problems a student may be experiencing. It is located in the back of the small computer lab on the second floor. The Help Desk is overseen by Mr. Ben Liu (ext. 293 or firstname.lastname@example.org), and he is aided by a number of high-quality interns from DeVry Institute. You may reach the Help Desk by using the following email: email@example.com.
- The Tablet PC is an expensive piece of equipment containing a great deal of valuable software. This Tablet should be able to last the full four years of high school if it is regularly maintained. The Help Desk can help students learn how to do the regular maintenance required to keep the system running smoothly. During a student’s junior year her Tablet will be required to receive a memory upgrade in order to keep up the speed of the computer system.
VISITING THE UPPER SCHOOL
As parents you are welcome to visit the Upper School whenever you would like. Please make sure to sign in to school when you arrive and to put a “Visitor” badge on so that we can easily identify you. It is our administrative assistants’ job to remind each visitor to the school to sign in and wear a badge so that we can keep a safe and secure environment for your children.
It is not appropriate to visit a class unannounced. If you would like to visit a class, please ask the teacher beforehand if it would be an appropriate visiting day.
Faculty members are easily accessible by e-mail. Each faculty member’s address is his/her first initial and last name (no spaces) with @columbusschoolforgirls.org connected at the end. For example, my name is David Gould. So, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Each faculty member also has an individual voicemail extension which you can access by asking the front desk operator. However, since teachers do not generally have a telephone extension in the classroom, I would encourage you to use email, or to contact the Upper School Office to send a message for you.
Several electronic (i.e. email) messages were sent to families before the end of this past school year. School forms were attached to the message which stated that all forms were to be completed and returned by mid-May for the 2010-2011 school year. Thanks to all of you who turned those forms in on time (in late May!). If you have not already done so, please make sure to send or drop off those forms to the Upper School Office immediately. It is vital that CSG have the forms in before school begins. If you have questions, please contact the Upper School Office.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
The first day of school is Wednesday, August 25. Because of the new daily schedule, the Upper School is still working with the other divisions to finalize the format for the day. I will be notifying all students and parents via email sometime during the first two weeks of August about the schedule for the day.
There is a traditional Opening Day Service that has occurred for over the past 100 years. This service will involve flags – so, if you are a class president, then please be prepared to receive your instructions from Mr. Hartshorne before the service begins. This is also an official uniform day, so students, please wear uniform white oxford blouses and navy blue crested sweaters. Students should be ready to have their official school photograph taken on this day.
NEW DAILY SCHEDULE
I have attached a copy of the new daily schedule. I am very excited about its implementation, and I look forward to seeing how the Upper School adjusts to it. The classes have been expanded to 80 minutes (50 minutes for music) every other day on a six-day rotation. Students will also receive a Planner on the first day of school which will have each day and the entire school year mapped out. If you would like a planner as well, feel free to purchase one from the Unicorner Store.
The add/drop period runs through the first six-day cycle of the school year (Thursday, September 2 is the beginning of the second six-day cycle). The deadline to add or drop a class is Wednesday, September 1, at 3:30 PM. If students are considering changing courses, they should do so as quickly as possible by going to the Upper School Scheduler (Ms. Taylor) to begin the process of completing an add/drop form.
OFF-SITE PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Students who wish to do an off-site physical education program should have already filled out the necessary paperwork before the end of last school year and submitted it to the Upper School Office. Students need to apply for this option each year and submit a new schedule of activities they plan on completing over the course of the school year. Students can only qualify for this program if they are participating at the elite level of a sport, or if they are participating in a sport that is not offered at CSG. As a reminder, students who complete seasons in two sports will be able to waive one of the four required PE courses. A student may do this all four years at CSG. However, all students are still required to take the required self-defense and swimming safety course, and they must pass a physical fitness test every year.
COMMUNITY, HONOR, AND DISCIPLINE
At the heart of the CSG Upper School is a commitment to respect, responsibility, and reverence to all members of our community. CSG is a special place that provides its members with a sense of safety and belonging. It is expected that all of us will be actively involved in cultivating this positive atmosphere that draws so many to this school. The vision of honor that is embodied in the CSG Honor Code, serves as a constant beacon for all of us to treat each other with dignity and kindness.
During the first days of school students spend time in their advisory groups discussing selected issues from the Student Handbook (which can be found in pdf format on the school website). A summary sheet will be distributed to all students in their advisory groups called Upper School Standards of Conduct. After reading through and discussing the items covered in the sheet, students will sign their names to the document acknowledging that they understand and accept the expectations that the School is placing upon them as members of this community.
There will also be a final orientation session for new students in Forms X, XI, and XII in my office on Tuesday, August 24 from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM.
THE UNICORNER STORE AND SCHOOL SUPPLIES
The Unicorner School Store will also be open from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM for the first two weeks of school for students and parents to purchase supplies, spirit wear and PE uniforms. The Bookstore is operated by the Parents’ Association, and all of its proceeds go directly back to the classrooms to purchase much needed classroom materials. So, please make sure to support our school by supporting the Bookstore!
If you would like your daughter to be able to purchase items from the Bookstore and to draw off a debit account, you may fill out a debit request form and submit it to the Business Office. You can pick up these forms in the Upper School Office.
ON-LINE BOOK ORDERING
You should have received your books from the online book ordering by now. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this program, please contact Ms. Debbie Yoho in the Beaton Library (email@example.com).
As a reminder, the summer reading you should have completed by now:
- Form IX: Rebecca by Daphne de Maurier
- Form X: The Heretics Daughter by Kathleen Kent
- Form XI: Morality Play by Barry Unsworth (AP students should also read Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift)
- Form XII: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Don’t forget the College Application Boot Camp with Ms. Shipps and Ms. Schultz on Tuesday, August 24, from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM in the Old Dining Room. There will also be a Senior Parent College Program (parents only, please) on Monday, August 30, from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM in the Shedd Theater.
CSG continues to commit itself to expectations that students are following the Uniform Guidelines according to the Student Handbook. In particular I hope to receive parental support in maintaining appropriate skirt length for the students. Skirts should be approximately “knee-length,” which means skirts should be within two inches of the top of the knee. As parents, I ask for your diligent support in emphasizing this expectation to your daughters. “Knee-length,” means that the knee may be exposed and even a small portion of the thigh. However, if a significant portion of thigh is visible, then this will not be considered appropriate uniform attire. Some of the girls have been sporting “cheerleader” length skirts and that is not acceptable school wear. You and your daughter should address this issue before school begins by either lengthening the skirt or finding new or slightly used ones at the School Closet (on Main Street in Bexley) or in the “Attic” in the CSG Mansion that is run by the Mothers’ Association. This should not be a major issue – we are simply asking girls to dress appropriately for their school day. Thank you so much for your attention to this issue.
UPPER SCHOOL PARENT COFFEES
Every year the Head Form Mothers from the Parents’ Association and the Upper School Division Director sponsor a series of parent coffees. Each coffee addresses a different topic that is developed in consultation with me and the Head Form Mothers. I find these to be excellent opportunities for parents, administrators, and teachers to share information and ideas. Although the topics have not been decided, the dates have already been selected for this coming year. All of the coffees are in the Mansion Living Room on the following days:
- Wednesday, September 23, 8:30-9:30 AM
- Wednesday, November 10, 11:30-12:30 PM
- Wednesday, February 9, 2:30-3:30 PM
- Wednesday, April 20 (for Form XII parents only), 8:30-9:30 AM
- Wednesday, April 28 (for Form IX, X, and XI parents only), 11:30-12:30 PM
You will receive reminders and invitations for the coffees and the topics usually a couple of weeks before each event.
IMPORTANT EVENT REMINDERS
Parents, please mark your calendars now for some special events that are mandatory for all students, and check the website master calendar regularly. We hope that by noting these dates early, you will be able to plan for holiday and vacation travel, recognizing that some of these events involve required attendance of all students, and are of significance to the history and traditions of CSG, stretching back to 1898. I have included a summary of the major dates of the school year for you. In particular, please make sure you make vacation plans accordingly given the fact that these specific events are mandatory for students to attend:
- The Holiday Dinner
- Upper School Night (the night before Commencement)
The best way to become involved in the life of CSG is to join in the many activities that are offered. I urge all students to participate in CSG’s clubs, interest groups, drama productions, sports’ teams, publications, instrumental and vocal groups, student government, and/or service activities during the school year. Find something you love and do it!
We are looking forward to welcoming the new students and the members of the class of 2014 who will take their places in their Form IX theater seats on the west side of Shedd Theater.
I also warmly welcome back the class of 2011, the new senior class. I look forward to all of you making positive memories over the course of your final year at CSG. And I look forward to your positive and compassionate leadership of all the other Forms who look to you as important role models.
I am eager to greet all of you on Wednesday, August 25! In the meantime don’t hesitate to contact me by phone (ext. 115), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or simply stop by my office. See you soon!
David B.L. Gould
Upper School Division Director