Hawthorne Elementary News

RSS feed icon
High schools finalizing plans for graduation, prom activities

All of the district’s high schools will be holding commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2021 in their respective stadiums on Saturday, May 29. High schools are also planning for Prom on May 8, which will comply with the newly streamlined Health Department orders that call for wearing masks and physical distancing.

District-wide art show with the Arts Council of Westerville goes virtual 2021 Westerville Virtual Art Show

For years, Westerville City Schools and the Arts Council of Westerville have hosted an annual art show in April to recognize the work of students and their teachers.

Instead of an in-person event, the organizers decided to create a virtual art show this year where parents, educators and community members can view video slideshows featuring more than 160 drawings, paintings, sculptures and other pieces students created during the 2020-21 school year. 

Westerville Education Foundation Teachers of the Month for March Westerville Education Foundation logo

Beth O’Reilly at Wilder Elementary, Elizabeth Comella at Huber Ridge Elementary and Kathleen Waltman at Hawthorne Elementary have been named Westerville Education Foundation’s March Teachers of the Month.

WCSD announces “Bridge Plan” collaborative with central Ohio districts to address needs of students & staff due to the pandemic

Westerville City Schools Superintendent Dr. John Kellogg on Monday announced the district’s comprehensive approach to addressing the academic and social-emotional needs of students and staff because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Whittier fifth-grader teams with mom to help young writers get published Charley Jones

Charley Jones was a third-grader at Whittier Elementary when she saw her words published for the first time. 

She submitted a story about a greedy turkey named Bob whose behavior led him to become a Thanksgiving entree for a writing contest sponsored by the Westerville Public Library. She didn’t win the contest but the story was printed in a book — an empowering moment she and her mother, Leanne, wanted to extend to others.

So they launched My Favorite Story, a nonprofit organization that gives young writers facing adversity the opportunity to creatively work through challenges by publishing their stories. 

DeVese featured in Ohio State podcast about racial disparities in schools Cynthia DeVese

Cynthia DeVese, coordinator of Educational Equity at Westerville City Schools, shared the district’s equity work and implicit bias training with Inspire, a podcast created by Ohio State University’s College of Education and Human Ecology.

WCSD Board approves school fees for 2021-22 school year

The Westerville City School board approved school fees for the 2021-22 school year at their March 22 meeting. The fees, which include supplies, instructional materials, tests and athletics, will not increase next school year.

Bette Marschall Grant Application Deadline is April 16

Applications for monetary grants from The Bette Marschall Education Fund of The Columbus Foundation are being accepted for worthy 2020-2021 school year projects not otherwise supported within the school budget.

Westerville North, Hawthorne counselors named neighborhood bridges’ inaugural Advocates of the Year Westerville North's Nikki Dunbar reacts to receiving the Advocate of the Year award from neighborhood bridges

Nikki Dunbar, a mental health specialist at Westerville North High School and Jenny Scherer, a school counselor at Hawthorne Elementary have been named neighborhood bridges’ first-ever Advocates of the Year, a new award celebrating the work of Westerville educators to support students and their families in need. 

Westerville City Schools to offer meningitis and Tdap vaccination drive-thru clinics Health Heroes, Inc. logo

Westerville City Schools is partnering with Health Heroes, Inc. to offer meningitis and Tdap vaccinations for any upcoming or current 7th-and 12th-grade student enrolled in the district. 

WCSD qualifies for Auditor of State Award with Distinction for ninth-consecutive year

Westerville City Schools has qualified for the Auditor of State Award with Distinction following its state audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. It is the ninth consecutive year the district has received the commendation.

Spring 2020 testing calendar released

Westerville City School officials announced the release of an updated Spring 2020 local testing calendar for students. 

Westerville Parent Council announces 2020-21 GEM Award recipients 2020-21 GEM Award logo

Westerville Parent Council and Roush Honda have announced the recipients of the 2020-21 Great Educator Mentor (GEM) Award, which is presented to individuals who go the extra mile to make a positive impact in the classroom and schools.

District continues administrative realignments for succession planning purposes Tami Santa

The Westerville City Schools Board of Education approved another organizational move to meet the district’s succession planning needs at its Feb. 22 board meeting.

Tami Santa now serves as the director of Mental Health & Wellness, assuming some of the responsibilities of Debbie Meissner, director of Health and Safety, whose retirement is effective July 31. 

WCSD to create Portrait of a Graduate: Reimagining the Student K-12 Experience

Westerville City Schools is committed to collaborating with all stakeholders in the creation of a Portrait of a Graduate. During a year filled with unpredictability and challenges, it is clear that students not only need to engage in learning experiences aligned with state standards, but they also need experiences that promote a variety of skills and competencies.

Board members voice opposition to state testing, unanimously approve resolution urging emergency legislative action by lawmakers

Westerville City School District Board of Education members on Monday discussed the merits of boycotting this year's administration of mandated state tests. They then unanimously approved a resolution urging the Ohio General Assembly to waive all state-mandated standardized testing requirements for the current school year. The resolution also encourages lawmakers to request a testing waiver from the U.S. Department of Education and declares the Board's support for House Bills 67 and 40. These bills would fulfill both requests and declare an emergency, thereby making the measures effective immediately.

WCSD rolls out implicit bias and racial equity training to address students’ experience in schools bias image

Since the start of the school year, the entire Westerville school community has taken steps to better understand the racial climate in their buildings and examine the barriers that prevent underrepresented students from access to opportunities. Across the district, school leaders, educators, staff members and parents have dived into the Be the Change!: Implicit and Institutional Bias training which explores implicit bias and racial equity in schools.

Black History Month programs at Westerville high schools inspired by national events Black History Month program at WCHS

The Black History Month programs at all three Westerville high schools this year share a common inspiration: the widespread protests over the death of George Floyd and the racial unrest that followed.

The students behind the programs at Westerville Central, Westerville North and Westerville South high schools have taken different approaches to respond to the conversations from the summer. 

Children’s Hunger Alliance recognizes WCSD for its response to feeding children during a pandemic Children's Hunger Alliance recognizes WCSD for its response to feeding children during a pandemic

Westerville City Schools has received the Children’s Hunger Alliance Child Nutrition Award for the Food Services department’s work in feeding students during the pandemic. 

WCSD receives highest rating in open records compliance by Auditor of State Auditor of Ohio seal

Westerville City Schools has received the highest rating in Auditor of State Keith Faber’s new approach to monitoring transparency in government and measuring compliance to Ohio’s open records laws.

Robert Frost’s new Black History Month program celebrates Westerville Black history Magnus Hunter in front of his ancestor's grave, Joseph Hannibal Caulker

All Magnus Hunter knew about Uncle Joseph was his name and that he was a prince.

When Robert Frost Elementary English Learners teacher Breanne Reamsnider wanted to profile his ancestor in the school’s Black History Month program this year, Hunter discovered that Uncle Joseph was Joseph Hannibal Caulker — the third Black student to attend Otterbein University. He traveled from Sierra Leone to attend Otterbein in 1896. 

WEC launches educational opportunities on suicide prevention for Westerville community Westerville Education Challenge logo

In addition to its tremendous support for the Westerville City School District’s new “Hope Squad” suicide prevention initiative, the Westerville Education Challenge (WEC) organization is launching a community education component open to anyone interested in acquiring the skills needed to help prevent suicide as well as learn more about mental health.

New WCSD webpage offers stress-management, organizational support for students

In conversations with student well being staff this year, Westerville students said they need help managing stress, organizing their school work, and keeping track of their day-to-day activities. 

In response, the district’s Office of Student Well Being and Mental Health launched a new webpage that features 11 videos with tips and strategies to help students manage stress and develop skills to manage their tasks.

Three Westerville seniors earn full-ride scholarships to prestigious universities through QuestBridge QuestBridge recipients

Three Westerville students are now college-bound after receiving full four-year scholarships through QuestBridge’s National College Match, a program that connects high-achieving high school seniors from low-income backgrounds with scholarships to the country’s top universities.

Westerville City Schools Board of Education approves meeting schedule for 2021

Westerville City School District Board of Education members approved the following 2021 meeting calendar during their Jan. 11 organizational meeting.

Free school meals available through the end of the 2020-21 school year School lunch image

Families can sign up to receive meals for their students during their remote learning weeks.

District begins succession planning, announces reorganization of leadership structure

Westerville City School District Superintendent Dr. John R. Kellogg this week announced a restructuring of his district-level leadership team, which is intended to address succession planning needs, as well as strengthen academic and operational support.

Educators and staff deliver meals, supplies to meet the needs of families Mark Twain counselor Serena Casale visits families at Abbey Lane Apartments

The backseat and trunk of Serena Casale’s SUV are packed with plastic bags filled with packaged meat, milk, eggs, cereal, fruit cups, noodles, juice and other food items for several students at Mark Twain Elementary.

Casale, a school counselor, has often visited students at home since the start of the pandemic, dropping off what families struggle to pick up: Chromebooks, class assignments, school supplies or — as was the case last Friday — food.

Elementary PE teachers collaborate to make remote lessons accessible to all Elementary PE teachers collaborate

After the 2019-20 school year ended, Westerville elementary physical education teachers came together to review their approach to teaching virtually for the first time.

Even though they received positive feedback from families, they wanted to do more. So they pooled their resources slated for updating their class equipment to purchase video recording gear.

The plan: Collaborate to design and produce video lessons that make PE accessible to all students. 

Westerville Intra-District Open Enrollment Applications Available

Parents or guardians wishing to apply to have their children attend a school different from their school of attendance must complete and submit an Intra-district Open Enrollment Application. 

Eleven proposals awarded 2020 Fall Grant from the Westerville Education Foundation Westerville Education Foundation

A girls empowerment program, classroom sets of ukuleles, and a community-wide reading initiative focused on books about anti-racism are among the 11 proposals awarded a 2020 Fall Grant from the Westerville Education Foundation (WEF). 

Hawthorne Elementary PTO engage families, show support for staff with care packages Hawthorne PTO distribute stress kits to staff

The new leadership behind Hawthorne Elementary’s PTO mapped out monthly packages to send to families as a way to remain connected and show their support this year.

They planned the themes of the packages with the school administrators, dedicating their first one to a topic parents said they needed support with: stress management.

And with all the stress and anxiety their teachers and staff are feeling this year, the PTO responded by creating “staff survival kits.”

WCSD nurses outline COVID-19 procedures in schools

The school nurses at Westerville City School District have collaborated on communication to help families better understand the procedures they are following in school related to COVID-19.

School meals free through the 2020-21 school year

All students enrolled in the Westerville City School District can receive free school meals through the end of the 2020-21 school year.

The update stems from a decision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend the free meal program for the rest of the school year.