COLUMBUS, Ohio — The new superintendent of the Columbus City Schools District said she is prepared to lead faculty and staff into the new academic year and "plans to work tirelessly to make sure that it's a success for everyone."
Dr. Angela Chapman told 10TV that using her past experiences as both teacher and chief of transformation and leadership for the district, she feels well-equipped to handle her new duties and hopes that her past positions give her a new perspective. She also knows what it's like to be a CCS parent herself.
Starting off the school year as both a CCS parent, superintendent
As a new school year begins again on Aug. 23, Chapman said she will not only be preparing to start a new journey as superintendent, but also preparing to send her 7-year-old son to one of the schools in the district.
"While I'm thinking about a smooth school opening for the 45,000 students we serve, I'm also making sure that my son has an excellent first day of school as well. I'll be wearing multiple hats on the first day."
As newly-hired superintendent, Chapman said she wants families in the district to know that she's passionate about the work that is being done in CCS.
"Sometimes I'm wearing the hat of the superintendent, but all the time I'm wearing the hat of a public school parent," Chapman said. "Always mom and probably one of the most important roles that I have in my life."
She added that from that lens, she believes she has a very good understanding of what CCS parents want for their children and that's a hat that she will never get to take off.
"That passion and that relentless desire to make sure that all of our students are successful and have what they need to be successful will never wane."
Preparing for a successful school opening district-wide
Chapman said she plans to make sure Aug. 23, the first day of school, is a success through preparation and making sure every piece of the puzzle, from stepping on the bus to the bell ringing at the end of the day, is in order.
"A successful school opening means that all of the preparation, all of the planning that we've been doing, related to food service, transportation, curricular materials, hiring teachers, hiring bus drivers... that's when it all comes together because all of that work is in service of a strong start to the new school year."
The district has seen a lot of change and challenges in the last year — from the Columbus Education Association's strike delaying the start of school, to the busing shortages and route changes, to the announcement of former superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon's retirement.
The key going into the start of the 2023-24 year for Chapman is a strong, smooth school opening — and she said the district is already off to a strong start.
"That means all of our students are prepared for the first day of school, our buses are running, picking up our students, and then when our students arrive, they arrive at the school and it's a warm and welcoming environment."
To make the day special, Chapman said that many of the schools are planning "clap-ins" for their students. Faculty and staff will line the halls and applaud students as they arrive.
The district is also holding a back-to-school resource fair on Aug. 19 for families who may need help getting supplies and resources.
The Back to School Resource Fair will be held at Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center, located at 546 Jack Gibbs Blvd., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests can park for free at the Columbus State Community College and there will be a shuttle pick-up at CSCC Mitchell Hall.
"We will be there with all of the resources within the community to really show our community that we are with them. And we're ready to help them transition to back to school."
Beginning of the school year resources for parents and students