Summer Enrichment Program Meeting Notes and Information

**Please note that some of the programs may have upcoming deadlines; and it is encouraged to contact them soon.**

Senate Bill 216 Information: Check on for updates regarding the SB 216, especially in regards to gifted services.

COSI: Camp COSI Summer Camp programs are open for registration in February. Topics may change, but dates are set. Scholarships will be awarded after the applications close.

OWjL (Ohio Wesleyan University and Junior League of Columbus: One week residential camp where students stay in the dorm and eat at the cafeteria while taking classes in university classrooms throughout the day. There are many need-based scholarships available. Registration is open now and will close in January, with results in February. The first week is June 10th for three consecutive weeks. or (740) 368-3939

Martin W. Essex:  A pre-college summer experience that offers rising high school juniors and seniors  identified as gifted to spend a week at university taking courses and go to various museums and theater performances. (Exploring the arts, sciences, and humanities through a set of seminars, hands-on workshops, and field trips. This year’s dates are June 17th-23rd. Scholarships are available. or (614)823-1570

Support for Talented Students (STS): This non-profit gathers funds throughout the year to grant need based scholarships to students identified as gifted for summer programs. There is a list of encouraged academic summer programs on the website to help students pursue their passions. The application is available on the website. Scholarships are awarded to some extent on a first come, first serve basis. Check the website now and work through the application process. If you have a unique request, please ask through the application process. or (614) 370-1912.

OAGC/ Ohio Association for Gifted and Talented: Provides college scholarships and student activity scholarships and enrichment program scholarships throughout the year up to 75%. Go to the website in the beginning of February to apply. or (614) 337-0386

CCS (Columbus City Schools): Publishes a list of summer opportunities each year sorted by grade band, elementary, middle, and high. They’re also sorted by topic (sciences, leadership, etc.). Last year’s list is online, it is usually updated in January, so keep an eye out. CCS will also advertise when scholarships from OAGC and STS are open so you can always check the CCS website.

Summer Camps at the Zoo: or (614) 645-3488

ZOOTeen Day Camp (Grades 8-10)

Lights, Camera, Action! Creative kids will learn the tricks of the trade from Jack Hanna’s team, and have the opportunity to get up close with several of his animal ambassadors.

Art Studio Camp: Aspiring artists will experience the Zoo in a totally new and exciting way. Campers will get up close with animals as they explore various art materials, techniques and styles.

ZOO Game Designer Camp: Campers will be able to join a creative team of teens who will be exploring Zoo careers and learning how to use TaleBlazer, a game design software created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Summer Experience Camp : (Grades 1-7)
Summer Experience gives your child the opportunity to experience the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – getting an in-depth opportunity to learn about our natural world.

WildCamp at the Wilds: Junior Explorers, Ages 8-9; Animal Explorers, Ages 8-9; Conservation Crew, Ages 10-11; ECO Ambassadors, Ages 12-15; Adventure Camp; Ages 12-15; Dirty Wilds Jobs: A Conservation Career Camp for Teens, Ages 15-18


Thurber House: or (614) 464-1032 ext. 16 -*Financial Scholarships available!

Education Programs for ages ranging from, PreK to High School

PreK-1st Grade – Write ‘n Ready
Grades 2-8 – Summer Camp of week long day camp sessions; walking field trips, etc.
Grades 4-6 – Ghost/Fable Workshops (seasonal)
High School – Young Writers’ Studio
Writing Wizards: Takes place on five Saturdays from February-March
All ages: Children’s Writer-in-Residence:

Note: There are other organizations that are still in the process of planning their summer programs; and will be providing us with their information in the weeks to come. We will make this information available here on our webpage as well as our Facebook page, ( as it becomes available.


Summer Enrichment Programs

Thinking about ways to keep your child engaged over the summer months? We have reached out to these organizations to invite them to provide information on the summer opportunities they provide: The Support for Talented Students, OWLj Camp at Ohio Wesleyan University, Martin Essex School for the Gifted Summer Program at Otterbein College, Columbus College of Art and Design, COSI, Columbus Zoo, Thurber House, Audubon, Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio History Connection, and others. Join us to see some of the choices your child has for engagement this summer.

Thursday, December 7th from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Ecole Kenwood
3770 Shattuck Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43220

Hope to see you there!

October PACE Meeting – Parent Fellowship Night

Please join PACE members for a Parent-Fellowship night. This will be a chance to talk with other PACE parents about how to meet your children’s diverse needs. Ideas on future meeting topics will be discussed in an effort to tailor PACE meetings to the needs of parents and gaurdians of Columbus City School’s gifted students. Please come and bring your ideas and questions!

 ~Light Refreshments Will be Served~

Thursday, October 26, 2017, from 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Linden Library Branch

2223 Cleveland Ave. Columbus, OH 43211

Meeting Minute Notes from September 26, 2017, Candidate Night

Erica G. Reaves – Welcomes attendees – and introduces Columbus City Schools Board of Education Candidates

Announcement of Daniel Richardson as the new PACE Treasurer

(Please note that all questions were asked from the audience)

Incumbent Board Member Ramona Reyes:                                                                                                                   Board member since 2009. Created Children’s Day Festival to provide access to schools and “good news” about our schools and students. Also helped with Kickin it with Columbus City Schools radio program that was started last year that goes to schools and helps high school students develop broadcasting and have a voice. The third project starts in the next month at the technical school at Fort Hayes. We have a group of student electricians that will work on the “Lighting up the night” which will change light bulbs for people who are elderly and disabled in an effort to help ensure safety. A licensed electrician will help, and the third phase will be to have electricians do free or low cost electrical repair along with technical electrician students. She is also the director of the Our Lady of Guadalupe community center on the West side of Columbus.

As far as gifted support, Ramona supports the principals in their initiatives, but most of the principals have autonomy to do their own thing.

Question on raises for teachers: On budget, we have made sales of any buildings we could, and make sure to use 80% of any budget for personnel.

Question: What about building improvements?

We decide these things as a board.

Question: When will the board make the plans if we can’t depend on the legislators to do it?

We have a plan but we need more help. Seven members is not enough to get legislators to listen.


Incumbent Board Member Michael Cole:                                                                                                                           17 year resident of Columbus. Has 2 children in CCS. I know Columbus as a parent and as a political advocate. Previously worked on levies and politics. Public education is a passion of his. His wife previously worked in communications in CCS. Originally ran for the board after feeling agitated and wanting better for students.

I have stumped on Accountability, curriculum, safety, transparency

Accountability: Hired Machelle Klein to help shore up how we report data to the state and are now a leading model statewide.

Curriculum: We have strengthened gifted and talented education. This has been a passion of mine because my children are on this spectrum. We saw the value and the need to identify and serve our gifted students and have unanimously worked to provide options.

Transparency: We use the secretary of state’s model for fiscal transparency, we also go through a private company and created a dashboard that gives you a day to day look at the statistics gang are available real time.

Safety: Failure is the first step to success. The relationship made the difference at Scioto high school. Safety is the first and foremost in our mind, which is why we invest over $2 million a year in police officers, in addition to our SROs. The training these people get is beyond what you would think they would to keep students safe, physical and relational.

Question Pizzuti tax abatement- what was the benefit?

This has recently been an interest that the school board has been involved in. We asked “what is the benefit to us”. Tax abatements are based on the speculative value of dirt. They offered money and internships for our students for ten years. OSU wanted to buy the old Indianola elementary. We solidified the deal by figuring out the benefit to our students. It is no longer about exchange value – if it is capital money we can only use it so far, so we need to look at what is the value we can add to help our students to be better prepared for their futures.

Public schools are big, and anybody is going to try to pillage us. Our legislature is not listening. No change came from policy, it came from the courts.

Question: Willingness to get a levy to attract the best teachers and fix problems.

Must be thoughtful, strategic, collaborative. The best interests of our children have to come first and foremost.


Abbey Vaile: Columbus teacher for 30 years and graduate of Columbus schools:                                                         I have a pretty good view of schools since the 1960s. We have some schools that are not equipped to handle heat so we need to look at those problems, those infrastructure problems. We are losing a lot of money, a lot of revenue and we have not seen a board really get up and yell about where the money is going. Over 60% of our property taxes are going to our schools and we are giving tax abatements. Our main tax abatement is at Easton and they can afford to pay them. If you couldn’t pay your property taxes that wouldn’t pass. We really have to get on this as a school board and as a city.

In 85 districts around Ohio there has been a push to get some of the millions of dollars back from charter schools. Some districts have gone to ODE and said they want their money back, which is revenue. Money has to go to the benefit of the students first.

I feel we have to expand community outreach. Every school board meeting should be able to be attended by the community. We need to advertise on social media, and people just don’t feel that there is an attachment to our school board. We have to get school board members out to our schools so they can see what is going on. There are 7 board members and we should see them.

Question: 5 year forecast has no raises for teachers. Are you willing to go with a levy to ask for recruitment and infrastructure.

Yes, absolutely. I also believe that there are places where we can look at budgets and say this kind of funding is ridiculous. This is not enough, this is wrong.

Question: Would you be willing to support parents saying that ODE needs to offer services on the gifted end of the spectrum.

Absolutely. Everybody should be able to follow their passion, especially in high school. We have to bring exposure about these programs to other families and be expanded.


Amy Harkins: Former secretary and Vice President of PACE:                                                                                          Son previously attended CCS in the Eclipse program and it was life changing for him. Unfortunately we failed in the lottery process for high school and we had to make a tough choice and he ended up going through NUMATS to a boarding school. I feel our children need to have the opportunity to get the education they deserve in every neighborhood, for every child.

Question: How will you work with the city to get money for schools that the city receives?

Schools are an investment in our community. I believe we have to work together with the city council and have proactive communication.

Question: How do you open up communication?

Getting community buy in and getting people to rally around to help hold people accountable.

Question: 5 year forecast has no raises for teachers. Are you willing to go with a levy to ask for recruitment and infrastructure.

I think teacher recruitment and retention is a huge issue for education. I would support a levy that would support paying teachers more. I think we would need to make sure we have a lot of input from the community to make sure it is worded correctly and get support.

Question: What is your position on lottery schools?

I think it would be good to find what is working about the lottery schools and try to duplicate those in other locations.

Erin Upchurch: Social worker, college teacher, community organizer, advocacy with different learners: Two students in CCS. Winterset was a great experience for my daughter and changed her life. My son had very different experiences, not all great and not all bad.

Teacher pay should reflect the ability of a teacher to change a student’s life. I know we have to invest in our city, and I don’t think that the only answer is a levy. We would have to look at investments and have hard conversations about funding.

Mold and air conditioning issues are important. The safety of our students need to be our priority.

Question Do you support keeping CGA at its current size?: I support manageable class sizes. I think CGA is a great school. I think students should have options.

Question: I have friends who are against gifted education taking resources and they think you three are the people who will deliver on removing some of the services. Why would they think that?

I don’t know, I have never addressed that.

Question: How would you address class sizes?

One of the great things about CCS is that we are so large that we are able to try different things in different places. I think when we talk about equity and equality that class sizes are part of the conversation.

We are challenged in a lot of ways, and there are a lot of really great things. I was able to choose where I lived. How do we get the message out about good things and get more public engagement? People telling their stories, the good, the bad, and everything in the middle.

The narrative of Columbus needs to include schools.

Ramona Reyes (was welcomed to answer as well): We are working on the facility master plan. It is a monster, the way you make a decision is done through what can we afford, what can people tolerate. Before we went to the levy the overwhelming impression was that people would support up to a point, based on the budget we had.

Come Out and Meet the Candidates!


Come Out and Meet the Candidates for School Board

We are hosting a meet and greet – and all 6 candidates running for Columbus City School Board will be in attendance.  This will be a chance to hear from the candidates prior to the November 7th General Election. Please come out and hear from the candidates about the issues that you consider important.  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 26th from 6:30-8:00 p.m.

AIMS Middle School

680 Jack Gibbs Blvd, Columbus OH 43215

October 2015 Meeting – Advocacy and Candidates!

Thursday October 22, 2015 – 6:30 p.m.

Ann Sheldon, Executive Director of the O.A.G.C, to Speak at October Meeting: As Well as Meet The Candidate Night!

Ann Sheldon OAGCCome out and join us on Thursday October 22, 2015, as we welcome guest speaker Ann Sheldon, Executive Director of the of the Ohio Association for Gifted Children. Come learn about various ways that we can advocate for our children on a local, state and national level.

We will also be hosting a “Meet The Candidate Night” – hosting some current sitting board members and running candidates of the Board of Education. This is a wonderful opportunity to get acquainted with the board as well as ask questions of the running candidates. The meeting will be held from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Berwick Alternative K-8 School, 2655 Scottwood Rd. Columbus, OH 43209 (MAP).

Free childcare available (have your kids bring homework or a game).

See you at the meeting!