CCS tries to strengthen community

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Columbus City Schools (CCS) reviewed the Ends Monitoring Report on Citizenship and the Columbus Annenberg Education Model at the April 15 board of education meeting.

The education model was designed in combination with funding from the Annenberg Foundation, an organization that exists to strengthen communities through improved communication.

Matt Doran, high school social studies curriculum coordinator for the district, said the Columbus Annenberg Education Model has been such a success that the Annenberg Foundation, in cooperation with the Constitutional Rights Foundation will take this work to the national level as a model for other schools to engage their students in the elements of citizenship.

"The Annenberg was never intended as a drop-in or an add-on program, but rather an initiative that would help build a mindset about civic engagement; first in teachers and then in their students. Funding from the Annenberg Foundation officially concluded with the 2006-2007 school year, however many of the Citizen Action Projects are continued this current school year and I think that’s evidence that we have been successful in building that mindset," said Doran.

Columbus City Schools Superintendent Dr. Gene Harris touted the efforts of the Columbus Annenberg Education Model and said as part of the Ends Monitoring, the district will take a Citizenship Inventory for elementary, middle and high school levels, with the idea of creating a number of "power activities" that support both the curriculum requirements for No Child Left Behind and the idea of citizenship.

"That doesn’t mean all the other programs will go away because some may make sense in certain areas, but we will make sure that minimally these four or five power activities across the grade levels will be available to every student. That’s part of the Citizen Action Plan but we haven’t made the final determination of which those are," said Harris. "We have to obviously consider resources, consider sustainability and consider impact when we determine what those four or five activities are."

The finances for CCS are on track, according to CCS Chief Financial Officer Dr. Michael Kinneer, during the treasurer’s report.

Kinneer said the total receipts are one percent higher than what he had projected at the beginning of the fiscal year and expenses are .37 percent more than projected.

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