Distinctly Bexley Schools: Students continue to thrive in, out of classrooms despite pandemic

Dan Good
Guest Columnist
Dan Good

One of the Distinctly Bexley aspects of Bexley City Schools is the abundance of opportunities available to students outside the traditional classroom setting.  

For a time, our schools were concerned about how we would safely be able to continue these engaging and dynamic experiences in a safe way.  

The faculty, staff and students did not let the uncertainty hold them back and have found a multitude of ways to embrace Distinctly Bexley experiences safely.  

Within the last month, our students have held performances, participated in allied arts, collaborated with peers and are taking an active role in local and global social justice and service learning.  

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Community service undoubtedly has looked different this school year.  

Teachers at all our buildings have been creative and injected connection to the “real world” in their classroom instruction to take student learning to a new level.

For example, Montrose Elementary students collected books and canned food for the school's free pantry and library during their read-a-thon.   

Students and families at Maryland Elementary have collected donations, food and written letters to support Maryland students and families in crisis.

Cassingham Elementary Kindness Month has provided students opportunities to use their talents to impact their peers, families and the wider community. One class celebrated Valentine’s Day by sending cards to residents at Bexford Manor.  

Middle school students represented resilience as they presented a socially-distanced and fully-masked musical performance. The students continued to problem-solve and apply their knowledge about performing arts as they developed a COVID-safe performance. The joy and ownership students had of their successful debut was inspiring.  

Several high school students are participating in the Ohio State University Research Leadership Collaborative focused on working as a team to research and put into action a plan in response to a social justice issue identified by the students. Additionally, students are engaging in The Global Leadership Team to identify potential actions in response to global situations or crises.  

Deep, lasting learning like this happens beyond the walls of academia where acquired knowledge is connected to the real world, reflected upon and interwoven into personal relationships and interactions. These experiences, and many others, are the gold standard for engaging, equipping and empowering students for success.  

Martin Luther King Jr. said: “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of education.”  

Character is not taught, it is developed through many life experiences within our local and global communities, personal exchanges and conversations and over time.  

At Bexley City Schools, we will continue to welcome new opportunities for students to take ownership of their interests, passions and education and make meaningful contributions to our society.  

As a result, Bexley students will be engaged, equipped and empowered to be the leaders they are capable of being.  

Dan Good is the interim superintendent of Bexley City Schools. Learn more about the district at bexleyschools.org