Columbus Arts & Technology Academy, Home of the Trailblazers!
Serving elementary, middle, & high school students in Columbus & Franklin County
K-8 Community School Managed by ACCEL Schools
ACCEL Schools is a high-performing network of over 50 charter schools located throughout the United States
Dear CATA Families,
WELCOME to the 2020-2021 academic year!!! We know that 2020 has brought several challenges into the lives of staff, students and families. That in mind, I sincerely send loving and positive thoughts of safety, good health, and prosperity to you and all you love.
As we prepare for the return to school, safety and quality instruction are still at the forefront of CATA’s mission to serve you and your student(s). School will look different this year. We are providing three options for the delivery of instruction first semester: completely virtual (online), daily on-site in-school learning (traditional), or a hybrid of both (two days in the building three days at home). We know each option has pros and cons. Our purpose in offering all three is to give you the choice in how your child receives their education. We did not want to impose a choice upon you, and we will do everything we can to keep staff and students safe while honoring our commitment to providing the best education possible. What is unique to CATA, is that our courses will be live-streamed by our teaching staff no matter what choice you’ve made first semester. It was important to us for our students to see and interact with CATA staff every day. That connection is important for the well-being of both our staff and students. More information will be coming soon about how all of those things will roll out.
We know there are many unanswered questions and as we get more information, we will share it with you. We are in this together!!! To begin answering some of those questions, we are hosting a virtual “CATA Family Update” Meeting on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 4pm. The link will be at the bottom of this letter if you did not receive the email. Please type the link into your computer to join our live session or you may call-in from your mobile phone.
Things new to CATA this year is the start of school. Each day begins at 7:20am. One of our main priorities is to close the educational gap infringed upon our students due to Covid-19 and the best way to begin that process is to add 45 additional minutes of education to our students’ day. We are also improving our CATA Culture by imbedding Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Restorative Practices (RP) into our Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) curriculum. Our goal is to be more mindful and intentional in meeting the non-academic needs of our students. And of course, we are now one to one on Chromebooks, giving every student the opportunity to be the Captain of his or her learning. We believe in our CATA Kids and know that each one of your sons and daughters will take great care of this critical educational resource.
As most of you know and understand, the academic program at CATA is rigorous and challenging. No matter how you’ve chosen to receive instruction, the policies, guidelines and expectations at CATA will continue to remain student-success driven. As such, I pray that you understand that the demands we put on our children are in place to promote academic excellence and life-long learning. That said, I ask that you accept my gratitude and appreciation for your continued support and patience as we strive to reach excellence with each child that we serve.
One a final note, I am grateful, honored, and humbled that you have chosen CATA as your school of choice. For it is with great pride and joy that we serve those who choose to be part of our family. Welcome to the 2020-21 school year, and welcome to the CATA Family.
Superintendent/Head of School
Antoinette M. Bates - Head of School
All of us were born to do something amazing. I was born to be an educator, even though education was not my undergraduate major. I do not mean educator in the sense of having a passion for a particular subject. (Although, I did love being an English teacher.) I mean educator, as one who empowers others to be their best selves. Helping others “grow better” is one of the greatest joys of my life. (My daughter, however, is the single greatest joy of my existence!)
As educators, CATA families entrust us to provide the best educational opportunity for their children. That work challenges me to think and process outside the box to meet their children’s needs. Beyond the challenge, CATA parents inspire me because at the core of every exchange is the desire to help their children have a meaningful educational experience. That is a significant piece of what makes starting my second year here so satisfying.
The part is the CATA is the place where I have had the privilege of meeting exceptionally talented men and women who desire to give their best selves to the students and families we get to serve. It is my privilege to work alongside a staff that steps in to get things done and takes calculated risks to challenge students to do the same. We believe in “try it…see what happens”. Freeing the adults to explore their own love of learning and experimenting with the delivery of instruction, frees our students to explore as well. We value the lessons that come from mistakes and embrace the uncharted as an opportunity not an obstacle. I suppose that is the legacy I hope to leave CATA. That we were uninhibited enough to turn the world upside down just to learn what would happen.
Dr. Jill Blanchard, Superintendent
Dr. Jill Blanchard joined ACCEL Schools in 2020 with over 20 years of experience as a K-12 educator and school administrator. As Regional Vice President at ACCEL Schools, she oversees leadership development, instructional programming, operations, and strategic planning for multiple schools in Central Ohio. Dr. Blanchard’s instructional experience includes all content areas for elementary and middle school. Her administrative experience includes leadership of elementary, middle school, and high schools. She also has experience with career-technical education, residential treatment, mental health, special education compliance, curriculum and instruction, teacher coaching, and trauma-informed care. Dr. Blanchard holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a Master’s degree in Social Science from Ohio University. She earned her Doctorate in Education with a focus on Curriculum and Instruction from Capella University.
To surpass the global standards of academic excellence by investing in partnerships with our students, community and home environments, in order to encourage the development of creativity and self-direction. Through the cooperative efforts of the school community, students will develop the knowledge, responsibility and a positive self-concept needed to become effective citizens in our ever-changing and multicultural world.
Columbus Arts & Technology Academy (CATA) is a Kindergarten through 12th grade public school that provides innovative instruction that is cutting edge to over 550 students. Our instruction is rich with classic and multi-cultural literature and our math and science program cultivates essential skills to meet academic excellence.
Our classrooms are equipped with computers that are used as an integrated learning tool across the curriculum, and as a means to enhance our students’ application of technology literacy.
The following is a list of additional offerings at CATA:
Approximately one hour more of instruction per day
Twenty additional school days per year
Cross curricular education
Strong student accountability measures through the implementation of Personalized Student Achievement Plans
The CATA staff is committed to giving our students the educational tools necessary to succeed in life. We work hard to provide support to our families and to our local community. Our staff subscribes to the belief that every child deserves an excellent education.
If you believe you can contribute to our students’ success, please check our career opportunities!
Staff Introduction Videos
Due to the health and safety guidelines that are in place at this time, visitors and non-staff will not be allowed in the building in accordance with Ohio Department of Health Guidelines for Schools. Because of this, CATA staff has recorded videos so you can virtually meet them and take a peek inside your student’s classroom.
Community schools offer an alternative to the local public school. They are tuition-free and open to all students. Community schools are among the top-performing schools in the nation. Learn more about community schools.