District: Superintendent

Superintendent Steve Barrett


The Lion's Share

October 21, 2021

The Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools (GJPS) students and staff recently completed the first quarter of the 2021-22 school year. It is sobering to recognize that this is essentially our third year of learning during a pandemic. The last time our eighth grade students had a complete “normal” school year was when they were in elementary school. Our second and first graders have never had a traditional year without the constraints of COVID-19. The pandemic is taking a toll on mental health, and we have seen the strain in our classrooms, on social media and in our everyday interactions with students and families.

As the mental health needs of our students have grown in recent years, so have the mental health services we provide. GJPS is proud that our mental health team now consists of school counselors, specialists and mental health liaisons. All of our elementary and middle schools now have a minimum of one school counselor on staff and six at the high school. In addition to counselors, our mental health team also includes five mental health specialists providing intensive counseling support to students who require this level of support.

New this year, GJPS received a grant to hire four mental health liaisons. The mental health liaisons work directly with students and families, providing links to community resources as needed. The goal of the mental health liaison program is to provide both in-school and at-home support, breaking down non-academic barriers to school success.

This expanded mental health team has been able to implement new programs at all levels. The Toolbox Project gives students the tools and awareness to manage their own emotional, social, and academic success at our elementary schools. Partnering with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, our middle schools have implemented the Signs of Suicide program that educates students on suicide prevention and links students at risk with counseling services. Gahanna Lincoln High School will roll out the Hope Squad program this year and will train trusted peers to be a source of support for students who may be struggling and feeling suicidal.

At all levels, our SMART (Stress Management and Resilience Training) Labs have become safe, non-punitive spaces staffed by trained facilitators. Students have found these areas instrumental in helping them to regulate their emotions and return to the classroom safely and confidently.

We know that learning well and well-being go hand-in-hand. It is impossible to learn well if a student is struggling with angst, anxiety or depression. So we must invest in things that help students build a sense of belonging and equanimity. This work is not easy. But our district is committed to addressing the needs of the whole child.

SNAPSHOT OF A GRADUATEImage of graduation.

We are very proud of our graduates and the impact they have made at Gahanna Lincoln High School. Please enjoy these interviews from just a few of the 525 graduates from the Class of 2019 as they discuss their teachers, classes, proudest moments and advice for incoming freshmen.

Senior Interviews 2019





The Gahanna-Jefferson community places a high value on education and expects its schools to prepare students for success beyond the classroom. A well-rounded education goes beyond standardized tests, which is primarily what the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) measures with the annual school report cards. 

The purpose of this Quality Profile is to provide a complete story of how our schools perform in the areas that matter most to the Gahanna-Jefferson community.

The content of the Quality Profile is based on these five categories

  • Academics
  • The Arts, S.T.E.M & Technology
  • Student Services
  • Student Leadership & Activities
  • Fiscal Stewardship 

GJPS Downloadable Quality Profile (PDF)