These current announcements keep all staff informed of district events, opportunities and more. For past announcements, visit the month-by-month archives.
Registration for June systemic PD is now open
Registration for June systemic professional development is now open in the Professional Growth System. For details and registration instructions please visit the City Schools Inside - Professional Growth page. Registration will close on Wednesday, May 29. Please be sure to enroll during the registration window as walk-in participants will not be permitted to attend. (Posted: May 20)
Letter to parents of students with unexcused absences
The Attendance and Truancy Department is about to begin mailing letters to parents/guardians of students with 30 to 59 unlawful absences as of April 29, 2013. The data report used to identify these students was generated based on information recorded in SMS. The letter requests that parents/guardians provide the school with lawful documentation on their child's absences within five days of receipt of the letter.
Please note that receipt of these letters usually results in an increase in parent calls and walk-ins, and we thank you for your support and assistance. For support and for questions and concerns, please contact Belinda Conaway at 443-984-1714. (Posted: May 21)
Recognizing this year's graduating seniors
Great Kids Up Close is looking to highlight this year’s high school graduates and their plans for next year. All high school staff and students are invited to submit names of graduates, any honors received (e.g., valedictorian, scholarship winners, etc.) and a brief paragraph about the student (written by the student, teacher, parent or principal). If available, please also include a photo and the student's plans for next year. Submissions should be sent by to Abby Lane on the district's communications team. (Posted: May 21)
Baltimore Police Department expedited application event
The Baltimore City Police Department will hold a recruitment event on June 22 and 23, at which potential new cadets can take the civil service test as well as the written psychological assessment, document review and preliminary interview (processes which typically can take up to three months). Events begin at 8 a.m. each day. Potential cadets must have a high school diploma (or GED), be American citizens of 18 to 20.5 years of age and have a valid Maryland ID or driver's license. Please share this information with graduating seniors who may be interested, and direct them to the police department website for more information. (Posted: May 21)
Using Federal Funds for Conferences and Food
The U.S. Department of Education has provided detailed guidance on how and under what circumstances federal dollars can be used to support conferences (hosting and attendance) and catering needs. Please contact your federal grant manager or point of contact if you have questions. (Posted: May 21)
VAL-ED Measure: 360 feedback survey
City Schools’ new evaluation for school leaders rolls out in 2013-14, and to keep school leaders and staff up-to-date about the development and various components of the evaluation, the district has created a dedicated section on City Schools Inside. Please keep an eye on this section, as new information will be posted regularly.
Right now, please read about the 360 Feedback Survey which is being administered now in schools—throughout the month of May. This research-based evaluation tool (provided by VAL-ED) measures the effectiveness of school leaders by providing a detailed assessment of their performance as perceived by teachers. As a 360 degree assessment tool, it allows teachers to provide feedback on instructional leadership practices to principals. VAL-ED uses the intersection of six core components (high standards for student learning, rigorous curriculum-content, quality instruction-pedagogy, culture of learning and professional behavior, connections to the external communities, and performance accountability) and six key processes (planning, implementing, supporting, advocating, communicating and monitoring), which are based in the literature on effective principal leadership. The survey is administered online and generally takes teachers approximately 30 minutes to complete the 36 questions. The survey window opened Wednesday, May 1, and will close Friday, May 24. (Posted: May 13)
Schedule change for Read to Succeed summer program
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the end date for the City Schools Summer Jump program Read to Succeed has changed. The program will now run for five weeks,beginning Monday, June 24, and ending Friday, July 26 (instead of the originally planned August 2). For questions or more information, please call the Teaching and Learning Department at 443-642-3990. (Posted: May 14)
School activity funds training
School Activity Funds (SAF) Books training is offered on the second Friday of every month at the Professional Development Center. The next training session will be held on Friday May 24, at 1 p.m.
The training is an opportunity to learn about the policy and regulations around the use of activity funds, the accounting software (Safbooks) City Schools uses to manage school activity funds and to have any questions answered or issues related to the end of year reconciliation process resolved. You can register for the training in the professional growth system. If you have any questions please contact Michael Heaney at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Posted: May 15)
Aviation museum outreach program
Send your third graders flying high into their summer break! Thanks to support from the Dresher Foundation, the Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum is offering its outreach STEM education program "From Sand Dunes to the Moon" free to third grade classes at Baltimore City elementary schools. This interactive activity celebrating flight and Maryland's contribution to the pioneering days of manned space exploration is designed to launch excitement for aerospace possibilities as it inspires students to explore the future of aviation while they discover and learn to appreciate the technological wonders of the past. The visit begins with a history of the beginning of the first successful aircraft flight at Kitty Hawk and the story of the Wright brothers and their quest to take to the skies like the birds. The second segment of the school visit brings the students forward in time to the age of rockets and space exploration, the time when the Glenn L. Martin Company of Middle River, MD was manufacturing the Titan rocket that launched the Gemini space program. Students are put to work on an assembly line producing rockets they can launch for flight worthiness and then reconfigure their rocket design for improving the flight capabilities. Demonstrations of action/reaction, the forces and sciences of flight are included in the day's activities. To schedule, contact Debi Wynn, the Museum's Director of Education at GLMMuseumPR@aol.com. (Posted: May 17)
Filbert street garden grand opening
The Filbert Street Garden is an OSI-funded project that teaches students to apply STEM and Common Core math skills through the planning and maintenance of the garden. Join us at the garden on Saturday, May 18, from 2 to 6 p.m. Help us pay our water bill and work with students and neighbors to grow more food! There will be garden tours, free food from Blacksauce kitchen and live music by Blue Valley Farmer and Paper Daughter.
Students from Ben Franklin High School will be debuting the TRIVEGGIE, their service learning project with Filbert Street Garden. The Triveggie food-cycle is a response from Curtis Bay/Brooklyn students to their neighborhood's lack of fresh food, inspired by Baltimore's rich history of food carts. The cost is $10 per person , $10 for neighborhood families and kids under 10 are free. Click here to RSVP and here to find out more. (Posted: May 14)
Voluntary transfer fairs are approaching
The Human Capital Office will host this year’s voluntary transfer fairs the week of May 13. Three fairs will be offered this year:
The voluntary transfer fairs will be held at the Mt. Washington Conference Center. Eligible employees are welcome to attend multiple transfer fairs if they are interested. Note, candidate registration closes this Thursday, May 9, and school leader registration closes Friday, May 10. Candidates and school leaders should click here for the most up-to-date information about this year’s voluntary transfer fairs. Please read the voluntary transfer memo for detailed information regarding the eligibility criteria, registration process, transfer procedures and timeline. Additionally, the attached voluntary transfer flyer provides a snapshot of the fairs that will be held this year. A summary of the voluntary transfer eligibility criteria is outlined below:
If you have any questions about the voluntary transfer process, please contact the Human Capital Office at 410-396-8885. (Posted: April 29)
Roster validation update
Teachers have six more days to validate their rosters. After Monday, May 6, principals will begin reviewing and approving teacher rosters; rosters must be approved by Tuesday, May 21. Live webinars will take place this week and next week to assist principals in the process. To register for webinar training:
Click here for a list of schools that have 75% or more of their rosters validated. (Posted: May 13)
Five more schools are Maryland green schools!
The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) recently announced that 5 City Schools were newly certified as Green Schools and one was re-certified. The newly-certified schools are:
The re-certified school is:
Being certified is a real accomplishment and City Schools’offer our congratulations to the teams that are practicing green teaching and operations. The application takes at least two years to put together and demonstrates true commitment! Click here to link to the school submissions and web sites. For questions, please contact Joanna Pi-Sunyer, green schools coordinator, at email@example.com. (Posted: May 17)
Harlem Globetrotters at Tiger arena
The Harlem Globetrotters will be at the brand new Tiger Arena at Towson University for their "You Write the Rules" 2013 World Tour, June 19-21. For more than 85 years and 20,000 games, the Globetrotters have been entertaining audiences and is now one of the most recognizable franchises in sports. For the first time ever, the basketball team is giving fans the opportunity to vote on the Globetrotters play rules, affecting the game’s outcome. Contact Whitney MacLeod at 602-707-7030 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how you can save up to $16.25 per ticket. (Posted: May 17)
Join the U.S. Hispanic Youth Entrepreneur Education (USHYEE) for the Latino / Black student STEAM Summit at Towson University. Students will engage in hands-on workshops, meet engineers and learn about exciting careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM). This summit is open to rising juniors and seniors. For more information send an email to email@example.com. (Posted: May 17)
Last retirement workshop for the 2012-13 school year
The Human Capital Office would like to inform all those interested and planning to retire under the Maryland State Retirement System effective July 1, 2013 that the last retirement workshop for the 2012-13 school year will be, Tuesday, May 21, from 4-6 p.m. at the Baltimore Teachers Union located at 5800 Metro Drive. Please see the following requirements to retire to determine if you’re eligible:
Special guests include Attorney Thomas J. Schetelich, Maryland State Retirement Agency, Prudential Life Insurance and representatives from our 403b Vendors. Please register online through City Schools Inside to attend this workshop. (Posted: May 13)
Principals, thank you for assistance throughout the asset verification process. In order to be better stewards of City Schools’ resources, the Information Technology Department (ITD) has refined the technology tracking and collection process. To support you, ITD and Human Capital has developed training for inventory managers on the steps of this verification process. Please grant inventory managers access to your school’s inventory system through the Principal’s Dashboard using the ‘Inventory Technician’ role. You should only grant access to employees who successfully complete this course with an 80% or higher on the assessment.
Please make note of the following deadlines for SY 2012-13:
Northrop Grumman TEAACH program
The Northrop Grumman TEAACH (Teachers and Engineers for Academic Achievement) program will be accepting applications through Friday, May 31. The program is state-wide and focuses on middle school math and science teachers. Sessions will be held July 22-25 at Northrop Grumman’s Linthicum campus. Click here for more information. (Posted: May 8)
2013-14 bell schedules
Most bell schedules will remain the same for the 2013-14 school year. Look for a City Schools Inside announcement in early June, for changes to any existing schedules. Please direct questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by close of business Friday, May 24. (Posted: May 16)
April HSA data available on principal's dashboard
With the recent release of April 2013 HSA results, it is important for all City Schools staff to know where they can access student-level results and other important information related to those results. The data are currently located under the HSA tab on Principal’s Dashboard.
For support in running specific reports on HSA results, please contact your school achievement specialist. (Posted: May 10)
Accessing SY2013 MMSR results
With the recent release of MMSR results for SY2013, it is important for all City Schools staff to know where they can access both school and student-level results. The school level data are currently located under student information, in the MMSR tab on Principal’s Dashboard. The student level data are in Data Link.
For support in running specific reports on MMSR results, please contact your school achievement specialist. (Posted: May 10)
End of year processes in SMS
To ensure proper completion of end of year processes in SMS, please follow these specific guidelines.
You must update each graduating senior in three different areas. Make sure that all students have met all of the requirements for graduation before performing these steps. This task must be finalized for graduating seniors no later than Tuesday, May 28.
*Please note: You should drop students not completing APEX courses from the course before Tuesday, May 28, or receive a 50. Students not completing bridge projects should have the Bridge Course dropped from their May13, 2013 schedule.
Non graduating students (Grades pre-k through 8)
For all other non-graduating students (pre-k through 12), you must update the student demographic screen to either “promoted” or “retained” no later than Monday, June 17. Please make sure that all students have final grades for all scheduled courses. A list of students missing final grades can be found on the Data Cleansing Report #111. This report refreshes nightly so please check daily.
If you have any questions or comments regarding this City Schools technology alert, please contact the ITD Service Support Center at 443-642-3000 or ITDSupport@bcps.k12.md.us. (Posted: May 8)
Spring ECAS collection
Pre-k and kindergarten principals, please ensure that the appropriate Early Childhood Accountability System (ECAS) data is collected and input in the MSDE online system. All preschool, pre-k and k students who receive special education and related services are must report student progress online. Collection must be completed by Wednesday, May 15. The spring collection of Early Childhood Accountability System (ECAS) data must be put into the Maryland Early Childhood Accountability System. For log-in assistance click here. The spring exit data includes all kindergarten students with Individualized Education Programs (IEP) who had entry checklists. ECAS fulfills mandates of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004), which requires states to report the progress of preschool children with disabilities receiving special education and related services. In addition, progress at exit data is collected at the end of a child’s kindergarten year or sooner, if the goals on the IEP are met. Teachers must complete the appropriate age level WSS developmental checklist for each child as they enter and exit preschool special education services, including children receiving a single service (such as speech and language therapy). Reports will be sent to IEP Chairs for children that have outstanding checklists. If you have questions regarding this data collection process, please contact Brenda McKinley, Early Learning Programs, Birth through Five at 443-642-3990 or email@example.com. (Posted: May 8)
Action for healthy kids school grant deadline extended
Action for Healthy Kids is extending the deadline for our School Grants for Healthy Kids application. Schools now have until Friday, May 17, to submit a proposal to enhance their school breakfast or physical activity initiatives.
Action for Healthy Kids is pleased to partner with CSX Transportation, Kellogg Company and the Walmart Foundation to offer grants for the 2013-14 school year to support such initiatives. Awards will be given to over 400 schools ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
Ideas for funding may include:
The grant application is simple and straight forward. Do not let the name "grant application" intimidate you. Attached you will find a PDF copy of the grant application for your review.
Due to low turnout, applications are now being accepting through Friday, May 17, for ALL Maryland and D.C. schools. All schools are invited to apply regardless of grade level or current free and reduced meal rates.
For more information, go to http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/resources/school-grants. (Posted: May 13)
Books and baseball summer camp
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week we are offering a $50 off discount to all City Schools employees for our summer camp. Books and Baseball Summer Camp is the premier summer camp for parents who want capitalize on the opportunity to develop their child’s athletic and academic skills. We have limited space per session to ensure the maximum learning experience inside the classroom and on the baseball diamond (click here for the application). Your student athlete will be exposed to some of the best professionals in the academic realm as well as the baseball field on a daily basis. Each Friday we will have a competition, as well as a tour of a college athletic complex or professional baseball stadium (*Washington Nationals Stadium [confirmed] and more), and finally conclude the day with swimming. This camp is designed for parents to who want to get the most for their dollar out of a summer camp experience for their student athlete.
8th annual wide angle media youth festival
The 8th Annual Wide Angle Youth Media Festival gives voice to over 200 youth from over 40 schools and 10 after school programs in Baltimore City by providing a forum that showcases their creativity and perspectives at diverse venues throughout Baltimore City. Selections in this year’s festival are comprised of individual and group projects featuring photography and film. These works all challenge negative stereotypes of young people in Baltimore. The festival’s opening night will take place on Wednesday, May 15, at the Creative Alliance from 5 to 8 p.m.
SABES speakers series: Engineering is elementary
Join us for the SABES speaker series at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14 at Great Hall (2800 N. Charles St.) Special guests include Christine Cunningham, Project Director of the Engineering is Elementary (EiE). The purpose of EiE is to foster engineering and technological literacy among all elementary school children. Her talk is part of a speaker series of the National Science Foundation STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES). Cunningham is especially interested in ways science teaching can reach a more diverse population. (Posted: May 8)
GreenScape 2013: A Green Schools Summit is a free for-youth-by-youth celebration of student environmental leadership in Baltimore. It will be held at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute on Tuesday, May 28th from 5-8:30pm (1400 W. Cold Spring Lane). GreenScape will feature recognition for schools newly certified as Maryland Green Schools and schools that have completed “Green, Healthy, Smart Challenges” projects to save energy, clean storm water runoff, green their schoolyards, recycle waste and much more. There will also be local food, music, games, art, DIY learning stations, information on summer opportunities and forums for students and their supporters to learn from each other. A light dinner will be provided. Anyone interested in the environment is invited to attend, including students, teachers, parents and supporters, whether or not your school is currently involved in green activities. In order to attend, you must RSVP at http://greenscape2013.eventbrite.com/. At GreenScape, you will:
Technical assistance for counselors
As a result of the National Center for Transforming School Counseling (NCTSC) professional development held for school counselors on Wednesday, May 1, all pre-k through 8 counselors will have technical assistance Tuesday, May 21, and Wednesday, May 22. (Posted: May 8)
NISL executive development program
The NISL Executive Development program application is nowavailable for principals interested in joining the 2013-14 cohort. This is anexcellent leadership development opportunity for principals at all stages intheir careers. Click hereto access to the online application. Applications will be accepted through May.If you have questions regarding NISL or the application process please contactKasey Mengel via email at KMengel@bcps.k12.md.us.(Posted: May 8)
2013 graduate survey
Principals and graduate survey coordinators, it’s time for all graduating seniors to complete the 2013 Graduate Survey. Each year, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) requires all graduating seniors to participate in an exit survey at the end of the school year. This survey provides school systems with important data regarding the post-high school plans of students. The survey will arrive at the schools by Thursday, April 25, and are expected to be completed and returned to the Achievement and Accountability Office (OAA) by Saturday, June 1. Click here for instructions and survey materials. (Posted: April 23)
Baltimore high school film festival
Calling all student filmmakers, producers, actors and editors. The second annual Baltimore High School Film Festival is accepting applications. Organized by Bea Bufrahi, a teacher at Baltimore School for the Arts, the film festival is open to all students, grades 9-12, in the Baltimore area. Submissions are being accepted now. Enter as an individual, group or class. There is no entry fee. The winning films will premiere at an event at the Charles Theater on Thursday, June 6, from 4 to 6 p.m. Click here for more information and submission guidelines. (Posted: April 23)
Watch the latest student produced videos from CTE interactive media production
Over the past month, the CTE Interactive Media Production web pages have received a major overhaul and are now featuring the latest videos produced by students. Please take time to watch the videos and share them with your students.
Currently, Augusta Fells is in a video competition with schools from around Maryland who are promoting safe driving during prom season. Click here to check it out! (Posted: April 29)
Special Education parent involvement survey
Parents or guardians of children receiving special education and related services will be mailed the Maryland Special Education parent involvement survey from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services during the first week in April. Parents are asked to complete the survey and return it in the postage paid envelope by Friday, May 17. Please note, schools should not collect the surveys as they must be mailed to MSDE by the parent. The survey may also be completed online. Feedback will help guide efforts to improve special education and related services in your local school system. Your voice can make a real difference for your child and many other children across the state of Maryland. To learn more, please visit www.marylandlearninglinks.org. (Posted: April 29)
Earth/Space science certificate
The Johns Hopkins University School of Education is offering a unique opportunity to science teachers interested in earning graduate credits and enhancing their knowledge of the earth/space sciences. The 18-credit Earth/Space Science Certificate (ESSC), developed in collaboration with the Maryland Space Grant Consortium (MSCG), provides teachers access to the latest scientific research and hands –on demonstrations that have practical and immediate application to the classroom. The certificate program is designed for educators who want to enhance their knowledge and teaching skills in the earth and space sciences. It helps fill teachers' "gaps" in their formal educational training. In addition, classes provide a forum for teachers to network with other science teachers throughout the state, as well as with Johns Hopkins faculty and researchers and other area research institutes such as the Space Telescope Science Institute and the Goddard Space Flight Center. The program starts in the fall of 2013 and applications are currently being accepted. Please review this flyer for details and a link to the application. The application deadline for the 2013-15 cohort is Monday, July 1. (Posted: April 24)
New incentive program from MSDE for teachers who add ESOL certification
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) will issue grants to provide incentives to English, mathematics, social studies, science and elementary classroom teachers in schools with a significant number of English Language Learners (ELLs). Applicants in this program obtain an additional certification (endorsement) in ESOL. This project is funded by the Race to the Top grant and will last through the 2013-14 school year. City Schools can nominate 8 applicants. Once selected, teachers must take 2 courses in ESOL as well as pass the required Praxis II (ESOL) examination. The purpose of this incentive is for classroom teachers to gain an understanding of ESOL and strategies for working with ELLs and to become dual certified in their content and ESOL (not to prepare additional ESOL teachers). Therefore, teachers must pledge to remain in their content area for at least 2 years after receiving the incentive.
Note: College or university (online or face-to-face) courses are acceptable.
Note: College, university or continuing professional development (online or face-to-face) courses are acceptable.
Upon completion of the certification, in order to receive incentives, teachers must provide proof of passing the Praxis II (ESOL) and submit transcript copies. Click here for the application. (Posted: May 8)
Final day of school for high school seniors
Please note the following dates regarding the lastdays of school for senior students:
Read more regarding the 2012–13 school year calendar. (Posted: April 11)
Pre-k toileting issues
Please be aware that children in pre-k can't be withdrawn from school for toileting issues. According to COMAR13A.06.02.03A, “A local school system shall enroll in pre-k all 4-year-old applicants who are from families with economically disadvantaged backgrounds or who are homeless.” Given the mandatory language, applicants who meet the criteria must be enrolled. There is no provision in the state regulations for withdrawing a student who has toileting issues. If you need assistance with a toileting issue, please contact your Special Education Early Development (SEED) teacher, who will observe the child and provide feedback, including offering a toileting toolkit for teachers. If you do not know how to contact your SEED teacher, email Jessica Henkin at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Posted: April 20)
The Special Education Office announces extended school year 2013
Extended School Year (ESY) services are special education and related services that are required by an individual with exceptional needs beyond the 180-day school year to provide Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). ESY is determined through a discussion of critical factors by the Individual Education Program (IEP) Team. The determining factor for ESY eligibility is whether the educational benefit achieved by the student during the school year will be jeopardized by a summer break in the IEP. Students may also be considered for regular summer school or regular summer intervention program services offered within the school district as may be appropriate.
For additional information or questions, please contact:
Connie Fantom, director, Nonpublic and Citywide Programs, 443-642-3823, regarding the Citywide Special Education Programs, (PAL, Life Skills and ED PRIDE)
For additional information or questions, please contact:
Gwendolyn Brooks, principal - George W.F. McMechen Middle/High School - 410-396-0980
Summer Jump: City Schools summer learning programs for 2013
Here at City Schools, learning does not stop on the last day of school in June. We are gearing up for another amazing year of summer learning for our students! For 2013, City Schools has more summer learning options than ever, with programs to meet every student’s interests, grade level and ability. Find descriptions of programs online at www.baltimorecityschools.org/summer, and look for program catalogs being delivered to all schools later this month.
For detailed information about program offerings at different grade levels, download these information sheets:
For additional questions, please contact Crystal Brice in Teaching and Learning, at email@example.com. (Posted: April 9)
Multicultural gifted education
Please join the Teaching and Learning Office Advanced Learner Program for an evening with Harvie Branscomb and Professor Donna Y. Ford PhD. In addition to being an advocate for under-represented gifted students, Dr. Ford is a leading practitioner in the field of multicultural gifted education. She will be available for a discussion and questions, with the lecture immediately following. Click here for more information. (Posted: April 29)
Summer opportunity: Teacher transportation institute
The National Transportation Center at Morgan State University is now accepting applications for its Teacher Transportation Institute. The free program is open to middle and high school teachers and will be held at the Morgan State University campus July 22 – August 2. Sessions will be held Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Teachers will receive six Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and 4 Achievement Units (AUs) upon completion of the program. For more information please review the attached flyer and application. (Posted: April 25)
Great opportunity for students going to Morgan State University
The Center for Academic Success and Achievement (CASA) at Morgan State University (MSU) and the Abell Foundation are offering a great opportunity to City Schools’ high school graduates who have been accepted to Morgan State University. A select group of students will have the opportunity to participate in the CASA Academy Program. The academy is a six-week transitional program (June 30-August 9) designed to prepare students for success as they begin their academic career. Housing, meals and books will be provided. Students will be required to take three developmental courses and pass each one with no lower than a “C”. Because of their participation in this academy, students will NOT be required to take a placement test and will begin the fall semester taking “credit-bearing” courses. Students will save $570 by not having to take the Developmental Reading course and $1,140 by not having to take Math 106 in the Fall. Students will receive a stipend of $500 after their successful completion of the CASA Academy Program. In addition, students will have the opportunity to enter a lottery for an incentive grant in the amount of $2,000 each year for four years with successful completion of 12 credits or more each semester and a cumulative 2.0 GPA. If interested, please contact Dr. Brenda J. James at 443-885-3381 or Ms. Nuriyah Clark at 443-885-1440. Space is limited to 40 students. Deadline is Saturday, June 1. (Posted: April 22)
Energy saving awareness
District office employees, please do your part to help save energy. Here are a few tips you can implement in your office:
By making slight adjustments we can save a good amount of energy and money for the school system. These little steps go a long way. (Posted: April 22)
Spring 2013 RISE testing
The Reading Inventory and Scholastic Evaluation (RISE) is a diagnostic literacy assessment administered to all students in grades 5-10 with targeted testing for some children during designated windows. Students’ abilities are assessed and reported in the following areas of reading: word recognition and decoding, morphology, vocabulary, sentence processing, fluency and comprehension.
The spring window for RISE testing of students in grades 5-10 opens Monday, May 6, and closes Friday, May 24. The following will be true for this administration:
Beginning with this administration and continuing into future years, these populations of students will be assessed via the RISE at these points during the school year:
In preparation for the 2013-14 school year, a committee of reading specialist-certified teachers and other literacy professionals are currently working to develop instructionally responsive strategies for teachers whose students demonstrate low performance in any area identified by the RISE. The intent is to have a bank of these strategies readily accessible through City Schools DataLink in August. A sample will be shared with teachers during June’s systemic professional development with further information and training provided early next school year. (Posted: April 22)
Essay contest for sophomores and juniors in the 7th congressional district
Teachers and school leaders, please see the attached flyer for information about the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Spouses Essay Contest. Current sophomores and juniors who attend school in the 7th congressional district are eligible and encouraged to apply. The deadline is Wednesday, June 3. (Posted: May 7)
What's great about baseball
The United States Mint is inviting children 13 and under to unleash their inner artist talents by creating a coin design that captures the theme, “What’s Great About Baseball.” Please encourage them to be a part of this historic competition. This competition allows students to design a coin that connects America and our national pastime, baseball. The competition runs through Thursday, May 23. For more details about the competition, please visit http://kidsbatterup.challenge.gov/. (Posted: May 8)
Chesapeake Bay trust’s mini grant program for environmental education $5,000 grant
River by river and stream by stream, k-12 environmental education projects are helping to raise public awareness about the health of streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay and about the steps that can be taken to restore and protect them. The Chesapeake Bay Trust’s Mini Grant Program for Environmental Education is designed to engage citizens and students in D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia in activities that raise public awareness and participation in the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.
Through the Mini Grant Environmental Education Program, theTrust seeks to increase student awareness and student involvement in the restoration and protection of the Bay and its local streams and rivers. The program was established to provide accessible funds to schools, organizations and agencies for k-12 environmental education and specifically seeks to:
The Trust is committed to the advancement of diversity in its grant-making and environmental work. As a result, the trust strongly encourages grant applications for projects that increase awareness and participation of communities of color.
The Trust will have three deadlines for Mini Grant Environmental Education proposals during the next fiscal year: June 7, 2013, August 9, 2013 and January 10, 2014
Click here for more information or to submit your application on-line. (Posted: April 22)
American college of education scholarships
American College of Education (ACE) will recognize today’s hard-working American teacher by awarding full tuition scholarships to four dedicated educators –nearly an $8,000 value. The scholarships may be applied to any ofthe Master of Education degree programs offered by ACE. The American Teacher Scholarship application deadline is Thursday, August 1. For more information and to apply, click here.(Posted: May 3)
Funds for fuel up to play 60 grant
Up to $4,000 per year is available to any qualifying k-12 school enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60. The competitive, nationwide funding program can help your school jumpstart and sustain healthy nutrition and physical activity improvements.
Whether you’re just starting out with Fuel Up to Play 60 or looking to expand and extend an initiative that’s already in motion, funds for Fuel Up to Play 60 can help.
Schools may submit an application during more than one funding cycle per school year. The total amount of money awarded for the 2012-13 school year (June/October 2012 and January 2013 deadlines) can be up to $4,000. Click here for more information. (Posted: April 23)
Applications for early admission to kindergarten and first grade
The Early Learning Programs, Birth through Five (ELP) Office has begun to receive applications for early admission to kindergarten and first grade. Please note, that the process for applying for early admission has changed and parents must not submit the application directly to Early Learning Programs at 200 E. North Avenue, Room 308. The new process is described in the administrative regulation. If parents bring applications to your school, please instruct them to take the application directly to ELP by Wednesday, May 15. Staff from ELP will email principals directly to notify you that a student has applied for early admission to your school. If a student applying for early admission has been selected in a charter lottery or is on a waiting list, the charter school must reserve the student's spot until the decision is finalized. (Posted: April 12)
Fire up your feet
As part of the Thriving Schools initiative, Kaiser Permanente is partnering with the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and the National Parent Teacher Association for Fire Up Your Feet. This online walking and activity program encourages students, teachers, staff and their families to walk or bike to an from school, and to incorporate more physical activity into the school day. Fire Up Your Feet also includes a fundraising option that offers schools a healthy way to raise funds. Click here to learn more about this opportunity and register today! (Posted: April 11)
PSASA leadership unit update
We are pleased to announce the approval of external partners and district-initiated opportunities for members. These opportunities provide another way for leaders to earn leadership units. Click here for more detailed information. For further questions, contact the PSASA Joint Governing Panel(JPG) at PSASA_JGP@bcps.k12.md.us. (Posted: April 12)
Baltimore City adolescent resource fair
Save the date for the Baltimore City Adolescent Resource Fair on Friday, June 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center. For additional information, contact Amanda Abney at 443-263-2705. (Posted: April 11, 2013)
Grade A student night
The National Aquarium in Baltimore invites all students boasting three or more As (or equivalent) to an exclusive annual celebration on Thursday, June 20, from 6 to 9 p.m. Students and their families can enjoy 4-D immersion theater showings, outdoor under the sea-themed performances and an appearance by special guest Mario. Other family members will be admitted at a special rate of $5 per person. Space is limited; up to 8 per family.(Posted: April 11, 2013)
Complete 2nd Formal Observation
April 2, 2013
Complete and submit Annual Evaluations for employees who earned an “Unsatisfactory” rating.
May 1, 2013
Complete and submit Annual Evaluations for employees who earned an “Satisfactory” or “Proficient” ratings.
By one week before the teacher’s last day of work
Further information around evaluation deadlines can be found in the Human Capital area of the City Schools website. Please reach out to either Jerome Jones or DeRay McKesson in the Office of Human Capital regarding any evaluation-related questions, including questions about the timeline, for BTU members. (Posted: Mar. 21, 2013)
For SY 2013-14, ITD will be upgrading SMS 7.6 to PowerSchool SMS 8.1 after the SMS rollover process. The rollover process will run June 29 – July 9. During this time, SMS will not be available for access. Starting Tuesday, July 9, users will be accessing PowerSchool SMS 8.1. This upgrade reflects a giant step in the evolution of our student information system. PowerSchool SMS 8.1 offers users a fresh new look and several usability enhancements particularly in enrollment and contact modules. Over the next 3 months, ITD will be providing a variety of informational sessions aimed at preparing end users for this change. We will be offering webinars, online trainings and tutorials along with face-to- face training sessions. Please be on the lookout for these opportunities via City Schools Inside and the front page of SMS. Click here for a sneak peek into PowerSchool SMS 8.1 and here for a list of related resources on eData. If you have any questions, please contact the ITD Service Support Center at 443-642-3000 or ITDSupport@bcps.k12.md.us. (Posted: Mar. 25, 2013)
In August 1982, the Aquarium established the Henry Hall Endowment Fund to provide free educational opportunities for students who attend or are graduates of the Baltimore City Public Schools. Since then, awards totaling more than $700,000 have been provided to City Schools middle, high school and college students through the Henry Hall Program.
The program provides exciting excursions and educational and career opportunities for students interested in marine and environmental science. It also offers paid internships for college students and provides one-year $1,000 scholarships for studies in biology, engineering, environmental science and aquatic science. Click here for the program application or visit http://www.aqua.org/learn/student-programs/henry-hall-program for more information. (Posted: Mar. 22, 2013)
Come and learn about Data Link at one of our engaging, hands-on courses offered in April and May. We are conducting sessions for beginners, and for more seasoned users looking to specialize in manual test creation or data analysis. Classes will be held at the Professional Development Center and at the ITD lab at City Schools headquarters. Click here for more information and directions on how to register through the Professional Growth System (PGS). (Posted: Mar. 25, 2013)
In preparation for the 2013-14 SMS scheduling cycle, the SMS classroom support team is pleased to announce a new round of upcoming support sessions. Click here to review the scheduled support session timetable. Be sure to sign-up for the sessions you want to attend via the Professional Growth System. If you have any questions, please contact the ITD Service Support Center at 443-642-3000 or ITDSupport@bcps.k12.md.us. (Posted: Mar. 15, 2013)
Administrative regulation JEC-RA early admission to kindergarten and first grade has been revised. School administrators, please maintain an up-to-date hard copy of the board's policy manual and the CEO's administrative regulation at the school. (Posted: Mar. 11, 2013)
Pre-k: Parents of children turning four between September 2 and October 15 of the school year can apply for early admission by submitting a Pre-k Enrollment Application and a Parent Checklist for Early Admission to Pre-k no later than Monday, April 15.
Kindergarten: Parents of children turning five between September 2 and October 15 can apply for early admission to kindergarten by submitting an Early Admission Request Form by Wednesday, May 15.
First grade: Parents of children turning six between September 2 and October 15 can apply for early admission to first grade by submitting an Early Admission Request Form by Wednesday, May 15.
All forms must be submitted directly to the Early Learning Programs Office, Birth through Five, 200 E. North Ave, Room 308. (Posted: Mar. 11, 2013)
The Young Scholars Program invites rising students in grades 10, 11 and 12 with exceptional ability and promise to an outstanding pre-college experience at the University of Maryland. During three unforgettable weeks, students will:
This summer, explore university life at the University of Maryland with the Young Scholars Program. For program related questions, contact Eric Johnson at 301-405-7762 or www.ysp.umd.edu. (Posted: Mar. 12, 2013)
Do you know someone who has great leadership skills? New Leaders is a national non-profit that develops transformational school leaders and promotes the system-level policies and practices that allow strong leaders to succeed. New Leaders Maryland is now accepting applications for their 2013-14 Cohort for the Emerging Leaders Program. Those interested in applying for the 2013-14 cohort must secure a recommendation before formally applying to the program. New Leaders Maryland is looking for individuals who may be interested or have a gift to lead and make a difference in urban public schools are encouraged to apply. For questions regarding the admissions process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. (Posted: Mar. 11, 2013)
Do you know or have a student diagnosed with asthma? The Safe at Home Asthma Program provides free services to Baltimore City families with an asthma-diagnosed child between the ages of 2-14 years old. This program targets asthma triggers within the home as well as other hazards (smoke, carbon dioxide, pests, etc). Contact Ezinne Chinemere or Bashirah Moore (Environmental Health Educators) at 410-534-6447 for more details about the program. (Posted: Mar. 12, 2013)
School leaders and the community can now use the new online Partner and Resource Guide to shop for free and discounted resources, programs, services and/or products in time for the budget process. Click here to access the guide which is also available in the School Budget Tool and the Principal’s Budget Toolkit. An excel spreadsheet is available on the landing page and can be downloaded as a convenient way to do key word searches and customized sorts. The resources are alphabetized and highlight one organization per page to make printing for comparison easy. To date, there are approximately150 partner profiles that offer nearly 450 resources. The Partner and Resource Guide will be updated regularly, so schools are encouraged to visit often. This resource is only available online and will not be printed. If you have questions, please contact Deb Silcox (email@example.com) or Billie Malcolm (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Office of Engagement at 410-545-1870. (Posted: Mar. 5, 2013)
The Office of Human Capital is offering several professional development courses throughout the remainder of the school year. These courses will help you to shape your professional development and help you earn the skills to be qualified for a broad range of positions in City Schools. Click here to review the course schedule. If you are interested in any of these classes, please contact the Office of Human Capital at 410-396-8885 or contact the Paraprofessional and School-Related Personnel (PSRP) support team at PSRPsupport@bcps.k12.md.us. (Posted: Mar. 8, 2013)
Are you a young person who is doing amazing things and pursuing your passion? Are you a teacher who knows a gifted young person that is working toward a successful future? Wide Angle Youth Media’s Mentoring Video Project (MVP) is producing a short film that will profile Baltimore youth who have discovered a personal passion that connects them to life-long success.
We are looking for young people between the ages of 10-25 that are willing to share their story about discovering and pursuing a personal passion. Interests could vary from building robots, becoming a chef, conducting scientific research, running a business, designing a fashion line or designing computer games. Those interested should be:
If you think you or someone you know should be featured in this project, please fill out this short survey. For more information, send an email to email@example.com or call 443-759-6700 and ask to speak with someone regarding the mentoring video project. (Posted: Mar. 7, 2013)
The University of Maryland Extension-Baltimore City 4-H Youth Development in partnership with the Maryland Agricultural Fair Board will host the Baltimore City 4-H Youth Expo on Friday, May 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will be held at the War Memorial Building located at 101 N. Gay Street at Lexington Street. To obtain information regarding criteria for participation, registration and to receive information packets, contact the University of Maryland Extension office at 410-856-1850 ext. 114 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. (Posted: Mar. 12, 2013)
The Baltimore FlowerMart is sponsoring an essay contest for middle school students. This year’s theme is, “What Spring in Baltimore means to me.” The grand prize winner will receive $100 plus a ribbon and publishing in FlowerMart’s newsletter. The runner-up will receive a ribbon and honorable mention. Please see the attached flyer and entry form for more details. (Posted: Mar. 5, 2013)
The Baltimore FlowerMart is sponsoring an art contest for middle school students. Three generous cash awards will be distributed ($50 to the school of the 1st place winner). Please see the attached flyer and entry form for more details. (Posted: Mar. 5, 2013)
Engineering FUNdamentals and Engineering Innovation are two exciting summer programs available for Baltimore high school students with an aptitude in math and science and an interest in (or curiosity about) engineering. In the two-week Engineering FUNdamentals course, students will learn basic engineering concepts in preparation for the four-week Engineering Innovation Program. In Engineering Innovation the students will complete a college level engineering course which includes lab activities in computer engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, material science, civil engineering, robotics and mechanical engineering. They take weekly quizzes and a comprehensive final exam. Students earning an A or B in Engineering Innovation will receive Johns Hopkins University (JHU) credit for the course. Prerequisites are Algebra II with knowledge of trigonometry, a lab science and experience with a spreadsheet application. Engineering FUNdamentals will be held June 17-27, Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Homewood Campus of JHU. Engineering Innovation will be held July 1-26, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Homewood Campus of JHU. The online application is currently available. Click here for more information and a link to the application. (Posted: Feb. 20, 2013)
Maryland Leadership Workshops, Inc. in its 58th summer of peer-facilitated leadership development programs, offers three distinct week-long residential programs held in July on the campus of Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.
For more information visit, www.mlw.org or call 310-444-8623. (Posted: Feb. 20, 2013)
Are you interested in working with new teachers? The Office of Teacher Support and Development is now hiring qualified facilitators for the New Teacher Institute 1 and 2. Click here for more information on how to apply! For questions or additional information, please e-mail Kelly Manard, email@example.com. (Posted: Feb. 12, 2013)
Family participation in IEP meetings is imperative for student outcomes. If a parent who doesn’t speak or understand English has a scheduled an Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting at your school, you must ensure federal rules regarding the provision of access are followed and provide a qualified interpreter. Due to the sensitive nature of these meetings, please be sure that the interpreter being used is competent in the language needed. Volunteers or family members may be present as advocates at the family’s request; but please do not allow volunteers or family members to be the sole interpreter. Families are never to be asked to provide their own interpreter. The attached document outlines the steps schools must take to ensure every family has the access to fully participate in their students IEP meeting. (Posted: Feb. 11, 2013)
In an effort to maximize the uptime and the reliability of City Schools IT services, the Information Technology Office (ITO) has developed a maintenance calendar with seven major outage windows in Calendar Year 2013, as well as weekly minor outage windows. Major outage windows will allow ITD to perform maintenance activities on all data center systems and network infrastructure. Please contact the ITD Service Support Center at 443-642-3000 or via email at ITDSupport@bcps.k12.md.us with any questions. (Posted: Feb. 11, 2013)
AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a K -12 college readiness system that is designed to increase school-wide learning and performance. Currently, AVID is in 5 City Schools’ high schools. If your school is interested in AVID for next school year, please attend the AVID preview day or contact Brianna McMullen at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Posted: Feb. 22, 2013)
Middle and High Schools are eligible to apply for (1 of 50) STEM Jump Start Grant Program Awards and receive up to $2,500 for the implementation of STEM 101 curriculum. Click here to learn more about this opportunity. (Posted: Feb. 13, 2013)
National Space Club (NSC) Scholars Program is a six-week STEM summer internship opportunity for students completing grades 10-12. This year's NSC Scholars Program will take place from June 24 - August 2 at both the GSFC Greenbelt, Maryland location and the WFF Wallops Island, Virginia location. Students must reside within commuting distance to the selected site. Students will receive an $1800 stipend for participating in the NSC Scholars Program. Please click here for more information. (Posted: Jan. 22, 2013)
Project Wild is a wildlife focused conservation education program for K-12 educators and their students. Project Wild Aquatic, a supplementary guide, focuses on aquatic wildlife and resources. Project WILD activities can be used to teach basic skills in science, social studies, language arts, math, art, music and physical education. The activities are designed to be hands-on and are focused on teaching students how to think and NOT what to think. This free workshop is ideal for teachers in grades 2-6; registration requires a $20 deposit that will be refunded upon workshop completion.
Data Link provides teachers, principals, school leadership teams and district leadership with the ability to create and administer formative classroom assessments and generate district, network, school and classroom-level data reports around student achievement. Having access to this type of timely and accurate data empowers a wide range of district stakeholders to make informed instructional and leadership decisions, and track student progress over time. The Data Link Reporting Guide provides instructions on generating some of the most commonly used reports, and the Catalog contains a directory of reports in the Report Bank, which can be generated with just a couple of mouse clicks. Please click here for the Data Link Reporting Guide and Catalog. For technical assistance with Data Link, please contact the City Schools Service Desk at HelpDesk@bcps.k12.md.us or 410-396-8182.
City Schools employees may have access to several systems that requiring logging on to a computer network or application, sometimes with different usernames or passwords. The most common log-on combinations are used to access the network account, the ERP account and the TSS account.
To protect employees’ system accounts from unauthorized activity, system passwords have security requirements to make it difficult for another person to use.
Passwords must contain each of the following:
Passwords cannot contain any of the following:
In addition, passwords cannot reuse a previous password, and passwords must be changed every 90 days.
The Information Technology Department (ITD) will never ask you for your password, and passwords should never be sent via email. ITD has enabled employees to request password resets and receive resolution immediately via the Password Reset tool. Employees can use the “Login Assistance” link on the ERP log-in page, or can go to http://reset.bcps.k12.md.us to reset the network or ERP password. When using this tool, employees will be required to enter information to verify their identity. ERP password resets require access to the district’s email account in order to retrieve the new password sent by the reset tool. The ITD Service Support Center is available to assist you in the use of the password reset tool.
Supplementary aids and services clinics are for general teachers and special educators who would like to learn strategies for students with disabilities that will help increase students' access to grade level curriculum. These sessions will run in two different locations concurrently on the dates indicated in the attached flyer.
The Wish List Depot is dedicated to supporting learning in low-income and disadvantaged elementary classroom programs by providing teachers with easy access to free supplemental classroom supplies.
The Wish List Depot is an innovative approach for community and local businesses to support Maryland teachers at area elementary Title I schools by providing accessible classroom supplies at no cost. Teachers usually spend as much as $300 to $600 of their personal income each year on extra supplies for their classrooms.
The goal is to open 23 Wish List Depots by 2017 throughout Maryland. These depots will provide services to over 200 teachers each school year. The first depot opened on Thursday, November 15, at Johnston Square Elementary School. This depot will support teachers from Johnston Square Elementary, Cecil Elementary, Dr. Bernard Harris Sr. Elementary and Dr. Rayner Browne Elementary Schools. Visit Great Kids Up Close for pictures from the Johnston Square Elementary location.
For more information, or if you would like to contribute supplies, materials, money or your time, contact Sharon Matthews at 410552-1971 or email@example.com.
Harding Consulting is currently running a career coaching program to help students that are looking for employment gain the necessary job skills to succeed after graduation. These skills may include, but are not limited to resume writing, interviewing skills, dealing with issues in the work place andfiguring out a suitable career. We are currently running a free orientation every Tuesday night from 6 to 7 p.m. This orientation will give the individual an idea of what career coaching is and how they can benefit from the program. If they wish to pursue the program, they can sign up for individual sessions with a career coach. To RSVP for the orientation, please call the Harding Consulting office at 410-467-2070. Click here to view the flyer and here for the website.
City Schools has made a number of important revisions to guidance documents pertaining to the use of procurement cards (P-Card) by the district. They include:
All of these documents are accessible on TSS or from the City Schools’ Procurement website Procurement / Overview. All P-Card users and approvers should read these documents before proceeding with any future transactions or approvals. The most important components of the program are:
Please contact Suzanne Addington in the Office of Procurement should you have any questions.
Internet access and technology are essential to students success. For families who are eligible for FARMS, Comcast offers a reduced fee of $9.95 for internet access and a computer for $149.99 (plus tax) at sign-up -and it will deliver these materials directly to schools. Please make this flyer available to families and students. For more information visit, www.InternetEssentials.com or call 1-855-8-internet (1-855-846-8376).
Looking for instructional strategies that reach all students? Come to Universal Design for Learning (UDL) "Works" sessions. The Universal Design for Learning is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. Sessions will provide teachers with a blueprint for creating flexible instructional goals, methods, materials and assessments. Click here for more information.
Arts On Stage celebrates its 22nd season of helping students learn outside of the classroom, including performances on the importance of Voting and Bullying Prevention. Arts On Stage kicks off the season on Tuesday, October 15, with a show addressing the importance of Voting called, “Vote?” We feel this is an important show to excite our future voters to vote and to have them inspire their family members who are of age to vote why they should step up and cast their ballot this November.
We believe everyone deserves the right to come to an Arts On Stage's performances! Over the past 21 years we have impacted an audience of 850,000 students, parents and teachers from grades Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. In 1990, Leslie Fowler, founder and president of Arts On Stage had a vision to provide educational field trips for teachers to bring their students to that would help enhance the classroom experience. She started with one show and it was a success. Now Arts On Stage averages 50 shows a year. We are still one of the lowest tickets in town for a one hour performance.
To find out more about show times, and to download a study guide and photos for each show visit, www.ArtsOnStage.org. To contact someone directly call Arts On Stage at 410-252-8717 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you at the theater soon!
The TSS Group/ITD in conjunction with Promethean and Clinton Learning Solutions are teaming to offer a series of workshops aimed at helping teachers create interactive content to support ongoing classroom instruction.
Workshops will occur during the second week of the month starting in October 2012 and concluding in May 2013. The workshops will be offered through a blended environment that includes face-to-face meetings and an online learning community.
You can register on the Professional Growth System to attend workshops at any of the following four locations: Benjamin Franklin High School at Masonville Cove, Hampden Elementary/Middle School, Liberty Elementary and the Professional Development Center. Click here to see a list of the workshops offered.
Treat your students to a free assembly featuring jazz, hip-hop and club dance styles, hosted by Guardian Baltimore. This interactive assembly features dances that make up the fabric of African American history. The audience will learn about the style, sound and movement of the 1930’s Jazz Era, the 1960’s and 70’s funk dances, the birth of hip-hop’s break-dance and the current Baltimore club dance culture.
The roots of these new styles in West African dance and tradition is explained and audience participation is encouraged. Evening performances for parent meetings are available. Click here to watch an excerpt from a recent performance; click on “media” then select “GuardianDancepromo.” Formore information and to book a show call 410-925-6843.
As part of City Schools' ongoing strengthening of the security of confidential information, it is imperative that staff members exercise extreme caution when dealing with sensitive data. Social security numbers, dates of birth and other personal data must be safeguarded to protect the privacy of the individuals who trust City Schools with this information. This standard holds true when information is shared both within and outside the district.
Further, federal privacy regulations and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) govern privacy rights for City Schools employees, students and parents. As such, every staff member must take appropriate measures to safeguard private and confidential data. This means that sending, forwarding or copying sensitive information (such as social security numbers and dates of birth) via email or other forms of electronic communication must be avoided. If there is a need to send sensitive information electronically, staff members are required to use encryption techniques. Please refer to the guidance on applying encryption techniques.
For questions, please contact the ITD Service Support Center at 443-642-3000 or Human Capital at 410-396-8885.
City Schools and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) are inviting school-based staff to participate in a professional development opportunity focused on creating safe and affirming schools for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students. Safe schools can foster myriad positive outcomes for youth and the schools that serve them, including:
Interested principals are asked to identify school-based staff to participate in the paid professional development sessions to be held on Saturdays in the fall and spring. Click here for more information on the initiative, participation requirements and how to register participants.
City Schools Information Technology Department (ITD) completed the configuration and updates to the grading tables in PTG for all schools.Teachers can now log into PTG and add assignments and grades to the score sheet. To learn more about creating assignments and entering grades, teachers should log into the TSS and view the PTG training videos. Click here to learn more about how to get to the training videos. To find the correct classes for SY 2012-13, teachers should follow the process found on this link. If you have any general questions or comments regarding this City Schools technology alert, please contact the ITD Service Support Center at 443-642-3000 or ITDsupport@bcps.k12.md.us.
The Office of Teacher Support and Development is seeking schools that want to improve new teacher retention rates and effectiveness. Baltimore City Public Schools is a partner with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in the Building a Teaching Effectiveness Network (BTEN) initiative, which aims to retain new teachers in the schools that need them, and to improve how districts support early career teachers’ development as effective educators. Please contact Tina Jablonowski at email@example.com if your school is interested in participating or if you have questions about BTEN.
Supervising teachers and site-based mentors are invited and highly encouraged to register for the mentor forum and/or mentor works. These support and development opportunities are meant for teachers working with interns, student teachers or non-tenured first through third year teachers. If you're interested, please register immediately through the Professional Growth System –sessions start this month. Click here for more information, the Mentor Forum syllabus. Questions regarding Mentor Forum can be directed to Sharonda Eley (SEley@bcps.k12.md.us), Mentor Works to Katherine Harris (KEHarris@bcps.k12.md.us) and Supervising Teachers to Jennifer Hlavka (JAHlavka@bcps.k12.md.us). We look forward to working with you this year.
City Schools is soliciting proposals from qualified non – profit organizations to significantly expand family and community engagement in City Schools through the Community Support for Schools initiative for the 2012-13 school year. Click here for a copy of the RFP. These organizations will offer training and follow up support to help teachers and parent leaders build relationships with families and mobilize them to make a tangible impact on student success. The issues to be addressed will be determined in concert with the principal, teachers and parent leaders at participating schools. Examples may include: Linking at-home learning to support the move to the Common Core; improving attendance, promptness and chronic absence; supports/practices for English Language Learner families; tracking student work using online tools and resources qualified organizations will be matched with schools that show a willingness and readiness to engage families in this way. Organizations will be evaluated with principal input on the effectiveness of the training, success of the campaign and the number of staff and parent leaders developed.
In an effort to consistently provide high quality service to all City Schools staff members, the Information Technology Department (ITD) has engaged the services of a new provider to handle first-level customer support through the ITD Service Support Center. Our new provider, AttivaSoft, is dedicated to ensuring timeliness of response and quality of resolution for all requests made to the ITD Service Support Center. This new partnership has been initiated inorder to improve the existing levels of service and to bring in industry knowledge and best practices for technical support. However, you may experience extended wait times for the next few weeks as our new partner work to learn our organization and get up to speed. As always, we want to hear from you! We have established an email address that can be used to provide feedback regarding your experience with service and support received from ITD. We appreciate any feedback received as it is very valuable to the continual improvement of our services. Please send any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. What you can expect from the ITD Service Support Center:
If you have any questions or comments regarding this City Schools technology alert, please contact the ITD Service Support Center at 443-642-3000 or ITDsupport@bcps.k12.md.us.
In an effort to provide exemplary SMS support to all schools staff, a new streamlined process for addressing school-based SMS issues has been adopted. Instead of assigning an SMS point of contact, schools should contact the ITD Service Desk for all SMS issues. School staff will receive immediate assistance for Tier 1 requests; issues that may require more detailed analysis will then be passed up to Tier 2 and Tier 3 support.
In addition to providing more efficient support, this process allows monitoring of SMS issues across the district so that guidance and training can be modified and enhanced.
For questions or comments, please contact Stanley Wolfe by email or call 443-642-4627.
Your next lesson could change the world! The World Hunger leadership Challenge was created by the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation and the Lift a Life Foundation, with assistance from the YUM! Foundation, to encourage high school and middle school students to hone leadership skills through launching a service learning project that solves hunger issues. Students design a project to meet hunger needs in their community, partner with a local organization and submit their project for a national completion by April 2013.
Program components include the following:
Experience the wonder of wildlife by scheduling a ZOOmobile program from The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. The ZOOmobile brings educational, entertaining and interactive programs featuring live animals to you! ZOOmobile presentations cover a wide array of topics, including endangered and threatened species, animal classification, habitat exploration and more. Each ZOOmobile program includes an educational encounter with three or four animals. We offer 30-minute ZOOmobile programs for children ages 2 to 5, and 50-minute programs for children and adults ages 6 and above. All of our ZOOmobile programs meet Maryland State Curriculum Standards in the areas of reading, math, science and social studies.
Starting this year, the Carson Scholars Fund is switching to an online application system. To make sure that your school has the chance to nominate a student, we need the principal's email address. To get on our list, send an email to email@example.com with your principal's name, principal’s email address and the name of your school. To learn more about the Carson Scholars Fund, visit www.carsonscholars.org.
Forums available through the Faces of Homelessness Speakers' Bureau aim to dissect myths and stereotypes about homeless people, cultivate awareness of this reality that many Americans face and spark listeners' interest in becoming involved in the struggle to combat homelessness. The Speakers’ Bureau brings individuals who have struggled with homelessness to school and other settings, to share their stories and to personalize this larger social issue. Forums can be tailored to suit any organization or group. Speakers have given presentations to every age group, from adults and kindergartners, and will work with teachers and school staff to make the forum relevant for particular students. The run time is typically an hour to two hours, depending on the hosting organization’s preference. If you are interested in bringing a Face of Homelessness speaker to your school, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or requests. You can also visit our blog for more information, including profiles of our speakers and descriptions of past events: http://facesofhomelessnessbmore.blogspot.com/.
The Maryland Science Center is once again offering "Family Science Night" programs during the upcoming school year. These events for students, families and school faculty and staff bring hands-on science activities right to your school community. In this fee-based program, the Science Center provides staff, equipment and materials for demonstration, experiments and activities on topics including chemistry, static electricity, paleontology and circuits. Read more in this flyer and detailed description, or contact Andrea Weiss at the Science Center at email@example.com for more information.
My Brother’s Keeper youth programs have received a grant to assist rising seniors with their post-graduation planning. The program, APEX, guarantees program participants a complete education plan (acceptance, financial aid, registration) or a career tracked job upon graduation. We are in search of low-income youth that attend school or live in the 21229 zip code and are on track to graduate in June 2013. There are no program costs; stipends and transportation are available to participants. If you know youth that meet these qualifications but do not live in 21229, please have them inquire as number are too low to turn youth away from the opportunity. Click here for the flyer and additional details. For more information contact Nikotris Perkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-644-3194.
City Schools’ Office of Teacher Support and Development and Successful Teaching Solutions (STS) invites you to participate in a training and support opportunity based on Doug Lemov’s Teach Like a Champion. This opportunity will extend from the 2012-13 school year through the 2013-14 school year. The goal of this project is to show that improved training of all first through third year teachers will increase teaching and learning outcomes for both new teachers and their students. This training emphasizes two key elements necessary for effective teaching:
The project is open to K-8 and/or K-5 schools only. Please click here to learn more about the project. If you would like to be considered to participate in this project, please email Kelly Manard at email@example.com.
Click here for the Take Note archive.