Take Note Archive-May

Teachers Needed for Data Link Focus Group

The Office of Teaching and Learning needs classroom teachers who have worked with the Data Link system to take part in a focus group discussion to help the district determine short and long term functionality of this tool. Teachers who have used Data Link to create tests or analyze student data are strongly encouraged to participate. Please communicate your interest to Dennis Jutras (djutras@bcps.k12.md.us) by Fri., May 27. A date for the focus group meeting is available to those teachers who express interest.

City Schools and NCMEC: Take 25 Campaign

This year, Baltimore City Public Schools joins forces with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to increase awareness and educate our students about the importance of their personal safety through the Take 25 campaign. This campaign encourages parents and school representatives to take 25 minutes to talk with children and youth about safety. The campaign was created to commemorate National Missing Children’s Day on May 25. Every year, the campaign is re- launched across the country to remember the importance of keeping children safer. Educators and school professionals play a major role in this campaign since many of the attempted abduction situations happen to students while leaving school, waiting for the bus, walking home or after school programs.

The Take 25 campaign provides schools with free resources including safety tips, conversation-starters and mini lessons to help initiate an on-going dialogue with children about safety. By utilizing Take 25 resources, you will have the opportunity to focus on potentially life-saving safety issues in the classroom. As part of our partnership, we are encouraging school administrators and teachers to take time to talk with students about their personal safety during the month of May. Mini-lessons and safety tips  are provided by NCMEC. These educational materials were created for use in classrooms and takes just 5 to 10 minutes to complete one lesson. The goal of these lessons is to provide students with hands-on activities so they may learn ways of staying safer and recognize dangerous situations. Lessons should be implemented in conjunction with the Take 25 Safety Tips. Additionally, schools and teachers who are interested in receiving additional materials, such as safety tips and conversations starters, can make a request directly to NCMEC. You can also request educational videos, such as “Router’s B-day Surprise,” an animated 25-minute piece that teaches elementary students about staying safer online and in the real world.

Please email directly to the City Schools NCMEC contact, Ana Cody, Manager of External Affairs (acody@ncmec.org) to receive these materials.

CTE Workshops for High School Seniors

The Office of Learning to Work offers high school seniors an opportunity to receive hands-on experience in a laboratory setting, expose them to a college setting like that of Baltimore City Community College and inform students about the availability of scholarships. The office partners with Baltimore City Community College and the University of Maryland to offer workshops designed to introduce high school seniors to careers in the Career and Technology Education (CTE) programs. Programs include biotechnology and electronics/robotics, respiratory care and construction supervision. The workshops are free with transportation and meals are provided. For details, including workshop dates, please see the CTE workshop schedule or the Biotech Days schedule.

BTU and PSRP Sick Leave Bank Enrollment

Printed accounts for all leave-eligible employees who wish to maintain membership in or join the sick leave bank are now available. Employees who are members must contribute to the hourly equivalent of a day of sick leave. To make your elections, please see your payroll representative. Enrollment is open until Weds., May 18.

Law Enforcement Torch Run

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics raises funds for and awareness of the worldwide Special Olympics movement. Baltimore City Public Schools' (City Schools) police officers along with law enforcement officers from every state and more than 38 countries carry the "Flame of Hope" in honor of Special Olympics athletes in their areas around the world. Please consider supporting the City Schools police officers and the athletes by purchasing a 2011 Law Enforcement Torch Run t-shirt or hat for $10. For details about the event or the Special Olympics, see the torch run details or Cpl. Holifield's message to employees. Please contact Cpl. Gary Holifield  to purchase your items.

Voluntary Transfer Registration

The Voluntary Transfer (VTF) registration is now open to all employees who meet the eligibility requirements. All teachers who meet the eligibility requirements for voluntary transfer can register online from April 20 through May 16. The VTF is on Weds., May 25. Once registered, employees are e-mailed further information confirming registration, location, time and specific job opportunities.

Every Day in May Giveaway

Teacher Created Materials is giving away a free book to every teacher who registers online during the "Every Day in May Giveaway" promotion. The organization seeks to honor teachers everywhere during the entire month of May. When teachers register for their free book, they may also enter for the chance to win a $500 gift certificate. For more information, please see the promotion flier.

Baltimore's Top Neighborhood Dad

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake presents the "Baltimore's Top Neighborhood Dads" Contest to honor the men in the city who help keep neighborhoods safe and strong. Neighborhood associations may submit nominations by Fri., May 27. Each winner and a guest are invited to join the mayor at a special luncheon to honor all the top dads at the Vollmer Center at Cylburn Arboretum. Inform your neighborhood associations about the contest and distribute the nomination form for a chance to have your nominee be a top dad!

A Night at the Science Center

The Office of Teaching and Learning invites you to a night at the Maryland Science Center to celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of Baltimore City Public Schools' students and science educators. Attend the Elementary Science Fair and STEM Awards Ceremony on Thursday, June 2 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Maryland Science Center (601 Light St.). There is live music, light refreshments and a raffle for a FREE one year family membership to the Science Center. Please click here for more information and to RSVP by May 27.

1st Annual Baltimore Techie Teacher Contest

Digital lifestyle expert, Mario Armstrong, is a Baltimore native who is passionate about education and technology. That’s why he, and the educational technology company eInstruction, are looking for a deserving teacher from the Baltimore-area to send to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference in Philadelphia on June 26 through June 29. The annual ISTE Conference and Exposition is one of the world’s first premier educational technology events. Attendees can choose from more than 700 sessions, including formal sessions and hands-on labs.

HOW TO ENTER: 1. Fill out the form at Mario Armstrong's website – Nominate your favorite teacher (teachers you can nominate yourself)- 2. Like the "Baltimore Techie Teacher Contest" on Facebook 3. Extra credit is given to those who upload photos or video to the Facebook wall! Entry must be received by May 20, and a winner will be announced on Facebook on May 23. The trip will include ISTE 2011 conference fees, ISTE membership registration, hotel costs and a $100 stipend.

Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week

Maryland first lady, Judge Kathleen O'Malley and state schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick have designated May 24 through May 28 as Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week. Judge Kathleen O’Malley visits students, families and staff at Lakeland Elementary/Middle on Monday, May 24. Lakeland students present programs developed to prevent and intervene in cases of school bullying and harassment. Join City Schools and other school districts across Maryland and engage in lively activities and discussion with students to address school bullying and its impact in the lives of our students and families. There are several events throughout Maryland to increase bullying awareness. We encourage schools to use this time to bring attention to the seriousness of bullying and the many ways to prevent and intervene. Please share the great activities happening in your school during the week with Zy Richardson in the Office of Student Support and Safety.

Northrop Grumman Summer Professional Development

This summer, Northrop  Grumman will select up to 40 middle school science, technology education and math (STEM) teachers, to attend a five day internship program at their Linthicum, MD location. Participant have the desire to learn more about engineering and science professions and will look for ways to integrate the TEAACH experience into their classroom instruction. The 2011 session is July 18 through July 22 from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily. Applicants must be middle school STEM teachers or guidance counselors for the upcoming 2011-12 school year and be a U.S. citizen who is able to secure a Department of Defence Clearance. Interested in this opportunity? Get you application here  and submit it to Daniela Pfister (daniela.pfister@ngc.com) by May 13. For more information, see the program letter or contact Steve Smalley (410-765-0582) or Jeanne McGuirk (410-765-8399). Please note, if you choose to apply, you are asked to notify Katya Denisova (eddenisova@bcps.k12.md.us) of your completed application.

The MD Summer Centers for Gifted and Talented Students

The Maryland Summer Centers for Gifted and Talented Students turns 44 in 2011! This is a testament to its success in providing rigorous, highly motivational programs for the gifted and talented students of Maryland. Online registration is available for parents on the Summer Centers website. You may find more details on the 2011 Summer Centers Guide.

Maryland Kids Care Campaign

The Maryland Kids Care Campaign is a voluntary statewide effort to encourage Maryland public school students to get involved in helping Japan's earthquake and tsunami victims and their families. The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) believes that all of the Maryland public schools can make a significant difference in the relief efforts by having a handful of pennies from each child donated to this campaign. All of the funds collected will go directly to the American Red Cross for humanitarian aid. For details about this campaign and your school registration form, please see Superintendent Nancy Grasmick's letter to schools.

FYI: April State Board of Education Meeting

Please see memo from Superintendent Nancy Grasmick to review the actions from the April 26 State Board of Education meeting.

NTA Annual Mathematics Contest

The Baltimore Chapter of the National Technical Association and the Department of Computer Science at Morgan State University is co-sponsoring a competitive mathematics contest (Mathematics Games) for high school students to encourage improvement of math skills. In addition to the contest, there is a free 1 hour SAT Workshop, continental breakfast and lunch for each participant. Students are invited to the Mathematics Games on Sat., May 7 at Morgan State University. To participate, students should submit the NTA registration form to the NTA Baltimore Chapter (Attn. Math Contest, P.O. Box 28074, Balto., MD 21239) by Mon., April 18 or e-mail documents to Dr. Fred Oliver (fwoliver@verizon.net). Please include the contact information for the teacher who should be the point of contact during the weeks leading up to the Mathematics Games date. For more details, visit the NTA web site or contact Dr. Oliver at the a-mail listed above.

Roberta's House Grief and Support Center

The Office of Student Support sponsors an information session with Annette R. March-Grier, R.N., President and Executive Director of Roberta’s House, a grief and support center for students and their families. Family-centered and volunteer-driven—Roberta’s House assists students with developing healthy coping skills, community awareness and empowerment tools—while slowly working through the grieving process. Support services such as volunteer training, school support, professional workshops and bereavement development are also available for families, students and school staff. For more information about Roberta’s House click here. The information session for City Schools Staff is on May 18 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the boardroom of the of the dictrict office (200 E. North Ave. Balto., MD 21202). For further information about the event or to RSVP, please contact Tanya Williams (tcwilliams@bcps.k12.md.us), Deb Silcox (Dsilcox@bcps.k12.md.us) or Debbie Gibson (Dgibson03@bcps.k12.md.us).

Mentoring Summit for School-Based Mentors

The final Mentoring Summit with the New Teacher Center for the year occurs on Fri., May 13 and Sat., May 14. This opportunity is required for all individuals providing mentoring support to 3rd year probationary teachers and is open to all individuals in schools who have been identified to provide support and mentoring to non-tenured teachers. Permission to attend must be granted by your administrator since a portion of this training will take place on a Friday afternoon during school hours. Please see the summit flier for more information and to register.

Free Tickets to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Free tickets are available to Baltimore City Public Schools for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's (BSO) Mid-Week Music Series. There are concert options available for grades 1-8. Tickets are available for the April 7th show and May 19th show. Please see the BSO's spring ticket schedule for ticket availability and the concert schedule. Offer your students the show study guide as a reference.

National Educational Bosses' Week

The Maryland Association of Educational Office Professionals recognizes National Educational Bosses' Week with this proclamation.

Marathon Kids Final Mile

Baltimore City Public Schools will host the Marathon Kids Final Mile Medal Celebration on Sat., May 14 at 10 a.m. at the Poly-Western High School Complex. Marathon Kids is a free running, walking and nutrition program for elementary students. Children run or walk 26.2 miles over six months and track healthy eating choices, all in an effort to combat childhood obesity. The Final Mile Medal Celebration is the grand finale of the program, where children run their final ceremonial laps with their families and earn a Finisher Medal! All Finishers earn Finisher shirts at the end of the program. Teachers, participants and their families are invited to attend this free event. This event is for registered participants, but teachers and families new to the program are invited to attend to learn more about the program and join in for the 2011-12 school year. For more information, visit the Marathon Kids website or facebook page. Volunteers, preferably high school and college groups, teachers and parents, are needed from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. If you would like to volunteer, sign up here or e-mail michelle@marathonkids.org.

Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery

The Northrop Grumman Foundation is sponsoring the Weightless Flights of Discovery teacher development program, happening in Washington, D.C. September 12, 2011. The Foundation is currently accepting applications from middle school math & science teachers through May 15. Teachers can get more information from the program fact sheet and apply online.
The Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery program is a unique teacher professional development program designed to inspire students to pursue science and technical careers by inspiring their teachers first. To date, more than 1,250 teachers have flown bringing this one-of-a-kind experience to an estimated 500,000 students nationwide.  Current and future middle school teachers participate in a hands-on science workshop and perform experiments, in a parabolic or “zero-gravity” aircraft flight that creates temporary weightlessness comparable to what humans would experience during space travel to the Moon or Mars. It also mimics how astronauts train for space flight.

Teacher Evaluation Focus Groups

An evaluation system incorporates multiple measures to inform professional development needs and gain a clear understanding of teacher performance levels. Please join City Schools as we begin to develop a practical and fair evaluation system for our teachers. Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU) level teachers are invited to attend teacher focus groups on the City Schools Evaluation system. Groups take place on May 9 and May 10 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the BTU Professional Development Center (2801 Saint Lo Drive Balto., MD 21213). Dinner is provided to participants. Please register on iLearn and select the teacher focus group category from the available classes tab, then register for one of the courses title "teacher focus group". Registration is on a first come, first serve basis. For additional information, take a look at the focus group flier.  

A Salute to the Class of 2011

City Schools wants to salute the graduating class of 2011. We want to allow graduating seniors an opportunity to shine and be an example to those who will follow in their footsteps. To do so, Education Channel 77 needs schools to send a group photo of their graduating class as well as a list of the colleges, universities, technical schools or armed forces that students have been accepted to for the fall. Please send these photos in jpeg format and the list of students with schools to Dean Lynes (dlynes@bcps.k12.md.us). In addition, class valedictorians are invited to deliver a 1-2 minute message, on camera, to the Education Channel 77 viewing audience. They may bring highlights from the speech they have prepared for graduation or write something brand new for the broadcast. Please note, speeches do not have to be memorized, as teleprompters are available during taping. Please send speeches ahead of time to Dean Lynes. Valedictorians should report to Digital Harbor on May 9, May 11, May 16 and May 19—between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. for taping. If these times are not convenient, please e-mail Dean Lynes or call 410-962-1951 to make alternative arrangements.

Dean Lynes

Student Promotion and Retention Policy Forum

Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, invites you to participate in a public forum to provide feedback on the district's proposed updates to the promotion and retention policy. The policy provides the standards and guidelines for the promotion and retention of students in grades k-12. The forum in on Tues., May 19 at 6 p.m. in the first floor boardroom at the City Schools district office (200 E. North Ave. Baltimore, MD 21202). Please consider distributing the event flier to your networks and communities.
Crystal Ashe


Loch Raven Day is May 15th

Loch Raven Day is on Sun., May 15 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. This day is an opportunity to learn about the Baltimore City drinking water system, with exhibits including some wildlife. The public is also allowed onto the Loch Raven Dam to get a good view of the watershed and learn about it's history. Please feel free to display the Loch Raven Day flier in your schools and communities.

Kurt Kocher


Kids of all ages are invited to Big Truck Day at the Baltimore Museum of Industry on Sat., May 14 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Some of the largest Baltimore City vehicles from the Department of Public Works, Department of Transportation, Fire Department and more, are on display. The Big Truck flier is available to communicate with your students and communities.

Station North Arts Festival

You are invited to join the 5th Annual Station North Arts Festival (1400 Greenmount Avenue, Baltimore MD 21202) on Sat., May 14 from 12 to 4 p.m. For details, please see the Station North flier and be sure to complete a registration form to send with your art submissions.

Maryland Kids Care Campaign

The Maryland Kids Care Campaign is a voluntary statewide effort to encourage Maryland public school students to get involved in helping Japan's earthquake and tsunami victims and their families. The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) believes that all of the Maryland public schools can make a significant difference in the relief efforts by having a handful of pennies from each child donated to this campaign. All of the funds collected will go directly to the American Red Cross for humanitarian aid. For details about this campaign and your school registration form, please see Superintendent Nancy Grasmick's letter to schools.

Panera Bread Celebrates Teachers

Magic 95.9 and Panera Bread team up to appreciate teachers during the week of May 2 through May 6. Log on to Magic 95.9's website, nominate your school and explain why you deserve to be recognized as the best in Baltimore. The school with the most nominations receives a catered breakfast, courtesy of Panera Bread and Magic 95.9. Voting is open until May 6. See the contest flier for details about the event. If you have questions, please contact Tia Jackson at RadioOne (tia@radio-one.com or call 410-332-8200).

City Schools Community Resource Expo

Please mark your calendars and spread the word about the 2011 Community Resource Expo, taking place on Tues., May 3rd from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Patapsco Arena. All members of the City Schools community are welcome to attend including principals, assistant principals, teachers, any school staff, parents, students and community groups. Members of our school community will have the opportunity to meet with over 150 vendors to investigate resources to support academic, behavioral and extracurricular programs. Many vendors provide free or low cost services, samples or demonstrations. Please contact Laura Hiatt (lcancellieri@bcps.k12.md.us or call 410-396-8810) in the Office of the Chief Academic Officer with any questions.

Youth Media Festival - 48 City Schools Participate

Celebrate the accomplishmens and creativity of 48 City Schools at the 6th Annual Who Are You? Youth Media Festival. You may view the visual arts exhibition of our students and hundreds of other students in the Pearlstone Theater Lobby at Centerstage (700 N. Calvert St. Balto., MD 21202) Performances take place on April 30 at 6 p.m. and the visual exhibition is open through May 3. Performance Day tickets can be reserved by calling 410-332-0033. For more information, including the list of City Schools participants, see Wide Angle Media's press release. If you have questions, please contact Sarah McCann, festival coordinator, by e-mailing mccann@wideanglemedia.org or call 443-759-6700.