Take Note Archive—June

 

New Scholarship Program for Teen Parents

The Generation Hope Scholar Program supports teen parents who are attending colleges in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia— and who are in need of emotional and financial assistance to help them complete college, pursue a successful career and create a stable environment—for themselves and their children. Scholars receive a mentor, a support network, fun activities for themselves and their children throughout the year and life skills and career prep classes. The application for 2011 has been extended until June 24. For a full description of the program, please read the fact sheet and to apply, please complete the program application packet. Please contact Kendria Reynoso (kendria@supportgenerationhope.org or call 202-656-8705) with questions.
 

New Positions Available!—School Support Networks

To better support schools and ensure success for all students, Baltimore City Public Schools is reorganizing its district office to move key resources and support closer to schools and to improve the flow of and access to information across the district. To do this, it is creating robust and differentiated School Support Networks, school leadership support resources—a transparent school and school leader evaluation system—and a formal district knowledge management function. Apply today! Positions on each School Support Network team are proposed and subject to board approval. Positions are listed below. Please click the title for the full job description.

Executive Director of Principal Support and Accountability

School Support Networks Team Facilitator

Academic Content Liaison

Student Support Liaison

Data Specialist

Family and Community Engagement Specialist

Human Capital Specialist

Special Education Liaison

Supervisor–Education Building 

Notice of Special Board Meeting

The Board holds a special meeting on June 28 at 6 p.m. to receive information from staff and vote on the proposed personnel report. The meeting is held in the 1st floor board room at the City Schools district office. Public comment will not be taken at this special meeting. Citizens are welcome to attend and observe the process. Please see the special notice for additional details. 

eForms Outage Notification

City Schools Information Technology Department is currently testing the functionality of eForms Release 6.0 in preparation for a June 2011 upgrade of the Electronic Forms. The projected upgrade will take place between June 25th and June 26th, 2011. Added features and functionality to the eForms will include: • Faster processing of requests • More transparent process • Enables the requestor to easily track the status of their request • Simplified process questions
 
If you have any questions or comments regarding this City Schools technology alert, please contact the ITD Service Desk at 410-396-8182 or email helpdesk@bcps.k12.md.us.
 

Blackboard 9 Release

The City Schools Information Technology Department is currently working on the Blackboard release 9.1—an upgrade of the Teacher Student Support (TSS). Blackboard is unavailable between June 17 and June 24. For more information about the release, see the upgrade details

City Schools Title I Conference

Join teachers, school administrators, parents and members of the community for an exciting weekend of sharing best practices and exchanging strategic plans for effectively utilizing Title I dollars—an important federal resource to Title I schools. This year's conference mission exemplifies City Schools' commitment to ensuring that  the neediest students receive the additional resources to support their proficiency toward meeting the state of Maryland's academic standards. Registration is free and all interested Title I schools are invited to participate. Please complete the registration form and distribute the save the date flier your networks.     

Opportunity for Schools to Join Truancy Court Program

The University of Baltimore School of Law Center for Families, Children and the Courts (CFCC)—in partnership with the Baltimore City Public Schools Office of Attendance and Truancy and the Circuit and District Courts for Baltimore City—operates a Truancy Court Program (TCP) in five Baltimore City elementary/middle schools and one high school in Baltimore. CFCC would like to share updates about the TCP, provide an overview of the program planned for the 2011-12 school year and solicit feedback and questions about the TCP.
 
All principals and assistant principals of Baltimore City elementary, middle and K-8 schools are invited to attend a one-day workshop on CFCC’s Truancy Court Program. The workshop – A Truancy Court Program for Baltimore City: Positive Results for Children, Families, Schools and Communities – takes place on Monday, June 20 from 9:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University of Baltimore Student Center (Fifth Floor, 21 West Mount Royal Avenue). Participants will hear from the principals and administrators of some of the schools that have implemented the TCP, a volunteer judge and CFCC representatives. In addition, CFCC representatives will discuss plans for continuing the TCP, including the TCP application process and selection of new schools for the program. For more information, please contact Gloria Danziger, Program Director at gdanziger@ubalt.edu or 410-837-5613, or Andrea Bento, TCP Program Manager, at afbento@ubalt.edu or 410-837-5614

Paraprofessionals Early Retirement Incentive Plan (ERIP): 52 Enrolled

Paraprofessional members of PSRP:  As you consider your options with Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) for next year, please think about the City Schools Early Retirement Incentive Plan (ERIP). This is a one-time early retirement opportunity offered by the district. Please read the ERIP letter as an overview of this retirement opportunity. After reviewing the letter, the enrollment kit and ERIP flier, please think about whether this plan is a good fit for you.  The enrollment deadline is June 24.

 

Special note: If you are an employee who plans to retire effective July 1, please read these special instructions. To receive retirement benefits in July, you must submit your retirement enrollment forms no later than June 1. 
 
Representatives from Aon Hewitt, the ERIP-PARA program administrator, are available to help with your questions regarding this early retirement incentive program. Call toll free at 1-800-341-4413 between 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. There will also be informational seminars on May 25 and May 26. Seminar registration information is listed on the ERIP flier. Please know that on behalf of our 84,000 great kids and 200 schools, the district is grateful for all of the important work you do.

P-StAR Modules

As part of ongoing efforts to better support schools and add to City Schools’ green initiatives, enhancements to the P-StAR system will be launched for the new school year. “Create Stipend” will allow you to document approvals and submit requests for stipend payments through P-StAR rather than using paper forms, as of the beginning of the 2011-12 school year. Please keep in mind that stipend payments are not processed during July and August. All summer activities must be administered and paid via the summer school payroll process. “Create Temporary Position” enables you to follow a P-StAR process similar to creation of regular staff positions. This new tool, launching over the summer, should be used for creation of temporary positions for the 2011-12 school year. Please note that for temporary positions taking effect after July 1, paper forms will be accepted only until June 13; after this date, these positions must be created through P-StAR. Online training will be available in the coming weeks. Check City Schools Inside and your e-mail for more information about the new system, training and roll-out dates. For questions, please contact the Office of Human Capital at 410-396-8885.
 

Legislative Wrap-Up Notice

The Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners and Delegate Cheryl Glenn, Chair of the Education Subcommittee of the Baltimore City Delegates to the Maryland General Assembly, will hold a discussion regarding the outcome of education legislation in the 2011 Legislative General Assembly, Thursday, June 16 in the district office's first floor board room at 6 p.m.

Save Another Youth and Stop the Violence Rally

Come to the Save Our Youth and Stop the Violence Rally on Saturday, June 11 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the City Schools district office (200 E. North Ave.). For more information, please contact Reverend Willie Ray, Chairman of Save Another Youth, Inc. at 410-728-1490 or Reverend Kevin Slayton from the Mayor's Office of Faith at 410-396-4735.
 

Benchmark D Assessments 

Please be advised that delivery of the printed test booklets for the subjects listed below began on Monday, May 2nd and should be completed by Friday, May 6th. HSA Data Analysis/Algebra, Biology, English I, English II, U.S. History, and American Government. In addition to the printed tests, the following subject areas will also have End of Course Assessments available on Data Link which can be printed at each school. Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Chemistry, Science & Sustainability, Physics, Environmental Science, English III, English IV, and World History. Scan sheets and tests can be printed from Data Link starting on May 23rd with an end date of June 8th. All scanning must be completed by June 15th. Please contact Dennis Jutras at djutras@bcps.k12.md.us if you have any questions.

Please Select Re-defined Codes Via Employee Self Service

The U.S. Department of Education issued final guidance requiring state education departments to implement modifications to the standards and aggregation categories for collecting information on race and ethnicity. The changes are necessary in order to implement the 1997 Standards for Maintaining, Collecting and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity.

As a result of these changes, the Office of Human Capital is asking that all employees log into Employee Self-Service before June 15 to re-identify their ethnicity and race using the updated categories provided by the federal government. 

Pupil Transportation Rollover

Data in eTR rolls over on May 27. Please ensure that your Transportation Coordinator verifies the information in eTR to make sure that the addresses, emergency information, phone numbers, school assignment and other pertinent information is correct by June 10. For details on this process, please read the complete message from the Information Technology Department (helpdesk@bcps.k12.md.us).   

10-Month Salaried Employees: Take Advantage of a New 12-Month Pay Option

The Payroll Office is pleased to announce a new option that enables 10-month salaried employees to spread pay over the calendar year. Instead of receiving your salary in 21 biweekly paychecks with no deposits during the summer, you can elect to spread your salary over the full year in 26 biweekly payments. This option reduces the amount of pay deposited to your bank account during the school year in order to provide you with pay every two weeks in July and August.

Open enrollment for the 12-month pay option is available only from June 1 to June 15 for the 2011-12 school year, with the 26 biweekly payments running from September 2011 through August 2012. Once enrolled, employees cannot withdraw from the program until the 2012-13 school year.

MECU offers a separate plan designed to facilitate saving for the summer months. To see how City Schools’ 12-month pay compares to the MECU plan, and to find out more about the City Schools’ option, follow this link.
 
To enroll, log onto Employee Self-Service and follow links to the Pay All Year online enrollment form. If you have any questions, please contact the Payroll Office (payroll@bcps.k12.md.us).

Johns Hopkins CTY Salutes Outstanding Students

On Saturday, June 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. Johns Hopkins University's Center for Talented Youth (CTY) honors some of Baltimore's brightest students, schools and organizations that support them. The 2011 Academic Salute to Baltimore Students takes place in Shriver Hall at Johns Hopkins University (3400 N. Charles St.) Seating is limited to the student and two guests. Please RSVP (ctyrsvp@jhu.edu or call 410-735-4153) by Monday, June 13.

2011 Commencement Schedule

Please click here for the 2011 commencement schedule.

Teacher Induction Survey

Principals, mentors, first and second-year teachers, please complete the Teacher Induction Survey by June 17. The survey is available here. The information gathered is used to improve the support for beginning teachers in City Schools.

Inclement Weather Days Information for All Administrators and Staff

Information for all administrators and staff about June 10, June 16 and June 17. Due to the use of five inclement weather days during the school year 2010-2011, June 10, 2011 is not the last day of school and is a full day of school for students and staff. Thursday, June 16, 2011 and Friday, June 17, 2011 (last day of school) are half days for students. Staff will use the remainder of each day for records management.  

Central Maryland Artist Showcase

Join Young Audiences and Class Acts Arts on Saturday, June 11 at The Park School (2425 Old Court Road, Baltimore, MD 21208) to experience over 25 performances by professional artists  in music, theater, dance and visual arts. Choose your arts assemblies, workshops and residencies for next school year. If you are new to cultural arts programming, attend a “Scheduling 101” workshop or a “Grants and Funding” workshop.
This is a family friendly event that is educational and entertaining. Children are welcome and attend free. Advance tickets are $7.50 until Thursday, June 9 before 11:59 p.m. Purchase tickets online here. Tickets purchased at the door are $10.00. This showcase is presented by Young Audiences and Class Acts Arts. Visit Young Audiences website or the Class Acts Arts website  for more information on programs the groups offer.

Nominate an Outstanding Teacher at Your School

Baltimore City Public Schools will honor outstanding teachers at a reception hosted by Dr. Alonso on June 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Baltimore Museum of Industry (1415 Key Highway). Principals must nominate one outstanding teacher to represent their school. Please submit your nominations, including the teacher's name, his or her current e-mail address and a one-paragraph explanation as to why this teacher was selected. Nominations and the name and position of the administrator who will accompany them to the event should be sent to Nicole Mullins (nmullins@bcps.k12.md.us).

Continuing Education Courses for K-12 Educators

The College of Notre Dame and Virtual Education Software, Inc. (VESI) now offer continuing education courses for k-12 educators online or via CD-Rom. These courses provide instruction at a pace that fits your schedules. For more information, see this e-announcement.

New Leaders for New Schools Resident Principals

New Leaders for New Schools has an opportunity open to all City Schools principals to hire a New Leaders Resident Principal for your school during the 2011-2012 school year. Resident Principals will: – engage in the day-to-day work of a school leader – take responsibility for raising students' academic achievement in your school – work to address school culture and climate issues – be engaged in professional learning projects designed to address complex school issues – be part of a national community of school leaders focused on achieving dramatic gains for all students The New Leaders for New Schools Baltimore Program is recruiting select principals to act as "Host Principals" for our Resident Principals during the 2011-2012 school year. This school leadership work placement provides for an authentic learning experience crucial to our Resident Principals’ training to develop their own skills as they prepare to assume a principalship in one year. For additional information and how to apply, see the information sheet.

Suspected Bed Bugs in Schools

In recent years, there have been an overwhelming number of concerns about bed bugs. Actual bed bug infestations in schools are uncommon. However, a few bed bugs may come to school from an infested dwelling by hiding in clothing or a backpack. Bed bugs that hitch a ride into the school in one student’s backpack could be carried home by another student.

If bed bug bites are verified or suspected by the school health nurse or principal, a call should be made to the parent or guardian to pick up the student and seek assistance from their personal physician, if necessary. If a suspected bed bug has been found on a student or inside a classroom, the bed bug should be isolated in a zip-lock bag for identification and maintained for inspection by the Facilities Pest Management Team (410-396-6566). Try not to crush the bug. If confirmed, appropriate pest management strategies will be implemented. The student’s belongings (backpack, book bag, etc.) should also be isolated in a separate plastic bag, sealed and given to the parent or guardian for inspection. The Bed Bug Fact Sheet should be given to the parent or guardian. The fact sheet stresses the importance of the addressing conditions at home. It should also be noted that the City Schools Integrated Pest Management (IPM) includes routine inspections for pests, pest identification, selection of the least-risk control methods that work best and ongoing monitoring to make sure the control strategy works. For issues pertaining to pests and pest management, contact Facilities Pest Management at 410-396-6566.

Designated Nursing Areas Now Available

In response to the Healthcare Reform Law requirement that employers offer a “work place location for the purpose of expressing breast milk”, the Office of Human Capital has designated two rooms that meet these requirements. The designated nursing rooms are in the Welcome Center of the Office of Human Capital (200 E. North Ave, Suite 110-Rooms A and B). These rooms are available to any City Schools employee to use for this purpose.

New Fridays Farmer's Market

There is a new farmer's market on Fridays from 3 to 7 p.m. on Lanvale at Charles Street. There is live music, DJs, prepared food and snacks while you shop for your groceries. For more information, see the market flier or visit the Friday market website.

FREE Digital Fingerprinting for Kids

The Keeping Kids Safe Project host a Free digital fingerpinting and photo event. This program tours the country—and is in our area on Fri., Jun 3 from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. and on Sat., June 4 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.—at the Bob Davidson Ford Lincoln (1845 E. Joppa Rd. Parkville, MD). This helps parents have up-to-date photos and fingerprints of their children in case of an emergency. The photos and fingerprints are FBI-quality, however, no records of the visit are maintained. The only record goes home directly with each parent. For more information, please see the event flier. If you have questions, please contact or call 319-268-4111).

SumDog: A Free Math Fluency Website

SumDog is a free website for practicing Math Fluency. Students can practice all the basic fact tables or choose specific skills from a list of 100 different skills. Teachers can create challenges and competitions for their students. Students can race against the computer, their classmates or students from around the world. A good variety of games offers something to engage the interest of all students. Best of all, it's free! Simply visit, the SumDog website today to get started.

TELL Maryland: Current District Response Rate is 44%

The deadline for completing the Teaching, Empowering, Leading & Learning (TELL) Maryland survey, an initiative of Governor Martin O'Malley's office, has been extended to Friday, June 3. The survey should be taken by all pre-k to grade 12 teachers; all certificated personnel, including guidance counselors, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, special educators and physical therapists; principals, assistant principals and other school-based administrators; and instructional paraprofessionals, teachers’ assistants and school staff who support teaching and administration.
 

All eligible staff should have received a survey packet, including a log-in code, in late April.  (If you do not have a packet, please contact your principal.)  The survey is available to complete online at http://www.tellmaryland.org/login.

 

Response rates are available for review in real time at the survey web site. Survey data can be used at both school and district levels to inform school-improvement planning and strengthen our school communities, but results are made available only to those schools reaching a 50 percent response rate. Don’t delay – complete the survey today!

Supporting Your Bright Child Parent Forum

City Schools seeks the input of parents on its proposal for meeting the needs of gifted students. Parents and families of gifted and talented students are invited to give feedback on prioritizing the strategies for implementing the plan. The forum takes place on Weds., Jun 1 at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (1400 W. Cold Spring Lane). Light refreshments are served from 5:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. and child care is provided. Principals and teachers, please distribute the forum flier to your gifted students and their families. If you have questions, please contact bknight@bcps.k12.md.us or call 410-396-8538).