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Take Note Archive, August 2011

New Teacher Induction Activities 

 

City Schools New Teacher Institute (NTI) will be held August 8-12 at Digital Harbor High School. First-year teachers who attended the institute will report to their assigned schools on August 15 and 16. The NTI is open to all first-year classroom teachers newly hired to teach in City Schools. In addition, all teachers hired on or after August 9, 2010 (the first day of institute last year) who were not able to attend the 2010 institute will be eligible to attend this year. Click here to view the flyer and register for the NTI. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Kelly Manard at kmanard@bcps.k12.md.us.

 

Mentor Orientation, August 10 

 

City Schools Mentor Orientation will be held on August 10 at Federal Hill Preparatory School. All principal identified mentors received an invitation via email and should register on ilearn by July 29. Mentors will report to the school site on August 15 and 16 to orient new teachers to the school expectations and community. Click here to view the flyer and to register for the orientation. If you have any questions regarding Mentor Orientation or Site-based Orientation, please contact Meredith DeGemmis at mdegemmis@bcps.k12.md.us.

School-based Orientation, August 15 and 16 


Mentors and new teachers will report to schools for a full day of training and development on Aug. 15 and 16. School-based orientation days have four primary objectives:

· Orient new teachers to the school vision and culture.
· Ensure that new teachers understand the instructional expectations of the school.
· Ensure that new teachers understand the administrative expectations of the school.
· Ensure that new teachers understand the support and resources provided by the school.

 

2011-2012 Benchmark/Assessment Calendar 

 

Please click here for the 2011-2012 Benchmark/Assessment Calendar. Please note that there are three separate calendars - one for elementary & middle schools, one for high schools which run year-long courses, and one for high schools which run semester-long courses. Click here for the list of tests that will be printed and shipped to schools as well as the tests which will need to be printed at the schools. All assessment questions can be directed to Dennis Jutras at djutras@bcps.k12.md.us.


 

District Created Assessments for the 2011-2012 Academic Year 

 

Click here for a complete list of all benchmarks/assessments which will be produced for district use by the Office of Teaching and Learning for the upcoming academic year. All highlighted tests will be printed and shipped to schools. Tests which are not highlighted on the list will need to be printed at each school. All tests and answer keys will be posted on Data Link in advance of the testing windows. A testing window calendar (inclusive of STEP, WIRELESS, RISE, MMSR...) will be forthcoming later this month. All assessment questions can be directed to Dennis Jutras at djutras@bcps.k12.md.us.


Procurement Board Letters

Please click here for the 2011-12 schedule for board letters and meeting dates of the Procurement Review Committee (PRC). Individuals who submit a board letter must be present at the corresponding PRC meeting in order for their board letter to proceed. Board letters that have not gone through a competitive solicitation process (RFP, Invitation to Bid or PQS) will be deferred from consideration. If you have any questions, please call 410-396-875

New Teacher Institute, August 8-12, 15 and 16

New Teacher Institute (NTI) will take place August 8-12, 15 and 16. During the first five days of NTI at Digital Harbor High School, new teachers will take a deep dive into the City Schools curriculum, assessments and academic priorities. They will also spend time learning about the instructional framework for effective teaching as outlined by City Schools. In addition, new teachers will have the opportunity to learn about initiatives from the Special Education Office and the Information Technology Department. On August 15 and 16, new teachers will report to their school sites and collaborate with site-based mentors and other school-based staff. During these days they will learn about site-based policies and procedures, while becoming acclimated with their new school and the neighborhood. To read more about NTI, please access the syllabus here. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Kelly Manard at kmanard@bcps.k12.md.us.

Buying Into Baltimore

Are you thinking about purchasing a new home? Learn all you need to know about buying a home in Baltimore City at Smart Homebuying Night, a homeownership fair and pre-purchase counseling class on Wednesday, August 3. Then on Saturday, September 10, attend the Buying Into Baltimore homebuying fair and neighborhood tour event for the eastern city neighborhoods, and learn how you can get $4,000 toward your home purchase in Baltimore City. Register and reserve your spot for both events at http://www.livebaltimore.com/ today!

City Schools Connect Offers August Agent Training

Mandatory professional development will be conducted for staff identified as City Schools Connect agents, beginning Tuesday, August 2. Agents are encouraged to bring their own lunch to the professional development – called “BYOL PD” – which will be conducted in room 301 of the district office on August 2, 4, 9 and 11. Each agent will receive an e-mail notifying him or her of the designated training date. If you have any questions, please contact Joan Hammonds at jhammonds@bcps.k12.md.us.

Free Summer Fitness Classes at the District Office  

Kick off your work shoes—and find out how much fun you can have getting fit. Join City Schools after-hours in the Board Room of the district office (200 E. North Ave.) for a sampling of free summer fitness classes on Wednesday July 13, 20 and 27 from 5-6 p.m. Stay tuned for BeWell’s eight-week fitness classes, coming to City Schools later this summer and in the fall.
 
Zumba, July 13
Enjoy a fun, easy and high-energy aerobic routine in Zumba, a class that combines Latin dance rhythms with cardiovascular exercise. Prepare to put all parts of your body to good use.

Salsa Dancing, July 20
Keep fit, lose weight, build core strength and let loose in Salsa Dancing, a fusion of dance styles that translates into a high-energy, maximum body movement exercise.
 
Yoga (Dance Yoga and Power Yoga), July 27
Experience two kinds of yoga—dance yoga, a series of slow, continuous movements, and power yoga, a vigorous style that emphasizes strength, flexibility and stress reduction. Please bring a yoga mat or towel.
 
To register, visit the BeWell section of the City Schools website. Classes are capacity controlled and are open to all City Schools employees. If you have any questions contact Victoria Dailey at vdailey@bcps.k12.md.us.
 
 

Power Outage to Digital Harbor High School 

 
ITD will take the power down to the Data Center at the Digital Harbor High (DHH) School #416 on Saturday morning, July 30, 2011. Work will begin at 6:00 a.m. All switches that affect the WAN (Wide Area Network) will be impacted. This includes access to the Internet as well as core services like SMS/TSS/ERP. We expect service to be restored by 6:00 p.m., Saturday. Local activity on the PC desktop/laptop at the school(s) will still be available. All schools in the 416 HUB, as well as DHH itself, will be affected. Click here for the list of schools that will be impacted by the outage on July 30.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this City Schools technology alert, please contact the ITD Service Desk at 443-396-8182 or helpdesk@bcps.k12.md.us.  
 
 

eForms Replace the Paper-based Student Accident Report Form 

 
The Chief Operating Officer and the Chief Technology Officer are pleased to announce the automation of the Student Accident Report process. The new process will enable faster review and better reporting of student accidents. Effective July 25, 2011, Principals must submit their Student Accident Reports electronically via eForms. Paper Student Accident Report forms will no longer be accepted after July 31, 2011.

The link to the eForms system can be found on the City Schools ERP Portal Page. Use your network username and password to log in to eForms. After logging in, start the process by clicking on the Student Accident Report workflow link in the City Schools Forms folder. You can also click on the Web Content Filter Request link that can be found on the Internet filter blocked access web page which appears when you try to access a blocked website. For further information, a Training Quick Start Guide can be found in the How-To Guides folder. If you have any questions or comments regarding this City Schools technology alert, please contact the ITD Service Desk at 443-396-8182 or helpdesk@bcps.k12.md.us.
  
 

Parent and Community Advisory Board Members Needed 

 
We are in the process of identifying and recruiting new membership for vacant slots on the Parent and Community Advisory Board (PCAB). We are reaching out to you and your school community/organization to help us with the task of identifying individuals who can give a commitment to serving on our parent board here in the district. Below you will find an overview of PCAB which will outline responsibilities and the role board members play in the work of City Schools. Please feel free to share this information with other stakeholders. Our timeline is immediate; we would like to start the interview process ASAP. If you have any questions, please contact Michael Carter at MCarter@bcps.k12.md.us or call 410-545-1870.

Parent and Community Advisory Board Overview
The primary role of the Parent and Community Advisory Board (PCAB) is to advise the CEO and the Board of School Commissioners on issues and concerns that are relative to the policies and procedures which govern Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools). PCAB promotes parent involvement with City Schools by taking the responsibility to funnel information from parents and the community to individual commissioners, the entire board of school commissioners, the CEO and administrators of City Schools.

PCAB is a fourteen member board, the majority of who are parents of children attending City Schools. PCAB came into existence when the city and state were jointly placed in charge of the public schools in Baltimore City in 1997 with the passing of SB 795.

The PCAB work to support and promote the work of City Schools, advise in the planning and development of educational policies and procedures, give advice on the implementation of those education policies and procedures, give advice and assistance to administration when evaluating newly proposed and/or amended policies and procedures, make recommendations for solutions to incorporate the views of parents and community members in the development of policies and procedures, recommend activities that promote improved communications between City Schools, parents and the community, assisting City Schools in identifying community resources, take the pulse of the community to identify issues and concerns that impact City Schools and disseminate state and federal policy which impact City Schools.

The PCAB mission is to ensure the voice of communities are heard and taken into consideration in the development and implementation of policies and procedures for the benefit of all students attending BCPS. Meetings are regularly scheduled with the CEO, Board of School Commissioners and members of the community. All PCAB efforts aim to ensure that all students are prepared to compete in a growing and changing world.
 
 

Exchange Program Kicks Off, Linking Baltimore and Xiamen, China 

 
On July 7, a group of students from Carver Vocational-Technical High School set off for Shanghai and Xiamen, China, as part of a week-long exchange visit to Carver’s “sister school,” Xiamen Electronic Vocational School. Click here to read more about the trip and exchange program.
 
 

Introducing the Office of Enrollment, Choice and Transfers 

 
The Office of Student Placement (OSP) has a new name for the new school year. To better reflect the essential activities it performs, OSP is now known as the Office of Enrollment, Choice and Transfers. The name change communicates the mission of the office—not to “place” students, but to encourage families to explore schools, consider options, and make great decisions about the school or program that best fits your students’ needs. The office welcomes students through enrollment, administers one of the district’s leading reform initiatives with the School Choice program and, when warranted, facilitates student transfers to new schools. For more information about the Office of Enrollment, Choice and Transfers, call 410-396-8600. Please start using the new office name in any communications, effective immediately.

 

Vote Today and Put Technology in the Hands of Baltimore Students 

 
Learning through technology has made an impact at Furman L. Templeton (FLT) elementary school. Identifying this need for added support in learning through technology, the school entered the Pepsi Refresh Project Challenge where their idea of motivating students to achieve their academic goals through the use of ipads was chosen as a finalist and can be voted on during the month of July.

Winning ideas will receive a $25,000 prize, and FLT elementary plans on investing this award in ipads, fully equipped with books pertaining to their instructional reading level, math and spelling games, phonics and more.

Click here to vote online. You may also vote via text message by texting the number 107461 to 73774 (Pepsi). You can vote every day, as many times as you’d like, online and by text.
 
 

Board Policy Updates and TOC's 

 
The Board recently passed several new policies. Attached are the policies and related administrative regulations and a revised Table of Contents (TOC) for principal and senior staff Board Policy Binders.
 

New MSDE Video to be Available Soon 

 
As Maryland’s Race to the Top (RTTT) program reaches its second year, Dr. Sadusky wants you to know that MSDE is in the process of producing a video to answer “Teachers’ Top 10 Questions about Maryland’s Third Wave of Reform”. Along with the video, MSDE will create a handout providing additional details about these questions and answers – a resource that teachers can use for reference as reform programs take root in their classrooms.

One of the challenges we face at MSDE is communicating at the classroom level and because of this, for planning purposes, we ask that you please alert your principals to the availability of these useful and informative materials.

The video and handout will be invaluable tools that we hope all principals will present to and discuss with their faculties when educators head back to the classroom this upcoming school year.

The “Teachers’ Top 10 Questions” video and accompanying handout will be completed and available for download from the MSDE website in early August. We will follow up with you again as that time nears.

 

Career Pathway Salary Notification

 

The Office of Human Capital continues to work with BTU professionals to appropriately place them on the new pay plan.  In February 2011, BTU professionals received individual letters with initial pathway and interval placements which were based on SY 10-11 assignments. In order to accurately update career pathway and interval placements for all BTU professionals for SY2011-12, the Office of Human Capital will use the following information:

 

·         Final SY 10-11 evaluations completed and submitted by principals.

·         Review and approval of submitted credits towards AU bank.  BTU professionals have until June 30th to submit previously earned credits.

·         Approved position assignment changes for SY 11-12.

Below is the timeline for which the Office of Human Capital will provide updated information to BTU professionals.

 

BTU Members

12 month

10 month

Final Date for AU submission

June 30, 2011

June 30, 2011

Approval of AUs submitted by June 30th

July 14, 2011

July 30, 2011

New Pay Plan Implementation

July 2, 2011

*first pay period beginning the new fiscal year

August 13, 2011

*first pay period beginning the new school year

Updated ESS Career Pathway Profile

July 18, 2011

August 29, 2011

Effective Pay Date

*Interval movement for approved AUs during the month of June will be effective July 1.

 

July 22, 2011

(First pay period of the fiscal year which includes July 2nd thru July 15th)

September 2, 2011

(First pay period of the new school year which includes August 22nd thru August 26th)

 

In addition to the dates in the timeline above, whenever a BTU professional earns 12 AUs, he or she will move one Interval on his or her current pathway. Interval movement for approved AUs will be effective at the beginning of the pay cycle after submission with the exception of those AUs submitted during June, which will be effective July 1st. 

 

Additional information regarding the new BTU Contract is available at City Schools Inside under Professional Contracts. For specific questions regarding the Career Pathway and Interval new pay plan please contact the Career Pathway Service Center at (443)642-3979 or cpsc@bcps.k12.md.us.

Network Transition Contact for the Summer

Principals and assistant principals: Find out here who your network transition contact will be this summer. Please email schoolsupportnetwork@bcps.k12.md.us – you will receive a response within 24 hours – or Dr. Alonso directly if you have any questions about the reorganization or experience a break in service.

District Office, Room 212 – Closed to Teachers for the Summer

Teachers, please note that room 212 in the district office will be closed for the duration of the summer break. The space will be used for various trainings and events, and will also be remodeled, over the course of the summer. Room 212 will be available for teacher use when the 2011-2012 school year begins again in August.

Summer Leadership Institute Materials Now Available

The presentations and handouts used at the CAO’s 2011 Summer Leadership Institute held June 21-24 are now available. Click here to view the talking points.

New P-StAR Module--Temporary Positions Go Digital July 2

Starting July 2, P-StAR will be the only way to create FY12 temporary positions (paper forms will no longer be processed). System access is the same as regular position P-StAR, and will become available on Thur., June 30 to create positions beginning July 2 (the start of a new pay period).  Existing temps on time sheets for the pay period beginning June 18 will be covered for July 1 pay. Please also note that:

  • additional “submitters” can be requested via eforms Position Control;
  • online training will be available on the ERP portal page;
  • the amount planned in Budget tool will be available, and a budget amendment should be submitted if additional funds are needed (same as current process);
  • the approval flow is identical to regular P-StARs.

If you have questions, please contact Whit Tantleff at wtantleff@bcps.k12.md.us or 410-396-8784.

Register Now for Movement to the Model Pathway!

The landmark Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU) contract that you approved last fall, and that City Schools will implement in the 2011-12 school year, involves career pathways (Standard, Professional, Model and Lead) that teachers can move up or down throughout their teaching career. Movement to the Model Pathway involves participating in a peer review process. To register for movement to the Model Pathway, please click here. If you require more information, please refer to Model Pathway information in the Professional Contract section of City Schools Inside.

Coming Soon: Information about the Title I Transfer Option (TITO)

Later in the summer, families of students at Title I schools in School Improvement status will receive information about the Title I Transfer Option (TITO). Through this option, which is required under No Child Left Behind legislation, families may elect to keep their children at their neighborhood school or transfer them to schools not identified as Schools in Need of Improvement.

To help City Schools keep parents informed of their options, principals at affected schools will be asked to display posters about TITO prominently in their school building. Once all MSA data are finalized, letters will be sent to parents and guardians informing them of their transfer options and encouraging them to contact their neighborhood school to find out about plans for the coming year and ways they can contribute to school success if they choose for their children to remain there.

The Title I office will be contacting principals of schools (that might be able to receive transferring children) to establish how many seats they can offer for the coming school year. If you have questions, please contact Tasha Franklin Johnson (director) or Keshawn Golson (specialist) in the Title I office at 410-396-8937.

Unique Fulbright Opportunities for K-12 Teachers: Live and Teach Abroad!

Do you want to teach overseas? Do you want to conduct a special project in your area of interest? Learn more about two different and unique professional development opportunities with Fulbright programs designed especially for K-12 teachers from the United States and other countries.

The Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange Program is a one-to-one exchange program for K-12 teachers for one semester or one academic year. Teachers in the U.S. will exchange classroom teaching assignments and related school duties with an international teacher. U.S. and international students and teachers will gain new skills and perspectives, while school communities gain a new awareness of other cultures and languages. The 2012-13 participating countries are the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, India, Mexico, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. All teachers must have five years of teaching experience, a B.A. degree and be currently employed in a full-time teaching position at a U.S. school. Applications must be submitted to AED by Oct. 15, 2011. Selected teachers will begin their Fulbright exchange assignment in August 2012.

The Distinguished Fulbright Awards in Teaching Program provides in-depth professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers in an international context for a period of three to six months. Teachers will complete an action-based research project, take classes at a host university, and collaborate with teachers and students in local schools. Participating countries for 2012-2013 are Argentina, Finland, India, Mexico, Morocco, Singapore, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Applicants must have: a master's degree or be enrolled in a master’s degree program, five years of teaching experience and be currently employed in a teaching or education related position. Applications must be submitted to AED by Dec. 15, 2011. Selected teachers will carry out their Fulbright grant activities during fall 2012 or spring 2013.

Visit our website www.fulbrightteacherexchange.org for more details about the programs, requirements, benefits and application forms. NOTE: These two Fulbright programs are sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and are managed by the Academy of Educational Development (AED), an NGO located in Washington, DC.

Leadership Opportunity for Teachers to Facilitate

This summer, join a team of outstanding facilitators to roll out City Schools new Instructional Framework. We are seeking energetic teachers with strong facilitation skills/experience to introduce City Schools new Instructional Framework to fellow teachers. The new Instructional Framework was created with the input of teachers throughout the district. It defines great teaching in City Schools and will inform teacher development, evaluation, and recruitment processes. As a facilitator, you will lead two-day professional development sessions to roll out the framework and rubric. This is truly a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of critical work and invest City Schools’ teachers in a common vision for effective instruction. Click here for details and application instructions. If you have additional questions, please contact Stacey Middleton at samiddleton@bcps.k12.md.us.

Summer Reading Lists

What could be better than some sun, fun, and a good book? The Office of Literacy has prepared a list of recommended Summer reading. The list included in this announcement differentiates between K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and high school. Let the reading begin! Click here for the Summer reading list.

Fresh Summer Produce for Your Table

This summer City School students are harvesting more than diplomas – they’re gathering fresh vegetables that they planted and cared for all spring. In July and August, students will be harvesting a bag of produce each week for City Schools students, families, and employees who join the Great Kids Farm 2011 Summer Farm Share. These tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers, potatoes, basil, squash, salad and other delicious vegetables are already growing in our fields and shares are limited, so join today! Click here to learn how or email gtstrella@bcps.k12.md.us for more information.

Great Kids, Great Food

“I didn’t know people liked vegetables so much,” said Joshua Uchi after his first Saturday morning selling produce at the Waverly Farmers Market. Josh is a senior graduating from Frederick Douglass High School and one of six spring interns at Great Kids Farm. The only thing customers like more than the vegetables are the students. “I had no idea students were growing food like this!” is a common response from parents, teachers, and community members – who flock to farmers markets by the thousands each weekend – when they learn that Josh and his peers from Edmonson-Westside, the Institute of Business and Entreprenuership, and other City Schools don’t just sell great food, they grow, study, and eat it too. Don’t believe it? See for yourself from 7am to noon every Saturday at the Waverly Farmers Market, located at the intersection of Barclay and 32nd Street in north Baltimore City.

City Schools New Procurement Card Program

City Schools is introducing a Procurement Card (P-Card) program to schools and offices. The program will be available July 1, 2011. The goal of the program is to provide schools and departments greater flexibility when making small purchases. The P-Card significantly simplifies the procurement of small dollar purchases and functions similar to a personal credit card. P-Card Users go to the store or website, select the items they wish to purchase and use the P-Card as the form of payment. To preview the program please click here to see the training course and manual.
 

New Program to Get--and Keep--Students on the Graduation Track

This fall, the W.E.B. DuBois/Reginald F. Lewis campus will house an exciting new program designed to help over-age, under-credited high school students get on track to graduate. With a mix of traditional classes, work-based learning experiences, mentoring, career and college counseling and other services, this innovative, year-round program will work one on one with students to help them succeed.
 
DuBois and Lewis students are being recruited for the program, and are sharing their ideas to help guide its design and development. City Schools is also actively recruiting for a program director (education specialist I) and learning-to-work coordinator, and will soon be accepting applications for other staff—including teachers with dual certification looking for an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of some of the city’s most at-risk youth. Find out more by contacting Camille Basoco (e-mail cbasoco@bcps.k12.md.us; tel. 410-396-8733) or Michael Thomas (e-mail mdthomas@bcps.k12.md.us; tel. 410-396-8733) in the Office of Learning to Work. 
 

Approved Ed Options Online Courses

After reviewing approved online courses with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), three courses have been approved for use under the "Ed Options" label. These include english 1, english 3 or 4 (British literature only) and geometry. No other courses by Ed Options have been approved by MSDE. Please view the course matrix and if you need additional assistance, please contact the Office of Student Placement and Safety.

Arts on Stage: Earlybird Reservations for the 2011-12 School Year

Arts On Stage is now accepting "earlybird reservations" for next school year. With this reservation, the organization puts a tentative hold on seats and contacts you in the beginning of the school year to either confirm or cancel that reservation at that time. There are a lot of great shows, including 13 news shows during the 2011-12 season. Shows are listed on the season flier. To make a reservation, please visit the Arts on Stage website  or call 410-252-8717. Descriptions and study guides for the shows can also be found online. Please note, the anti-bullying shows sold out last year in June, so make your reservations soon.

New Teacher Institute I Facilitators Needed

The Office of Teaching and Learning seeks energetic individuals interested in working with beginning teachers during an innovative one day institute—New Teacher Institute I— designed to reflect on the year and prepare for the future. Interested applicants should have experience facilitating groups of teachers and possess deep knowledge of reflective practices and a track record of increasing student achievement. Please view the facilitator information sheet and apply. Applications are accepted on a rolling bases until positions are filled. Please contact
 

Baltimore Sleep Out for the Homeless

Baltimore students are sleeping out for the homeless. This event is bringing high school seniors in Baltimore City together to experience some of the challenges faced by homeless men and women in our community, and to explore opportunities to make a difference through service, support and advocacy. Click here to view details and to learn how to get your students involved.

Registration opens August 1. Students of all ages are welcome to participate in pre-event activities. To form a team, organize a group of 2 or more friends, peers or faculty members. Teams will attend the event together and have the opportunity to participate in service projects as a group. Registration fees for teams are as follows: 1 participant - $25 a person, 2 participants - $20 a person, 3 participants - $15 a person, 4 or more participants - $10 a person. If you have any questions or would like more information, please e-mail BaltimoreSleepOut@JHRBaltimore.org.

 

  

Center for Inspired Teaching

The Center for Inspired Teaching and City Schools have partnered to help with the transition to the Common Core State Standards. The Center for Inspired Teaching will begin system-wide professional development by training 200 of the district’s middle school math teachers over the course of two school years. The goal of this program is to improve attitudes toward mathematics, build in-depth knowledge and understanding of mathematics, strengthen inquiry-based instruction and set the stage for system-wide impact on mathematics learning for students in the middle grades.

The second cohort will comprise of 50 teachers. To be a part of this initiative, teachers will need to attend the entire summer institute held Aug. 15-19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at a location to be determined. To participate, teachers must teach middle school math for the SY 2011-12. Each teacher will receive 2 achievement units for attending the entire week long institute. Additionally, there are opportunities to earn 2 additional achievement units during the school year. Preference will be given to middle school math teams. Please click here for more information, and you may also contact Ryan Reid at treid@bcps.k12.md.us.


Robotics Giveaway

Middle and high schools interested in having a robotics team can now send in a submission for two free robot starter kits and a free team registration. This offer will go to the first twenty teachers who commit to running two robotics teams and competing in three competitions during the 2011-12 school year. Please indicate if your school would also like to use one of our twelve available robotics fields during the school year. Pick up for the field, game set and robot kit will be on Wednesday, August 3 at 5:30 p.m. at the Timonium Field Grounds. Please review the documents for the Robotics Field commitment and the registration, and check with your principal to ensure that you will have full support for the program. Questions and submissions may be directed to Abigail Ritter at aritter@bcps.k12.md.us and Josh Gabrielse at JMGabrielse@bcps.k12.md.us. There are only twenty registrations to distribute, so act now!


New Common Core Literacy and Math Curriculum for PreK and K

A new literacy and math curriculum for pre-k and kindergarten based on the Common Core State Standards is now available on TSS. The implementation of this curriculum will be reviewed at next week’s systemic professional development in the afternoon of Aug. 23, 24 and 25. Ongoing support for teachers who implement this new curriculum will take place monthly through Early Learning Liaison meetings, the Works and afterschool planning meetings.

American Red Cross Blood Drive at the District Office

The American Red Cross will be holding a blood drive here in the diistrict office next Wednesday, Aug. 31 in room 301 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The sponsor code for this drive is 118. For your convenience, we are offering the ability to schedule your appointment online. Please click here to sign up, and click here for the flyer.