Take Action Archive- November 2011Chief Academic Officer Leadership Academy
Administrators, please note the scheduled dates, times and locations for the Oct. 31 - Nov. 4 Chief Academic Officer Leadership Academy Professional Development program.
All school leaders and school based teams are expected to participate in the Chief Academic Officer Leadership Academy Professional Development program. Please review the attached memo for details. for more information, contact Barbara Johnson in the Office of the CAO at 410-396-8810.
Maryland Model for School Readiness Online Data Entry
Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten teachers, please note the deadline for Maryland Model for School Readiness online data entry is Wednesday, Nov. 16.
The Office of Early Learning is requiring 100% data submission for Maryland Model for School Readiness (MMSR) online data entry. Please note, all students who were on roll for September 30th must have a completed checklist. This includes students with limited attendance or students who have transferred since September 30th. Please email Terri Core in the Office of Early Learning at TCore@bcps.k12.md.us if you need technical support or would like to reserve time afterschool in a computer lab. Administrators, please go online to http://mdmmsr.org and check your school’s MMSR data entry status.
Maryland Model for School Readiness (MMSR) Online Data Entry
Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten teachers, please note online data entry for Maryland Model for School Readiness begins Nov. 1
The Early Learning Office (ELO) has set a goal of 100% data submission for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students. All Pre-K and K teachers have received passwords to access the Maryland State Department of Education's (MSDE) online system. Data Submission begins Nov. 1 and concludes Nov. 16. For more information or to print exemplars please see the MMSR tab on TSS under Early Learning.
Supplemental Educational Services Eligible Students List Released On November 1
Principals, please review the following information regarding the Nov. 1 release of the Supplemental Educational Services (SES) eligible students list.
The Supplemental Educational Services (SES) list of eligible students was released on Tuesday, Nov. 1. Participating providers will receive their lists and begin contacting schools to arrange the location and schedule for SES. Please remember to use the released providers’ space reservation list and SES space profile sheet to provide adequate room for participating providers with families enrolled.
For assistance with organizing the SES after school program, please contact your SES monitor or Title I specialist. Providers will make contact once they obtain a copy of the City Schools' building use permit application. You will be asked to sign the application and the provider will then return the application to the Office of Real Estate and Permits. All payments for space rental should be submitted directly to the Office of Real Estate and Permits. If you have questions, please contact Keshawn Golson or Naomi Hill, SES Specialists, at 410-396-8937.
CEO Holiday Card Student Art Contest
Principals and teachers, please distribute the flier about the CEO Holiday Card Student Art Contest to interested students and ensure that entries are submitted by Wednesday, Nov. 16.
The Office of the CEO and the Board of School Commissioners are holding a student art contest for the cover of the 2011 Holiday Card. There will be four winners, one from each of the following grade groups: pre-k to 2nd, 3rd to 5th, 6th to 8th and 9th to 12th. Each winner will receive a $50 Visa gift card and will be recognized at the City Schools board meeting on Dec. 13. Submissions are due by 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16 and may be sent as a digital image to BSchneckenburger@bcps.k12.md.us or delivered in person to Nicole Mullins, Executive Secretary to the CEO, 200 E. North Ave., Room 405.
Please distribute this flyer to interested students and teachers. And note that each entry must meet the following requirements:
- Entries must remain holiday neutral or inclusive of all holidays.
- Entries must be at least 8 x 10 inches and no larger than 18 x 24.
- Entries must be 2-dimensional.
- Entries must include the student name, grade and school name.
Principals, teachers and district staff, please consider attending City Schools Sustainability Day on November 12; please encourage your staff and families to attend; and please register online.
Please join City Schools and many of its partners for a day of discussions and workshops about making schools and learning greener in Baltimore City. Sponsored by Bank of America and hosted by Baltimore City Public Schools, the Baltimore City Office of Sustainability and Enterprise Community Partners, City Schools Sustainability Day takes place on Saturday, November 12 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School (3500 Hillen Rd.). Teachers, principals, students, families and all others are invited to come celebrate the successes, identify the challenges and push forward the green work happening in schools across the district. Please click here for the flyer, here to register and here for the Sustainability Day webpage.
Principals, please encourage your staff and families to attend, and note that the event is listed on the homepage of all school websites.
City Schools Sustainability Day: Green, Health, Smart
Principals and teachers, please reserve November 12 for City Schools Sustainability Day.
City Schools encourages all community partners and staff to take part in City Schools Sustainability Day. Save the date for a half-day conference to learn from and collaborate with leaders and partners active in efforts to green Baltimore’s schools. This is a district-wide opportunity to celebrate the successes, identify the challenges and inform the effort to make every Baltimore City school a green school.
Workshops will be offered in the following areas:
· Green Teaching
· Sustainable Facilities
· Operations and Maintenance
· Family & Community Engagement
· Schoolyard Greening
If you have questions or comments, contact Allison Rich in the Office of Engagement at Arich01@bcps.k12.md.us or 410-545-1870. Please continue to check City Schools Inside for registration information and future event details.
Supplemental Educational Service (SES) Attendance Monitor Update
Principals, please review the following information regarding SES attendance monitors.
The Supplemental Educational Service (SES) program will start earlier this year despite budget constraints and new policies and procedures. The initial application period for Phase I schools is over and providers are anxiously waiting to work with students.
This year, Title I has hired SES attendance monitors to support student attendance. Starting Monday, Nov. 7, the Title I office will contact each principal with the name of their new attendance monitor. The selected monitors are committed to ensuring that every eligible child participates in the program. Please take time to review the list of responsibilities and qualifications for this position. If you do not plan to be the direct point of contact for SES, please remember to designate someone for snack dissemination, student progress reports, work plan acknowledgement and general afterschool coordination.
Funds allocated by the Title I Office to remunerate the attendance monitor must be used for the aforementioned. Attendance Monitors will need to attend SES orientation on Wednesday, Nov. 9, from 9- 11:00 a.m. at the Alice G. Pinderhughes Administrative Building- located at 200 E. North Ave., First floor Board Room. For more information, please contact Brenda Nichols at 410-396-8937.
City Schools Sustainability Challenges: Green, Healthy, Smart
Principals, please review the following information on the City Schools Sustainability Challenge competition.
All Baltimore City Public Schools are invited to apply for one or more of these Sustainability Challenge offerings of funding/support for 2012. The categories include:
- City Schools Sustainability Challenge ($1,000 for resource conservation, recycling or cleaning/greening)
- City Schools Energy Challenge ($1,000 for energy conservation and one year of support from the Baltimore Energy Challenge)
- City Schools Healthy Food Challenge ($1,000 for promotion of healthy foods).
Applications must be submitted no later than Friday, Nov. 11 by 5:00 p.m. For more information, please contact Abby Cocke in the Baltimore Office of Sustainability at 410-396-1670 or email@example.com
Fair Student Funding Enrollment Adjustments
Principals, please review the following updates on the process to align staffing based on Fair Student Funding (FSF) adjustments.
Fair Student Funding (FSF) enrollment adjustments were recently completed by all schools. Based on actual school enrollment as of Sept. 30, budgets have been revised in accordance with FSF guidelines. See below for an update on the process to align staffing to these revised budgets and take note of some upcoming critical dates.
Some principals identified positions for elimination and submitted the names of displaced staff to the Office of Human Capital (OHC) for transfer to another school within the City Schools. If you eliminated positions, please see your Human Capital (HC) staffing specialist to obtain a letter to communicate to staff in eliminated positions that they are available for reassignment in other schools. This letter should be distributed immediately.
If you currently have vacancies, your HC Specialist will support you in identifying candidates and filling vacant positions.
The names of available displaced staff have been posted to the Principal’s Dashboard. You may access the list by clicking on the Human Resources tab on your dashboard and then going to the “Displaced Staff” tab. The listing includes phone number, BCPS email address and certification information (where applicable). Please use this information to contact prospective staff directly via telephone or email. If you find that the contact information is incorrect, please notify your HC staffing specialist so s/he may contact the employee on your behalf.
When you have selected an employee for the vacant position, please complete the attached ENROLLMENT ADJUSTMENT PLACEMENT form. Please ensure that both you and the selected employee sign the form before submitting to your staffing specialist so a confirmation letter can finalize the placement.
The following are key dates to remember for completing this process:
· 11/7/11 – All staff identified as surplus should be notified by the principal or other appropriate administrator. All displaced employees are given letters provided by OHC.
· 11/7/11 – Displaced staff listing is posted to dashboard.
· 11/11/11 – All Recommendation for Hire forms must be submitted to OHC by 5 p.m.
· 11/14/11 – OHC will make assignments in remaining vacancies and confirm placements.
· 11/14/11 – Reassignment letters will be sent to all employees identified for new placements.
· 11/21/11 – Teachers report to their newly assigned schools.
Reporting Time to Payroll: Because the effective date of new assignments coincides with the beginning of a pay period, schools should refresh their payroll screen and enter time for new employees.
We would like for all teacher assignments to be based on mutual consent. The goal is to have all vacancies filled by certified staff. You are encouraged to make every effort to contact, interview, and select staff by Friday, Nov. 11.American Education Week in City Schools
Principals, please read this post and consider hosting an open house during American Education Week (Nov. 13-20) to showcase the great things happening at your school.
Now in its 90th year, American Education Week is an annual national event designed to focus attention on K-12 education. A combination of both school-level and district-wide activities can provide an opportunity for parents and community members to see the great things happening at each school; connect interested members of the community to opportunities to become engaged in their local school; understand the changes happening in the classroom; offer information to families around choice; and encourage relationship building and outreach between schools and alumni.
In order to address these goals, all schools are encouraged to host one open house during American Education Week to showcase the great things happening in each of our great schools. Please click here for a tip sheet on hosting an open house and information on how to highlight these activities on your school website. All American Education Week activities posted on school websites will then be highlighted on the district website (www.baltimorecityschools.org) for parents and community members to see. Please continue to check the district website for more information about events happening throughout this week, including:
· information sessions for parents on college choice and saving for college
· a Community Conversation with the Chief Academic Officer on “Talking Together: The Importance of Conversation in Your Child’s Literacy Development,” Thursday, November 17 at 6 p.m. at The Charles Theater (1711 N. Charles St.)
· free Family Institute workshops, including “It’s Online: Using Parent Portal to Support Your Child,” a workshop that helps families make the most of Parent Portal.
Please also direct your families to the November issue of the Family Menu to find out more information about when and where the Family Institute will host workshops throughout American Education Week. For more information, please call the Family and Community Engagement Office at 410-545-1870.
Early Childhood Accountability SystemPrincipals, please make it a priority to have IEP chairs and appropriate staff upload required student checklists into the Early Childhood Accountability System (ECAS) by Wednesday, Nov. 23.
City Schools Middle and High School Choice Fair
Principals, please review the following information regarding the City Schools Middle and High School Choice Fair.
The Middle and High School Choice Fair is less than two weeks away! This flagship event is an opportunity for students and families to learn more about the great middle and high school options available to them at City Schools. The fair will be held on Saturday, November 19, 2011, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. For principals at “receiving schools”--those that will receive students through the choice process in 2012-13--please review the attached information on the change in venue and new procedures for the fair. Only schools featured in the Choose Your School guide will host a table at the fair. For a list of those schools, please see the attached “At a Glance” sheet.
Power Teacher Gradebook Access From Home
Teachers, please review the following information in regard to accessing Power Teacher Gradebook from home.
Power Teacher Gradebook (PTG) is now available via the web- directly from any home computer. Teachers can access PTG from home by simply typing https://ptg.bcps.k12.md.us into their Internet Explorer web browser address window. Please note, you will still be able to access PTG from within the City Schools network. Click here for more information and helpful tips.
Legal Questions and Concerns: What All Staff Should Know
All staff, please read the initial installment of “Sidebar Conversations,” the Office of Legal Counsel’s newsletter of important information for all staff.
The Office of Legal Counsel has launched “Sidebar Conversations,” a newsletter to address the legal issues that affect our work every day in classrooms and schools. In the first issue, topics include ensuring equal opportunities for our male and female students, handling incidents involving injury or property damage on school grounds and what happens when two teachers elope to Las Vegas. Your ideas for topics to address in upcoming issues are welcome.
Enroll in the BeWell Challenge
All staff, please consider participating in the 2011-12 school year BeWell Challenge.
New for this school year, the BeWell challenge will offer eligible employees the opportunity to save up to $100 on 2012 health benefit premiums. Participants can earn points throughout the school year by taking part in activities that help achieve health and fitness goals. Points can be earned by taking part in City Schools' fitness classes or the upcoming movement challenge, completing health risk assessments or attending the health fair during open enrollment. To participate, employees must be actively employed and eligible for City Schools benefits by Oct. 1. The BeWell challenge will run from Sept. 2011 through June 2012. Please click here for more information and enrollment instructions.
School Uniform Policy Information
Principals, please review the following changes to school uniform policies.
School uniform policies that do not include an appropriate pants option for female students are considered discriminatory based on gender or sex. To ensure we are promoting a positive educational environment for all students, please include an appropriate pants option for any uniform policies that require skirts only for female students. If you have any questions please contact Jessy Donaldson in the Office of the Chief of Staff at 410-396-8806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suspension Data Collection Update
Principals, please review the following adjustments made to SMS regarding suspension data collection.
The Maryland Student Records Manual includes two new data points that must be reported to the Maryland Department of Education for the 2011-12 school year. Enhancements have been made to the SMS to capture the necessary information. One of the changes affects the information entered by the Office of Suspension Services. The other must be entered by school-based staff when entering a disciplinary incident. The Office of Suspension Services will be documenting how educational services will be provided to students on extended suspension and expulsion. The information will be captured on the Central Office screen that is completed for all proposed extended suspensions. The choices include alternative education, on-line learning, class work sent home, and at-home instruction. The second new data point will be a box on the Additional Incident Details screen to indicate incidents that result in a physical injury. The box should only be checked if the student, school personnel, or other persons on school grounds require professional medical attention. Examples given include stab or bullet wounds, concussions, fractured or broken bones, or cuts requiring stitches. (U.S. Department of Education N136-Discipline File Specifications 2009) If you have questions, please contact Christine Cichan in the Office of Student Support and Safety at email@example.com.Observation and Evaluation Guideline for 2011-12
Principals, please make sure your teachers review the following information regarding the Observation and Evaluation Guidelines for the 2011-12 school year.
In 2011-12, teachers are to use the City Schools’ new Instructional Framework to guide and reflect on their instruction, and principals are using it to provide feedback to teachers and tailor support to meet individual teacher needs. In light of this new work, City Schools has developed Observation and Evaluation Guidelines: 2011-12, a guide to using both the current Performance-Based Evaluation System (PBES) process and the Instructional Framework to inform the teacher observation and evaluation practices at all schools.
This guide also explains the district’s Online Performance Management System (OPMS), a new electronic platform that allows school leaders and teachers to engage in the performance evaluation process in a thoughtful and strategic manner. OPMS will facilitate electronic correspondence between school leaders and their staff members, and create intentional connections between performance evaluations and professional growth. To access, go to Employee Self Service and choose the Employee Performance Management link. Although this link is available to all employees, currently only BTU teachers and principals have a role in the OPMS process.
Training for OPMS can be accessed here. No credentials are needed to view the documentation. The training will introduce the Observation and Evaluation process from the perspective of different audiences; all classroom teachers and principals are encouraged to watch the different trainings to receive a comprehensive overview of how OPMS works. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Human Capital at 410396-8885.
Title I Memorandum of Understanding eForms
Principals and support staff, please review the following guidelines on how to submit Memorandum of Understanding eForms.
The Director of Federal Funds and the Information Technology Department are pleased to announce the automation of the Title I Memorandum of Understanding process. The new system will enable, you, principals, to review and submit these forms more quickly. Effective immediately, you must submit electronically via the eForms link located on the City Schools’ ERP Portal page, or access through the tree icon on their desktop. Use your network username and password to log in. After logging in, click the Title I Memorandum of Understanding link in the City Schools Forms folder. For more information, use the Training Quick Start Guide in the How-To Guides folder. If you have questions or comments regarding this technology alert, please contact the ITD Service Desk at 410-396-8182 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Updated Attendance Forms for School Attendance Teams
Principals, please ensure that your attendance teams have copies of the updated documents provided in this post.
Three attendance forms have been updated. Principals, please make sure your attendance teams have copies of them. Additional forms, including the SST referral form, can be found on the Attendance and Truancy web section. If you have questions, please contact Tanya Williams (email@example.com).Administrator's Student Discipline Handbook
Principals and assistant principals, please download and review the Administrator's Student Discipline Handbook and purchase the Student Discipline Folder via K12 Buy. Please also distrbute the suspension fact sheet for parents at the start of the school year.
The Administrator's Student Discipline Handbook is now available on TSS. The handbook includes action steps and required forms to use for office referrals, in-school suspensions, short-term suspensions and proposed extended suspensions. It also includes district, state and federal discipline policies and regulations, gang awareness materials, an executive summary, plus a suspension fact sheet for parents. Please distribute the suspension fact sheet to all parents at the beginning of the school year.
To access the handbook, log in to TSS (www.bcpss.org) and click the School Administrators tab at the top of the page. Then click Administrator's Student Discipline Handbook. The handbook is divided into sections; simply locate and click the section you need. We strongly encourage you to download the entire handbook to your computer. To do so, click the box at the top of the list to select all folders, and then click Download Package. You will be prompted to select Open or Save. Please select Save and identify the destination for the download. If you do not have access to the School Administrators tab, please contact Bert Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To maintain documentation for each student receiving a disciplinary action, please purchase the Student Discipline Folder via K12 Buy. If you have questions about the folder or handbook, please contact Christine A. Cichan at 410-396-8643 or mailto:email@example.comCAO Monthly Leadership Academy
Principals, please read this memo about the CAO's Leadership Academy and be sure to mark your calendar for each monthly meeting.
This is a reminder about the CAO's Monthly Leadership Academy for the 2011-12 school year. Please read this memo carefully, as it details meetings for various stakeholders, and ensure that these dates are on your calendar. Please also ensure that the appropriate staff members attend specific meetings, as noted in the memo.
Student Accident Report eForms
Principals, please review the following guidelines on how to submit Student Accident Report eForms.
This past July, the Chief Operation Officer and Chief Technology Officer announced the automation of the Student Accident Report process- a faster way to review and better report student accidents. Effective July 25, principals must submit their Student Accident Reports electronically. Hard copies of Student Accident Reports will no longer be accepted. Please make these adjustments immediately. 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. Then click the Student Accident Report workflow link located in the City Schools Forms folder. If the site is blocked by the filter, click the Web Content Filter Request link, found in the Internet filter blocked access page. For more information, use the Training Quick Start Guide in the How-To Guides folder. If there are any questions or comments regarding this technology alert, please contact the Information Technology Department Service Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-396-8182.The Great American Teach Off
Enter the Great American Teach-Off and win $10,000 for your favorite classroom. Grammy Award-winning artist John Legend, the online community at GOOD (www.good.is) and the University of Phoenix have teamed up to sponsor the Great American Teach-Off, a contest to recognize the exceptional work of classroom teachers in America. Starting August 1, anyone can go to www.GOOD.is/GATO and nominate an elementary school (K-6) teacher who is making a difference in children's lives. The top ten entrants will be chosen by an independent panel assembled by the sponsors. Then, starting in the fall, the public will have five weeks to vote for a winner who will receive a $10,000 classroom grant and other prizes. The contest will take place again in early 2012 for middle school and high school teachers (grades 7-12). Visit www.GOOD.is/GATO today to nominate yourself or a deserving teacher. And please click here to view a newsletter article about GATO. If you have any questions, please contact Jillian Pieper at email@example.com or 319-470-0127.
Sick Leave Conversion 2011
Principals, please have staff complete sick leave conversion sheets by Wednesday, Nov. 30.
Starting Wednesday, Nov. 23, City Schools employees will receive payroll envelopes containing a sick leave conversion report, an instruction memo and a request for sick leave conversion form. These forms must be completed and returned to the Payroll Office by the close of business on Wednesday, Nov. 30.
Direct deposit is available for employees who currently have this feature set up for regular pay. Employees who receive a paper check for their regular pay will continue to receive a paper check for the conversion payment. Sick leave conversion payments will be disbursed on Dec. 9.
During this process, please note the following:
- The Payroll Office will not be in a position to investigate inquiries based on a phone call or visit to our office. Usage issues must be resolved at the work site.
- If there are legitimate attendance errors, a correction of attendance is required and should be signed by the administrator who oversees the organization.
- Retroactive leave corrections for the sole purpose of qualifying for a conversion will not be honored.
- Accrual issues will require investigation and must be brought to the attention of the Payroll Office's on the review form.
- Due to the short turn-around time, the office cannot guarantee corrections will be made before the holiday period.
- Sick leave conversion is based on leave earned and used from November 20, 2010 to November 18, 2011. It is not solely based on leave used from the beginning of this school year, nor is it based on the total balance of leave.
For more information, please read the sick leave conversion memo or call the Payroll Office at 443-642-3880.
Register for Pre-K at Play
Principals, please register for Pre-K at Play by Wednesday, Nov. 30
Join the Office of Early Learning for the 2012 Pre-K at Play event on Thursday, April 26. The Pre-K at Play program allows children to learn through play, exploration and adventure as well as gain useful knowledge to build on in the classroom. Last year, more than 4,800 of City Schools’ Pre-Kindergarten students took free field trips- visiting over 50 Baltimore institutions, organizations and cultural landmarks. Each venue provides free admission for students, staff and chaperones- schools are asked to contribute toward transportation expenses. All Pre-K classes are encouraged to participate. Please register your classes by Wednesday, Nov. 30. Click here for highlights from last year and more information.
Raising a Reader
Principals, please review the following information and complete the survey by Wednesday, Nov. 30.
Raising a Reader (RAR) is a national based nonprofit organization that provides an early literacy and parent engagement program shown to improve reading by helping families successfully build and sustain literacy routines in their homes. High-quality children’s books are sent home with kindergarten students every week for parents to share with their children. Parents are taught how to implement effective interactive reading techniques with their children regardless of parents’ literacy levels. Raising a Reader has funding from Target Corporation to service 1100 kindergarten students (and parents) in City Schools. Baltimore City Public Schools are currently gauging school interest in offering this program to your kindergarten students and families. Please review the details of the partnership in the attached document. How the program works, the program benefits, the program requirements and the process to apply to participate in the program are explained in the document. Click here to hear what parents are saying about the program. Pending final district approval, the program would begin in January 2012. If you would like to apply to bring RAR to your families, please indicate your interest by completing the survey by Nov. 30. Participating schools will receive a school stipend totaling $5/Kindergarten child participating in the RAR program to offset first year start up staff and supply costs.
Please note, the Target grant specifically supports non-charter schools, but matching funds may be available through RAR for charter schools –so all are encouraged to apply.
Biannual Audit Alert
Principals, please review the following information regarding Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) biannual audits.
On Monday, Nov. 14 MSDE auditors began conducting their biannual audit of district documents and procedures. The district will be required to provide certain school-level documents for a sample of students.
Those documents include:
·Proof of residency
·Student records card SR1 –side 1 and side 2
This audit will require the cross-collaboration of multiple departments within the District Office. Networks will be leading the district in collecting the above-stated documents from schools. Network specialists will need to contact school personnel for guidance and support to expedite the completion of the audit and to minimize impact on principals. For more information, please contact Megan Kenny in the Office of Achievement and Accountability at firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-642-4070.
School Activity Funds
Principals, please submit the mid-year School Activity Fund report by Friday, Jan. 13.All schools must submit the mid-year School Activity Fund report by Jan. 13. Please review the following procedures before submitting. If you have questions, contact either Wayne Godfrey at 410-396-8740 Wgodfrey@bcps.k12.md.us or Michael Heaney at 443-984-2665 Mheaney@bcps.k12.md.us in the Office of Fiscal Management.