Take Note Archive — March 2012 

Course code audit and changes

The Office of Teaching and Learning, in conjunction with Guidance and the SMS team, have completed an audit of existing course offerings in SMS. As a result of this audit, many schools will notice one or several changes when scheduling courses for the 2012-13 academic year. Click here for more information about this process.

2012-2013 school year planning calendar in SMS

On Wednesday, March 21 your school will be able to begin creating its 2012-13 school year planning calendar in SMS. Proper scheduling is paramount to ensure clean and accurate data and reporting. Improper scheduling can lead to errors in grading and transcripts, student attendance records, state and federal reporting and student contact communication. The SMS scheduling process can be an intricate and time consuming process for even the most experienced scheduler, but we're here to help with the process. Attached you will find SMS scheduling timelines and a list of SMS scheduling training sessions. Participants must sign up for the training sessions via the Professional Growth System."

Paraprofessional School-Related Personnel evaluation

As City Schools works to improve the evaluation process, we realize the importance of hearing from staff. The Office of Human Capital is requesting your participation in a group consultation session to review evaluation cycles. The session will be held on Friday, March 2 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at 200 E. North Ave., Suite 405. If you have been a PSRP member for at least 1 full year and you are interested in participating, please complete the registration survey by Wednesday, Feb. 29.  The first 20 eligible (evaluated as a PSRP employee for at least 1 year) people to register will be selected to participate. Thank you in advance for your willingness to assist with this important initiative.

Cost of attending your high school prom? Priceless!

The Priceless Gown Project gives away hundreds of formal dresses to high school students who might otherwise not be able to afford to attend their proms. The give-away event takes place on Saturday, Mar. 3, at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor Hotel at Camden Yards. Doors open at 9 a.m., but students interested in receiving a gown should plan to arrive by 6 or 7 a.m. -- lines form early! All students must show valid student ID. Find more information at www.facebook.com/pricelessgownproject or by downloading this flyer.

United Way Combined Charity donations

You still have time! If you have not yet made a contribution to the annual United Way Combined Charity Campaign, reach out to the loan executive at your school or office and arrange to make a donation today. The deadline for contribution has been extended to Friday, Mar. 2.

SquashWise K-8 school partners

SquashWise is a unique youth development program that provides long-term academic enrichment and athletic programming (coaching in the sport of squash) with the ultimate goals of high school graduation, college access and life planning for students. SquashWise is seeking applications for an additional school partner to serve K-8 students in Baltimore City. Don’t miss this chance to provide life-changing opportunities to your students. See the request for proposals for more information and the application.

How to apply:

  • Complete enclosed application by Thursday, March 1. Make sure to complete all sections. Return to SquashWise by email or mail at the address below.
  • SquashWise will contact the top 3 applicants to schedule site visits in April.
  • Site visits include meetings with the principal, teachers and other key staff; school tour; classroom visit; and meeting with parent representative(s).
  • Decisions will be made by May 2012, with outreach to students before the end of the school year to begin student recruitment.
Contact Abby Markoe, Executive Director, at 443-682-7126 or abbym@baltimoresquashwise.org for more information. Applications can be mailed to 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 107, Baltimore, MD 21211.

Opportunity for family input on engagement policies

The Office of Engagement, in collaboration with the Parent and Community Advisory Board, is hosting three forums to gather families' input on the Family and Community Engagement Policy and Title I Parent Involvement Plan. Dates and locations are as follows: Wed., Feb. 22, 6 - 7 p.m., at James Mosher Elementary School; Thurs., Feb. 23, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m., at the district office; and Wed., March 7, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., at Cross Country Elementary/Middle School. Families of children enrolled at Title I schools are particularly encouraged to attend and provide input on priorities for the district's Title I parent involvement budget. Please share this information with your school communities. Download a flyer to share.

Growing Up Wild: Exploring nature with young children

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is offering a training for 60 pre-k teachers on the Growing Up Wild curriculum, an early childhood program that builds on children's sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Participating teachers will receive four hours of professional development, providing hands-on training in how to use the Growing Up Wild curriculum. Upon completing the training, each teacher who attended will receive an $80 stipend and a ZooMobile presentation for their classroom, a live presentation with 3-4 animals as well as activities and lessons. The training will be held at Tench Tilghman Elementary/Middle School. Teachers can attend on either Wed., March 7, and Mon., March 12, or Mon., March 12, and Wed., March 14. Each training is 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Please register on the Professional Growth System.

Advanced learner program informational sessions

Elementary and Middle School principals are invited to attend the Advanced Learner Program (ALP) one of two informational sessions on Wednesday, March 7 and Thursday, March 8 at 4:30 p.m. in Room 301 at the District Office. Attendees will learn about programs and opportunities that address the needs of high achieving students. There will be materials to sample and representatives from various programs available to discuss program benefits.

Maryland Online Individual Education Program (MDOIEP) End User Survey

To meet the annual federal reporting requirements for the Maryland State Improvement Grant (MSIG), the Maryland State Department of Education, in partnership with the Johns Hopkins University Center for Technology in Education (JHU/CTE), sends a survey request each year directly to all registered MDOIEP users. Registered MDOIEP users include: administrators, IEP chairs, special education teachers, related service providers and Central Office special education staff. The purpose of this survey is to gather data for a process of continuous improvement. This survey is designed to collect data regarding the use of the MDOIEP tool and supports (i.e. manuals, tutorials, professional development/training, and technical assistance). As with any data collection effort, respondents have the option of not participating. Each survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and each respondent will complete only one survey. The surveys are scheduled for distribution on Monday, Mar. 13. Please contact Jay Salkauskas (jsalkauskas@bcps.k12.md.us) with any questions or concerns. 

Encouraging girls to pursue STEM

Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab is the venue for "Girl Power," a career exploration day for middle and high school girls interested in computer science, engineering and more. The event takes place on Saturday, March 11, from 3- 5 p.m., and City Schools is offering bus transportation for female students and their parents who RSVP. Please see the flyer for details, and share with girls in grades 6-12 (along with this permission slip).

Community resource schools and out of school time request for proposals released

 The Family League of Baltimore City, Inc. has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in support of its Community and School Engagement Strategy.

Through this RFP, we are seeking to fund:

·Community Resource Schools (CRS) – a network of partnerships between the school and other community partners that promote student achievement and family and community well-being through the intentional coordination of needed resources and services.

·Out of School Time Programs (OST) – provide high quality activities for youth during the times when school is not in session.

These activities provide safe places for students, encourage academic success, develop youth leadership and nurture talents and interests so that young people can achieve in their own unique ways.  The RFP and related information and documents are available at www.flbcinc.org. The Family League will hold two community forums to discuss the RFP and respond to questions. They will be held Monday, March 12 from 5 –7:00 p.m. and Wednesday, March 14 from 1-3:00 p.m. at the Family League of Baltimore City located at 2305 N. Charles Street, 2nd Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21218. We encourage all potential partners to attend, specifically organizations seeking to become community resource school coordinating partners. The forum is also open to school principals or their designees and organizations seeking to provide or support out of school time programming.

Submit your Teacher of the Year application by Thursday, March 1!

Please visit the City Schools Teacher of the Year page for all application details and a listing of previous award winners. Only a matter of days left to complete Teacher of the Year applications.The application deadline is quickly approaching - make sure to encourage your colleagues to complete their application by Thursday, March 1 -nominations are not a prerequisite! Please contact Jennifer Hlavka at JAHlavka@bcps.k12.md.us with any questions.


Email system maintenance 

In an effort to continuously improve the performance and reliability of our email system, the Information Technology Department (ITD) will be performing routine maintenance beginning Friday, March 16 at 5:00 p.m. through Monday, March 19 at 5:00 a.m. Users may experience a brief email service interruption of up to 15 minutes during the maintenance period when using MS Outlook, Outlook Web Access, iPads, iPhones and Blackberry devices. If you have any questions or comments regarding this City Schools technology alert, please contact the ITD Service Desk at 410-396-8182 or helpdesk@bcps.k12.md.us.

$300 STEM grants for teachers

Northrop Grumman is offering 150 $300 grants for teachers to use for Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) projects in order to increase student awareness of the excitement and opportunity to be found in STEM career pathways. Grants should be used to purchase equipment, supplies, publications or transportation related to the project. The primary selection criteria will be based on proposed STEM programs that truly engage students. Grants may not be used to provide compensation for school personnel and should be used in the same calendar year in which they are awarded. No more than 5 teachers at one school may qualify. Applications should be submitted no later Friday, March 16. Selection will be announced by Friday, April 20. For more information, contact Abigail Breiseth at abreiseth@bcps.k12.md.us or 443-642-3899. To apply, create a personal profile.  The invitation code is NGESEW. The online application may require a Northrop Grumman contact employee. If so, that contact employee is Robert W. Cragway, Sr., 410-765-6891.

Student science video contest—Deadline March 21

The Kavli Science video contest is offered as a student program of the USA Science & Engineering Festival. Students compete for the chance to win $2000 (first prize) and a travel stipend to Washington DC to attend the festival. The winners are also honored in an awards ceremony, hosted by Bill Nye, as part of the festival. Our theme is "Save the World through Science and Engineering". Students make a short video (:30-:90 seconds) that shows how scientific discoveries and inventions can improve our lives and change our world, either right now or in the future. Enter by Mar. 21, 2012. Click here for more information.


Public records request

The district has received a public records request and it needs your assistance in complying with it. If your school has conducted any group visits to “Eastpoint Movies 10” located at 7938 Eastern Ave., Baltimore, MD 21224 since September 24, 2009, please contact Mr. Garry Atkinson in the Office of Legal Counsel no later than close of business on Friday, March 23. The law requires that City Schools collect and produce the documentation of such visits, assuming it exists, within a certain amount of time. If you sent any groups to the theater, City Schools is being asked to provide documentation of the date attended, the movie attended, your school name, the number of patrons and payment information. Mr. Atkinson can be reached at 410.396.8542 or GSAtkinson@bcps.k12.md.us.

The new american school: race, class and achievement in urban education

Teaching as a Moral Practice: What Makes a High-Quality Teacher in Urban Schools? The Alliance for Community Teachers and Schools (ACTS) believes that teaching is a moral practice that the imperative of our age is to cultivate a new orientation for the way in which children are educated –with shared responsibility and a deep understanding of culture. Fewer than 50% of our African American boys finish high school, while more than 30% of African American boys will spend time in prison. Our classrooms are focused on passing tests rather than developing identities of achievement. What kind of teachers do we need to train, recruit and develop in order to bring about deep and significant change in that picture? Join us for the conversation - focused on action - led by national education leader, Dr. Peter Murrell this Friday, March 23 from 8-10 a.m. at the Cork Gallery (1601 Guilford Ave., 4th Floor). Click here for more information.

Early Retirement Incentive Plan for Para Professionals (ERIP PSRP-PARA) 

As you consider your options with Baltimore City Public Schools for next year, you should know about an important early retirement opportunity being offered by the district to paraprofessionals. Attached you will find detailed information. Please review the attached materials carefully to see if this opportunity is a good fit for you. Informational meetings will be held on Thursday, March 15 and Friday, March 16. See enclosures for details on registration.


Register for school-based options information session 

The Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU) contract with City Schools offers an exciting provision called School-Based Options (SBO) by which schools may vote to modify selected sections of Article VII (7.1, 7.2, 7.3, and 7.8). Principals and BTU building representatives at schools considering or curious about implementing SBO in school year 2012-13 should plan to attend the required information session on one of the following days:

  • Friday, March 16; 3 to 4:00 p.m.; Central Office, Room 212
  • Monday, March 19; 4 to 5:00 p.m.; Central Office, 1st Floor Board Room
  • Thursday, March 22; 4 to 5:00 p.m.; Central Office, Room 301
  • Friday, March 23; 3 to 4 p.m.; Central Office, Room 301

Please register for a session by completing the registration form. Contact your executive director or Nakeia Drummond, contract implementation specialist at nldrummond@bcps.k12.md.us with questions or concerns.


Get Tech: A Cyber Awareness Workshop

The Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners invites you to Get Tech: A Cyber Awareness Workshop on Saturday, Mar.  24 from 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute - Banneker Hall, located at 1400 W. Cold Spring Lane. 

·Get tips about online homework help

·Discover how to view your child's grades and school progress

·Learn how to keep kids safe online

·Find out where to get low-cost tech equipment and Internet service

·Learn what you can do on your smart phone

All attendees will be eligible to win prizes, including a laptop! Breakfast and childcare will be provided. Please RSVP by Tuesday, March 20 to gettech@bcps.k12.md.us.


Systemic professional development scheduled for April 10, 2012

Registration for the systemic professional development on Tuesday, April 10 will become available in the Professional Growth System on Thursday, March 8. All staff must register for sessions in order to reserve a seat. Walk-ins will not be permitted. Staff should communicate with their principals about expectations for participation and course sign-ups. Registration will close on Thursday, March 22 at 11:59 p.m. For registration instructions and a summary of available opportunities, please visit the City Schools Inside Professional Growth page.


2nd Annual Claiming Our Future: Career Exploration Day

Teachers are invited to register students in grades 5-12 to participate in the 2nd Annual Claiming Our Future: Career Exploration Day, sponsored by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Office of Diversity and Cultural Competence!  The program is FREE and transportation and lunch will be provided for all participants.

Friday, May 18
8 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Johns Hopkins University
Turner Auditorium
720 Rutland Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21287

Students will learn practical step-by-step strategies for preparing for college and pursuing professional careers in fields such as health care, engineering, research and business. The program will feature motivational speakers, scientist, laboratory staff and health care professionals who will engage and inspire participants with straight talk about the keys to building a successful career. Guest presenters will share real-life perspectives on the stumbling blocks as well as stepping stones towards attainable futures.

In preparation for this year’s program, teachers will receive:

  • a teacher curriculum guide on basic strategies to stimulating student interests in Science and Technology;
  • an age appropriate entry-level robotics classroom project; and other reading material in preparation for this year’s event.

Students will be asked to complete a checklist of career topics of interest that will be featured during this year’s event.  Parents will also receive a home instruction guide to introduce an age appropriate entry-level robotics project to their child.

The registration deadline is Friday, Mar. 23. Click here for more program information and a tentative schedule. If you have any questions, please contact Courtney Conner Bettle in the Office of Engagement at 410-545-1870 or cdconner@bcps.k12.md.us.

Calling all student artists!

Do you know students who like to draw? Tell them to get their creative juices flowing and enter the Doodle 4 Google competition for students in grades K-12. Doodles should redesign Google's homepage logo and illustrate this year's theme: "If I could travel in time, I'd visit...." The top ten Maryland doodles will be exhibited at the Walters Art Museum from May 23 to June 22.

In addition to seeing their artwork on Google's homepage and on a special Crayola 64 crayon box, the national winner will be awarded a $30,000 college scholarship and other prizes. And the winning student's school will receive $50,000! Entries are due Friday, March 23.

Please visit The Walters Art Museum website or Google for more information.

WIDA testing for English language learners

The English Language Proficiency (ELP) Annual Assessment will start early this year, due to a change from the Maryland State Department of Education. This required assessment will be administered by English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) certified teachers from February 6 to March 23. Here are some facts about the test:

  • The testing window is February 6 to March 23, but testing does not take place the entire time.
  • There are four components of the test for each ELL student: Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking.
  • Listening, Reading and Writing are given to students in grade-level and tiered groups. There will be two groups of students for each grade-level grouping: 1-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. These groups will be separated into Tier A and Tier B, assigned to students based on their proficiency level. Lower level students (1-2) are Tier A and higher level students (3-5) are Tier B.
  • The Speaking test is administered to each student individually and takes approximately 15 minutes per student.
  • The kindergarten test is given to each student and takes approximately 45 minutes per student.
  • Pre-k students will not be tested until May.

If you have questions or feel your school needs assistance with administering the Speaking portion of the assessment, please contact Jill Basye-Featherston at jbasye-featherston@bcps.k12.md.us or 410-396-8544.

STEM opportunity for middle/high school girls

On Saturday, March 24, Space Telescope Science Institute will host the "2012 Women's Science Forum." Girls in grades 6 to 12 are invited to take part in hands-on activities related to science and engineering, share their career dreams, ask questions and explore opportunities in a number of science and engineering career disciplines. Cost is $10; continental breakfast and lunch are included. Download the registration flyer.

Office of Human Capital retirement workshops

The Office of Human Capital is hosting retirement workshops for eligible employees looking for more information regarding retirement options. You may be eligible if you have up to 10 years of experience with Baltimore City Public Schools by Tues., Feb. 21, or if you are planning to retire at the end of this school year. Workshops will be held Tues., Jan. 17, and Tues., March 20. All workshops will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the District Office 1st floor Board Room.

CEO Summer Teacher Fellow and Graduate/Undergraduate Internship Program

City Schools' Summer Teacher Fellow and Graduate/Undergraduate Intern Program for 2012 is now accepting applications. Fellows will be assigned to projects that focus on any number of public education policy issues and challenges. Fellows and graduate interns are placed based on their backgrounds, interests and the needs of the departments. At the conclusion of the summer, fellows and graduate interns will provide a written report for the CEO, summarizing their project and overall experience. Fellows and interns will also be assigned to a work group in which they will participate in researching a policy issue for City Schools and provide recommendations through a public presentation to the CEO and Cabinet members. While providing City Schools with valuable research and project management during the summer, these fellowships and intern opportunities are also designed to encourage talented individuals to pursue careers in or related to public education.

This year’s fellowship/internship period runs from June 19 through August 17. Fellows and interns will be able to work up to 40 hours per week during this period and will be required to attend various meetings and brown bag lunch sessions with Cabinet members. Fellows and graduate interns will make up to $6,880; undergraduates will receive just over $4,000. Requests to work fewer than 40 hours per week or on a flexible schedule will be granted on an individual basis. Graduate interns who will be enrolled in programs during Fall 2012 may be eligible to extend their fellowship into the school year at the discretion of the managing office.

City Schools will accept applications until Wednesday, March 28, through the online application tool. Please search for CEO for a listing of all three positions: CEO Summer Teacher Fellow, CEO Graduate Intern and CEO Intern (Undergraduate).

If you are unable to connect directly through the links above, please find the postings by visiting www.baltimorecityschools.org and clicking the Careers icon in the top navigation bar on the page.


Title I targeted assistance schools - TA to school-wide transition

In an effort to provide appropriate and timely assistance to Targeted Assistance (TA) schools planning to go school-wide in 2013-14, we are offering a school-wide planning interest session on Wednesday, March 28, from 3-4:30 p.m. at REACH Middle/High School. Only interested Targeted Assistance schools who consider themselves prepared for the school-wide planning process should attend this interest session. Based on the current data, the Targeted Assistance Schools listed below will remain targeted assistance for the school year 2012-13 as long as your school is Title I next year. The Title I Targeted Assistance team will work with Targeted Assistance schools to begin a year-long planning process and preparation to go before the Local Educational Agency (LEA) review panel. This panel is charged with reviewing documentation that supports a school’s readiness and outreach to the community in preparing for transition to school-wide. Schools whose documentation demonstrates a satisfactory level of preparedness to move to school-wide will later participate in the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) state level review.

Next Steps: On Friday, May 4, the LEA will schedule a one hour work session for each interested school. Representation at this session will include the Principal and no more than 2 additional members of your school’s leadership team. This work session will focus on planning a school-wide program and is a prerequisite to participate in the LEA level peer review process on Thursday, May 24. Please reply to Lynne Wilmer at  lwilmer@bcps.k12.md.us on or before Tuesday, March 20,  to indicate your interest. If you have any inquiries or concerns, please feel free to contact your Title I Specialist.

#  58  Dr. Nathan A. Pitts Ashburton                 

#  76  Francis Scott Key                    

#  84  Thomas Johnson

#210  Hazelwood

#212  Garrett Heights

#235  Glenmount

#241  Fallstaff

#245  Leith Walk

#247  Cross Country

#334  Bluford Drew Jemison MST Academy

#338  Friendship Academy of Science and Technology

#342  KASA

#343  Civitas

#364  Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy West 

#367  Baltimore Community School

#368  East Baltimore Community School           

#374  Vanguard Collegiate

#377  Green Street Academy

#421  National Academy Foundation

#423  Baltimore Freedom Academy


Alliance for Community Teachers and Schools (ACTS) symposia

Please join the Alliance for Community Teachers and Schools (ACTS) for the first in a series of symposia promoting engaged, collaborative, culturally-situated teaching and learning. The Alliance is a community of inquiry and action, dedicated to the deliberative, mindful and intelligent transformation of urban schooling and development or urban children. We invite all committed activists, educators, community members and policy-makers to our first event:
Community Teachers: Situating learning, stimulating excellence, on Friday, March 23, from 8 to 10:00 a.m., at 1601 Guilford Ave. in The Cork Gallery. The session will be a lively discussion led by Dr. Peter Murrell, ACTS Senior Associate for Research and Development and Professor of Urbane Education at Loyola University Maryland. Also attached is the flyer describing the complete series of three symposia: The New American School: Race, class and achievement in urban education, with two more scheduled sessions this spring on Friday, April 20 and Saturday, May 19.

Save the date: Annual resource fair next month

City Schools will host a day-long resource fair on Thursday, March 29, where staff can learn about resources and services from partners and vendors--and inform budget planning for the 2012-13 school year. New this year are morning sessions to showcase great school partnerships and local best practices, a free networking breakfast and lunch and remarks from district leadership. Vendors and partners are encouraged to register to exhibit. For more information, please contact Deb Silcox at dsilcox@bcps.k12.md.us or Billie Malcolm at bmalcolm@bcps.k12.md.us.


State of Maryland International Reading Association Counsel (SoMIRAC) Conference

Attention Teachers and School Leaders! The annual SoMIRAC Conference will be held March 28-30 at the Marriott Hunt Valley Inn. Please see the attachments for the program and registration details.

Culture of Autism

Please join the Office of Special Education for an exciting opportunity on Wednesday, March 28, as Dr. Roger Cox, Professor at the University of North Carolina will be presenting ‘The Culture of Autism’. Dr. Cox is the Director of the Division of TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and other related Communication Handicapped Children) and is an international expert in the field of working with students on the spectrum. All stakeholders, including parents and community members, are invited to attend to gain a greater understanding of the unique characteristics of students on the spectrum (including students with Asperger’s Syndrome and high functioning autism) as City Schools moves toward implementation of the TEACCH model in the programs that serve students with autism. The presentation will take place from 6 -7:30 p.m. at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute Auditorium.  For more information please contact Dr. Diane McKelvey (DMMcKelvey@bcps.k12.md.us)


Early admission to kindergarten and first grade: New policy 

Please make note of the following new Board policy and regulation: JEC – Early Admission to Kindergarten and First Grade policy and administrative regulation. This policy and accompanying regulation, adopted February 14, 2012, detail the eligibility requirements and processes for applying for early admission to kindergarten and first grade. Please see the full policy and regulation on BoardDocs (accessed via the Board’s webpage). Early Learning Programs, Birth through Five, will be monitoring enrollment beginning Monday, March 26 to ensure that all schools are following the new policy and regulation. If you have any questions about JEC or JEC-RA, please email Miriam Greenleaf-Miller at mgmiller@bcps.k12.md.us

Libraries are here to help you and your students!

March is Read Across Maryland month –and  what better time to take advantage of FREE access to literature and programming at your local library? Every one of the 22 branches of the Enoch Pratt Free Library is equipped with a children's librarian who is happy to have your class visit the library, come to your school for a library visit and help you and your students sign up for a library card! Visit our Tips for Teachers page on our website for more information. Also, don't forget that you can get a teacher library card that comes with special borrowing privileges like no fines! Click here to download a printable form. For more information and to find the library closest to you, please contact Children's Services Coordinator, Jessica Hoptay Brown at 410-545-0701 or jhoptay@prattlibrary.org. Happy Reading!

Pre-k/kindergarten registration guide available online

The annual family guide to pre-k and kindergarten registration is now available online. Printed copies will be delivered to elementary schools and schools offering pre-k beginning the week of February 27. Registration opens on Monday, Mar. 26.

The Hundred Dresses field trip

Arts on Stage presents The Hundred Dresses, an endearing tale based on the Newbery Honor Book by Eleanor Estes. The Hundred Dresses focuses on the difficult issue of bullying and how mistreating someone because he or she is different from oneself brings as much harm to the bully as it does to the victim. Show times are 10:15 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Mar. 28, at Goucher College in Towson. Tickets are $7.50 for students and parent chaperones. Tickets are free for teachers. Schools with school-wide Title I funding receive a $1 discount per ticket. Reservations are required. To reserve tickets, please visit www.ArtsOnStage.org or call 410-252-8717. The Hundred Dresses is geared for grades 2 to 6; however, anyone is welcome. A Study Guide for this performance is available to download at www.ArtsOnStage.org.

Oral Language Academy

The Early Learning Office is starting its second offering of Oral Language Academy, a course on how to foster oral language in the classroom. Participants will learn that the more opportunities students have to use language and receive quality feedback, the more likely they are to develop rich vocabularies and complex sentence-structures -a prerequisite to later academic success. The course will meet at Patterson Park Public Charter School on the following dates:

  • Saturday, Jan. 14 (8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.)
  • Saturday, Jan. 28 (8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.)
  • Saturday, Feb. 11 (8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.)
  • Saturday, Feb. 25 (8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.)
  • Thursday, Mar. 29 (4:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.)

Participants who complete the course will receive two AUs. The course is open to teachers grade Pre k -2nd, as well as special educators, ESOL teachers, educational associates and staff developers who work with this population. Participants can register for the course through the Professional Growth System. For more information, please contact Miriam Greenleaf-Miller at 443-642-3990 or mgmiller@bcps.k12.md.us.


Lettered tickets for March 2012

The dates for the March 2012 MTA lettered tickets are as follows:

  • Saturday, March 3 - Ticket A
  • Saturday, March 10 - Ticket B
  • Saturday, March 17 - Ticket C
  • Thursday, March 22 - Ticket D
  • Saturday, March 24 - Ticket E
  • Saturday, March 31 - Ticket F

Please note, all the dates are Saturdays except Thursday, March 22. This was originally a professional development day.

Declaration of intent process launch

The Declaration of Intent Form goes live for all district employees on Wednesday, March 14.  Please think about your plans for next year and notify City Schools of them by Friday, March 30. As with last year, there is an incentive for early notice. Click here to read the full letter about the Declaration of Intent process.

Maryland Science Center accepting applications for 2012 STEM scholarships

The 2012 application period for the Maryland Science Center's STEM scholarships is now open. City Schools high school seniors planning to pursue STEM studies at a two-year college, four-year college or university in the fall are encouraged to apply. New in 2012: Scholarship recipients will receive paid summer internships at the Science Center! Eligible students must have a standard weighted GPA of 2.67 or above and demonstrate financial hardship. The Dr. H. Bentley Glass $1,500 scholarships are intended to support education-related expenses. The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, March 30. Click here for more information and an application. Please email questions to scholarship2012@marylandsciencecenter.org

Typical or Troubled?™ school mental health education grant program

This is a grant for high school mental health needs. Applications are due Friday, March 30. Established by the American Psychiatric Foundation (APF), a philanthropic and educational subsidiary of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the Typical or Troubled?™ School Mental Health Education Grant Program provides funding to implement the Typical or Troubled?™ School Mental Health educational model. In addition, in 2012, the APF introduces Típico o Problemático?™, a culturally competent version of Typical or Troubled?™ modified for delivery to both parents and staff. It is available in Spanish and English versions. This version of the Typical or Troubled?™ program was developed in Latino school communities with families, teachers, school administrators, counselors, school social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists and community organizations. The result is a variety of educational tools that are culturally appropriate and encourage learning and dialogue with parents about their teen’s mental health and how to support their mental health and emotional well-being.

Educational materials focus on the following elements:

  • What the problem is, the impact on the child and school community, why getting appropriate care and treatment is critical, and the difference between typical and troubled behavior.
  • The role school personnel (or other adults) can play in helping a teen get help - and why taking action and referring is important
  • An overview of how the referral system might work in the school and who is involved
  • An overview of mental disorders and the key warning signs
  • How to talk to a teen, parent, or school counselor

Program materials will be made available for grant recipient's use and will include:

  • Educational training presentation for teachers and school personnel
  • Educational training presenation of Típico o Problemático?™ designed for Hispanic school communities and parents in both English and Spanish
  • Brochure about teen mental health (English and Spanish versions available)
  • Tips and role playing exercises for improving communication between teens and adults
  • Program evaluation form

Click here to access the grant application. For more information please send an email to abreiseth@bcps.k12.md.us.  

New Board policies and regulations

Principals, please make note of the following changes to Board policies and regulations and replace the outdated versions (indicated below) in your policy binders.

IHB-RA - Charter School Administrative Regulations. These regulations were amended at the Jan. 10, 2012, board meeting. The deadline for Charter Applications for a Fall 2013 opening is now Friday, March 30. Please see the Charter, Innovation and Transformation Schools webpage for additional information.

·DMA - School Activity Funds Policy and Administrative Regulations (replace Board Rule 303.07). This policy and accompanying regulations, adopted on Dec. 13, 2011, clarifies restrictions as to the use of Student Activity funds, reaffirms the responsibilities of the principal and his or her designee and provides detailed instructions for processing deposits and disbursements. Please see the full policy, regulations and updated Table of Contents.

·EGD - Internet Safety and Acceptable Use of Technology Policy and Administrative Regulations (replace Board Rule 812). This policy and accompanying regulations, adopted on Dec. 13, 2011, provides support and guidance regarding the appropriate use of technology by City Schools employees and students. Beginning in late January 2012, all users of the City Schools data network will be prompted to acknowledge and agree to this policy. Please review this important message from the IT department and the full policy, employee regulations, student regulations and updated Table of Contents.

Public School Administrators and Supervisors Association (PSASA) tuition reimbursement fund has expired

Please be advised that the 2011-12 school year tuition reimbursement fund for PSASA members will be exhausted after the pay scheduled for Friday, March 30. All PSASA tuition reimbursement requests are processed by the date documents are received in Human Capital. If you are a PSASA member who has submitted a tuition reimbursement application and are not reimbursed on Friday, March 30, you are not eligible to receive tuition reimbursement this school year. Dear City Schools Colleagues and Staff,


The building of Baltimore City Public Schools’ budget for 2012-13 is officially underway, and I’d like to share some information about this process, how it will unfold and how you can be part of it.


In coming weeks, decisions about numerous budget items will be discussed and made at both district and school levels—how much money schools will receive, what the per-pupil funding formula and budget guidance will look like, etc. You will receive regular communications from the district as details emerge. The first of these will be around schools’ student enrollment projections for next year, and the first step for schools in the budget process is to verify these estimates, because the per-pupil funding they receive will be based on them—and then modified following a formal enrollment count in September. Please keep an eye out for your enrollment projections and other budget-related communications from district office staff and on City Schools Inside.


City Schools’ budget is a key tool for delivering the education its students need to succeed. The amount of money available to do this work has been essentially flat over the past several years, and is likely to remain flat this year. Meanwhile, the cost of educating our students goes up each year, and the challenges facing our schools shift annually. We as a district, state and nation continue to operate in difficult fiscal times, and I can say with near certainty that we will face some very difficult decisions as we embark on the 2012-13 budget process. Staying focused on—and true to—our priorities will be more important than ever.


City Schools’ 2012-13 budget-making efforts are being driven both by broad, long-term priorities that the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners has articulated for the district and specific 2012-13 budget priorities that the Board solicited from school-based staff, families and community members at two community budget dialogues in January. Both sets of priorities place a premium on ensuring high-quality teachers, strengthening curriculum and instruction, better engaging families and communities and creating more and better school options. And both reflect City Schools’ commitment to ensuring excellent teaching and learning for every student in every classroom. The Board’s priorities will guide the work of the district moving forward, starting with this year’s budget process, so I urge you to familiarize yourself with them. The community’s input on the 2012-13 budget underscores the importance of collaboration in the budget-making process.


The 2012-13 budget process entails building an overall budget for City Schools and, within that, 200-plus school and program budgets—all tailored by individual school communities to improve student achievement among their unique student populations. This work will take place over the next several weeks and culminate with a Board vote in late April.


Here’s how the process works …


Each year, City Schools receives revenue from Baltimore City, the state of Maryland and the federal government. This money makes up almost all of City Schools’ funding, and all of it supports teaching and learning in the classroom. As you know, it takes many different services and supports to get students and teachers into classrooms with all the tools they need to teach and learn. So the money necessarily covers a wide range of costs, the vast majority of which support items and activities that are directly visible at the school level, such as salaries for teachers, principals and other staff; after-school programs; classroom technology; and classroom supplies. Other funding pays for a range of supports that help students and schools succeed—like data systems, fiscal systems, district and school websites, and transportation for students with disabilities, to name just a few. Some funds are flexible while others are “locked,” meaning that they come with the requirement that they be used only for specific purposes.


City Schools allocates funding across schools using a per-pupil funding formula. Under this formula:

  • Schools receive dollars based on their numbers of students.
  • Each school receives a “base” amount for each student, adjusted by “weights” for particular types of students with specific academic needs.
  • The Board considers the size and nature of these weights each year.  


Schools will receive the enrollment projections on which their per-pupil funding will be based in the coming days, and the Board is scheduled to hold public work sessions on the per-pupil formula and weights on Tuesday, March 6 (5-6 p.m.) and Wednesday, March 7 (8:30-10:30 a.m.), and then vote on them at its next Board meeting on Tuesday, March 13. Starting March 26, schools will receive their actual budget allocations. School leaders—with the input of staff, families, partners and members of the community—then build their budgets and submit them to City Schools’ CEO for approval in early to mid-April.


Each school’s budget should reflect the school’s unique vision, assets and needs. This year all schools, with the help of their Instructional Leadership Teams and School Family Councils, are developing School Performance Plans that will drive all major decision-making and planning at their schools. This planning work parallels school budget making, so that these two processes can inform each other. 


All City Schools employees will receive a number of communications in the coming weeks to guide and support the critical work of strategic planning and budget building for 2012-13. In the meantime, I urge you to read more about the budget process and stay abreast of latest updates by visiting the 2012-13 budget pages on City Schools’ district website, also accessible from the homepage of City Schools Inside.


Thank you for your partnership in this extremely important work to help ensure the continued progress of our 85,000 great kids.





                                 Key Dates                           

Early March—Schools receive enrollment projections

March 6—Board Public work session (on per-pupil funding formula and weights)

March 7—Board Public work session on per-pupil funding formula and weights

March 13— Board public forum

March 13—Board votes on per-pupil funding formula and weights

March 26—Schools start receiving budget allocations

March 27—Board public forum

April 9-30—Schools submit budgets to CEO for approval

April 24—Board votes on City Schools’ 2012-13 budget