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Take Action Archive - October

Fair Student Funding Enrollment Adjustments
Principals, please read both the letter from the CEO and guidance document about adjusting your FY11 budget, and submit your adjustments by Oct. 25. Note that charters must submit adjustments within two days of their second budget reconciliation meeting.
 
Fair Student Funding (FSF) enrollment adjustment side-by-sides will be available on Principal's Dashboard on Fri., Oct. 8. Please adjust your school budgets up or down, depending on your school's final Sept. 30 enrollment, by no later than Oct. 25. And please read this letter from the CEO and this guidance document for details.
Grant Inventory and Tagging Process for FY 2011
Principals, please review this post and guidance document about the grants inventory and tagging process for FY 2011.
 
Please see this guidance document with the FY 2011 guidelines for the grants inventory and tagging process. And please note the following:
  • any school or central office department that purchased equipment and/or sensitive items (see Schedule A to the guidance document) must tag and inventory the item(s);
  • inventory tags will be forwarded to you via inter-office mail during the week of Oct. 18;
  • you can access the Grant Inventory System through the Principal’s Dashboard;
  • please maintain the inventory as purchases are made throughout the year.
District-Wide Free and Reduced-Priced Meals (FARM) Enrollment Count: Less than 20 School Days Remain
Principals, please reach out to students who may be FARM eligible (as indicated by the target lists) and ensure that they submit an application by the Oct. 31 deadline. 

Principals, please be reminded that Oct. 31 is the date of the official district-wide FARM count, which will be used to determine the SY12 State Compensatory Education Funding allocation, Title I allocations, the eRate discount and other Fair Student Funding (FSF) allocations (e.g., the dropout prevention allocation). If a student eligible for FARM does not have an active application on file on Oct. 31, he or she won’t be counted in the official FARM enrollment number, and neither the system nor your school will receive funding for this student. This may also impact your FSF allocation. Further, these students may be missing out on a nutritious meal, which helps our students stay healthy, alert and ready to learn.
Networks, principals and FARM coordinators are being provided with target lists of students who may be FARM eligible. Indicators used to identify these students include: enrollment in FARM last year, currently receiving DSS services and currently receiving Medicaid services. Schools are expected to make a concerted effort to reach out to these students directly. At a minimum, we expect all students who submitted applications last year to submit again this year.
The participation goals for this year are: 95% for elementary, K-8 and middle schools and 85% for 6-12 and high schools. Participation rates are calculated as the percentage of students at your school who have either submitted an application, stated that they are not interested or been contacted directly at least three times (due diligence). If your school needs additional support in FARM enrollment efforts, please reach out to your School Support Network. The team members are prepared to assist you in any way they can. Please also see the FARM Campaign Resource Kit, which details some of the supports being provided to assist you in having a successful FARM campaign. You can also view these short six-minute video tutorials to familiarize yourself with the FARM data on the Principal’s Dashboard: http://bit.ly/9Cl5II. For the FARM Due Diligence application, click here:  http://bit.ly/abA2VW.

Harvest Festival at Great Kids Farm
Principals, please consider distributing the Harvest Festival flier to all students by Oct. 21
Great Kids Farm invites all students and families in Baltimore City Public Schools to its Harvest Festival on Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Located at 6601 Baltimore National Pike (Route 40), Catonsville, MD, the festival includes activities for children of all ages and adults, including: an edible tour of the 33-acre campus, games, vegetable planting, cooking with local chefs, sipping warm apple cider, meeting the farm's goats and chickens and eating a farm-fresh lunch cooked by culinary students at Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School. Transportation is provided from 5 central sites in Baltimore: ( 1) Hoop Village at Lake Clifton Campus - 9:30 a.m. (2) Mondawmin Mall subway station - 10 a.m. (3) Patterson Park Public Charter Elementary/Middle School - 10 a.m. (4) the central office of Baltimore City Public Schools - 10:30 a.m. (5) Edmondson-Westside High School - 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Admission for children under the age of 18 is free, and a donation of $10/adult is suggested. 
Please consider distributing this Harvest Festival flier to all students by Oct. 21. This is a great chance for families to come together to experience the work underway in City Schools to promote healthy eating and environmental awareness, and to integrate hands-on learning opportunities across the curriculum. Thank you for your help spreading the word.
City Schools Leadership Academy and New Principal Development Program
Principals, please mark your calendar and plan to attend the 2010-11 sessions for the City Schools Leadership Academy and, for first-year principals, the New Principal Development Program.
Mark your calendar and plan to attend the 2010-11 sessions for the City Schools Leadership Academy and, for first-year principals, the New Principal Development Program. Click here for the dates and a letter from Chief Academic Officer Sonja Brookins Santelises. 
CEO Sessions with Principals on Landmark BTU Contract
Principals, please register immediately for one of four CEO sessions on landmark BTU contract; when you register, please indicate the day, time and location you prefer.

The CEO will be hosting dialogues with principals over the next two weeks to answer questions about and discuss the impact of the landmark teacher contract that advances the transformation of City Schools. This contract is the critical next step to ensuring that excellent teaching and learning are taking place in every classroom throughout City Schools. All principals are asked to join the CEO to discuss the details and implications of the proposed contract at a time, date and location that is convenient for you. Attendance is mandatory for all principals, and an additional session will be planned for operators. Please review the options below and RSVP to Rashi Jawade at (410)396-8803 or
rjawade@bcps.k12.md.us. Please respond as soon as possible and indicate the day, time and location you prefer; there is limited seating for each session (40 to 50). Please also continue to make it a priority to cooperate with union representatives around the scheduling of BTU forums and informational sessions for teachers. 
SCH #

Day/Time

SCHOOL NAME

ADDRESS

PHONE

27

Monday, Oct. 11,

4-5:30 p.m.

Commodore John Rodgers Elem/Middle (Media Center)

100 N. Chester Street

410-396-9300

236

Wednesday, Oct. 13, 1-2:30 pm

Hamilton Elementary/Middle (Media Center – Capacity 35)

6101 Old Harford Road

410-396-6375

430

Monday, Oct. 18,

4-5:30 pm

Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts High (Media Center)

1500 Harlem Avenue

410-396-7701

49

Tuesday, Oct. 19,

5 to 6:30 pm

Northeast Middle

5001 Moravia Road

410-396-9221

.
Professional Development for Maintaining and Managing Student Cumulative Records
Principals, please ensure that all new persons responsible for maintaining and managing student cumulative records, along with anyone in need of a refresher, attend a professional development session on Oct. 14.
The Code of Maryland Regulation (COMAR) requires City Schools to have systems of information on enrollment, attendance and promotion. Each school must ensure that data is collected and that records are maintained accurately in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the Maryland Student Records System Manual 2008. The Office of Student Records is providing professional development training for persons responsible for the maintenance and management of student cumulative records. The professional development training session is scheduled for Thur., Oct. 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Edmondson-Westside High School (501 Athol Avenue, Room 224). It is critical that all new persons responsible for maintaining and managing student cumulative records attend, along with anyone in need of a refresher or extra support. Please contact Dr. Everett X. Garnett (egarnett@bcps.k12.md.us, 443-642-4640) to sign-up for the training or for additional information.
PSASA Conference - Fri., Oct. 15
Administrators interested in attending PSASA's annual fall conference on Oct. 15 must RSVP immediately to Jimmy Gittings with your choice of workshops. 
The Public School Administrators and Supervisors Association of Baltimore City"s (PSASA) annual fall conference has not been cancelled. It will be held this Fri., Oct. 15 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (with breakfast provided). Please see this flier for more information, and, if interested, RSVP with your choice of workshops to Jimmy Gittings at jimmygittings@psasa.org or 410-243-4310. Workshop topics include: (1) the use of current mobile devices to assess, communicate and gather data (2) the use of TSS to help students become independent and creative learners, team players and self managers (3) an overview of the 2010-11 contract (4) an overview of Maryland Pension Benefits. 
OSHA/MOSHA
Principals, please ensure the presence of your staff (custodial, repair and maintenance, grounds and cafeteria managers) at the mandatory OSHA/MOSHA training on either Oct. 14 or 15.

OSHA/MOSHA training will be conducted on Thur., Oct. 14 and Fri., Oct. 15 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the auditorium of Heritage High School and the REACH Middle School/High School (2801 St. Lo Drive, Baltimore, MD 21213). Topics covered will include: slips, trips and falls; fire safety and utility-related emergencies; blood-borne pathogens; hazard communication; asbestos awareness (cafeteria managers need not attend); and indoor air quality, including the identification of conditions that can promote mold growth (cafeteria managers need not attend). Training is mandatory for custodial staff, repair and maintenance staff, grounds staff and cafeteria managers. Each training day will cover all of the material, and staff should attend either the Thursday or Friday session (not both sessions). Principals and administrators are asked to assist in ensuring the presence of effected staff. It is also recommended that any employee who may have suffered a work-related injury (related to the course content above) attend the first hour of this training.

Employers have a duty to train employees in general safety and, in the event of an injury, to investigate and provide additional training to help prevent the recurrence of injuries wherever possible. Many work-related injuries experienced by City Schools employees are caused by slips, trips and falls. The general safety training will focus on these areas. For the convenience of our employees, this portion of the course will be presented first, and those employment classifications not required to attend the remainder of the session need not do so.
Please note that sign-in begins at 7:30 a.m., with the training starting at 8 a.m. and running until 12 p.m.  And please contact Mary Beth Haller (mbhaller@bcps.k12.md.us) with any questions or concerns.
School Performance Plan Update—Deadline Extended to Oct. 15
Principals must submit the 2010-11 School Performance Plan for peer review via eforms on the City Schools ERP Portal by the extended deadline of Oct. 15.

Thanks for providing great feedback about the School Performance Plan process. Although there have been a few bumps in the road, and definitely some areas we want to revise moving forward, the general feedback has been that the current plan is a step in the right direction.
To better ensure that we have a quality product, the deadline has been extended to Oct. 15; however, you can submit your completed document prior to that date. Additionally, your colleagues have provided a few of the following tips to help your leadership team and the School Family Council develop your plans:
  • If your school has not completed Back-to-School Night, then review the requirements with parents at that time;
  • Convene your PTA/PTO board to discuss the needs and have the board present to the parents;
  • Survey parents as they come to school each day to glean information from them for input on the Family Community Engagement (FCE) template;
  • Conduct a morning and afternoon session headed by your FCE chairperson to meet with parents/community partners;
  • Conduct a faculty meeting to work on the plan but also invite your council (parents and community members) to join you to ensure they are active participants;
  • Send home a quick survey for parents to complete.
The 2010-11 School Performance Plan Peer Review Rubric, along with guidelines for completing the document, are available for your information. Stay tuned for more information about submitting your documents via eforms. If you have any questions, please contact your Network liaison or Title I Coordinator.

Please see the original post below, with essential information and links to more useful documents.
 
2010-11 School Performance Plan (formerly School Improvement Plan)
 
The 2010-11 School Performance Plan (SPP), originally known as the School Improvement Plan, consists of 3 components: (1) the elementary-middle template or the high school template (2) the school safety plan (3) and the parent involvement plan. Also available is the school performance plan directions document, which should be viewed first so you can see the full timeline and understand what components your school must complete. Please enter information as directed in shaded areas, and note that you cannot make changes to the document format. These documents will also be posted on the School Improvement page of TSS.
 
Please be sure to submit all components of the School Performance Plan via eforms on the City Schools ERP Portal by Sept. 30.
 
Networks will provide support throughout the SPP development, submission and finalization for approval processes.
 
FARM Campaign Checklist
Principals and FARM coordinators, please follow the recommendations in this post to ensure that you do everything you can to obtain a high FARM application return rate.   
 
Principals and FARM coordinators, with two weeks remaining until the FARM count deadline for state compensatory education funding and Title I, we need you to do everything you can to obtain as high a FARM application return rate as possible, ensuring that our students, your school and our district receive the necessary resources and funding. Below is a checklist of things we expect you to be doing over the next 10 days:
  • Have you monitored your school"s return rate to hit the target of 95 percent participation for the elementary and middle school grades and 85 percent for the middle and high school grades? The best way to do so is by checking the FARM Due Diligence Tracker on a school computer.
  • Have you contacted students previously enrolled in the FARM program but not enrolled this year? You can print out this list and identify those students through the FARM Due Diligence Tracker.
  • Have you contacted students with expired temporary applications about completing a new application? Please refer to the list of these students sent by e-mail to your FARM coordinator.
  • Have you followed up with students selected for verification to ensure that they submit the necessary documentation and do not lose their current meal benefit? Please refer to the list of these students sent by e-mail to your FARM coordinator or to the list in the FARM Due Diligence Tracker.
  • Have you ensured that all homeless students at your school are enrolled in the FARM program? Your FARM coordinator receives weekly e-mails with the names of students identified as homeless and not FARM enrolled.
  • Have you considered the use of administrative prerogative to complete applications on behalf of students when appropriate?
  • Have you used the due-diligence tracker to record the outreach made to each student who hasn"t yet submitted an application?
Click here for a suggested planfor tackling your last push to maximize your FARM count.
Please contact your School Support Network team members for additional assistance. FARM application processing questions and questions related to administrative procedures can be directed to Lydia McCargo-Redd or Harriet Maynor in Food and Nutrition at 410-396-8763/8764. Questions regarding the use of data to improve FARM campaign strategies, the FARM Due Diligence Tracker or the Principal"s Dashboard can be directed to David Goldsborough in the Information Technology Department at 410-396-8763 or Arnold Joo in the Office of the Chief of Staff at 410-361-9770. Questions relating to homeless students can be directed to Louise Fink or Annette White at 410-396-8904.
Please see the previous action item about the FARM campaign below.
District-Wide Free and Reduced-Priced Meals (FARM) Enrollment Count: Less than 20 School Days Remain
Principals, please reach out to students who may be FARM eligible (as indicated by the target lists) and ensure that they submit an application by the Oct. 31 deadline. 

Principals, please be reminded that Oct. 31 is the date of the official district-wide FARM count, which will be used to determine the SY12 State Compensatory Education Funding allocation, Title I allocations, the eRate discount and other Fair Student Funding (FSF) allocations (e.g., the dropout prevention allocation). If a student eligible for FARM does not have an active application on file on Oct. 31, he or she won’t be counted in the official FARM enrollment number, and neither the system nor your school will receive funding for this student. This may also impact your FSF allocation. Further, these students may be missing out on a nutritious meal, which helps our students stay healthy, alert and ready to learn.
Networks, principals and FARM coordinators are being provided with target lists of students who may be FARM eligible. Indicators used to identify these students include: enrollment in FARM last year, currently receiving DSS services and currently receiving Medicaid services. Schools are expected to make a concerted effort to reach out to these students directly. At a minimum, we expect all students who submitted applications last year to submit again this year.
The participation goals for this year are: 95% for elementary, K-8 and middle schools and 85% for 6-12 and high schools. Participation rates are calculated as the percentage of students at your school who have either submitted an application, stated that they are not interested or been contacted directly at least three times (due diligence). If your school needs additional support in FARM enrollment efforts, please reach out to your School Support Network. The team members are prepared to assist you in any way they can. Please also see the FARM Campaign Resource Kit, which details some of the supports being provided to assist you in having a successful FARM campaign. You can also view these short six-minute video tutorials to familiarize yourself with the FARM data on the Principal’s Dashboard: http://bit.ly/9Cl5II. For the FARM Due Diligence application, click here:  http://bit.ly/abA2VW.
 
Fuel Up to Play 60—A Wellness Initiative for Students 
Principals interested in participating in the Baltimore City Fuel Up to Play 60 Challenge, which is a team approach to child wellness, must select a representative from school to attend an event on Oct. 12. Please register for the event by Oct. 8. 
 
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake invites Baltimore City Public Schools to join her in the Baltimore City Fuel Up to Play 60 Challenge. As part of the challenge, the mayor and Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association are hosting a Fuel Up to Play 60 Mini Training Camp to give you tools to make our communities healthier. Fuel Up to Play 60 is a team approach to child wellness, so please join the movement to bring opportunities for healthy eating, physical activity and overall wellness to our students and families. Please click here for the flier
 
Principals are invited to send one or two representatives from your school to the Mini Training Camp on Tues., Oct. 12 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The event takes place at Baltimore City Hall, Curran Room (100 Holliday St., Baltimore, MD 21202). To register, please RSVP to Crystal at coliveri@milk4u.org or 267-322-6912 by 4 p.m. on Oct. 8. 
 
Appreciation and Professional Development Day for Attendance Monitors
Principals, please submit a nomination form and the name of the attendance monitor(s) attending the event to Tanya Williams by Oct. 8.

On Fri., Oct. 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at City Neighbors Charter School – Hamilton, the Office of Safety and Student Support Services is hosting a day of appreciation and professional development for all attendance monitors. This is a very special event where, in addition to receiving breakfast and lunch, attendance monitors will be recognized by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Executive Director of Student Support Services Jonathan Brice. We are asking that each principal submit this nomination form to Tanya Williams (tcwilliams@bcps.k12.md.us) by no later than Oct. 8, along with the name(s) of the attendance monitors attending the event. Please click here for the event flier.
 
Display of School Shirts at Mayor's Office
Principals, please send a school shirt (with your school emblem) to the Mayor's Office by Oct. 6.
 
The Office of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is setting up a display of school shirts (with school emblems) at City Hall. Please send a shirt by inter-office mail:
 
100 North Holliday Street
City Hall
Room 250
Attention: Sabrina Sutton  
 
Thank you for your participation in this exciting display of school spirit in Baltimore City Public Schools.
 
School Emergency Safety Plans
Please forward an electronic copy of your school's 2010-2011 Emergency Management Plan by no later than Sept. 3 to Alice Watson, Department of Health and Safety, at AAWatson@bcps.k12.md.us. Again this year, City Schools is using the format developed by the Critical Response and School Emergency Management Guide. To access the guide and template forms, click here. Please submit an e-mail to the aforementioned e-mail address if you have any questions or concerns.