• Take Action — April 2013

    Training for Inventory Managers

    In order to be better stewards of City Schools’ resources, the Information Technology Office (ITO) has refined the technology tracking and collection process. ITO and the Human Capital Office have developed training for principals and inventory managers on the steps of this verification process.

    Course content

    A training module and supplemental materials provide information on the following:
    • Reason for this verification process
    • The technology assets that are included in this process
    • Process and expectations for inventory managers
    • Deadlines for completing the 2012-13 school year verification process
    • How to grant inventory manager(s) access to your school’s technology inventory system

    Principals, you can access the training link here. Please grant inventory managers access to your school’s inventory system through the Principal’s Dashboard using the "Inventory Technician" role. You should only grant access to staff members who successfully complete the course by receiving 80 percent or higher on the end-of-course assessment.

    Please make note of the following deadlines for the current 2012-13 school year:

    • Training for inventory managers – NOW
    • Training completed by inventory managers – by Friday, May 10
    • Schools complete inventory verification process – by Monday, June 3
    • ITO audit of school reported inventory – Monday, June 3, to Monday, June 17

    For more information, please contact ITO at 443-642-3000 or technologyinventory@bcps.k12.md.us.

    Updates: April Administration Dates for Stanford 10, MSA Science, HSAs

    As a reminder, the Stanford 10 (grades 1-2), MSA Sciences (grades 5 and 8) and HSA (seniors) will be administered in April. School test coordinators will receive specific directions for each administration from the Achievement and Accountability Office via email and through City Schools Inside. Please prepare with your staff for the following administration dates in the attached memos.

    Summer Learning 2013

    Summer is approaching and City Schools is offering a variety of summer programs for current students in grades K-12 at all ability levels. Principals of schools with grades K-8, please identify a summer school coordinator/representative by completing this survey. This individual will attend a summer learning training and provide your school with assistance with the summer learning registration process as well as receive information about our summer programs.

    School Survey: There’s Still Time

    School-based staff: Because many schools have low participation rates for the 2013 School Survey, the response deadlines have been extended. Please review the following information and encourage all members of your school community to participate.

    The annual School Survey yields important information for and about schools, and the results are used all year by both schools and the district. But that information is only valuable when a significant portion of a school community completes the survey – and, as of the opening of spring break, many schools have very low participation rates.

    For this reason, the response deadline for parents/guardians has been extended to Friday, April 12. School-based staff will have until the systemic professional day on Tuesday, April 2, to complete their online versions of the survey. For students, the Friday, April 12, deadline remains unchanged.

    To encourage parents/guardians to respond, a Parent Link phone call will be placed to all families on Tuesday, April 2, informing them of the deadline extension. On Wednesday, April 3, elementary, elementary/middle and middle schools will receive copies of a reminder flyer to distribute to all students for backpacking home that day. Both of these communications direct families to contact their schools should they require paper copies of the survey; if you need additional copies of the survey for your school, please contact csurvey@bcps.k12.md.us. These communications also remind families of the web address of the online version (www.tinyurl.com/SchoolSurvey-English and www.tinyurl.com/SchoolSurvey-Spanish).
     

    It is critical that all members of your school community participate in this information-gathering effort and encourage staff, students and families to do the same. This tracker of response rate information shows how each school is doing compared to other schools, and is updated daily.

     

    Administrators, testing coordinators and community resource coordinators, please make sure that you provide multiple opportunities for parents/guardians to complete the survey by the new, extended deadline of Friday, April 12. Also please ensure that the survey is administered to students by that date.

     

    Thank you for your collaboration in this important effort to make us all better at supporting our students.

     

    Quarter 3 Report Card Information

    Principals, please review the following information regarding submitting Quarter 3 grades.

    The PTG / SMS quarterly sync will take place from Sunday, March 17, through Tuesday, April 9. Please note, due to Spring Break, grades may be entered through April 9. Click here for the City Schools 2012-13 comprehensive school year calendar and here for the complete Quarter 3 grading bulletin. Please contact the ITD Service Support Center at 443-642-3000 or ITDSupport@bcps.k12.md.us with any questions.

    Partnership Appreciation Award

    Principals, please review the following information regarding the Board of School Commissioners Partnership Recognition Breakfast.

    The Board of School Commissioners will host a Partnership Recognition Breakfast on Thursday, May 7, at 8 a.m. to acknowledge the many partnerships that help schools achieve their goals and increase student achievement. If you would like a partner or volunteer from your school to be recognized, please complete the attached form and submit to Deb Silcox (dsilcox@bcps.k12.md.us) no later than Thursday, April 11. Select schools and their partners will be highlighted in the program.

    Mandatory Midyear Review for PSRP/CUB Employees

    Principals and supervisors, please review the following information regarding the completion of the mandatory midyear review for PSRP/CUB employees in preparation for the new annual evaluation.

    At the midyear review and conference, please plan to discuss with your employee(s) the annual evaluation and their current effectiveness in - and contributions to - your work environment. Please discuss with each employee how to be “effective” or “highly effective.”

    When scheduling and conducting the 2012-13 midyear conference, supervisors should complete the following actions:

    • Discuss: Discuss the employee’s current midyear status.
    • Review: Distribute and review the new annual evaluation form.
    • Self-assess: Post-conference, provide employees with a copy of the annual evaluation form and have the employees rate themselves using this new form.
    • Plan: Schedule another meeting to discuss the self-assessment, areas of strength and areas of growth.

    The deadline for completing the midyear review form and conferencing with your employee(s) is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 19. Note, the midyear review should be submitted through the non teacher tool. The annual evaluation form is available online.

    For more information, please contact the Support Services Evaluation Team in the Human Capital Office at 410-396-8885 or HCTrainingTeam@bcps.k12.md.us.

    School-based Inventory Verification Process

    Principals and school leaders, please review the following information regarding the deadlines for the inventory verification process.

    Congratulations and thank you to the principals that participated in Phase I of the technology validation inventory process. We are entering Phase II of the process. During this phase, we will take inventory, update and validate all technology tools within your building.

    School leaders, please identify inventory managers who will be responsible for maintaining the accuracy of your school’s inventory records. Please review the parameters for inventory managers and email the names of your inventory manager(s) to technologyinventory@bcps.k12.md.us by close of business Friday, April 19.

    When identifying an inventory manager, select staff who are:

    • employees of City Schools
    • able to lift a computer
    • familiar with technology devices, web applications and Microsoft Office
    • responsible for updating and “owning” the unassigned assets in your school
    • able to designate the time to complete this verification process, and the inventory maintenance process moving forward. (*We strongly recommend that you identify at least one 12-month employee at your school as inventory is year-round process.)

    To support you in this important process, the Information Technology Office and Human Capital Office will provide training for the inventory managers on the steps of this verification process. The goal for this process is to have an accurate, verified inventory of City Schools technology devices. On Monday, April 29, all school leaders and employees who have been identified will receive an email to help them access the training module.

    Please make note of the following deadlines:

    • training available for school-based inventory managers - Monday, April 29
    • training completed by inventory managers - Friday, May 10
    • schools verify status of their technology inventory - Monday, June 3

    For more information, please contact the Information Technology Department at 443-642-3000 or technologyinventory@bcps.k12.md.us.

    Register for Title I Parent Involvement Best Practices Conference

    Principals of Title I schools, please register for the Title I Best Practices Conference by Friday, April 26.

    The Engagement Office will host, Igniting the Fire of Family and Community Engagement: A Title I Best Practices Conference on Thursday, May 2, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University of Baltimore, William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center, located at 11 W. Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, MD 21201. The event will include multiple sessions focused on innovative approaches to parent involvement and best practices presented by schools and outstanding community partners. Complimentary parking will be available in the Fitzgerald garage; breakfast and lunch will also be provided.

    Principals, please register your school representatives (FCE leads, designated teachers/staff or parent/community members) by Friday, April 26. Title I schools may send up to 3 representatives to the conference. For more information download the event flyer or contact Karla Jenkins in the Engagement Office at kpjenkins@bcps.k12.md.us or410-545-1870 with any questions.

    Summer Jump: Summer Learning Programs for 2013

    Principals, guidance counselors and school-based summer learning coordinators, please familiarize yourselves with Summer Jump programs for 2013 and with registration procedures for students at different grade and ability levels.

    For summer 2013, City Schools will once again offer summer learning programs for students at all grade levels. Please read about the different programs and their targeted audiences at www.baltimorecityschools.org/summer.

    For schools serving students from kindergarten to 8th grade: The registration tool is now live. If your school-based summer learning coordinator is unable to access the tool, please contact Terrance Harris in Enrollment, Choice and Transfers (tpharris@bcsp.k12.md.us, 410-396-8600) for assistance. If your school does not yet have a trained coordinator, please contact Crystal Brice (cnbrice@bcps.k12.md.us, 443-642-3990) immediately to arrange training. Since registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, schools without coordinators are at a disadvantage in reserving spaces for their students in the most appropriate summer program.

    Please note that placement priority for Read to Succeed and 22nd-Century Pioneers is given to students targeted because of basic or below-grade-level performance (in K-3 reading and 4-7 math, respectively); for Gear Up for Your Future, placement priority is given to 7th-grade students at advanced or proficient levels. To assist you in reaching targeted students, sample Parent Link scripts are available for you to use or modify (for Read to Succeed and 22nd-Century Pioneers). Also please be aware that Parent Link calls will be placed from the district office on the following schedule: Read to Succeed, Monday, April 22 (Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake); 22nd-Century Pioneers, Sunday, April 28 (UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski); Gear Up for Your Future, Tuesday, April 30. Please ensure that families of students outside the targeted groups are aware that submitting a registration form does not guarantee placement, since students in groups targeted for each of these programs will be placed first.

    Families of middle school students who have failing grades in three quarters will receive an application for Middle School Promotion mailed directly to their homes. In the application packet, parents/guardians are requested to contact their child’s school to determine whether the student will be retained. If a student will be retained and the principal recommends the student for the program, completed applications should be forwarded to Crystal Brice from the school.

    Through April 30, only students in targeted groups should receive promotional materials and registration forms for these programs. By Wednesday, May 1, the Summer Jump program catalog will arrive in schools (except charter schools) for distribution to all students.

    For schools serving students in grades 9 to 12: Registration for AP Prep and credit recovery/original credit should be handled through counseling offices. The Summer Jump program catalog, which will arrive in schools (except charter schools) by May 1 for distribution to all students, includes descriptions of these programs. Contact Crystal Brice (cnbrice@bcps.k12.md.us,443-642-3990) for information about eligibility and enrollment procedures for these programs.

    For charter schools: If your school elects to cover the cost of Summer Jump programs for your students, please ensure that you have a trained summer learning coordinator available to enter information into the registration tool. Visit www.baltimorecityschools.org/summer for information about charter school fees, and contact Crystal Brice (cnbrice@bcps.k12.md.us, 443-642-3990) for additional information and assistance. Please be aware that although Summer Jump catalogs will not be delivered to charter schools, copies can be provided on request. Please also be aware that the catalog will be available in local libraries, housing department offices and other agencies around the city, and Summer Jump will be broadly advertised on local radio stations and other media.

    Thank You for Participating in the Annual School Survey

    All school-based staff, please accept and share thanks for completing the annual school survey.

    Throughout March and April, thousands of City Schools teachers, students and parents/guardians completed the annual school survey, and school and district office staff worked energetically to encourage as high a rate of participation as possible. Thank you to all those who participated in the successful administration of the survey, and please extend this thanks to all members of your school communities who participated either by completing a survey or encouraging others to do so.

    The response rate as of Monday, April 29, is available here. Please review this list to see results for your school, and contact the Achievement and Accountability Office (phone 410-396-8962, email csurvey@bcps.k12.md.us) if you feel that surveys have not been counted or if you have surveys still to return.

    The Achievement and Accountability Office expects these rates and numbers to increase slightly in the coming days, as final tabulations are prepared. The final response rates, as well as reports on the survey results, will be shared with schools through their school leadership before the end of the school year. Principals, please watch for a Take Action item later this spring announcing availability of results for your school.

    Any Given Child Survey

    Principals and teachers, please complete the Any Given Child survey.

    This survey is being administered as part of the Any Given Child initiative, a partnership between City Schools and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The focus of the initiative is the collection of data from various stakeholders throughout City Schools and the greater Baltimore Arts Community, which will be used to formulate a strategic plan to ensure equitable, sustainable access to comprehensive, sequential arts education for all students in grades pre-k through 8.

    Principals, in order to participate in the survey, you will need the following information:

    • The number of students at your school
    • Your own experiences in and attitudes toward the arts
    • The place of arts education in your school
    • Full and part-time certified arts teachers
    • Hours of arts instruction at each grade level
    • Percentages of your students that participate in arts classes and experiences
    • Teaching artists, assemblies, and field trips in the arts
    • The role of arts integration in your school

    The questionnaire will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete. You may participate in the survey by clicking one of the following links:

    1. Copy-paste the entire following link between quote marks (NOT including the quote marks) in a web browser http://research.zarca.com/k/SsUVRYsRRWTsPsPsP OR
    2. Click here and enter the log-in information provided (Key: SsUVRYsRRWTsPsPsP )

    Teachers, the questions in this survey ask about your personal interactions with the arts, the role of arts in your teaching, arts-related professional development and the role of the arts in engaging students and parents in your school. The survey also asks about the existing barriers you perceive to the implementation or expansion of arts education in your school. The questionnaire will take approximately 5 minutes to complete. You may participate in the survey by clicking on the following link:

    1. Copy-paste the entire following link between quote marks (NOT including the quote marks) in a web browser " http://research.zarca.com/k/SsUVRYsRRXYsPsPsP" OR
    2. Click here and enter the log-in information provided (Key: SsUVRYsRRXYsPsPsP)

    As an incentive for your participation, the three schools with the highest survey response rate will receive a celebrity lunch guest (this could be a U.S. congressman, the mayor or a local sports hero), so be sure to complete the surveys.

    Questions about this questionnaire or the Any Given Child initiative may be directed to Brian Schneckenburger at 410-982-9164 or bschneckenburger@bcps.k12.md.us.The Any Given Child initiative represents a unique partnership opportunity to enhance the delivery of arts education in City Schools. Please take time to complete this survey at your earliest convenience.