• Physics First: Updated Scope & Sequence

    The updated 2014-15 Physics First scope and sequence detailing which topics will be assessed on district middle and end of course assessments can be found on TSS/blackboard and include instructions on how to access. Please contact Joshua Gabrielse if you have any questions. (Expires: June 15, 2014

    Session for Use of Language Resources

    This session will offer training and resources to secretaries, registrars, and guidance counselors. Participants will receive materials regarding translations and interpreting to help keep schools in compliance with state laws. The session will take place on Monday, May 18 from 9 - 11 a.m. at the Professional Development Center, 2500 East Northern Parkway. RSVP to Maria Bianchi. (Expires: May 18, 2015)

    Principal VAL-ED Survey Administration

    UPDATE: The VAL-ED survey deadline has been extended to May 22. As part of the 2014-15 School Leader Effectiveness Evaluation, the VAL-ED (Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education) Survey will be administered to staff in all schools. The purpose of the survey is to provide feedback about your school's principal. All survey responses are confidential and cannot be tracked by your school's survey coordinator or City Schools. Your survey coordinator will distribute survey codes to access the survey. Results will be included in your principal's evaluation. (Expires: May 22, 2015)

    2014-15 School Effectiveness Reviews

    The Office of Achievement and Accountability have begun the School Effectiveness Review (SER) process for school year 2014-15. The SER uses trained school reviewers during a two-day site visit to measure a school’s effectiveness against City Schools’ School Effectiveness Standards, are aligned to City Schools’Instructional Framework and School Leader Framework. Specifically, the SER is focused on four domains: Highly Effective Instruction (instructional planning and delivery), Talented People (the recruitment and development of school-based staff), Vision and Engagement (the school’s ability to collaborate with families and diverse community partners) and Strategic Leadership (goal setting and the allocation of resources).  The review teams are led by members of the Office of Achievement and Accountability’s internal SER team along with other district staff members who support the work as team members.
    During the two-day site visit, team members gather qualitative data through focus groups, classroom observations, and document review. The team uses the School Effectiveness Standards to analyze the evidence collected and determine a rating for each key action. The final product of the SER is a narrative report that is shared with school staff, district staff and the public on the district’s main webpage. Now in its 5th year of full implementation, SERs will be conducted in 60 schools during school year 2014-15, including schools that have not yet received a SER, revisits from previous years and charter schools going through the renewal process in 2015-16. (Expires: June 5, 2015)

    FAFSA Toolkit 

    The FAFSA Toolkit on City Schools Inside is now updated with 2015 information. The toolkit contains helpful information for seniors about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, and other financial aid resources. Please use the toolkit to encourage seniors to fill out a FAFSA by February 14.  (Expires: March 1, 2015

    Test items in Data Link

    In an effort to better align assessments with the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards, Data Link will no longer have test items in the Item Central for Express Test creation. As such, test questions that were created using last year’s Item Central questions will be blank and will need to be updated with new content. Data Link users can still create manual tests in the system by using their own items. The process for creating manual tests is outlined in the Assessment Admin User Guide (starting on page 122).

    As a reminder, schools should focus on the administration of the district’s key assessments in core content areas,as the data from these required assessments will be used at district,network, and school levels to examine trends and make data-based decisions regarding instruction, professional development, and resources. (Expires: October 30, 2014)

    Enterovirus 68 resources

    Please share Baltimore City Health Department's FAQ about Enterovirus and "Staying Healthy in Schools" tip sheet with families. While there have not been any reported cases in City Schools, children with asthma are at greater risk. Parents of children with asthma should contact the school nurse to make sure their children have emergency medications available in school and an updated Asthma Action Plan. For more information, visit: http://health.baltimorecity.gov/Enterovirus. (Expires: October 31, 2014) 

    Teaching resources for Election Day

    Election Day is Tuesday, November 4. The Humanities Department has prepared this list of related reading for students, lesson plans, and more for teachers to use in the next two weeks. (Please keep in mind that schools are closed for students on November 3 and the district as a whole is closed on November 4.) (Expires: October 31, 2014) 

    Quarter 1 Progress Reports - Submission Timelines and Resources

    To assist in having a successful report period use the Grade Reporting Bulletin link for timelines and useful resource links. 

    First Annual City Schools' College and Career Planning Calendar

    The first annual City Schools’ College and Career Planning Calendar is almost here! An electronic copy is attached for your reference and use.  This helpful resource is a great planning tool that you and your students can use as a personal planner. In addition to college entrance testing and open house dates, there are also lots of great resources to help students figure out their next steps, such as guidance on career pathways, certifications, dual enrollment, NCAA eligibility, maximizing summer opportunities and more! The calendar can be used in an advisory, homeroom, as an organizational tool in classes, or a supplement to your current work around college and career readiness. Students in 9th and 10th grades can begin to chart a path to their future using both the calendar and Naviance to create a high school game plan. For students in grades 11 and 12, this calendar can become both the organizer and the checklist of things to do over the next 10-18 months. The 2014-15 College and Career Planning Calendar was made with students, families, schools, and community partners in mind. We hope that you enjoy it. All high schools will be receiving hard copies for every student in the next few weeks. (Posted: September 9, 2014)

    Principals: MSA Home Reports and Score Labels Update

    MSA score labels will be arriving in your schools the week of August 4. Unlike past years, student home reports will not be included with the score labels. You will receive home reports in the coming weeks in a separate package with further instructions regarding sending the reports home to students. If you have questions about your MSA score labels or student home reports please contact Carol Wilson, Director of Student Assessment.

    The latest edition of the BeWell NEWS is available on the updated BeWell webpage!

    The latest edition of BeWell NEWS is now available on CSI. For future issues and more information about wellness opportunities offered to City School employees, simply visit City School Inside to the “All Staff” tab then click on “Health and Wellness Program” to be directed to the redesigned BeWell homepage.

    Enrollment, Choice, and Transfers Summer Location

    Please note that from July 14 to September 19, 2014 the Enrollment, Choice, and Transfers Department will be located at:

    2050 N. Wolfe Street
    Baltimore, MD 21213
    (site of the former William C. March Middle School)

    Mondays - Fridays
    Office Hours - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Walk-Ins - 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    If you are also interested in volunteering for Enrollment, Choice and Transfers this summer, please contact Shayna Robinson.

    Accessing Student-Level HSA Results from the May 2014 Administration

    Principals can access the May 2014 HSA results through the “HSA” tab on the Principal’s Dashboard under the “Student Information” tab for all tested subjects; with the exception of the Government HSA. Once released by MSDE, you will be alerted when they are posted on the Principal’s Dashboard. For support in running specific reports on HSA results, please contact your School Achievement Specialist

    City Schools Athletes Shine in 2014 Maryland and National Special Olympics Games

    City Schools was well represented at the Maryland Special Olympics Summer Games 2014, held at Towson University from June 6-8, 2014, boasting 31 athletes competing in aquatics, athletics (track and field), and bocce. The City Schools’ team included students from MATHS, AFYA, Baltimore Transition at Coppin, Hazelwood Elementary/Middle School, National Academy Foundation, Northwester High School, and Western High School and earned 23 gold medals, 11 silver medals, 2 bronze medals, one 4th place ribbon and three 5th place ribbons. Special recognition goes to Western High School student, Joycelyn (Joy) Keene-El , who was selected as a member of Team Maryland to represent Special Olympics Maryland in the 2014 USA Games held June 14 -21 in Princeton, New Jersey. Joy competed in the mini-javelin throw and wheelchair shot put, winning the gold medal in both events. All of our Special Olympic athletes performed well and made Baltimore City Public Schools and the state of Maryland very proud!

    PARCC Field Test Successfully Completed!

    This spring,thousands of City Schools students in grades 3 to 11 from almost every school participated in a pilot of the new statewide PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) test. The PARCC tests, which are primarily administered online, reflect the new standards that are designed to make sure our students finish high school ready for success in college or career. In the 2014-15 school year, all students in grades 3 to 11 will take the PARCC tests for stakes. Thank you to the many staff who worked hard to implement the pilot – school test coordinators, test administrators, IEP chairs, technology staff, school leaders, and staff in many district offices and departments. Please check the PARCC webpage for updates and information. For questions about the PARCC test, please email parcc@bcps.k12.md.us.
    City Schools Field Test: By the Numbers
    • 5,300 students took the PARCC Field Test Online
      • 136 schools participated (100% participation)
      • 74 schools tested at least one Math class 
      • 77 schools tested at least one ELA class
    • 2,200 students took PARCC Field Test on Paper 
      • 47 schools participated (100% participation)
      • 35 schools tested at least one Math class
      • 17 schools tested at least one ELA class
    • Increased schools testing online from 6 to 136 
      • Over 40,000 computers serviced by ITD in order to ensure readiness for online testing

    Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) to replace MMSR in SY14-15

    As part of Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Grant (RTT-ELC), Maryland is revising the state kindergarten readiness assessment. In SY14-15, the state will transition from the Maryland Model for School Readiness (MMSR) to the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) for SY14-15. The KRA will be different from the MMSR in several ways. It will:
    • be aligned with the Maryland Common Core State Curriculum Framework;
    • utilize a variety of assessment item types including observation rubrics, selected response items, and virtual performance tasks that will feed into an Online Reporting System (ORS); and
    • be part of a system with the other two EC-CAS components, allowing teachers to assess students’ current levels of performance and differentiate instruction appropriately.

    The KRA will be administered over a ten week period in the fall of the kindergarten year (mid-September through the end of October, 2014). During this window, teachers will evaluate their students one-on-one on seven domains of learning: social foundations, language and literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, physical well-being and motor development, and fine arts. Teachers will have access to an online dashboard that will assist with monitoring their progress toward completion.

    For more information about the KRA, please watch an information webinar hosted by MSDE. (Updated: July 7, 2014)

    New district-wide student contact information form

    As a convenience to schools and in order to satisfy state and legal requirements around collection of student contact information, City Schools will be including a standard, district-wide student contact information form as part of the back to school packets for school year 2014-15. The form will include basic contact information, parent/guardian information and emergency contact information. Schools that wish to collect additional information may create a supplemental form to distribute to families. For questions or concerns, contact the communications team.

    Janitorial Services

    City Schools has awarded contracts to ten vendors for janitorial services effective July 1, 2014. For further information and a list of new contracts refer to the solicitation results for janitorial services. Should you have any questions, please contact Leonard Emerson in the Procurement Department for additional information, 410-396-8827. (Posted: June 3, 2014)

    Build your school's grant-seeking skills

    Is your school trying to raise extra funds? Are you an expert at DonorsChoose and ready to move on to bigger game? Is there a grant your school wants to apply for, but nobody knows where to start? The grants development specialist in the Engagement Office can help! Our grants development specialist can meet with any person or group – from the principal to the PTO –who wants to learn more about seeking additional, external funds. She can provide you with tips and resources to help you sharpen your grant-seeking skills. Learn more about grants and be sure to also look at the links at the bottom of the page. For a conversation, a presentation, or just more information, please contact Abigail Breiseth.(Posted: April 9, 2014)