Take Note Archive—July 2011

Salary Reduction Agreement Process-Now Online

City Schools is pleased to announce enhancements to the 403(b) Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) process. Effective April 1, 2011 salary reduction requests must be submitted online through our 403(b) plan administrator’s website. For details about the new online process, click here. If you have questions, please contact Victoria Dailey (vdailey@bcps.k12.md.us).

New Positions Available! - School Support Networks

To better support schools and ensure success for all students, Baltimore City Public Schools is reorganizing its district office to move key resources and support closer to schools and to improve the flow of and access to information across the district. To do this, it is creating robust and differentiated School Support Networks, school leadership support resources—a transparent school and school leader evaluation system—and a formal district knowledge management function. Apply today! Positions on each School Support Network team are proposed and subject to board approval. Positions are listed below. Please click the title for the full job description.

Executive Director of Principal Support and Accountability

School Support Networks Team Facilitator

Academic Content Liaison

Student Support Liaison

Data Specialist

Family and Community Engagement Specialist

Human Capital Specialist

Special Education Liaison

Supervisor–Education Building 

Job Fair Information for Teachers Seeking Placement 

In an effort to support the identification of your placement in the upcoming school year, the Office of Human Capital will be sponsoring placement events to provide an opportunity for you to meet with principals and hiring staff. This year, the placement events will be held over several days to allow a more focused approach on placement into positions that best suit the needs of the school and the incoming staff member, structuring the events to accommodate placement by grade levels or position.

July 18
This event is geared towards those who are certified to work in an Elementary setting including General and Special Education Teachers with certification in Elementary grade levels (PreK to 8), Guidance Counselors, Librarians, Paraeducators, and IEP Team Associates.

July 19
This event is geared towards candidates in non-instructional positions including Non-Instructional staff, Secretaries, Office Assistants and Team Support Paraprofessionals, Staff Associates, Custodial Workers, and other non-instructional staff.

July 20
This event is geared towards those who are certified to teach in a Middle or Secondary setting including General and Special Education Teachers with certification in Secondary content areas (all subjects), Guidance Counselors, Librarians, Paraeducators, and IEP Team Associates.

All Events will be held from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. at The Radisson at Cross Keys, 100 Village Square 5100 Falls Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21210.

Attendance is mandatory, unless you have secured a placement prior to the fair. If you need to confirm your placement, please email teachbaltimore@bcps.k12.md.us. When you are offered placement at the event or at an interview prior to the event, you are required to sign a recommendation to hire form in order for your placement to be processed. The form must be signed by you and the principal. Principals must submit the completed form to the Office of Human Capital (OHC) by no later than July 22. You will receive an email confirmation of your placement by July 25. In order to meet our goal of placing all staff by July 26, we are asking you to participate in the scheduled job fairs and respond to school staff for interviews. We strongly encourage you to be proactive by scheduling in-person or phone interviews prior to the placement events.
Updated vacancies will be posted online at: http://www.bcps.k12.md.us/Departments/HR/PDF/Vacancies.pdf. If you need further assistance, please contact the OHC at 410-396-8885.

Job Fair Information for Principals Looking to Fill Vacancies 

In an effort to properly staff your schools, the Office of Human Capital (OHC) will host several placement fairs. If you currently have vacancies, your attendance is mandatory. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to be proactive and work with your Human Capital Specialist to field candidates to fully staff your school prior to the placement events. Your Human Capital Specialist is available to schedule check-ins, send candidates, facilitate interview days, and provide any additional assistance that you require to staff your school. We are here to serve you and assist you in meeting the needs of your students.

All placement fairs will be held from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. at The Radisson at Cross Keys, 100 Village Square 5100 Falls Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21210. We have structured the event as follows:

July 18
This event is for school leaders who are seeking candidates who are certified for an Elementary setting and/ or Pre- K-8 setting. General Education Teachers, Special Education Teachers, Guidance Counselors, Librarians, and Paraeducators will attend this event.

July 19
This event is for school leaders who are seeking candidates who currently hold non-instructional positions. Non-instructional staff, Secretaries, Office Assistants, Staff Associates, Team Support Paraprofessionals, Custodial Workers, and other non-instructional positions will attend this event.

July 20
This event is for school leaders who are seeking candidates who are certified for a Secondary setting with certifications for 7 – 12 grades. General Education and Special Education Teachers (all content areas), Guidance Counselors, Librarians, and Paraeducators will attend this event. Please be prepared to begin meeting and interviewing candidates at 4 PM.

The Recommendation to Hire form must be completed by you and the candidate and submitted to the OHC by no later than July 22. We are working to have all incumbent staff placed and schools fully staffed no later than July 26. Therefore, it is strongly encouraged that you fully staff prior to that date. As always, if you need further assistance, please contact your Human Capital Specialist.

Board Policy Updates and TOC's


Integrated Pest Management

Principals, please ensure that the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) documents are posted in the required areas of your school.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) pesticide legislation of 1998 requires that Integrated Pest Management documents be posted at your school. The regulation further requires that Maryland public schools develop and implement an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program to manage pests in schools and on school grounds. Periodically, schools are subject to unannounced inspections by the MDA. When on site, MDA inspectors review postings, notifications and school-based pest control log books. Please ensure that your school is in compliance with the regulations.

PSRP and PSASA Employees Pay

For PSRP & PSASA employees who may have questions about the changes to their pay, please see the payroll processing information sheet for PSRP and PSASA from the payroll office. If there are additional questions, please contact the payroll office (payroll@bcps.k12.md.us) or the compensation office (compensation@bcps.k12.md.us).

Summer Employment Opportunities

Summer employment opportunities are available for 10-month teachers, 12-month intercession employees, related services providers, paraprofessionals and support staff. The summer major programs and opportunities and their assignment dates are outlined in this bulletin. If you are a 10-month or 12-month intercession employee and are interested in being considered for a paid position between June 18 and August 12, please complete the appropriate 2011 summer teacher-level application or 2011 support services application.

Reading and Literacy Academy I and II

During the months of April and May, the Early Learning Office offers the Literacy Academy I, a professional development opportunity for kindergarten through third grade teachers. The academy helps teachers enhance student phonological sensitivity in the classroom through the review of current research, a greater understanding of the hierarchy of pre-reading skills, by developing multi-sensory techniques and creating hands-on activities to promote phonological awareness. Teachers attend three consecutive Saturday sessions, complete homework assignments and finish with a project they can use immediately in their classrooms. Teachers who successfully complete all components are compensated $30 per hour. Literacy Academy I takes place on April 30, May 7 and May 14 from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Liberty Elementary School (3901 Maine Ave. Balto., MD 21207).
In May and June, academies are being offered again. The Reading Academy takes place on May 23, June 6, June 13 and June 20 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Edgecombe Circle Elem./Middle School. Literacy Academies for May and June take place on June 20, June 21 and June 22 at Liberty Elementary School  from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Registration is available, starting May 2, on iLearn under the early childhood courses.
Literacy Academy II takes place on June 27, June 28 and June 29 from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. and on July 7, July 8 and July 9 from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Jemicy Upper School (11202 Garrison Forest Rd. Owings, Mills, MD 21117). Please do not register for this session if you have not attended Literacy Academy I and if you are not a kindergarten through third grade teacher.
Please be sure to select the course that is appropriate for your grade level. The Early Learning office will cancel the enrollment of those who sign up for the wrong grade level.

Literacy Academy I: Additional Offering Available!

In July the Early Learning Office is offering Literacy Academy I, a professional development opportunity for Pre-Kindergarten through Third Grade teachers once more. Literacy Academy I will help teachers enhance student phonological sensitivity in the classroom through the review of current research, a greater understanding of the hierarchy of pre-reading skills, and by developing multi-sensory techniques and creating hands-on activities to promote phonological awareness. Teachers will attend three consecutive sessions, complete homework assignments, and finish with a culminating project which they can immediately use in their classrooms. Teachers who successfully complete all components will be awarded an Achievement Unit (AU). Further details on the awarding of the AU are forthcoming.
Literacy Academy I will occur on July 12th, 13th, and 14th from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm. The academy will be held at: Liberty Elementary School 3901 Maine Ave Baltimore, MD 21207. Enrollment is available through iLearn, under the Early Childhood course classification. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Christopher Knighting at CKnighting@bcps.k12.md.us.

Grand Prix of Summer Learning for Students

Teachers who are interested in working for the Grand Prix of Summer Learning for students in the middle grades can apply online for positions on TSS. These middle grades summer academies operate from July 5 through August 5 for students, with training and professional development for teachers taking place in the weeks before the program. For additional information, please see the Grand Prix brochure , which is also available in Spanish. If you have questions, please contact Charlene Footman (cfootman@bcps.k12.md.us or call 443-642-4088). 

Paraprofessionals Early Retirement Incentive Plan (ERIP) Approved: 49 Enrolled

Paraprofessional members of PSRP:  As you consider your options with Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) for next year, please think about the City Schools Early Retirement Incentive Plan (ERIP). This is a one-time early retirement opportunity offered by the district. Please read the ERIP letter as an overview of this retirement opportunity. After reviewing the letter, the enrollment kit and ERIP flier, please think about whether this plan is a good fit for you.  The enrollment deadline is June 24.


Special note: If you are an employee who plans to retire effective July 1, please read these special instructions. To receive retirement benefits in July, you must submit your retirement enrollment forms no later than June 1. 
Representatives from Aon Hewitt, the ERIP-PARA program administrator, are available to help with your questions regarding this early retirement incentive program. Call toll free at 1-800-341-4413 between 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. There will also be informational seminars on May 25 and May 26. Seminar registration information is listed on the ERIP flier. Please know that on behalf of our 84,000 great kids and 200 schools, the district is grateful for all of the important work you do.

End of the Year Teacher Evaluation

Principals, please input all teacher evaluation data by June 30. To access the evaluation tool, please log in to the ERP portal. The Performance-Based Evaluation System (PBES) handbook, guidance and further instructions on tool navigation are available on the initial sign-in page of the evaluation system. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Office of Human Capital at 443-396-8885.

Updated Procedures and Logs for Early Dismissals

City Schools is required to monitor and accurately document requests for early student releases. Dismissal documents provide guidance on correct implementation procedures when students are released before the end of the school day as well as action steps to ensure that formal suspension procedures are followed (see Code of Conduct Manual). Also included is an updated log entry form for schools. It is important to note that if students are removed from school for behavior or other code of conduct infractions there must be a corresponding record in the Student Management System (SMS). If you have questions, contact

Updated Procedures for Students in T-10

City Schools is implementing district-wide procedures for monitoring students placed in T-10 status. These procedures are effective February 2011. T10 is a Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) leave code indicating that a student has transferred from one school in Baltimore City Public Schools (the sending school) to another school in Baltimore City Public Schools (the receiving school). MSDE will not allow a student to remain in T10 status indefinitely. Therefore, City Schools recommends that students not remain in T10 status for more than 5 days. Please click here for the updated procedures.

Grade A Night at the National Aquarium

The National Aquarum congratulates high-achieving students through its annual Grade A Student Night. Baltimore City and Baltimore County Students with 3 A's or more in any 2010-2011 marking period will receive free admission to the Aquarium for themselves and one adult on Thurs., June 30 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Reservations are required for this circus-themed fun event. For more information and to register, see the event flier, visit  the aquarium website or call 410-576-3833 to reserve tickets.

Francis Scott Key 8th Grade Student wins award

Beginning in 2009, Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle School partnered with The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) as a way of introducing young people to the world of business. The goals were simple: re-engage students in learning, introduce them to business concepts and financial literacy, and enhance their economic productivity by improving their business, academic and life skills. The NFTE curriculum, which is aligned with the National Council for the Teaching of Mathematics (NCTM) and NCSS Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, teaches students how to go from idea to profit in the world of entrepreneurship, with a culmination of a business plan presentation and competition at the end of the year.
In its second year, Francis Scott Key is proud to have one of its students, 8th grader Steven Thomas, named as the Baltimore City NFTE Business Plan Competition winner for 2011. Steven turned his idea of making and selling cream pies in a variety of flavors into a profitable business by year’s end. The concepts he acquired in his two years as a NFTE student helped him along the way. Corey Basmajian introduced Steven to NFTE in 7th grade, and Deneen McDonald, his 8th grade NFTE teacher helped him develop his business plan for his cream pies. His business plan states the advantage over his competitors, how the business is run, and monthly and yearly sales projections. As the sole proprietor of Big Tyme Cream Pies, Steven presented his business plan at the school wide competition, earning a spot in the semi-final business plan competition held at the University of Baltimore.
He advanced to the finals to compete against five other business plans at the middle school level. Students presented their business plans to a panel of judges within 8 minutes and responded to questions. Steven’s presentation received wonderful reviews, and following the presentation of his competitors, was named the winner, earning him $1,000 and making him eligible to compete in the national business plan competition in New York in October, where he will compete for a 1st place grand prize of $10,000.
A distinguished honor roll student, Steven is headed for Baltimore Polytechnic High School in the fall and plans to continue his business with Big Tyme Cream Pies. Additionally, Steven Thomas was recognized earlier in the school year by the Baltimore Times for their Young Entrepreneurial Challenge as Global Entrepreneur of the Year. He and his parents traveled to New York to be recognized for this honor where he had a chance to sit down with NBA Legend and successful entrepreneur Ervin “Magic” Johnson. Returning from New York, Steven Thomas plans to use the knowledge from his experience in New York, and incorporate it in his lifestyle and business, along with a simple, but memorable quote from himself that he lives by, “No hard work, no success. Know hard work, know success”.

Rosemont E/M Wins Charter School Award

Congratulations to Rosemont Elementary/Middle School for being presented the State of Maryland Charter School of the Year Award. This honor was presented to Principal Dwayne Wheeler at a ceremony held last month after a state-wide committee carefully reviewed student performance, school climate and administrative leadership over the past three years. In attendance for the announcement was The Honorable Stephanie Rawlings- Blake, Dr. Andres Alonso, Dr. Reginald Avery, President of Coppin State University, and Ms. Sandra Ashe, Director of Rosemont. The school, which is a charter school in partnership with Coppin State University, has an extended day academy, Saturday and summer programs, ski club, chess club, drum-line and global classroom initiative.

Temporary Employees Update

Effective July 1, 2011, temporary employee forms are to be submitted electonically through the P-Star system (found in ERP). Temporary employees can only be set up for 90 days at a time. When you have less than 20 percent of your initial budget remaining in each temporary position, you will receive an email notification in your  account. You then have two choices: (1) allow the position to expire based on the nature of the work completed by the temporary employee (2) update the position to extend the end date. At that time, you will need to identify additional funds to support the continuation of the position. You will receive another reminder when the balance decreases to 10 percent. Regardless of funding balance, you will also receive an email notifying you when there are less than 30 days and again at 15 days remaining on the position so that you can make sure to extend them (so they will stay on payroll). Please contact Josh Portnoy at jportnoy@bcps.k12.md.us with any questions.