Take Action Archive (September 2011)
School Website Support Extended
Principals, please note that your network family/community engagement specialist has access to your school website and can help make updates until September 30. After that time, your school will be responsible for all updates.
Each school support network has a specialist from the Office of Engagement who will work closely with schools to support their communications efforts. These specialists are trained on the Schoolwires CMS and were given access to school websites to help schools in their school readiness efforts. After September 30, these specialists will no longer have access to school sites. Only principals and web managers will have that access—and will be responsible for following the district guidelines and best practices on school websites. The original deadline was September 16 but has been extended to give schools an extra two weeks to make all required updates or to designate a web manager. If you have questions, please contact Gregg Ford in the Office of Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-545-7296.
Incentives for Returning the Free and Reduced Price Meals (FARMs) Form
All staff: Make sure students and school staff know about this year’s great incentives to return applications for Free and Reduced Price Meals! Please distribute the forthcoming flyer about the incentives to each student.
The Free and Reduced Price Meals (FARMs) program not only provides a balanced lunch to eligible students, but it saves money for our families and brings additional funds to the district. And this year, completing the application has additional benefits:
A flyer highlighting these incentives is being sent to schools on Tuesday, September 6. School staff should make sure to distribute a copy to each student and to post copies around the school. For more information about the incentive program, visit www.baltimorecityschools.org/farms.
School Pantry Program Orientation Registration
Principals, if your school would like to participate in the Maryland Food Bank's School Pantry Program, please submit your application by Sept. 20 and send your pantry coorindator(s) to training on Sept. 21.
School Pantry Program Orientation Registration for the Maryland Food Bank will be hosting a mandatory orientation for schools interested in participating in the School Pantry Program (SPP) during the 2011-12 school year. The goal of the School Pantry Program is to minimize hunger for many low-income households, while increasing the parental involvement among parents of children in your school. This year, the Maryland Food Bank will sponsor 100 school pantries at no cost. In order to be eligible to participate in the 2011-12 school year, all schools must:
(a) Send their Pantry Coordinator(s) to the School Pantry Program Orientation on September 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the 1st floor board room of the district office (200 E. North Avenue). Lunch will be provided. Please register here: http://www.baltimorecityschools.org/Page/15480.
(b) Complete the New Site Application/Agreement and submit it to email@example.com by September 20.
Schools that participated in the 2010-11 school will be given priority. Additional schools will be selected in the order in which their New Site Application/Agreement form is received. Please contact Courtney Conner Bettle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-545-1870 with questions.
Principals and BTU Building Representatives Training (September 21-23)
Principals and BTU building representatives, please read this message from Chief Academic Officer Sonja Brookins Santelises and sign up for training by September 16.
In the spirit of collaboration that was established in our landmark teacher agreement last year, we are engaged in the important work of coordinating the strengths of our principals and union leaders to enhance student achievement and maximize the opportunity for teacher leadership. Our success will depend, to a large extent, on our ability to develop strong relationships based on mutual respect and open communication. Please note that the Chief Academic Office and the Baltimore Teachers Union have partnered to develop a training activity focused on the importance of collaboration between principals and building representatives.
Training will take place September 21-23 from 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Mount Washington Conference Center (5801 Smith Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21209). We need your knowledge, your perspective and your commitment to help us in this critical process. Please RSVP as a team by Friday, September 16 to Niya Spencer at NTSpencer@bcps.k12.md.us. Each team is being asked to attend on the date assigned to their network in the chart below.
Great Kids Come Back
Principals, don't forget to back-pack home the Great Kids Come Back flyers arriving at schools this week. Please spread the word to all teachers and students.
Please remember that City Schools' Great Kids Come Back Fair is on Friday, September 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, September 17 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the 1st-floor board room of the district office (200 E. North Ave.). Don't forget to back-pack home the flyer arriving in schools this week with all students—and to spread the word to families and staff members about this important event.
Honors Curriculum Extensions
Middle grades principals and staff, please consider attending an informational session about City Schools' new 6th- and 7th-grade honors curriculum extensions on September 20.
On September 20, the Office of Teaching and Learning’s AdvancedAcademics program will be hosting an informational session for principals andschool-based staff to learn more about our new 6th and 7th-grade honorscurriculum extensions. These extensions were created to enhance rigor andprovide honors-level courses for middle grades students. All interested middlegrades principals and staff are encouraged to attend and learn more about thisgreat new opportunity for 6th- and 7th-grade students. This informationalsession will be from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the first-floor board room of thedistrict office (200 E. North Ave., Baltimore, MD 21202). If you havequestions, please contact Michelle Matteis at email@example.com.
Please click here for the flyer.
International Teachers Meeting
Principals, please remind your international teachers about their meeting with Dr. Alonso on Wednesday, September 21, and adjust their schedules if needed to allow them to arrive on time.
All international teachers are scheduled to meet with Dr. Alonso on Wednesday, September 21 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (1400 W. Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, Maryland 21209). Principals, if needed, please adjust the schedules of your international teachers to allow them to arrive on time.
Instructional Framework and Rubric PD for School Leaders (Summer Make-Up)
Principals and assistant principals, if you missed all or part of the summer professional development session on the Instructional Framework and Rubric, please register for a make-up session.
The Office of the Chief Academic Officer will hold make-up professional development for school leaders (principals and assistant principals) who either did not attend or only partially attended the week-long summer PD on the Instructional Framework and Rubric. The make-up PD will run from 2 to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday during the weeks of Sept 19 or Sept 26 at the Professional Development Center (PDC). All school leaders are required to complete this professional development in order to learn about City Schools' new Instructional Framework and Rubric and how it will be used to support, develop and provide feedback to teachers in the coming school year. Any school leader who missed sessions during the summer will receive an email from the CAO indicating the days to make up due to absence(s). Please click here to register for this PD.
Title I Schools and Highly Qualified (HQ) Status of Staff
Principals of Title I schools, please review requirements related to highly qualified status of your staff, discuss status with staff as appropriate and complete all required paperwork by September 23.
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act mandates that all teachers be “highly qualified” (HQ). Schools that receive funding under Title I have additional, specific requirements related to this HQ standard. To assist schools in monitoring and documenting compliance efforts, the offices of Human Capital and of Federal Programs/Title I have worked together to develop these procedures and timelines. Please read them carefully and make sure your school completes the required paperwork by September 23.
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act mandates that all teachers be “highly qualified” (HQ). Schools that receive funding under Title I have additional, specific requirements related to this HQ standard. To assist schools in monitoring and documenting compliance efforts, the offices of Human Capital and of Federal Programs/Title I have worked together to develop the following procedures and timelines.
Parent Notification Regarding Non-HQ Teachers
When a student at a Title I school is taught by a non-HQ teacher in a core subject area for more than four weeks, the student’s parents or guardians must be informed. Letters to families of affected students will be mailed by the Office of Human Capital on September 28, 2011.
Please plan a conversation with any non-HQ teachers on your faculty prior to September 28, to inform them of the letter mailing and to discuss and support their progress toward meeting the HQ standard. Human Capital specialists will provide each school with a list of non-HQ staff the week prior to dissemination of the letters to families. Please contact your specialist with any questions or concerns you may have regarding HQ status.
Subsequent notification to parents must be sent by the school every four-week period during which a teacher remains non-HQ. A <LINK>letter template<LINK>, along with additional resources, is available via TSS.
Highly Qualified Attestation Forms
The attestation form is the principal’s acknowledgement that the school is in compliance with NCLB requirements for HQ teachers and for qualifications of paraeducators. This year, attestation forms will be completed using eForms. The form will be available beginning September 15 and must be completed by September 23.
Title I Memorandum of Understanding
As mandated state and federal governments, City Schools is responsible for reviewing and monitoring all school and district programs that receive Title I funds, to ensure that compliance and reporting obligations are met. The Office of Federal Programs/Title I commits grant funds and other resources (including, but not limited to, providing periodic professional development opportunities, technical assistance on site or by telephone and a biannual district-wide Title I conference) to support NCLB programs, services and activities.
Impact of Grand Prix on City Schools
Principals, please share this important information with your staff and families about how the upcoming Grand Prix will affect City Schools.
All staff living in or working at school in the affected areas are expected to arrive at work as regularly scheduled, and should plan carefully to make sure they arrive on time. Staff who live in and around the Inner Harbor and Federal Hill should anticipate longer than usual commuting time to and from school buildings and offices on Thursday, Sept. 1, and Friday, Sept. 2. These staff members should also plan ahead, in order to arrive at work at the regularly scheduled time.
Students who live in the affected areas but attend schools outside of the Inner Harbor and Federal Hill should also plan for longer than usual travel time to school. With the exception of the seven schools listed below, schools and offices will open as regularly scheduled, and students should make every effort to arrive on time. If your school has students who live in the race area, please make sure they and their families plan for a longer commute.
Because of their location in or near the race area, the following seven schools will open as regularly scheduled but will begin the instructional day on a one-hour delay to allow time for students to arrive:
Students and families at these schools will be informed about schedule changes by means of backpacked letter and Global Connect calls. Staff at these schools should make every effort to arrive at school as regularly scheduled, leaving plenty of additional time for travel.
For all staff and families affected by the Grand Prix, information about road closures, MTA diversions and other details can be found at http://www.gptraffic.com/ or by calling 311. Information about how City Schools is affected by the race has been posted to the district website at www.baltimorecityschools.org/grandprix.
Annual Meeting for Title I Schools
Title I principals, please work with your network family/community engagement specialist to plan for and schedule your Title I Annual Meeting by no later than Sept. 30.
Title I schools should work with their network family/community engagement specialist to plan for and schedule the Title I Annual Meeting by no later than Sept. 30. Please see this sample agenda, flyer and tip sheet for guidelines and more information about the annual meeting. And please contact your network family/community engagement specialist with questions.
2011-12 JHU College Awareness, Enrichment and Preparation Program
Principals of schools with middle grades and high school students, if you would like to sign up students for JHU's college awareness, enrichment and/or preparation program, please do so by Sept. 5.
If your school would like to sign up for a date, please do so by Sept. 5. Simply e-mail Deborah Gibson (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Office of Student Support and Safety the following information:
1. Name of school
3. Number of students attending program (no more than 60, please)
4. Type of program needed (awareness, enrichment or preparation)
5. Contact information
6. Date requested
School Test Coordinators for 2011-12
Principals, please identify a School Test Coordinator and alternate by Sept. 2.
Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) regulations require local school systems to appoint a School Test Coordinator (STC) and an alternate for each school in the system (COMAR 13A.03.04). Eligible STCs for any Maryland state test administration must be an employee of the local school system and possess a valid MSDE certificate for professional school staff. The principal cannot serve as the test coordinator. Please read this memo about this process, and enter the names of your TSC and alternate on this form. Please then fax the completed form to the Office of Achievement and Accountability at 410-396-5632 or 410-396-862 by no later than Fri., Sept. 2. Please contact Carol Wilson at email@example.com with any questions.
HSA/Bridge Coordinator Training
Principals of secondary schools, please send your HSA/Bridge Coordinator to training on Sept. 7.
Principals of all secondary schools, please send your HSA/Bridge Coordinator to training on Sept. 7 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in room 301 of Baltimore City Public Schools (200 E. North Ave.). All veteran and new Bridge coordinators should attend this meeting. Participants will receive this year's Bridge calendar, updated information and an overview of the new projects for this year.
Reminder: Updating Your School Website
Principals, please remember to update your school website by Friday, Sept. 2, and please read this post for guidelines on what to update.
Your website is a reflection of your school—and an important tool for communicating with current and prospective families, students and the community. Please remember to work with the web manager at your school to update the following sections of your website by Friday, Sept. 2:
· Welcome message on the homepage
· Calendar, schedule and events
· About Our School section
If your school does not have a designated web manager, please appoint one and notify Gregg Ford (firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-545-7296). And if you need help updating your site, please contact your network specialist from the Office of Engagement. The Office of Communications (which is part of the Office of Engagement) can grant your network family/community engagement specialist temporary access to your site to get it updated for school readiness purposes; after that, these access rights would be removed, and each school will be fully responsible for keeping its website current.
If you have questions, please contact Gregg Ford or Molly Rath (email@example.com, 410-545-7296) in the Office of Communications.
Principals, please read this post about immunization compliance and ensure that all records are entered into SMS as quickly as they are received.
The deadline for students to meet the immunization requirements is Wednesday, Sept. 21. Beginning that day, students will be excluded from school if they are not in compliance with the immunization requirements. Please ensure that all records are entered into SMS as quickly as they are received and that notifications of non-compliance are disseminated to parents as needed. Our goal is to have 99.7 percent of students compliant with the immunization requirements by Sept. 21. If your school has not met this goal, please take the necessary steps to do so. Schools can see their compliance status in SMS and on the dashboard. Please note that your school’s Fair Student Funding allocation will be affected for any student who remains non-compliant. For more information on immunizations, please access the City Schools Immunization website at http://www.baltimorecityschools.org/Page/471.
Enrollment Counts and Immunization Requirements
Principals, please read this important message from the CEO about immunization and enrollment counts--and how your school can get help fulfilling these requirements.
Principals, please see this important memo from the CEO about immunization compliance and enrollment counts. The deadlines for both are fast approaching; all students are required to meet their immunization requirements on Sept. 21, and City Schools must submit its district-wide enrollment count to the Maryland State Department of Education on Sept. 30. If your school needs help submitting the needed information, please reach out to your School Support Network or the ITD Help Desk (Command Center), as detailed in the memo.
RISE Classroom Libraries
Principals, please scan and return the packing slips from the RISE Classroom Libraries.
Schools that have “opted-in” to the RISE Literacy Assessment should be receiving the classroom libraries that were ordered in the spring. Please scan the packing slips and send them to Amy Rosenkrans at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Uniform Voucher Program
Principals and staff of schools that require uniforms, please spread the word to your families about uniform vouchers.
The Uniform Voucher Program exists to support families experiencing financial hardship by assisting in the purchase of school uniforms. The number of vouchers available and the quantities of items to be received are based on funds available, which are given through private donations and may not cover the entire uniform cost. Principals and school staff, click here to see how to request a uniform voucher for your school's families, and submit their request today. If you have any questions, please contact Monique Roumo at email@example.com or 410-545-1870.
School Readiness Checklist
Principals and leadership teams, please review the School Readiness Checklist and update your network contact daily about any tasks completed or supports needed.
The School Readiness Checklist for the 2011-12 school year is available for schools to view and use to prepare for the opening of schools. Throughout July, the summer points-of-contact on the School Support Networks should have worked with you to complete priority items. In August, your new network teams will continue to support your efforts to complete the items on the checklist as we get closer to the opening of schools. Principals and leadership teams should review the checklist and update their network contact daily about any tasks completed or supports needed. If you have questions, please contact your summer point-of- contact or the Office of School Support Networks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-642-4040.
CEO Message on Enrollment and Immunization
Principals, please read this message from the CEO about enrollment and immunization.
Please read this important message from the CEO on immunization compliance, enrollment counts and Fair Student Funding (FSF) allocation to schools.
New Required Breakfast Accountability Procedures
Principals, please make sure your cafeteria staff are gathering the required information from your students eating breakfast.
The Food and Nutrition Department is required to capture the status of each student receiving a free breakfast for the entire 2011-12 school year, starting the first day of school. This new accountability process is required by MSDE/USDA to allow Baltimore City Public Schools to continue the free breakfast served to all students.
This will mean the following for your students:
Food and Nutrition thanks you for your assistance with this new breakfast accountability procedure, and we look forward to working with you in this new school year. If you have questions, please contact Ingrid Brailsford at email@example.com or 410-396-8755.
Announcing the Professional Growth System: A New Tool for Monitoring Professional Development and AUs
All staff: The new Professional Growth System for accessing, enrolling in and tracking PD is available! Get details and complete the online training now.
Last fall, members of the Baltimore Teachers Union ratified a new contract that provides differentiated pathways along a career ladder that encourages professional growth. This year, as part of its commitment to improving access to high-quality professional development, City Schools is launching tools to support teachers as they engage in and monitor that growth.
The Professional Growth System was developed to provide teachers with an easily accessible method for enrolling in professional development, tracking opportunities completed and monitoring achievement units (AUs) earned. The Professional Growth System, which will replace iLearn, offers more features and better integration with other systems in City Schools. For example, it will allow you to create a learning track to guide your own professional growth or to follow a track that was suggested by your principal or a district office.
To begin using this new system, you will first need to complete a training course and assessment in TSS. Simply log in to TSS and click the “My Places” tab; you will see the training course listed in the center column under “Classes in which you are enrolled.” Within 24 hours of successful completion of the course and assessment, you will be granted access to the Professional Growth System. You can repeat the course and assessment until you obtain the score required. The Professional Growth System itself can be accessed through the ERP portal.
The Professional Growth System will allow easy access to your learner history and records of course completion, including completion of AU-eligible professional development offerings. To provide teachers with a variety of high-quality professional development opportunities, the CAO’s office is developing a list of courses—many of which are AU eligible—that will be offered on multiple occasions during the 2011-12 school year. (For more information on AUs, including how they are earned and the criteria for AU eligibility, please visit the Achievement Units page on City Schools Inside. The courses are rooted in a cycle of learning that takes place over a number of days, engaging participants in acquiring deep knowledge grounded in classroom instruction. They reflect new standards of quality and rigor that will empower you, encourage reflection and promote adjustment of instruction to improve teaching and learning.
Stay informed of current and future professional development opportunities by visiting the Professional Growth page of City Schools Inside. This page provides details on all of the available offerings and will be updated frequently as new courses are developed and scheduled.
Principals: Please help us spread the word about the new Professional Growth System to teachers who may not be monitoring City Schools Inside this summer! Download suggested wording you can use to place a Global Connect call to your staff or send an e-mail.
Register Now for Movement to the Model Pathway!
BTU professionals interested in moving to the Model Pathway, please register now for this process.
The landmark Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU) contract that you approved last fall, and that City Schools will implement in the 2011-12 school year, involves career pathways (Standard, Professional, Model and Lead) that teachers can move up or down throughout their teaching career. Movement to the Model Pathway involves participating in a peer review process. To register for movement to the Model Pathway, please click here. If you require more information, please refer to Model Pathway information in the Professional Contract section of City Schools Inside.
Breast Cancer Awareness Program for Students
Principals, enroll your school for the Check It Out ® breast cancer awareness program.
Baltimore City Public Schools, in collaboration with Hadassah of Greater Baltimore, is pleased to announce the Check It Out ® breast cancer awareness program for our 11th and 12th-grade students. The goals of this program are to empower young women about the importance of self-awareness and advocacy and to emphasize how the early detection of breast cancer provides the best chance for successful treatment and survival. Click here if you are interested in bringing this program to your school.
If you have any questions, contact Alexia McCain, coordinator of Health Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board Policy Updates and TOCs
Principals and senior staff, please replace the two existing Board Rules about patriotic exercises in your Board Policy binder with the new policy and administrative regulation provided in this post. Please also update your table of contents.
In addition, please be advised that the Board recently adopted new policies. The new policies and the CEO’s administrative regulations are provided in this post. Please add them to your binder and update your table of contents.
The board recently adopted a new policy about patriotic exercises. Below is the new policy, the related administrative regulation and a revised table of contents (TOC) for principal and senior staff Board Policy binders. If you are maintaining a Board Rules binder along with your Board Policy binder, please replace the two existing Rules (706 and 811) about patriotic exercises with this new policy and administrative regulation (IMDA and IMDA-RA), and please update your table of contents.
The board also recently adopted a new policy about destructive or illegal group behavior. Below is the new policy (JICF), the related administrative regulation (JICF-RA), two forms and a revised Table of Contents for section J. Please make the appropriate updates.
JICF - Safe Schools Act 2010: Destructive or Illegal Group Behavior
JICF-RA Form 1 - Gang-Related Incident Report
Instructional Framework and Rubric PD for Teachers (Summer Make-Up)
Teachers, if you did not attend the summer professional development on the Instructional Framework and Rubric for teachers, please register for one of the 4-module sessions held throughout the school year.
For teachers who did not attend in the summer, the Office of the Chief Academic Officer will host a 4-module professional development on the new Instructional Framework and Instructional Rubric, and their connections to the Academic Priorities and the Common Core State Standards. This professional development will be held at various dates and times throughout the school year. Additional information and registration can be found by clicking here.
PowerTeacher Gradebook Training
Principals, please identify a staff member to serve as the support person at your school for PowerTeacher Gradebook. And please have them sign up for a training session that suits their schedule.
The recent grading policy update has mandated the use of the PowerTeacher Gradebook (PTG) for teachers in our district. In order to support teachers in their efforts to make use of this tool, it is recommended that schools identify staff who can serve as on-site support for the teachers who may have questions. Training for the selected staff will be provided at the Professional Development Center (PDC) and Edmondson-Westside High School at various times and dates.
logging in to ERP and looking in the SMS catalog. From there, please select and sign up for one of the PowerTeacher Gradebook Facilitator training sessions. If you have questions, please contact Maria Navarro at email@example.com.
By attending the training session, your staff member will be able to support your teachers by:
·Knowing how to access the training tutorial;
·Being able to respond to FAQs;
·Sharing guidance documents that support the use of the PTG in school and from home;
·Having experienced the use of the PTG as an active user of the tool.