Take Note Archive - October 2011

Workshop for Middle School Girls Interested in Science and Math

On Sunday, October 2, Stevenson University is hosting "Expanding Your Horizons: Motivating Young Women in Science and Mathematics." This hands-on workshop will give middle school girls a chance to find out about careers in science and technology and meet female role models who work in those fields. Registration is $25. Find more information at the workshop website, http://www.stevenson.edu/expandingyourhorizons/.

Enroll in the BeWell Challenge

New for this school year, the BeWell challenge will offer eligible employees the opportunity to save up to $100 on 2012 health benefit premiums. Participants can earn points throughout the school year by taking part in activities that help achieve health and fitness goals. Points can be earned by taking part in City Schools’ fitness classes or the upcoming movement challenge, completing health risk assessments or attending the health fair during open enrollment. To participate, employees must be actively employed and eligible for City Schools benefits by Oct. 1. The BeWell challenge will run from Sept. 2011 through June 2012. Please click here for more information and enrollment instructions.   

Men Making a Difference Reading Day (October 10)

A coalition of organizations including the Million Father March, National Action Network, is working to engage men in Baltimore City in volunteering in and around schools to support students. On October 10, men will be available to be guest readers in elementary and middle school classes. The coalition will read any book that fits in with what classes are currently working on and also has 100 copies of Healthy Holly: Exercising Is Fun, a book by Baltimore State Senator Catherine Pugh focused on the importance of exercise to promote better health and combat obesity. If you are interested in participating by having one of the “men making a difference” come to your school, please contact Marvin “Doc” Cheatham at 410-669-8683 or baltimorenan@hotmail.com.

Free SAT for Seniors - November 5 (Deadline to register: October 7)

City Schools' SAT initiative allows all 12th-grade students to take the SAT Reasoning test on Nov 5 at no cost to the student. The deadline for registration for this test is Oct 7. Please remember that all students eligible for fee waivers should use the fee waiver first and should not be included on the bulk registration form. All questions should be directed to Brianna McMullen at bmcmullen@bcps.k12.md.us or 443-642-4149.

Maryland State Arts Council Announces Poetry Out Loud, a National Recitation Contest (Deadline: October 3)

High school students in Maryland are invited to compete in the national poetry recitation contest, “Poetry Out Loud." The poetry contest is the result of a partnership among the Maryland State Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation. The contest encourages young people from all over the nation to learn about poetry through the act of memorization and recitation. This, in turn, builds confidence and public speaking skills, and teaches students about their literary heritage. The NEA and the Poetry Foundation provide free, standards-based curriculum materials for use by participating schools. Some schools have chosen to use these materials to do a pilot program before entering the competition for the first time, while others just dive in. The Maryland State Arts Council Poetry Out Loud coordinator visits with the teachers and students from participating schools between September and December to do presentations about the program, and provides guidance on choosing poems and recitation techniques. Poetry Out Loud materials include print and online poetry anthologies containing more than 650 classic and contemporary poems, a teacher’s guide, video footage of performances from the National Finals and audio tracks about the art of recitation. Schools are welcome to download these resources at www.poetryoutloud.org. They can also request teacher’s tool kits from the Maryland State Arts Council.

Worth noting is that Maryland’s State Champion has reached the finals at the national competition two years in a row, becoming one of nine students out of a field of 350,000 in 2010 and 365,000 in 2011 to achieve that level. Nora Sandler placed third nationally in 2010, receiving a total $5,200 in cash awards, while Kari Barclay, Marylan's 2011 finalist, received a total of $1,200.00 in cash awards. Each winner at the state level receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete at the National Finals. In addition, the state winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. At the national level, Poetry Out Loud awards $20,000 to the 1st-place winner, $10,000 and $5,000 for the 2nd- and 3rd-place winners, respectively, and $1,000 for the seven runners up. If you would like to register your school for Poetry Out Loud 2012, please visit the Maryland State Art Council’s website at
www.msac.org/poetryoutloud and click the register/request a toolkit link in the left side bar. The deadline to register and request toolkits is October 3, 2011.

Uplands Career Expo - October 8

Southwest Baltimore Community Development Corporation, the Department of Transportation Red Line Economic Employment Office and Uplands Visionaries, LLC are hosting a Career Expo in the Uplands community on Saturday, October 8 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.This is a free event open to all residents of Baltimore City, particularly those within the 21229 zip code. The purpose of this event is to work with residents and small businesses in the surrounding Uplands communities to get people job ready and employed in the Uplands and in Baltimore City. Our partners include the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, the Baltimore City PACE Program and Project Jump Start. The event takes place at the Westside Skill Center (4501 Edmondson Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21229). If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Nichole Battle at 443-423-1496.

Celebrate Baltimore's Drinking Water Reservoirs at DAM JAM 2011

Spread the word to students and bring the whole family to celebrate Baltimore's drinking water reservoirs at DAM JAM 2011. Bring chairs, a blanket and a picnic basket and enjoy live music and family activities. Takes place Sunday, Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cromwell Valley Park (2175 Cromwell Bridge Road). Admission is free. Click here for the flyer.

RISE Literacy Assessment Administration Training

A RISE Literacy Assessment Administration Training will be held on September 12 from 4:30- 6:30 in room 316 at North Avenue. Literacy Representatives from schools that are NEW to RISE should attend. Please contact Kelly Jones at kjones09@bcps.k12.md.us for more information.


Maryland State Alliance of Black School Educators Annual Conference

The Maryland State Alliance of Black School Educators will host its Annual Conference on Saturday, Oct. 15, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., at Severna Park Middle School.  Attendees can participate in sessions on Special Education Law, Parent Community Resources, Scholarship Resources, Reading Literacy and Bullying Prevention. For more information, please see the attached flyer

Students to Use Bus Ticket “C” on Wednesday, Oct. 12

Principals and school staff, please inform students that schools are open Oct. 12 and they should use bus ticket “C”

The October bus ticket packets do not include a ticket for Wednesday, Oct. 12. This is an error. Schools are open Wednesday, Oct. 12, and it is important that students attend. Please note that the PSAT will be administered that day. Please let students know that they should use the “C” ticket at the back of their bus ticket packets for Wednesday, Oct. 12. If you have any questions, please contact the Transportation Office at 410-396-7440. 

Legg Mason School Spirit Challenge 2011 (Deadline to Sign Up: October 12)

For the fourth consecutive year, Legg Mason will generously fund a "School Spirit Competition" to take place during the Baltimore Marathon on Saturday, October 15. All schools in Baltimore City Public Schools are invited to show their school spirit while cheering on the runners of the Baltimore Marathon. The schools who are the most memorable will win unrestricted funding for school programs. In years past, schools have won grants to be used at the discretion of the principal for classroom or school-wide needs. The criteria for this year’s competition include creativity, participation and spirit. Examples from past marathons include schools utilizing signs, Swedish Fish, horns, drums, balloons, school colors, school bands, mascots, cheerleaders and dance teams following the race. Successful teams have also utilized their entire school community (teachers, students, parents, families and partners) for the event. Just after the marathon, the runners and several independent judges will vote for the schools that made the biggest impression in line with the criteria. From these votes, five winners will be selected, with each of the top-five schools receiving a portion of Legg Mason's total donation of $7,500. First place will receive $2,500, second place $2,000, third place $1,500, 4th place = $1,000 and fifth place $500. Space is limited to 20 slots, so gather your school community and show your school spirit on October 15! Please click here to register, and be sure to complete all registration fields. The deadline to sign up is October 12.   

2011 Combined Charity Campaign

The annual kick off for the 2011 Combined Charities campaign is Friday, Oct. 14 at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. New and veteran coordinators will be trained during the event. Click for more information and details on registration 

Paying for College: Help Students Find Out How

Congressman Elijah Cummings' annual "How to Pay for College" seminar takes place this year on Monday, October 17, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Enoch Pratt Free Library's central branch at 400 Cathedral Street. Please encourage City Schools' high school students to attend with their familiesand find out how to bring college into financial reach. More information can be found at City Schools' webpage on Paying for College or Congressman Cummings' website.

Columbus Day Parade

On Sunday, October 9, there will be a Columbus Day Parade to commemorate Columbus' epochal voyage. It starts at Key Highway and Light St., travels down Pratt St. and ends in Little Italy at the Columbus Piazza. The parade begins at 2 p.m. and ends at 4 p.m. The mayor will be in attendance. Please help us inform your students about this great, fun, healthy community event. We will be placing backpack flyers in some of the schools close to the route. Please help us get these in the hands of your students so they can enjoy the parade taking place outside their door! For more information, please contact Christine Richardson at 410-707-2404 or info@qmarketinganddesign.com.


Target Field Trip Grant for K-12 Students

Target Corporation is accepting applications from education professionals for the Target Field Trip Grants program to bring K-12 students in the United States to museums, historical sites and cultural organizations. Since launching the program in 2007, Target has awarded $9.76 million in grants, providing 1.2 million students in all 50 states with the opportunity to enhance their studies in the arts, math, science and social studies. Grants are intended to fund visits to art, science and cultural museums; community service or civic projects; career enrichment opportunities; and other events or activities away from the school facility. More than 5,000 grants of up to $700 will be awarded in January 2012. Grants are available to applicants from the U.S. for trips to be taken between January 1, 2012, and the end of the 2011-12 academic year (May/June 2012). Funds may be used to cover field trip-related costs, such as transportation, ticket fees, food, resource materials and supplies. Education professionals who are at least 18 years old and employed by an accredited K-12 public or charter school in the U.S. that maintains 501(c)(3) or 509(a)(1) tax-exempt status are eligible to apply. Educators, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals or classified staff at these institutions must be willing to plan and execute a field trip that will provide a demonstrable learning experience for students. The Target Field Trip Grants program is managed and administered entirely by Scholarship America. Please click here for complete program guidelines and the application form. The deadline is Oct. 3.

Information about Dependent Child Tuition Waiver

Please take a minute to read about a great benefit for full-time and part-time employees of Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools). If you are a non-city resident and have children who attend a school in City Schools, then you are eligible for a dependent child tuition waiver—and can save $4,660, the cost of tuition for the 2011-12 school year. You must submit your request through eForms, which can be accessed from any computer connected to the Baltimore City Public Schools network. Please note that you also need to submit documentation confirming that you are a parent or guardian, such as a birth certificate or a court order. You are encouraged to submit this documentation electronically with the eForms request but can also submit paper copies to the Office of Student Placement (Room 106, 200 E. North Ave., Baltimore, MD) after submitting the eForm. To apply for a dependent child tuition waiver for the current school year, please submit your request by October 7. Read more ...

National Youth Leadership Council Invites Applications for Youth Leadership for Service-Learning Excellence Award

The National Youth Leadership Council Invites Applications for the Youth Leadership for Service-Learning Excellence Award. This award recognizes K-12 service-learning programs and projects that demonstrate outstanding youth leadership. It focuses on projects that uniquely demonstrate youth leadership for service-learning excellence and have a sustainable impact on the participants and the broader community. Youth teams representing K-12 service-learning programs in which the service-learning is tied to the school curricula may apply. Although the word “program” is used, applications will be accepted for a particular project, as long as it has a long-term impact. Preference will be given to ongoing programs and projects. Applications will be accepted from all states, but only one award will be presented. The young people involved in the program must write the application. In cases where youth are unable to write the application due to age or disability, a teacher or service-learning coordinator can assist with the application to the extent necessary. One winner will be selected to receive the award at the National Service-Learning Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from April 11-14, 2012. The winner will receive $1,000 to support the program, along with travel, lodging and registration for the conference for two youth participants and one adult leader. Each youth involved in the winning program will receive an award certificate. Please click here for more information and the application. The deadline is Oct. 21.

Professional Development for School Attendance Teams

Mark your calendars for Thursday, Oct. 20 from 8:30a.m.-1:00p.m. The Office of Attendance and Truancy and the Baltimore Attendance Initiative are hosting a workshop for Attendance Team members, Family Preservation Specialists and other district office staff. More information will follow in the next couple of weeks.

New Teacher Professional Development Series

The New Teacher Professional Development Series is a PD opportunity geared specifically toward the needs of first-year teachers. The sessions begin October 24 and will be held monthly at Heritage High School on the Lake Clifton Campus. Participants will have the opportunity to earn one Achievement Unit (AU) upon successful completion of the course. First-year teachers will work with experienced facilitators to develop strategies in classroom management, communicating with families, lesson planning and instruction in order to raise student achievement. Registration is now open on the Professional Growth System. This PD is open to first-year teachers only, and teachers should register early, as spots are limited! Registration is open until October 21. Please email Kelly Manard, kmanard@bcps.k12.md.us, for more information.

National Society of Black Engineers BOSS Jr. Kickoff

Morgan State University's chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) will host the BOSS Jr. Kickoff Saturday, Oct. 22. from 11a.m. – 2p.m. Kickoff events will take place in the engineering building located at 5200 Perring Parkway, Baltimore, MD 21239. NSBE Jr. is a great way for City Schools’ students to interact with one another as well as learn more about engineering and college. For more information, please contact Vincent Norman-Morris at nsbe.msupci@gmail.com.

Learn How to Reach Kids Who Have Learning Differences

The Loyola University Maryland School of Education's special education program and the Maryland chapter of the International Dyslexia Association will jointly host "Finish Line: Achieving with a Learning Difference." This event is for parents, professionals, educators and students interested in the latest research and advocacy efforts for individuals with dyslexia, ADHD, autism and other language-based learning differences. Speakers include neuropsychologist Vincent Culotta, Ph.D., Intel Reader inventor Ben Foss and actor Jonathan Schaech - hosted by WBAL-TV anchor Deborah Weiner. The event will be held at Loyola University Maryland McGuire Hall, 4501 N. Charles Street from 7-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 26. - doors open at 6:30 p.m. Please click for more information about the event and to reserve a seat. Reservations are recommended, as the event is expected to reach maximum capacity. 

Theatre Morgan Presents, BROKE-OLOGY

Join Theatre Morgan for their 2011-2012 season opening play, BROKE-OLOGY. Parents, students, and educators are encouraged to participate in the living classroom experience. For more details, please contact Theatre Morgan at 443.885.3625 or TheatreMorganMSU@gmail.com

U.S. Senate Recognizes National Principals Month

School leadership is one of the most challenging and rewarding opportunities. Every day, principals demonstrate thoughtful decision-making skills, compassion and courage. For these reasons and many more, the U.S. Senate on Friday, September 23 passed a resolution honoring the nation’s principals by declaring October 2011 National Principals Month. The resolution was sponsored by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)) and received bipartisan support. JoAnn D. Bartoletti, the Executive Director for National Association for Secondary School Principals (NASSP), stated, “We are delighted that the U.S. Senate has chosen to recognize the nation’s principals for their contributions to student achievement. We attribute this recognition in part to our efforts to bring more principals to Capitol Hill so their elected officials can hear directly about the kinds of policies and supports that U.S. schools need to be successful with each student, as the Breaking Ranks School Improvement Framework prescribes. Those visits and other contacts remind elected officials that school leadership matters.” As we echo Ms. Bartoletti’s sentiments, we encourage everyone to honor and celebrate our principals during the month of October and throughout the year. To read the complete text of the resolution, visit www.nassp.org/prinmonthres.

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program Invites Entries From Young Volunteers

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program annually honors middle and high school students across the U.S. for helping to improve their communities through volunteer activities. The program's goals are to applaud young people who already are making a positive difference in their towns and neighborhoods, and to inspire others to think about how they might contribute to their communities. The awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial, Inc. in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, honor outstanding community service performed during the previous year by young people in grades 5 through 12 at the local, state and national levels. To be eligible, a young person must be in grades 5-12 as of November 1, 2011; be a legal resident of any U.S. state or Washington, D.C.; have engaged in a volunteer activity that occurred at least partly during the 12 months prior to the date of application; and submit a completed application to a school principal or the head of an officially designated local organization by the November 1 deadline. Participating schools and local organizations will select local honorees in November and present them with Certificates of Achievement. All local honorees are then reviewed by a state-level judging committee, which will name the top two candidates from each state and the District of Columbia — one high school student and one middle level student -— as state honorees in February 2012. State honorees will each receive $1,000 awards, engraved silver medallions and an all-expense-paid trip (with parent) to Washington, D.C., in May 2012 for recognition events. Runners-up at the state level will receive bronze medallions or Certificates of Excellence. In Washington, a national selection committee will name ten of the 100 and two state honorees as America's top youth volunteers of the year. These national honorees will each receive additional awards of $5,000, gold medallions, crystal trophies for their nominating schools or organizations and $5,000 grants from the Prudential Foundation for the nonprofit, charitable organizations of their choice. Please click this link to learn more: http://spirit.prudential.com/view/page/soc.


Aviation Museum offers Free Musical Assembly Program

The Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum offers an in-school program for 4th-grade students. Thanks to the support of a Target grant, the museum's musical presentation "Right Place, Right Time, Wright Brothers" is available to visit 4th graders in Baltimore City Public Schools with the story of powered flight at no charge. The museum and its theatre-in-residence, Thirst 'n' Howl Musical Productions, is taking science and technology history to new heights in 2011 as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of soaring flight, Orville Wright's record soaring flight of 9 minutes, 45 seconds in 1911 at Kitty Hawk, one of the landmark early soaring flights that marks the beginning of sustained soaring as we know it. To observe this momentous event in aviation history, we are offering our award winning musical "Right Place, Right Time, Wright Brothers," a 50 minute musical assembly program that celebrates the industrious spirit of the Wright brothers as they worked to achieve their dream to fly. It is a story of vision, productivity and achievement as it recognizes and celebrates how the world became smaller in only 12 seconds in 1903. Our show demonstrates the pioneering spirit of Wilbur and Orville, and it increases students' knowledge of how modern aviation took flight. This production includes audience participation, as it deals with the hows as well as the whys, describing the technological thinking of two brothers in the late nineteenth century and focusing on the "birth" of powered flight. This musical includes not only the triumph of the brothers but also the story behind the moment, including their experience as inventors, newspaper publishers and bicycle mechanics. As the show moves to its finish, Wilbur and Orville, and their sister Katherine, bring the audience forward in time through the accomplishments of man in flight with the song "One Small Step." The performance anchors all of these achievements solidly to the vision and courage of Wilbur and Orville Wright, who were absolutely at the right place, at the right time. Dates for selecting a Wright performance to visit your school include September 12, 13, 19 and 29, and October 7, 17, 24 and 28. As funding is limited, this is a first contact, first to be scheduled opportunity. To schedule a performance for your school and to inspire your students to learn with and through aviation, please contact the museum's Director of Education, Debi Wynn, at GLMMueumPR@aol.com or 410-682-6122.

Lottery Space Reservation Outcome - Supplemental Educational Services

Principals, please stay tuned for the official release of the SES Lottery Space Reservations List. If you have not provided Title I with your space profile, please do so immediately. This information will be critical to ensuring that all providers have fair access to space in your school building.

The "Works" Professional Learning Communities

The “Works” Professional Learning Communities are now open for registration in the Professional Growth System! Please register now, as space is limited. The “Works” are Professional Learning Communities dedicated to examining upcoming curriculum content and discussing best teaching practices. The “Works” provide teachers with an opportunity to work with other great teachers at your grade level and content areas across the city. Please click here to view the "Works" flyer for a list of available sessions, dates and times, and location information. One AU credit will be awarded for successful completion of the “Works.” For additional details on City Schools Professional Growth opportunities and the new Professional Growth System, please click here: http://www.baltimorecityschools.org/domain/241.

RISE Literacy Assessment

The RISE Literacy Assessment will be administered to students in grades 6, 7, 8, and 9 during the Benchmark A window. If you have any questions, please contact Kelly Jones at kjones09@bcps.k12.md.us.

TELL Maryland Survey Results Available Online

More than half of all City Schools teachers, school-based administrators and school support staff shared their thoughts on their teaching and learning environments this spring in the 2011 Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning (TELL) Maryland Survey. Survey results have now been posted at http://www.tellmaryland.org/, with data available at state, district and school levels. Check out this rich source of information that can be used to plan improvements in teaching and learning and lead to greater student achievement.