Take Note Archive - August

BTU Back to School Video
The Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU) president, Marietta English, has submitted a back-to-school video for all educators in Baltimore City Public Schools. We are encouraging principals/staff to show the video before school starts to all teachers and para-professional and school-related personnel (PSRPs). We are expecting to have the videos in all schools by Wed, Aug. 25.

Thank you, and please contact the BTU at (410) 358-6600 with any questions.

Gradual Entry for Pre-K and Kindergarten
Gradual entry for pre-k and kindergarten will follow the same schedule as last year. Please click here for the schedule. 
Joining Forces for a Great New Year
Please click here for a message from Dr. Alonso about joining forces for a great new year.
Opportunity for Middle Grades: Stocks in the Future
Want to improve middle school students' attendance while teaching them financial life skills? That combination is available through Stocks in the Future to a limited number of schools. Designed by Johns Hopkins University, the once-a-week scripted curriculum offered during the school day captures students' attention with lessons on saving options, considerations for opening a business, steps taken when bringing a company public and ways to compare performances of publicly owned companies. Click here to learn more.
Race to the Top
Click here for a message from Dr. Alonso about Maryland reforms getting a big boost with Race to the Top. And click here for the press release about this referenced in Dr. Alonso's message.
School Reform in Maryland
The Maryland State Department of Education has put together information sheets developed by the state's superintendents/CEOs about several important school reform issues. The information sheets deal with three main topics: the third wave of Maryland school reform; educator evaluations; and Common Core Standards.
SMS Update (Aug. 18)
Please click here for an SMS update about an important change to the enrollment process, submitting grades for the secondary Summer Learning program and more.
Title I Supplemental Educational Services, Free Tutoring - What Every Principal Needs to Know
Click here for essential information about Title I Supplemental Educaional Services, including parental outreach.
SMS Update (Aug. 3)
Click here for an SMS update about the enrollment process, key scheduling tasks and more.
National Scholarship Service College Fair
The National Scholarship Service (NSS) is hosting a college fair on Sept. 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Coppin State Recreational Center. Recruitment and admissions representatives from colleges and universities across the country will be present to speak with students about admissions requirements, procedures, financial aid, scholarships and other important information needed to make intelligent decisions in the college selection process. Participating in the NSS college fairs are Ivy League institutions, historically black colleges and universities (HBCU), traditional state colleges and universities, junior and community colleges, vocational schools and military institutions. Many of these institutions provide onsite admissions and scholarship opportunities to students who provide them with copies of their transcript and SAT/ACT test scores.
Chess League Almost Full
Baltimore Kids Chess League (BKCL) is expanding to 60 schools, and response has been brisk. There are only five slots left for new schools. If your school is interested in joining the league, please e-mail the BKCL commissioner at salpern@bcps.k12.md.us.
Back to School Edition of the GrantSeeker Newsletter
Browse this issue of the GrantSeeker newsletter for close to $100,000 in grants for schools. Opportunities here could help your school: buy instruments for its music program; take a field trip; improve your facilities; increase parent involvement; spruce up your playground; provide opportunities for service learning; improve adult and family literacy; and plant a school garden.
It's all About the Children Day Event
The 5th Annual It's all About the Children Day Event will take place on Sat., Sept. 4 between noon and 5 p.m. at Carroll Park (2100 Washington Blvd. and Monroe St.). Sponsored by the Institute for Faith-Based Leadership and Philanthropy (IFLP), the event offers a fun-filled day for children in foster care, opportunities to recruit potential foster-care and adoptive parents and more. Click here for the flier.
City Schools Principals: Levers of Change 
Click here for a letter from Dr. Alonso about City Schools principals.
The Great Body Shop
The Great Body Shop is a comprehensive health, substance abuse and violence prevention program that can be taught in the classroom once a week. Peer teacher trainings for the Great Body Shop will take place on Aug. 16-19 at the Radisson Hotel at Cross Keys, 5100 Falls Rd., Baltimore, MD 21210. Teachers are expected to register via iLearn for either Aug. 16 and 17 or Aug. 18 and 19 at iLearn. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Alexia McCain at amccain@bcps.k12.md.us or aramsey@bcps.k12.md.us.
SMS Update (July 28)
Click here for an update as of July 28 about an important SMS change to the enrollment process and key scheduling tasks.
School-Based Training for New Teachers on Aug. 16 and 17
On August 16 and 17, newly hired teachers who attended the New Teacher Institute during the week of August 9-13 will report to their school assignments for school-based orientation. These two days are set aside as part of the institute to provide necessary time for new teachers to meet with school staff and learn expectations and procedures specific to the school. Click here to view a sample agenda for the two days new teachers will be in your building. We know these days require preparation on your part, as well as a significant amount of time from you and your staff. These days are critical to the successful induction of your new teachers as they begin their careers in City Schools.
Ready, Set, Read! - Reading Incentive Program
The HIKE Foundation (Baltimore Raven Matt Birk) is sponsoring a reading incentive program with schools that serve students in grades 1-5. The deadline to register has been extended to Aug. 9. Click here for more information.
Notification to Parents About Students Classified as Habitual Truants for SY09-10
Starting the week of Aug. 2, parents of students classified as habitual truants will receive letters informing them about the partnership between Baltimore City Public Schools and the Office of the State's Attorney for getting children to come to school, on time every day and ready to learn. Click here to learn more.
eTR Training
The Transportation Department is offering an eTR training session for school-based staff who need training in requesting transportation service for the students. The session will take place at the Baltimore Teachers Union Professional Development Center on Mon., Aug. 16 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Professional Development Center is located at 2500 East Northern Parkway.
Transportation Coordinator Training
Training for school-based transportation coordinators will take place on Aug. 23, 24 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Baltimore Teachers Union Professional Development Center (2500 East Northern Parkway, Baltimore, MD).