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Calling all High School Students! Help City Schools Update Its History
Teachers, please take advantage of a one-of-a-kind opportunity for high school students to help City Schools update part of its history. With a deadline of Jan. 31, 2011, this opportunity calls upon students to examine primary and secondary sources relating to John Nelson McJilton, who served as City Schools' first superintendent from 1866 to 1868but was "removed" from office, according to several historical sources, and was all but left out of City Schools' history. Recently, McJilton's great-great grandson, Thomas Upson, wrote a letter to City Schools asking that its history be updated to reflect the more than 30 years of service McJilton provided as a teacher, treasurer of the school board, co-author of three textbooks and superintendent. So we're asking the high school students of City Schools to help reclaim McJilton's place in history. For more information, click here. Also note that education specialists from the Maryland Historical Society, the Enoch Pratt Free Library and the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland are on hand to help students and teachers find primary and secondary resources for this project.

Public Service Announcement Contest
February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. This year, City Schools is sponsoring a Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest. The purpose of this contest is to promote the profession of career and technical education, help raise awareness of CTE programs and career pathways within Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) and the contributions provided by educators. The contest is open to all City Schools youth between the ages of 14 - 18. To be eligible, your video submission must develop the theme “Learning Today, Earning Tomorrow.” The maximum running time for each entry is 30 seconds. All entries must be postmarked or hand delivered no later than Fri., Jan. 28. See the contest packet for rules, entry form and a permission form. If you have additional questions, please contact Brianna McMullen (bmcmullen@bcps.k12.md.us).

Support Kim's Courage in the 15th Annual Polar Bear Plunge
Some very brave Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) employees will participate in the 15th Annual Polar Bear Plunge on Jan. 29, which raises millions of dollars annually for the Special Olympics Maryland . The City Schools crew will submerge themselves in frigit water. Leading the way is Kim Lewis, Executive Director of Special Education, who has made a commitment to raising $10,000. Make an online donation to support this daring City Schools crew. You can make a check out to Special Olympics Maryland and mail it to Baltimore City Special Olympics (513 Progress Drive., Suite P Linthicum, MD 21090).

Grants are Available for City Schools Green Teams (Applications are due by Jan. 26)
Teams of Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) students are encouraged to submit an application where they can explain how they can make their school a cleaner, greener and more environmentally friendly place to learn and play. Thirty teams will receive up to $1,000 to further develop and implement their plan over a six-month period. Project proposals must include plans to address at least one of the following areas: reducing the school’s energy, water or waste usage; increasing the amount of materials the school recycles or ideas to improve the overall cleanliness of the school grounds. Teams must have an adult advisor, record their progress throughout each stage of the project and be prepared to present their work at the end of the project. For details about this opportunity or to apply, please read the challenge application. You may also get some ideas for projects by taking a look at projects from last year. If there are additional questions, contact Andrea Calderon (agcalderon@bcps.k12.md.us).

FAFSA Season is in Full Swing
High school seniors are able to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) starting Jan.1, 2011. Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) wants every senior prepared for the application process. Between Jan. 1, 2011 and Mar. 1, 2011, City Schools will host FAFSA information and help sessions for students and their families. Take a look at Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's letter to studentsand let your students know that they should mark their calendars now with these important dates:
City Schools FAFSA Help Sessions at High Schools
Weds., Jan. 19, 2011
5 to 7 p.m.

City Schools FAFSA Help Session
Sat., Jan. 22, 2011
200 E. North Ave
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Students and families can get more FAFSA information from City Schools by visiting https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/FAFSA

Stocks in the Future Presentation
The Office of Teaching and Learning would like to invite you to attend the Stocks in the Future presentation on Weds., Jan. 19, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. in room 219 of the Johns Hopkins University Education Building (2800 N. Charles St. Baltimore, MD 21218). This presentation will teach you about the weekly three year curriculum currently offered at 8 Baltimore City Public Schools, reaching 360 students. The curriculum also introduces business concepts, processes for expanding companies, going public and comparing public company performances. Students earn money to invest in publicly traded company stocks by improved school attendance and grades. Hear how this program aligns with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) state curriculum and delivers engaging ways to integrate Maryland’s Financial Literacy Standards. Please RSVP for this event before Jan. 12, 2011 by emailing croskovich@csos.jhu.edu or calling 410-516-6882.

City Schools Leadership Academy--Change of Date
Principals, please note the changes to the January Leadeship Academy dates. The academy will still take place at the Radison Hotel (20 West Baltimore St.). Schools in networks 1 and 3-7 should attend the workshop on Tues., Jan. 18 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. All schools in networks 2 and 8-13 should attend on Wed., Jan. 19 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Central office staff, teachers, leaders and network staff, except those leads who attend with principals, are scheduled for Jan. 18 from 1:30 to 4 p.m. For questions, please contact Laura Hiatt (lcancellieri@bcps.k12.md.us).

Calling High School Students! Connect with Nature (Jan. 8 and 15)
Parks and People Foundation invites high school students to participate in the 2010 Greater Baltimore Children and Nature Conference (GBCAN) on Jan. 15. To plan for this, they are hosting a youth planning workshop and round table discussion on Jan. 8 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Parks and People Foundation (Stieff Silver Building, 800 Wyman Park Dr., Baltimore, MD 21211). Here, high school students will come together to discuss, plan and create projects and presentations to share at the GBCAN conference on Jan. 15. Service learning credits are available, and refreshments will be served. Both events are free. To register, please contact Desiree Shelley at desiree.shelley@parksandpeople.org as soon as possible.

Greater Baltimore Children and Nature Conference
Educators can register now for the 2011 Greater Baltimore Children and Nature Conference which will be held on Jan. 15, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the Baltimore Montessori Public Charter School (1600 Guilford Ave. Baltimore, MD 21202). The conference shares the mental and physical benefits of connecting children, especially urban youth, with the natural environment. Outcomes of the conference will include incrased hands-on skills for teachers and families about how to have meaningful and egaging local nature experiences. Workshops are offered to cover topics which include gardening, nutrition, bringing nature back into play, how to incorporate green living into every day life and many more. Light breakfast and lunch is provided for free, however you must register for the conference in advance on the Parks and People website. If there are additional questions, please contact Andrea Calderon (andrea.calderon@parksandpeople.org).  

Carson Scholars Fund (Applications Due Jan. 14)
The Carson Scholars Fund aims to recognize and reward students for their commitment to academics and community service. Students with a minimum GPA of 3.75 and a strong involvement in community service are eligible for nomination by their schools. Schools can nominate one student, and that student’s application is submitted to the CSF to be judged by an independent panel. Please remember to nominate a student who has never won a Carson Scholarship before; previous scholars will receive an application for the 2011 Previous Scholar Recognition Package at their homes. Applications are due by Jan. 14. For more information, visit http://www.carsonscholars.org/. If you have misplaced your application, please send an email to rebekah@carsonscholars.org with the name of your school and its location. 

Great Kids Come Back!
The Office of Student of Placement will host Great Kids Come Back Fairs at the Baltimore City Public Schools Central Office (200 E. North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21202 in the 1st floor board room) on Fri., Jan. 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sat., Jan., 15 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  The fairs offer re-enrollment help and information for individuals under the age of 21 who have dropped out of school. If you have questions or for additional information, please see the event flier, which is in English and Spanish, or contact the Office of Student Placement by calling 410-396-8600.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service at the Great Kids Farm
High school students from Baltimore City Public Schools are invited to particpate in a day of service at the Great Kids Farm (6601 Baltimore National Pike Catonsville, MD 21228) on Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Lunch  and transportation will be provided if there is enough interest from schools. Students should come prepared in clothing that can be worn outdoors and can get dirty. This is a great opportunity for kids to gain valuable experience while obtaining service learning hours. If you have a student who is interested or for more information, please contact Beth Mathie at bmathie@bcps.k12.md.usor by calling 410-744-1096.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service--"A Day on, Not a Day Off"
On Mon., Jan. 17, Baltimore City Public Schools' students in grades 6-12 have the opportunity to participate in a number of service-learning projects around Baltimore City, making a difference in the community during the 2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Students will be making Valentine's Day cards assembling art kits and various other activities during the day. Service-learning hours will be awarded at the conclusion of the activity at the individual service sites. For questions, please contact, Tamara Barron (tbarron@bcps.k12.md.us). To register, please visit, www.ascbc.org/mlkday2011. Please inform students to use the "C" bus ticket to get to and from their service site. This year's sites are:
Success Academy
200 E. North Ave
443-642-3839
8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Contact: Tamara Barron, Benia Richardson
or Demetreus Gregg
Southside Academy
2700 Seamon Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21225
410-396-1625
8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Contact: Natasha Harbison
 
Antioch Diploma Plus High School
2555 Harford Rd
Baltimore, MD 21218
443-642-2021
8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Contact: Tina Craig-Richardson
Achievement Academy at Harbor City
2555 Harford Road
Baltimore, MD 21218
410-396-6241
8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Contact: Linda Stokes

Paid Media Internships for High School Minority Seniors
Minority high school seniors who plan to attend a four year college, have at least a 3.0 GPA and an interest in media, business, computer science, engineering or technology, are asked to apply for a paid media internship. In addition to being paid, students also receive a matching fund scholarship. The internship will last throughout their college years. For more information, visit http://www.emmabowenfoundation.com/. The application deadline is January 14, 2011.
Vote Now and Help Northwestern Win $100K (Polls close Jan. 17)
Northwestern High School needs your help: they're mouse clicks away from winning $100 thousand from the IKEA Life Improvement Sabbatical Contest. And they need your vote. Simply visit http://www.thelifeimprovementproject.com/, and then wait for the project "Helping to Make a Better Future" by Phil Filner to appear on the screen. When it does, click "Submit Vote," and then follow the simple instructions. Vote again each day until Jan. 17, when the poll closes.
Optimists Wanted: Bank of America's Neighborhood Excellence Initiative
Bank of America would like to help kids who make a positive impact in their communities to do even more as a student leader through its Neighborhood Excellence Initiative. This program is open to high school juniors and seniors to give them an opportunity to develop the leadership skills needed to make a difference in communities. Students will participate in an 8-week paid summer internship at a local non-profit and a Student Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. Principals and teachers, if you know a student leader at your school who enjoys making a difference in the community, please encourage them to apply for this program. The application deadline in Jan. 12, 2011. Click here for more information and the application.

White House Student Internship Program (Deadline is Jan. 9)
President Barack Obama committed to providing young leaders from across the nation with an opportunity to develop their leadership skills and fostering a continued commitment to public service through the White House Internship Program. This hands-on program is designed to mentor and cultivate today’s young leaders, strengthen their understanding of the Executive Office of the President and prepare them for future roles in public service. To learn more about the program, please visit www.whitehouse.gov/internships. Applications for the Summer 2011 cycle are due Jan. 9, 2011.

The Ray Lewis Name the "Blanket with Sleeves" Contest
The Ray Lewis Foundation and RL52 Style Apparel Company have an exciting opportunity for City Schools' students to name Ray Lewis's "Blanket with Sleeves".  You’ve seen the Snuggie* on TV, but Baltimore Ravens player, Ray Lewis, has come up with a better version of the famous “Blanket with Sleeves" to add to his RL52 Style Apparel line. Teachers, please encourage your students to enter the contest before Jan. 10, 2011. If your student can come up with the winning name for Ray’s "Blanket with Sleeves", they could win an RL52 Style prize pack and your school could win a visit from Ray Lewis to speak to students about the importance of staying in school. To learn ore about the contest and prizes, please see the official rules.  

AUP Tech Alert
Beginning Jan. 1, 2011, the Information Technology Department (ITD) will be prompting all users that log in to City Schools computers to agree to the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). Even those who have agreed to it in the past will be prompted to agree to the terms of use again.  See the full alert message for more details. If there are any questions or comments regarding this City Schools technology alert, please contact the City Schools Connect line at 443-984-2000, press option 2 for employees, then, press option 7 for ITD for technical requests. You can also reach the ITD service desk by sending an email to helpdesk@bcps.k12.md.us.
HIV in Your School
The Office of Health and Science is offering a 30 minute presentation titled “HIV in Your School”, which covers the definition of HIV, school health policies for students and staff who are infected and mandatory HIV prevention education requirements. To schedule this workshop for your next faculty meeting, please contact Alexia McCain (amccain@bcps.k12.md.us or call 443-642-4133).
Important Bullying Update
The Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education released a “Dear Colleagues” letter on Oct. 26, suggesting that federal education funding is at risk for school systems who do not comply fully with resolving school-level bullying. In addition, they note that they will be investigating particular cases of bullying incidents in schools. Principals and staff, please consider reviewing the bullying update memoto schools, referenced materials in the memo and the new City Schools bullying and harassment website. For more information, please contact Jonathan Brice (jbrice@bcps.k12.md.us).
After School Snack Program is Accepting Applications
After school snack program applications are being accepted for programs operating from Jan. 4, 2011 until Feb. 28, 2011. Applications are being accepted until Dec. 20. Interested principals, please consider completing an application. For additional information, please see the program memo or information sheet. If there are additional questions, contact Lydia McCargo-Redd (ltmredd@bcps.k12.md.us).
New Leaders for New Schools is Accepting Applicants
Are you interested in school leadership within City Schools? Are you a principal who knows an outstanding educator who is ready to take the next step into school leadership? The New Leaders for New Schools (NLNS) program is now accepting new applicants. Principals, please consider nominating a future leader using the NLNS nomination form. Teachers should apply online before Feb. 8, 2011. To learn more about the New Leaders for New Schools Baltimore program, please attend an information session on Mon., Dec. 13. from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Westport Academy Elementary/Middle School (2401 Nevada Street Baltimore, MD 21230). New Leader Principal Felicia Irick will share her experiences in the program at the session. Visit the New Leaders for New Schools - Baltimore, Maryland web site to register for the session and for more information about the local program. 

CEO's Holiday Music Series
School performing ensembles have been invited to participate in the CEO’s Holiday Music Series, which runs from Mon., Dec. 20 to Thur., Dec. 23. Each ensemble will present 25 to 30 minutes of music to be enjoyed by all. This year’s series will be broadcast live on Channel 77 and played throughout the holiday season. Transportation and lunch will be provided. Please see the music schedule for the list of performers. For additional information, contact Larry Friend at lfriend@bcps.k12.md.us or 443-642-4179.

K12Buy Winter Break Tips
In preparation for the upcoming winter break, K12Buy users should keep some housekeeping items in mind. Users who received a notice of password expiration should change their passwords. Receipts delinqencies have to be reconciled and posted. Lastly, users who recived a "K12Buy task notification" should make sure requisitions are processed. Please contact Peter Ruchkin (pruchkin@bcps.k12.md.us) or Debi Gray (dgray@bcps.k12buy.md.us) with questions.
 
Baltimore Education Coalition Holds State Funding Information Session  (Date Postponed Until Further Notice)
Principals, staff, school partners and parents are encouraged to attend the Baltimore Education Coalition's information session on Thurs., Dec. 16 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Digital Harbor High School (1100 Covington St. Baltimore, MD 21230). Dinner will be served followed by an information session about the upcoming state education budget. This is a valuable opportunity for school communities to become educated about the how state schools are funded, the current budget situation and communicate with other concerned school communities. For more details, please read the event flier. This event is free however, guests are required to register before Dec. 14 by contacting the Baltimore Education Coalition (baltimoreedcoalition@gmail.com).

Scholarship Opportunity for High Schools Seniors with Learning Disabilities (Dec. 31)
The National Center for Learning Disabilities is accepting applications for the Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Scholarship, a unique opportunity offered to graduating high school seniors who have an identified learning disability. Qualified applicants must pursue an undergraduate degree to be eligible for one of two $10,000 awards. For more detailed information or for application materials, visit the scholarship page. All applications should be postmarked by Dec. 31.
Giant Food Essay Contest (Entries due Dec. 31)
Giant Food invites students in grades 6- 8 to participate in the 5th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr./Black History Month essay contest. Entries from Virginia, Delaware, the District of Columbia and Maryland are accepted; six winners will be chosen. Essays and entry forms must be submitted together and postmarked by Dec. 31. For official rules, please see the contest entry packet, visit http://www.giantfood.com/or go to your local Giant Food store.   
Leadership After-School Program for Grades K-8
In conjunction with the Freedom’s Sisters exhibit, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum is now offering a leadership after-school program for students in grades K-8. The students will participate in leadership building activities, receive a free tour of the Freedom’s Sisters exhibition and even investigate a Freedom Sister during the program. The after-school program began on Nov. 3 and will continue through Jan. 14, 2011. For questions or more information, please click here for the after-school programming flier, or contact Terry Taylor at 443-263-1829.
MMSR Submission Data Available
Congratulations! The Early Learning Office, administrators, pre-k and kindergarten teachers did a great job submitting the Maryland Model for School Readiness (MMSR) online data. You can now view your school's submission rate.