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Ordering of Graduation Materials and Equipment-Due Feb. 25
Please click here for the ABC-79 form, and use it to order diplomas, announcements, certificates of merit, envelopes, guest tickets, stage tickets, programs, 8th-grade certificates, chairs/risers and PA system rentals. The form must be signed by a principal and submitted by e-mail to Max Pierre-Lewis (mplouis@bcps.k12.md.us) in the Procurement Department by Feb. 25. Forms not signed by a principal will not be accepted—and any form submitted after Feb. 25 runs the risk of not receiving the graduation materials on time. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Max Pierre-Louis at the e-mail above or by phone at (410) 396-8846. 
 
Free Tickets to "Ben Carson, M.D." for City Schools
The Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts (CCTA) presents "Ben Carson, M.D.", an original play about the life of Dr. Ben Carson. The CCTA is offering free tickets, bus transportation and a classroom set of Dr. Carson's book, "Gifted Hands" for every school in attendance. Tickets are available for the 11:30 a.m. showtimes on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25, 2011 at Doris M. Johnson High School (2801 Saint Lo Dr. Baltimore, MD 21213). For additional information, please see the CCTA flier. For reservations, contact Carmen at Carmen@CCTArts.comor call 410-381-0700.
 
The Maryland Women of Tomorrow Awards
The Maryland Commission for Women recognizes tomorrow’s leaders through the Women of Tomorrow Awards. The program honors young women in grades 7-12 who are outstanding students, members of their communities and have a strong vision for the future. Teachers, guidance counselors, school administrators and Girl Scout leaders are encouraged to submit nominations for outstanding students. Nominations for the spring ceremony must be postmarked no later than Feb. 18, 2011. For details, please see the application packetor visit the Maryland Commission for Women website. For additional questions, contact Eliner Elgin (eelgin@dhr.state.md.us).
 
Maryland High School Cyber Foundations Competition
High school students have the opportunity to compete in the Maryland High School Cyber Foundations competition, which develops skills of high school students who seek a career as a cyber security expert serving corporations, government agencies and the military. Students compete in online competitions using materials provided to them. These materials can be used at home or in class. Maryland schools must register by Feb. 18 by visiting the foundation's website.The site provides additional resources and information about the competition. For more details, please read the competition summaryor contact Renee McLaughlin (renee.mclaughlin@cisecurity.orgor call 518-526-3947).
 
Receive Free Books for Your School
The Literacy Empowerment Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, invites your school or other literacy project to apply for FREE books for Read Across America Day. During the past year, LEF has distributed over 3,000,000 books to schools all across the country for Read Across America Day and other literacy projects. Resources are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Orders must be received by Feb. 19. Place your order at http://www.lefbooks.org/.
 
The Family Institute Offers Free Parent Portal Training
The Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) Family Institute invites principals, teachers, parents and other City Schools staff to Parent Portal training.The Parent Portal is an online tool to help parents keep track of and support their child's academic progress. To help you understand the system, Parent Portal training is offered on Weds., Feb. 16 or Weds., Feb. 23 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the City Schools district office (200 E. North Ave. Balto., MD 21202--ground floor).To register, plesase visit the Family Institute web page For more information, please see the training flier.or call Demetria Nicholas at 410-545-1870.

You're Invited to Celebrate Gifted and Talented Education
The state of Maryland has the number one school system in the nation. Gifted and talented students are a part of this great achievement. Governor Martin O'Malley honors the success of Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) students by proclaiming February as Gifted and Talented Education month. Take a look at the Governor's Proclamation and congratulate your talented students.

The Maryland State Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education invites you to attend the Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) School Awards Program on Wed., Feb. 16, 2011 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Miller Senate Office Building (Annapolis, MD 21401). Schools receive awards for their efforts in educating talented youth and among those recognized are three City Schools: Mount Royal Elementary/Middle, Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle and Roland Park Elementary/Middle schools. Please see the EGATE invitation for details about this event.
 
CTE Month is Underway
The theme of this year's Career and Technical Education (CTE) month, which takes place throughout the month of February, is Learning Today, Earning Tomorrow. This theme emphasizes the important role CTE plays in the lives of students, giving them the knowlege and technical skills needed to advance in the 21st century workforce. Be sure to check out the full CTE Month calendar. For more information, please contact the Office of Learning to Work and Career and Technology Education my calling 443-642-2808.
Saturday Morning Science Series
The Hackerman Academy of Mathematics and Science presents the Saturday Morning Science Series. On Sat., Feb. 19 there is a feature presentation by Noble Jones of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center titled "Exploring the Moon with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter". The presentation is held at Towson University (Smith Hall-Room 306) in two sessions, 10 a.m or 12 p.m. Students of all ages and their families are invited to attend for free. For details, see the series flier or contact Delores Costello (dcostello@ingenuityproject.org).

NLNS Participant is Successful with Community Engagement
Discover how Quinhon Goodlowe, a participant in New Leaders for New Schools Baltimore and current principal of the Academy for College and Career Exploration (ACCE), made community engagement a priority. Read the story on Great Kids Up Close.
Arts on Stage Offers Discounted Tickets to City Schools Students
Don't miss this great opportunity for your students to see live, professional and educational theater at a discounted rate during Black History Month. Arts on Stage is offering $5.00 tickets to Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) students and FREE tickets to teachers and City Schools employees for their "Songs of Soul" show on Fri., Feb. 11 from 10:15 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. and the "Women in History: Helen Keller" show on Tues., Feb. 15 from 10:15 a.m. until 12: 00 p.m. Parents and chaperones are also offered the discounted $5.00 rate. Arts on Stage is a vendor of the K12Buy program and is willing to work with your schools for payment. For more information, visit http://www.artsonstage.org/or call 410-252-8717 to take advantage of this opportunity.
Johns Hopkins Talent Search SCAT Testing
Many students have academic gifts that need to be revealed. Testing for academic gifts can help students realize their talents. The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) is offering Talent Search SCAT Testing for grades 2-8 and Advanced SCAT Testing for students in grades 7-8. Teachers, please consider identifying students who meet the following criteria and refer them to the SCAT Testing program:
  • Achieve scores at or above the 95 percentile or higher on a nationally normed test;
  • Earn scores at advanced levels (advanced proficiency, distinguished, honors, etc.) on state tests or;
  • Demonstrate superior academic performance.
Testing is on Sun., Feb. 13 at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (1400 W. Cold Spring Lane Baltimore, MD 21209). For more information, see the open testing flier or contact Bertha Knight (bknight@bcps.k12.md.us).
Young Artists Showcase
The Optimist Club of Timonium and the Towson ARTS Collective have come together for the second year to sposor the Youth Arts Showcase, an art exhibit for young artists from high schools in Baltimore City and Baltimore County. Baltimore City Public Schools administrators are invited to attend this showcase which includes art submissions from the Achievement Academy at Harbor City, City Neighbors, Heritage and Western high schools. There will be an opeining reception and awards presentation held on Feb. 4 at the Towson Arts Collective (406 York Rd. (lower level) Towson, MD 21204) from 6 to 8 p.m. Gallery hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12 to 5 p.m. and by appointment. For additional details, see the Youth Arts Showcase poster or the Timonium Optimist site.

Change in City Schools Climate Survey Leadership
Due to the retirement of Dr. Cliff Melick, the leadership role for the Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) Climate Survey will be assumed by Dr. Shawn Hales. All questions about the Climate Survey are now directed to Dr. Hales at 410-396-8956 or by e-mail swhales@bcps.k12.md.us).
NetDay Speak Up Campaign
The Office of the Chief Information Technology Office is excited to announce that the "NetDay Speak Up" campaign has been extended until 2011. This campaign provides the district with information about the state of instructional technology in the Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) district. During this campaign, an online survey is given to students, staff and parents to voice their opinions regarding the state of technology integration into City Schools. For details about the campaign and the extension, please view the Chief Information Technology Officer, Michael Pitroff's, message to City Schools employees.
The United Way Youth Venture Contest
The United Way of Central Maryland is prepared to invest up to $1,000 in teams of young people who develop their own action plans to implement a social venture. School leaders will identify a supervisor for the project and the United Way Youth Venture Team will train the supervisor for the project. One example of a venture from another community are Kid Karts filled with toys games and books and located in hospitals to engage the minds of hospitalized children. For more ideas, contest information and background, please take a look at the Youth Venture Program overview and project timeline. If there are questions please contact Beth Morrow (beth.morrow@uwcm.orgor call 410-895-1414).

Submit Your Access for All Applications
The Access for All grant allows young audiences in Baltimore City Public Schools to have the opportunity to see young artists and participate in programs at a discounted cost. This helps principals, who have limited resources, to provide hands-on learning in the arts to supplement and enrich school curriculum. For more information about your chance to receive up to 85% off the cost for participation in programs, view the Access for All video. You may submit an application before Feb. 4. If you have additional questions, please contact Michelle Clesse (michelle@yamd.org).

Become an Arts Every Day School
Apply to become an Arts Every Day (AED) School and receive access to resources on arts integration, professional development opportunities, and a minimum of $5 per student to be used towards arts-integrated programming for the coming school year! Complete your AED application  by Feb. 1 and contact Larry Friend (lfriend@bcps.bcps.k12.md.us) with questions.

Mid-Year Teacher Evaluations--Due Feb. 1
Principals, please remember to complete your Mid-Year Evaluations by Feb. 1. If you need any assistance or have questions, contact Leo Freyre ( lfreyre@bcps.k12.md.us or call  443-642-0455).

2011 PSRP Conference
The Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU) Paraprofessionals and School Related Personel (PSRP) conference is on Feb. 4-5 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Baltimore City Public Schools supports and encourages employees to attend the conference and participate in career-related workshops, professional development and explore potential career opportunities. The conference begins on a Friday, so PSRP members who would like to attend must complete the request form to obtain approval no later than 12 p.m. on Feb. 3. Principals are encourage to secure subtitutes for students with disabilities and classrooms where there will be an instructional impact due to the absence of an instructional paraprofessional. Managers should only deny the employee's request if the absence severely impacts the operations of the department or if advance notice of their intent to participate in the conference is not given. Every employee who is granted time off to attend for Fri., Feb. 4 must provide their supervisor with verification of attendance and must also agree to attend the conference on both days. Employees will be coded in the time entry system as “permission leave” for Feb. 4. Employees will not be compensated monetarily or in compensatory time for Feb. 5. If you have questions about obtaining manager's approval to attend the conference, please call the Office of Employee and Labor Relations at 443-984-2000. If you have questions about the PSRP Conference, please contact Peggy Gladding, BTU Field Representative, at 410-358-6600.

Climate Surveys--Now Due Feb. 4
Due to the recent inclement weather, all student Climate Surveys are now due to the Office of Achievement and Accountability (200 E. North Ave. Room 203 Balto., MD 21202) by Fri., Feb. 4. Interoffice mail is accepted. Parent Climate Surveys must be backpacked home with return envelopes by Feb. 4 as well. If you have any questions, please contact Michael Carter by e-mail mcarter@bcps.k12.md.us or by phone at 410-545-1870.

New Leaders for New Schools is Accepting Applicants--Apply Now!
Are you interested in school leadership within City Schools? The New Leaders for New Schools (NLNS) program is now accepting new applicants. The final deadline for applications is Feb. 8. To apply online, please visit http://www.nlns.org/. The final information session of the season will be held on Thurs., Jan. 13 at Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School (3500 Hillen Rd. Baltimore, MD 21218). Visit the New Leaders for New Schools - Baltimore, Maryland web site to register for the session and for more information about the local program. Please contact Cherise Rollins (crollins@nlns.org) with any questions.

Student Support Team Communication
The Office of Student Support and Safety is charged with providing schools with support to decrease the number of out of school suspensions. Students identified as repeat offenders (multiple suspensions this year) or at least one suspension this year and multiple suspensions last year must be identified by the Student Support Team (SST). The SST must develop interventions and strategies to address the behavior concerns that have warranted the out of school suspensions. Please ensure that SST chairs are communicating with administrators in your building regarding repeat offender students so that Student Support Teams can be scheduled and appropriate interventions can be implemented. Please contact Deborah M. Gibson, SST Coordinator, by calling 443-642-3921 if you require assistance.

Student Transportation Update
In accordance with federal guidelines, 12 or 15 passenger vans may not be used to transport Baltimore City Public Schools' (City Schools) students. These vehicles do not meet the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) safety standard, s. Transportation contractors approved by City Schools are aware of these new guidelines. Schools may only use transportation contractors that are approved by City Schools. Please visit K12Buy for a list of approved transportation companies. For questions, please contact Dorothea Jones (410-396-7440) in the Office of Pupil Transportation.

Dance to BeWell in 2011!
All Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) employees can start the new year off on a good foot, dancing their way to physical fitness. To kick off the 2011 BeWell campaign, several FREE dance classes are offered throughout the month of January and at the beginning of February. There is something for everyone to enjoy. All classes begin at 5 p.m. with a brief introduction about the importance of exercise to your health followed by fun-filled dance routines. You may attend all classes offered if you like! Please see the dance class schedule and start moving toward a healthy lifestyle this year. To register, go to https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/, highlight the “Employees” tab and select "BeWell" then select "Dance to Be Well in 2011." For more information, email BeWell@bcps.k12.md.us or call 410-396-8885.
REPI Primary Talent Development Scores
Click here for information about entering the REPI Primary Talent Development Scores on Data Link. All pre-k to 2nd-grade teachers should complete the information beginning Nov. 19.