• Take Action Archive--March

    Support for Spring English Language Proficiency Testing

    Principals if your school requires assistance with scheduling or testing for the required MSDE spring assessment for ESOL students, please contact Gena Taylor from the ESOL program.

    To all schools with English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) required spring assessment window for LAS Links testing will begin on March 30th and last until April 28. Because of spring break and the administration of other tests, it will be a challenge for some schools to prioritize this testing schedule. Principals, if your school requires assistance with scheduling or testing, please contact Gena Taylor by calling 443-642-4089 or e-mail gdtaylor@bcps.k12.md.us.


    Public Forum on Proposed Grading Policy


    Principals and teachers, please inform your students, their families and your school community partners about the CAO’s public forum on the proposed grading policy.

    Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, Baltimore City Public Schools' Chief Academic Officer, invites you to participate in a public forum to provide feedback on the district's proposal for a new grading policy and regulation. The forum will take place on Tues., March 29 at 5:30 p.m. in the 1st Floor Boardroom at the Alice Pinderhuges building (200 East North Ave. Balto., MD 21201). To prepare for the forum, please view the grading policy draft or the draft of regulations. If you have questions, please contact Laura Hiatt by e-mailing lcancellieri@bcps.k12.md.us or call 410-396-8810.

    Mid-Year Teacher Evaluation System Closes on March 11

    Principals, please complete your mid-year teacher evaluations before March 11.

    Principals, if you have not completed your mid-year evaluations for your teaching staff, please do so before Fri., March 11. The evaluation tool will close on that date, and all teachers must receive an evaluation. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Office of Human Capital at 443-396-8885.

    Pre-K At Play Day


    Principals, please submit your pre-k teacher point of contact for your school to the Antoinette Smith by March 31.


    Pre-k at Play is a day in which all pre-k students attend trips to Baltimore’s most treasured academic, cultural and historical institutions. Pre-k at Play will take place on Thurs., May 19. All 217 pre-k classes have been assigned a location in Baltimore City to visit. Please follow these next three steps to confirm your participation:


    1.    Submit the name of one teacher to act as the point person for your school (this person must be a pre-k teacher who will be attending the event) to Antoinette Smith (asmith03@bcps.k12.md.us). Once your contact information has been received, your point person will be contacted with next steps.


    2.     Click here for information on how your school can participate in Pre-k at Play by funding a bus.


    3.     For more information and updates, please visit the Pre-k at Play page.

    Optional FY12 Budget Tool Training

    Principals, if you wish to attend the optional FY12 budget tool training, please register by March 28.

    The FY12 budget tool is scheduled to be available on April 7. There are optional training sessions for principals along with one other staff member from each school. Training is held at the Professional Development Center (2500 E. Northern Pkwy. Balto., MD 21214) on April 8 and  April 11 through 13 from 2:30 until 5:30 p.m. daily. Registration opens on March 22 on iLearn. Online training is available by logging on to the ERP Portal. Training covers topics like building budgets, an overview of the budget tool and give attendees hands-on time to work with the tool. If you have any questions, please contact Whit Tanleff (wtantleff@bcps.k12.md.us or call 410-396-8784).

    Code of Conduct Committee Recruitment

    Principals and assistant principals, please consider joining the Office of Student Support and Safety’s Code of Conduct Committee, and contact Justin Harper by March 25.

    In the next few weeks, the Office of Student Support and Safety is looking to convene a Code of Conduct Committee to discuss a variety of topics. We are looking to recruit a diverse subset of City Schools employees, including principals and assistant principals from elementary schools, K-8 schools, high schools and alternative programs/schools. We would like to have representation from four schools from each category above. We want your voice at the table. Please contact Justin Harper (jsharper@bcps.k12.md.us) by March 25 to join the committee or if you have any questions or comments.

    Non-Renewal Guidance

    Principals, please submit eforms for all recommendations of non-renewal or extension of probation with supporting documentation to Labor Relations for review by March 25.

    Effective March 21, the process for non-renewal or extension of the probationary period of non-tenured teachers began. Similar to last year, principals may access the system through the ERP Portal under e-forms. Please identify the teachers you intend to recommend for non-renewal or extension of probation and upload all the appropriate documentation, including formal observations, performance improvement plans, mid-year evaluation and any memos issued to the teacher to Labor Relations by March 25.

    The significant change to the system this year is that you will forward your recommendation to the Office of Labor Relations instead of to your Executive Director. Labor Relations will review the documents attached to the recommendation prior to forwarding to the Executive Director for approval or denial. Principals will be notified regarding approval or denial of the recommendations and required to have conversations with the teachers. You are provided an official notice of non-renewal or extension of probation notice from Human Capital to deliver to the teacher on or before May 1. Please review the attached guidance document , talking points or non-renewal chart for additional help and details. Please remember to review the official list of non-tenured teachers which is available on the Principals Dashboard on the ERP Portal. If you have questions regarding this process please contact Jerome Jones, Manager Labor Relations at 410-396-8989 or via e-mail at JJones05@bcps.k12.md.us.

    Early Retirement Incentive Plan (ERIP)

    BTU teacher chapter members, please think about the City Schools Early Retirement Incentive Plan, when considering your options for next year.

    Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU) teacher chapter members, as you consider your options with Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) for next year, please think about this one-time early retirement opportunity offered by the City Schools district. Please review the Early Retirement Incentive Plan (ERIP) letter  for an overview of this retirement opportunity. After review of the letter and the ERIP design, please think about if this plan is a good fit for you. During the first week in March more information, including a toll-free number and details about informational seminars, will be posted on City Schools Inside. Please know that on behalf of our 84,000 great kids and 200 schools, the district is grateful  for all of the important work you do. For more information, please contact Victoria Dailey by e-mailing vdailey@bcps.k12.md.us or call 443-642-3873.

    Fiscal Year 2012 City Schools Budget Work Session

    Principals, please inform your school communities about the upcoming City Schools budget board work session discussion, which will take place on Tues., Mar. 22 at 1 p.m.

    The Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners will meet in open session to discuss the Fiscal Year 2012 Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) budget. The meeting takes place in room 301 of the City Schools district office (200 E. North Ave. Balto., MD 21202) on Tues., Mar. 22  from 1 until 2:30 p.m. Principals, please share the worksession notice with your school's staff, parents and partners in the community.


    CAO Community Conversation: Interventions

    Principals, please backpack home the flier for the March 17 CAO’s Community Conversation at Charles Theatre. The fliers will arrive at schools the week of March 7 and should be backpacked home as soon as possible.

    During the week of March 7, all schools will receive fliers announcing the CAO's Community Conversation. Please be sure to backpack these fliers home with all students. The conversation will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Thur., March 17 at the Charles Theatre (1711 North Charles Street). The theme for the community conversation is "Interventions: Being Responsive to Student Needs,” and it covers such topics as supporting students who need extra help, classroom instruction and behavioral and academic interventions. All are welcome, and City Schools encourages students, staff, parents and community members to come together to address how we can support all of our great students. The Family and Community Engagement Office will pay for buses for any Title I schools that can commit to filling a bus with staff and families. If you would like a bus, please contact Julia Baez at 410-545-1870 or jbaez@bcps.k12.md.us. And for more information, please contact the Family and Community Engagement Office at 410-545-1870. Click here for the combined English/Spanish flier.

    Climate Surveys--Now Due March 14

    Principals, please ensure that student and parent Climate Surveys are submitted to the Office of Achievement and Accountability by March 14.

    All student and parent Climate Surveys are due to the Office of Achievement and Accountability (200 E. North Ave. Room 203 Balto., MD 21202) by Mon., Mar. 14. The office is still not in receipt of all the student surveys, so please submit these by the deadline. Interoffice mail is accepted. Parent Climate Surveys should have been backpacked home with return envelopes by Feb. 4  and are due to the office by Mar. 14 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.

    Please note that 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).


    Performance-Based Evaluation System Workshop


    If you are a qualified observer who has not completed the performance-based evaluation workshop previously, please register for the March 17 workshop by the close of business on March 14.


    A performance-based evaluation system (PBES) workshop is being held for qualified observers which include principals, assistant principals, central office instructional support directors, coordinators, specialists, school support network team leads, academic and special education liaisons with administrator I or II certified staff. Please attend this workshop on Thurs., Mar. 17 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. The workshop, which gives an overview of the Performance-Based Evaluation System for staff, will include topics like timelines, processes, and procedures. There will also be an in-depth discussion of the Attendance Reliability Policy and documentation for personnel actions. This workshop is for qualified observers who have not completed  PBES training previously. Please complete the attached registration form no later than March 14 and contact Nancy Neilson (nneilson@bcps.k12.md.us or 410-736-9173) with questions.

    Family and Community Budget Trainings

    Principals, please share family and community budget information with your school community immediately. 

    As part of the FY12 Fair Student Funding Budget process, parents and community members will have important roles in the development of each school's budget. Parents and community members can attend a budget session to learn how they can help your school develop its budget for the 2011-12 school year. Parents of children in Title I schools are especially encouraged to attend one of the trainings listed to learn what Federal Title I funding means for their school. Principals, please share the family and community budget flier with your school community immediately. If you have questions, please contact Julia Baez (jbaez@bcps.k12.md.us or call 410-545-1870).

    Attendance Incentives for High Schools

    High School Principals, if you would like to earn money for your school to support monthly attendance incentives, please submit an attendance grant application no later than Feb. 21.

    Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) is committed to increasing student achievement and success. With this effort, City Schools want to make sure students attend school every day. The Office of Student Support has grants available for all high schools to earn money for supporting monthly attendance incentives.

    Rewards should be student-based and schools should poll students about incentives they would most value. To be considered for one of the mini-grants schools must complete the application and submit it to Tanya Williams (tcwilliams@bcps.k12.md.us) no later than February 21. A team of Student Support staff will review each application and award funds based on review of attendance data and thoroughness of the application. Funds will be awarded no later than March 14. For more information on the program's goals, please see the grant flier. If you have additional questions, please contact Tanya Williams (tcwilliams@bcps.k12.md.us or call 443-984-1714).

    Early Childhood Accountability System - Winter Collection

    Principals, please ensure the collection of appropriate data for the Preschool Early Childhood Accountability System during the winter data collection timeframe of Feb. 7 to 25.

    The Preschool Early Childhood Accountability System (ECAS) fulfills mandates of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004), which requires that states report the progress of preschool children with disabilities receiving special education and related services. Using the Work Sampling System (WSS) assessment, teachers must provide Status at Entry data for preschool special education students with an initial IEP. In addition, Progress at Exit data is collected at the end of a child’s kindergarten year, or sooner, if the goals on the IEP are met.

    Teachers must complete the appropriate age-level WSS developmental checklist for each child as they enter and exit preschool special education services, including children receiving a single service, such as speech/language therapy. Principals, please ensure that appropriate ECAS data is collected on preschool and kindergarten students receiving special education and related services during the winter data collection timeframe of Feb.7 to 25. Ronald Boozer, ECAS Facilitator, will notify each school of the children for whom ECAS data must be collected and will oversee the collection process. Please contact Mr. Boozer or Christine Crouch, Preschool Coordinator, at (443) 642-3034 with questions.

    Ordering of Graduation Materials and Equipment

    Principals, please submit the ABC-79 form to order graduation materials by 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, 2011. 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.

    Required Mid-Year and Final Evaluations for Non-Teaching Staff

    Principals, administrators and supervisors, please review this important information on the required submission of your 2010-11 performance evaluations for all non-teaching staff.

    One of the key City Schools objectives in meeting the City Schools requirements for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of all employees around supporting schools and student needs is to ensure that all City Schools employees receive a performance evaluation. This fiscal year begins a new emphasis on performance management, a process for establishing a shared understanding with our employees about what is expected of them during the year. It involves meeting with employees to ensure their understanding of their performance goals and objectives, having ongoing dialogue with them regarding their performance and any professional development needs, and conducting a final evaluation based on their progress or completion of their performance objectives. The process has already begun for our teachers. We must also fully include our non-teaching staff.

    Principals, administrators and supervisors, please click here for a letter from Shawn Stokes, Chief Human Capital Officer, explaining the process, and click here for the timeline and steps of the evaluation process.