Policies, Regulations and Guidance, 2013-14
Guidance on graduation and closing ceremonies and other year-end activities
As planning begins for year-end activities for students and school communities,school-based staff should review
guidance regarding graduations, closing exercises and other year-end celebrations and events. Please note particularly that students cannot be excluded for behavioral reasons from year-end activities that mark academic accomplishments (e.g., graduation ceremonies). Also note that closing ceremonies for elementary, elementary/middle and middle schools should not be scheduled more than three days prior to the last day of the school year.
Adjustment to final sync of grades for report cardsPlease note that the final sync of grades for quarter 4 report cards will now take place at 4 pm on Friday, June 13.For additional information and guidance regarding quarter 4 final grades and report cards please review the Take Note posting titled, "Quarter 4 Progress Report and Final Report Card Deadlines."
School Performance Plan 13 Indicator Checklist 4th Quarter Review
Transition Monitors and IEP Chairs are reminded to submit 4th quarter SPP 13 Indicator Checklists to Jeff Wyatt by June 9, 2014. Checklists must be completed on all transition age students (14 – 21 years old). School-based special education representatives have received a projected list identifying IEP meetings that will occur during the 4th quarter. Please contact Jeff Wyatt, Student Learning Support Office at 443-642-4260 or firstname.lastname@example.org with question or for additional information. (Posted: May 7, 2014)
Quarter 4 Progress Report and Final Report Card DeadlinesWhat follows are key dates and guidance that correspond to the production of progress reports and final report cards for the 4th quarter.• April 30 - start of Quarter 4 progress report SYNC window via PTG
• May 9 - final SYNC day for Quarter 4 progress reports via PTG
• May 12 - Switch from Progress Report coding to Report Card coding in SMS in order to accommodate report cards for Seniors (any progress report changes must be made directly in SMS at this point)
• May 13 -15 - distribution window for Quarter 4 progress reports
• May14 - start of SYNC window for Senior report cards 10am and 4pm
• May 22 - final SYNC day for Senior report cards 10am and 8pm (No changes can be after the 8PM SYNC because of the Senior Attestation deadline on May 22.)
• May 27- 30 - distribution window for final report cards for Seniors
• June 4 - start of SYNC window for final report cards
• June 13 - final SYNC of grades for final report cards at 10am
• June 11 - 16 - distribution of final report cards – schools which have entered all final grades may print out report cards even though the SYNC window remains open throughout the district (do not make any updates to PTG once report cards have been printed).
Report cards are not to be printed until a final grade appears for all scheduled courses for every student in the school. Codes such as NTQ, I, or N/A are not options for a final grade. (Posted: April 30, 2014)
Attendance protocol during inclement weather
COMAR 13A.08.01.03 recognizes student absences due to hazardous weather conditions as excused absences. During inclement weather, when City Schools is in session or has a 2-hour delay, students who submit a note from a parent/guardian explaining their absence as "weather related" should receive an excused absence. Schools should use the "V" code in SMS to mark the absence excused. Please contact the Attendance and Truancy Office if there are any additional questions. (Posted: February 5, 2014)
Report card essentials
As City Schools works to align technology with governing documents, there are a number of enhancements of which all teachers and administrators need to be aware:
- Teachers will no longer use SMS for directly inputting report card grades.
- PTG will automatically fill in the appropriate marking period grade based on the numeric value at the time of the SMS SYNC and will not require any additional manual calculation by the teacher.
- If no grades are entered into PTG during the quarter, then a blank will appear as the default within PTG. A new recording option of NTQ (Not Taught this Quarter) has been added to PTG and SMS and must be used to communicate to parents that the course was not taught to the student that quarter (marking period). Teachers must manually select this option from the dropdown menu in PTG. All courses must be addressed on every progress report and every report card – the only City Schools “courses” that do not require grades are Homeroom, Lunch, Advisory and Library Resource.
- A Data Cleansing Report (DCR #123) will generate at the end of each marking period capturing the courses which were not given grades or an approved coding of NTQ (Not Taught this Quarter)/ W (withdrawal)/ I (Incomplete) / or N/A (Not Applicable) and schools will have 72 hours to manually correct the oversight and issue a new report card for the affected students.
- If a student receives an F as a marking period grade, the numerical equivalent of that grade cannot be lower than 50 as per IKA - RA (II.G.1.d) (SMS automatically adjusts all grades below 50 to 50 for quarter grades, trimester grades, semester grades and final course grades in order to comply with this regulation).
Please contact Dennis Jutras at DJutras@bcps.k12.md.us if you have additional questions. (Posted: October 29, 2013)
FAQ and Uses Guide for the School Survey are now available
Each year thousands of City Schools teachers, students and parents/guardians complete the annual School Survey. Check out the School Survey FAQ and Uses Guide to learn more about the kinds of questions asked on the survey, survey administration and how the School Survey results for your school can be used to inform school policies and practices. (Posted: October 21, 2013)
Visits by elected officials to school communities
Throughout the school year, our school communities are visited by elected officials. Based on Board policy and regulations regarding the public use of City Schools facilities, if an elected official is proposed or scheduled to visit a school, the school principal must contact the Engagement Office.
According to school Board policy, ‘Elected officials are welcome to come into schools as part of their official responsibilities, and media may cover these visits. Visits from current elected officials should be in an official capacity only, and not conducted as part of a political campaign.’ ‘Elected officials may appear in a school facility upon the invitation of the principal/designee for the purpose of instruction or the clarification of public issues as long as such activity is not prohibited as set forth’ in the policy.
Click here for the FKA policy ‘Public Use of Board School Facilities and the accompanying regulations. (Posted: October 2, 2013)
Attendance marking for students participating in 'Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day'Thursday, April 24 is national "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day". Students who participate by visiting their parents’ place of employment will have the opportunity to incorporate practical applications of their studies, enhance their interests, gain knowledge for use during classroom instruction and develop new approaches to learning. As such, upon receipt of documentation that demonstrates that a student was participating in this event on April 24, the attendance monitor should modify the student's absence in SMS to an excused absence under “work approved or sponsored activity." For more information, please contact Dr. Beshon Smith in the Office of Attendance and Truancy or your network’s Student Support Liaison.
Amended report card guidance for the 3rd quarterWhat follows are key dates and guidance that correspond with the modified end of 3rd quarter date and the timely and accurate processing of report cards.
• Thursday, March 27 (start of Quarter 3 report card SYNC window via PTG)
• Friday, April 4 (final SYNC day for Quarter 3 report cards via PTG)
• Monday, April 7 through Wednesday, April 9 (distribution window for Quarter 3 report cards)
Click here for additional guidance around grading practices, PTG and the use of various codes such as NTQ, I and N/A. (Posted: March 20, 2014)
Guidelines for toileting issues in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and preschool special education classrooms
Background: Children with and without Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs) in our pre-kindergarten (pre-k), kindergarten and citywide preschool special education programs start the year with various levels of toileting abilities. Some students are completely toilet trained, while others are still wearing diapers. Other students may not be in diapers, but are experiencing frequent toileting accidents. The Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) does not allow schools to withdraw students from school due to toileting issues. Therefore, it is the responsibility of school staff to assist with toileting needs and help students work toward toileting independence.
Establish roles and responsibilities for toileting issues that arise in pre-k, kindergarten and citywide preschool special education classrooms.
A. Pre-k and citywide preschool special education programs
1. Because all pre-k and citywide preschool special education programs are staffed by one teacher and one paraeducator, it is the joint
responsibility of the teacher and the paraeducator to assist with toileting strategies to move children toward toileting independence.
1. For kindergarten classes with paraeducators, toileting is the joint responsibility of the teacher and the paraeducator.
2. For kindergarten classes without paraeducators, the principal must designate another staff member within the building (e.g. a paraeducator, nurse or nurse’s aide) to assist with toileting. The designee cannot be a pre-k paraeducator. In these instances, toileting is the joint responsibility of the kindergarten teacher and the school’s designee.
Early Learning Programs, Birth through Five (ELP) has developed a toileting handbook that provides teachers with step-by-step guidelines for helping children achieve toileting independence. The handbook includes a handout to be provided to parents that outlines their responsibilities within the toilet training process. The handbook can be downloaded from the Early Childhood webpage on TSS or, for a paper copy, contact Early Learning Programs, Birth through Five.
A. Citywide preschool special education programs
1. Early Learning Programs, Birth through Five (ELP) will provide wipes and gloves to all citywide preschool special education programs.
2. It is the responsibility of the child’s parent/guardian to supply pull-ups or diapers, as well as a change of clothes. Schools should follow up with parents to supply these. However, if the parent does not supply diapers or pull-ups, the school must provide these items.
B. Pre-k and kindergarten programs
1. ELP will provide one box of wipes and one box of gloves to schools for children in pre-k or kindergarten who are not toilet trained. After these resources are depleted, the school must provide these items.
2. It is the responsibility of the child’s parent/guardian to supply pull-ups or diapers, as well as a change of clothes. Schools should follow up with parents to supply these. However, if the parent does not supply diapers or pull-ups, the school must provide these items.
Parents should be involved in, and aware of, the process of toilet training as it occurs at school. The attached letter should be sent home to parents to inform them of the steps the school will take to support their child to become toilet trained. Asking the parent to sign that they consent to those steps will also help school staff feel more comfortable in working with children on this issue. (Posted: January 28, 2014)
Religion and celebrating religious holidays in schools
As we head into the winter holiday season, staff members frequently have questions about do's and don'ts of marking religious holidays in classrooms and schools. This special edition of Sidebar Conversations, the newsletter from the Legal Office, has the answers. Please review the newsletter, and contact the Legal Office at 410-396-8542 if you have additional questions. (Posted: December 4, 2013)
Test integrity policy
On Tuesday, November 12, the Board of School Commissioners voted to approve a test integrity policy (ILA). This policy was written to establish and execute a test integrity plan in adherence with state mandates. The passage of the policy and its regulations (ILA-RA, -RB, -RC, -RD) will ensure that all state- and locally-mandated assessments are administered with fidelity, and the results are an accurate measure of our students’ and schools’ performance. Please update your binders by downloading the table of contents/section I. For more information about the test integrity policy, please contact the Achievement and Accountability Office at 410-396-8962. (Posted: November 26, 2013)
Updated volunteer administrative regulation
KCB-RA, which governs the implementation of volunteer activities in City Schools, has been revised. School and district department personnel are encouraged to review the following supports:
For more information on the implementation of KCB-RA, schools should contact the Network Family and Community Engagement Specialist assigned to their school or Monique Roumo (email@example.com) or Billie Malcolm (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Engagement Office. The volunteer toolkit can also be found under "All Staff." (Posted: November 6, 2013)
New finance policies
We are pleased to announce that on Tuesday, October 22, the Board of School Commissioners voted to approve the latest three financial policies (DCB, DIC and DBC). These policies are written to reinforce financial standards and guidelines around, annual operating budget development, financial controls and debt management. Prior to the approval of policies DCB and DIC, these two were originally Board rules then converted into policies; whereas the DBC policy was amended to address charter operator's ability to use City Schools as a guarantor. The passage of these new policies will help protect the financial assets of City Schools which will help fiscally improve the district at large. For more information about DCB, DIC and DBC, please contact the Office of the Chief Financial Officer at 410-396-8745.
- DBC Annual Operating Budget Development and Adoption
- DBC RA Annual Operating Budget Development and Adoption
- DIC Financial Controls
- DIC RA Financial Controls
- DCB Debt Management
- DCB RA Debt Management
(Posted: October 30, 2013)
Updated head lice policy
The health department has changed its head lice policy based on recommendations from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses. As a result, if a child is found to have live lice, that child will be excluded at the end of the school day (or earlier if needed). A consideration for the child to be re-admitted will be made once treatment has started, if there are no live lice found upon re-screening by a school health nurse or school health aide. Click here or contact your school health suite staff for more information about the updated policy. (Posted: September 3, 2013)
SST and school social workers
Principals and school administrators, please consider the supports being provided to staff and students through the Student Support Team (SST) at your school, and determine who will lead this critical support process. The budget guidance to principals outlined the allocation recommendations for the SST chairperson.
Schools should not assign social workers who are funded through locked, special education funds as the SST chairperson. To have a school social worker chair the SST, a school must allocate Fair Student Funds to gain additional school social work time for these duties.
If you have questions about the role of the school social worker, please contact Debra Ramsey (DRamsey@bcps.k12.md.us) in the Related Services Office. For more information about SST and to discuss its implementation at your school, please contact Andrew Masters (AMasters@bcps.k12.md.us) or your Student Support Liaison. (Posted: August 20, 2013)
Reminders about pre-k paraeducators
As we are gearing up for the new school year, please remember these guidelines regarding paraeducators working in pre-k classrooms.
Pre-k paraeducators must work full-time in the classroom. State regulations require that there is an average staff-to-student ratio of 1:10 at all times; paraeducators cannot be pulled out of the classroom for other duties. Pre-k paraeducators are an integral part of instruction in the classroom, with responsibilities that are written into the curriculum. (Posted: July 31, 2013)
Guidance on supervision of students before and after school
To assist school staff in ensuring the well-being of children who arrive at school before the official start of the school day or who linger at dismissal time, the Engagement Office has prepared guidance on district expectations for supervision before and after school. School leaders should share information from the guidance document with their entire school communities, and contact CEO Ombudsman Karen Lawrence with questions (email or phone 443-642-3906). (Posted: July 30, 2013)
Board policy related to the use of school facilities
On June 11, 2013, the Board of School Commissioners voted to approve Policy FKA: Public Use of Board School Facilities and associated administrative regulation. Along with the new policy and regulation, a new fee structure and space and use agreement application will streamline the process for requesting the use of school facilities and allow City Schools to cover maintenance and operational costs associated with that use for instructional programs, school-sponsored activities and community purposes.
In addition to the policy documents linked above, the following related documents are available to download:
- Table of Contents
- Table of Contents: Section F
- FKA Form 1: Space and Use Agreement Application
- FKA Form 2: Facilities Use Fees
- FKA Form 3: Antenna Site Application
For more information about this policy, please contact the Real Estate and Permits office by email or at 443-984-1825. (Posted: July 12)
Board policy related to homeless students
On May 15, 2013, the Board of School Commissioners voted to approve Policy JFE: Homeless Students — Identification, Enrollment, Services and Dispute Resolution. Written to reinforce standards outlined in the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, Policy JFE was created to ensure that homeless children and youth have equal access to education, educational programs and school-related activities. Passage of this new policy will help to eliminate all barriers to the enrollment of children and youth who are homeless and eligible to attend public school in Baltimore City and will ensure that they have an opportunity to meet the same challenging state student achievement standards to which all students are held. Also available to download are the associated administrative regulation and Section J: Table of Contents for the Board policy manual.
For more information about this policy or to learn about training opportunities, please contact the Enrollment, Choice and Transfers department at 410-396-8600. (Posted: May 28)
New versions of the Parent rights/Procedural safeguards notice and the Parent Surrogate manual
The revised Parent Surrogate Manual is now available on the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) website. The manual is designed to provide guidance to district staff in training and appointing parent surrogates to advocate for students in the IEP process. School staff may use this document to understand and assist in securing volunteers to serve as parent surrogates.
Parent rights/Procedural safeguards notice
The Parental Rights Maryland Procedural Safeguards notice booklet has been revised for 2013 (updated June 2013). The chapter related to "consent" has been revised to include definitions and clarity to consent requirements. IEP teams must download and utilize the online version until the booklets have been printed and disseminated. (Posted: July 3)
Winter safety tips
The Bureauof School Health at the Baltimore City Health Department wants to make surethat children are healthy and safe during the winter season. When the weatheris very cold, children are at risk of developing cold-related illnesses such asfrostbite and hypothermia. It is important that parents, students and schoolstaff are aware of the signs and symptoms of these complications and to gethelp immediately. If you suspect that a student has frostbite or hypothermia,please refer them to the school health suite for evaluation and treatment assoon as possible.
WinterSafety Tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics are detailed below.
- Dressinfants and children warmly for outdoor activities. Several thin layers will keepthem dry and warm. Don’t forget warm boots, gloves or mittens and ahat.
- Therule of thumb for older babies and young children is to dress them in one morelayer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.
- Blankets,quilts, pillows, bumpers, sheepskins and other loose bedding may contribute toSudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and should be kept out of aninfant’s sleeping environment. Sleep clothing like one-piece sleepersor wearable blankets is preferred.
- Ifa blanket must be used to keep a sleeping infant warm, it should be tucked inaround the crib mattress, reaching only as far as your baby’s chest,so the infant's face is less likely to become covered by bedding materials.
- Hypothermiadevelops when a child's temperature falls below normal due to exposure tocolder temperatures. It often happens when a child is playing outdoorsin extremely cold weather without wearing proper clothing or when clothes getwet. It can occur more quickly in children than in adults.
- Ashypothermia sets in, the child may shiver and become lethargic and clumsy.Speech may become slurred and body temperature will decline in more severecases.
- Ifyou suspect your child is hypothermic, call 911 at once. Until help arrives,take the child indoors, remove any wet clothing and wrap him or her inblankets or warm clothes.
- Frostbitehappens when the skin and outer tissues become frozen. This condition tends tohappen on extremities like the fingers, toes, ears and nose. They may becomepale, gray and blistered. At the same time, the child may complain that his orher skin burns or has become numb.
- Iffrostbite occurs, bring the child indoors and place the frostbitten parts ofher body in warm (not hot) water. 104° Fahrenheit (about thetemperature of most hot tubs) is recommended. Warm washcloths may be applied toa frostbitten nose, ears and lips.
- Donot rub the frozen areas.
- Aftera few minutes, dry and cover the child with clothing or blankets. Give him orher something warm to drink.
- Ifthe numbness continues for more than a few minutes, call your doctor.
- Ifyour child suffers from winter nosebleeds, try using a cold air humidifier inthe child's room at night. Saline nose drops or petrolatum may help keep nasaltissues moist. If bleeding is severe or recurrent, consult yourpediatrician.
- Manypediatricians feel that bathing two or three times a week is enough for aninfant’s first year. More frequent baths may dry out the skin,especially during the winter.
- Coldweather does not cause colds or flu. But the viruses that cause colds and flutend to be more common in the winter, when children are in school and are incloser contact with each other. Frequent hand washing and teaching your childto sneeze or cough into the bend of his or her elbow may help reduce the spreadof colds and flu.
- Children6 months of age and up should get the influenza vaccine to reduce their risk ofcatching the flu.
Wintersports and activities
- Setreasonable time limits on outdoor play to prevent hypothermia and frostbite.Have children come inside periodically to warm up.
- Usingalcohol or drugs before any winter activity, like snowmobiling or skiing, isdangerous and should not be permitted in any situation.
- Thesun’s rays can still cause sunburn in the winter, especially whenthey reflect off snow. Make sure to cover your child’s exposed skinwith sunscreen. (Posted: January 8,2014)
Quarter 3 progress report/report card timetables
It is important for school-based staff to keep in mind a few important dates in order to ensure that all students and parents get accurate progress reports and report cards in a timely manner.
- Wedneday, February 12 (start of Quarter 3 progress report sync window via PTG)
- Tuesday, February 18 (final sync day for Quarter 3 progress reports via PTG)
- Wednesday, February 19, through Friday, February 21 (distribution window for Quarter 3 progress reports)
- Tuesday, March 25 (start of Quarter 3 report card sync window via PTG)
- Wednesday, April 2 (final sync day for Quarter 3 report cards via PTG)
- Thursday, April 3, through Monday, April 7 (distribution window for Quarter 3 report cards)
Click here for additional guidance around grading practices, PTG and the use of various codes such as NTQ, I and N/A. (Posted: January 30, 2014)Quarter 2 progress reports and report card timetables
In an effort to ensure an accurate capture of progress report information and grade data from Power Teacher Gradebook (PTG) for Quarter 2, the following dates need to be observed:
- Tuesday, November 26 (start of progress report sync window)
- Tuesday, December 3 (final sync day for progress reports)
- Wednesday, December 4 through Friday, December 6 (distribution of Quarter 2 progress reports)
- Tuesday, January 14 (start of Quarter 2 report card sync window)
- Thursday, January 23 (final sync day for Quarter 2 report cards)
- Friday, January 24 through Tuesday, January 28 (distribution of Quarter 2/first semester report cards)
Click here for guidance around grading practices, PTG and the use of various codes such as NTQ, I and N/A. (Posted: November 26, 2013)
Quarter 2/Semester 1 report card timetables
As Quarter 2/Semester 1 draws to a close, it is essential to remember a few important dates in order to ensure that all students and parents get accurate report cards in a timely manner.
- Tuesday, January 14 (start of Quarter 2 report card sync window via PTG)
- Thursday, January 23 (final sync day for Quarter 2 report cards via PTG)
- Friday, January 24, through Tuesday, January 28 (distribution of Quarter 2/Semester 1 report cards)
Click here for additional guidance around grading practices, PTG and the use of various codes such as NTQ, I and N/A. (Posted: January 9, 2014)
School Performance Plans (SPP) guidance
This year, City Schools continues to transition to full implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) through a focus on improved professional practice and cross-content literacy skills. The CCSS also changes the assessment landscape of our district in preparation for the adoption of the PARCC assessment in 2014-15 school year. To assist in this transition, the Chief Academic Officer and the Achievement and Accountability Office have issued additional guidance that clarifies how prioritized goals and strategies in schools’ SPPs can align more closely with City Schools’ CCSS implementation and assessment strategy. To accommodate the application of this additional guidance, the timelines for SPP development, peer review and approval will be extended. SPPs should be submitted electronically via Document Tracking Services no later than Friday, December 20. Peer review will take place between paired school Instructional Leadership Teams (ILT) January 6-17. SPPs will be approved by executive directors before Friday, January 31. If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com. (Posted: November 26, 2013)
High School performance results – Student and school-level data available on Principal Dashboard
Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) released its official high school performance results for the Class of 2012. These results show how students who entered high school in the 2008-09 school year fared after four and five years: how many graduated, how many were still enrolled and working toward a diploma and how many dropped out.
The following student and school-level results are now available on Principal’s Dashboard under the student information tab for the students who entered grade 9 in 2008-09 school year and would have graduated in 4 years (through August 2012) or 5 years (through June 2013):
- Student-level file for the class of 2012: 5-year outcome
This file contains graduation/still enrolled/dropout information and shows each student who was counted in a school’s cohort, as defined by MSDE.
- School-level aggregate results for the class of 2012: 5-year outcome
This file contains graduation/still enrolled/dropout information at the school-level.
The following school-level results are also available on Principal Dashboard within the student information tab for students who were in grades 10, 11 or 12 during the 2012-13 school year.
- School-level aggregate HSA graduation requirement results
This file contains the numbers of students by grade-level who have passed all HSA exams (passed by combined score, passed by bridge or with a waiver). It also provides information about the number of HSA exams that still need to be passed as of the end of the 2012-13 school year.
- School-level aggregate cumulative HSA results by subject
This file is separated by subject and contains the numbers of students by grade-level who met the HSA requirement for that subject by passing the exam (by bridge or with a waiver). It also provides information about the number of students who failed the HSA exam in that subject and who did not meet the HSA requirement in that subject as of the end of the 2012-13 school year. (Posted: October 30, 2013)
Theft prevention - Cell phones
City Schools has noticed an increased occurrence of cell phone theft from students and staff, especially of iPhones. Phones have been stolen at school, walking from vehicles and at bus stops. Please be aware of your surroundings and consider some of the following recommended steps to reduce your risk:
- Please make sure that any unattended phones are kept secured in a locked environment.
- Don’t lend your phone to strangers.
- Avoid walking alone outside the building after school hours.
- Register your device if possible.
Apple offers a free “Find My iPhone” feature. Click here for more information. Multiple similar services are available on the Android Market. If you have any questions or concerns, or need to report a stolen phone, please contact school police at 410-396-8588. (Posted: October 9, 2013)
Student Learning Objectives (SLO) phase 1 field test approval deadline
The Student Learning Objectives (SLO) phase one field test for World and Classical Language (French and Spanish only) and ESOL teachers is underway. The submission deadline for phase one teachers (WCL-French and Spanish only and ESOL) to submit their SLOs to administrators was Monday, November 4. Administrators, please submit completed and approved SLOs and SLO approval rubrics to SLO@bcps.k12.md.us by Friday, November 15. Resources to support this process are located on the Student Learning Objectives page on TSS.
See the additional resources below. If you have any questions, please contact Monica Hetrick at SLO@bcps.k12.md.us.
(Posted: November 12, 2013)
Progress report and report card practices
As City Schools works to align technology with governing documents, there are a number of enhancements of which all teachers and administrators need to be aware:
- Teachers will no longer use SMS for directly inputting progress report letters or report card grades.
- Power Teacher Gradebook (PTG) will automatically fill in the appropriate progress report letter based on the numeric value at the time of the SMS sync (teachers are able to override the default progress report letter within the sync window)
- If no grades are entered into PTG, then a blank will appear on the progress report and the teacher will need to manually select the appropriate coding option (similar to the practice in SMS).
- Current settings for elementary progress reports are “S” (satisfactory progress) and “N” (needs improvement). Numeric triggers are aligned to grading policy (S = 60 and above ; N = 59 and below).
- Current settings for secondary progress reports are “P” (passing), “F” (failing), “I” (incomplete) and “W” (withdrawal). Numeric triggers are aligned to grading policy (P = 60 and above ; F = 59 and below).
- A new recording option of Not Taught the Quarter (NTQ) has been added to PTG and SMS and must be used to communicate to parents that the course was not taught to the student that quarter (marking period). This is not a likely selection for secondary SMS schools (6-12 configured schools), but is very likely in subject/framework or elementary SMS schools (pre-k through 8 configured schools).
- PTG will automatically fill in the appropriate marking period grade based on the numeric value at the time of the SMS sync and will not require any additional calculation by the teacher.
- If no grades are entered into PTG, then a blank will appear on the report card and must be corrected prior to issuing the report card. A Data Cleansing Report (DCR #123) will generate at the end of each marking period and schools will have 72 hours to manually correct the oversight and issue a new progress report/report card for the affected students.
- All graded courses must be addressed on every progress report and every report card. The only City Schools “courses” that do not require grades are Homeroom, Lunch, Advisory and Library Resource.
School Activity Funds training
Training on the management of school activity funds is offered on the second Friday of every month at the Professional Development Center (PDC). The next training session will be held on Friday, November 8, at 1 p.m.
This training is an opportunity to learn about the policy and regulations around the use of activity funds, the accounting software (Safbooks) City Schools uses to manage these funds and to have any questions that you may have answered. You can register for the training in the Professional Growth System. If you have questions, please contact Michael Heany at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Posted: November 1, 2013)
School Performance Plan - Extended Timeline Announcement
This year, City Schools continues to transition to full implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) through a focus on improved professional practice and cross-content literacy skills. As you know, the CCSS also changes the assessment landscape of our district in preparation for the adoption of the PARCC assessment in 2014-15 school year. With School Performance Plan (SPP) development underway by ILTs, principals have raised questions regarding how the plan’s school-level SMART goals and strategies should reflect shifts in assessment and practice during this critical transition year.
To assist in this transition, the Chief Academic Office and the Achievement and Accountability Office will issue a guidance document the week of October 14 that clarifies how prioritized goals and strategies in schools’ SPPs can align more closely with City Schools’ CCSS implementation and assessment strategy. To accommodate the application of this additional guidance, the timelines for SPP development, peer review and approval will be extended. An updated SPP schedule will also be shared the week of October 14. (Posted: October 4, 2013)
The Great Southeast ShakeOut Earthquake Drill
Southeast Regional ShakeOut Earthquake drills run October 8-31. These drills are a chance for businesses and households to practice how to be safer during big earthquakes. This is also an opportunity for schools to review emergency preparedness plans in order to prevent damage and injuries. Although rare, severe weather and natural disasters can take place anytime and consequently may affect, without warning, the school population’s safety. Preplanning for such events is necessary to protect students and staff. Refer to The Critical Response and School Emergency Management Guide (section 4, page 70) for guidance. Illustrations can be downloaded from the internet (Goggle: how to perform a “drop, cover and hold on drill”).
There will be no siren or simulation from external sources. Schools should utilize routine processes for practicing drills and evacuations. Whenever a practice drill is performed and the alarm is sounded, inform school police. We urge each of our principals to register their schools. For questions, contact Alice Watson (AAWatson@bcps.k12.md.us), director or City Schools’ Department of Health and Safety. (Posted: October 10, 2013)
Teacher Effectiveness Evaluation Guidebook
The Teacher Effectiveness Evaluation Guidebook will be delivered to schools the week of October 21. The guidebook contains important information about this year's evaluation process. Details about the evaluation components and process are also available on City Schools Inside. (Posted: October 16, 2013)
Update to the Collaborative Consultation Model
As part of City Schools’ continuum of options for children with special needs, Early Learning Programs, Birth through Five (ELP) will continue its implementation of the Collaborative Consultation Model (CCM) for the 2013-14 school year to support children with IEPs requiring special instruction in the pre-k setting. Through this research-based methodology, the Special Education Early Development (SEED) teachers will continue to work closely with pre-k teachers to:
- Address IEP goals and implementation of supplemental aids and services within the daily classroom routines;
- Monitor progress toward IEP goals; and
- Collaborate with other school-based staff to ensure that students are receiving all support needed to be successful in the pre-k general education classroom.
For a glimpse of the CCM in action, please click here to watch a video.
Principals: to help us plan for the 2013-14 school year implementation of the CCM, please click here to answer two brief questions. (Posted: August 20, 2013)
2013-14 School Performance Plan update:
In response to principal feedback, the deadline for the first draft of the 2013-14 School Performance Plan (SPP) has been extended to Friday, October 4. Instructional Leadership Teams (ILTs) should continue to develop their school’s SPP, with ongoing support and feedback from district office support. Please enter draft SPPs into Document Tracking Services (DTS) no later than Friday, October 4. Click here for the revised timeline.
SPP data section:
- The k-8 SPP data section was released on Thursday, August 8. The high school SPP data section will be distributed to principals on Monday, September 16, pending the release of cumulative HSA rates.
Schools with grades 6-12:
- Please complete only the high school SPP template.
Contact email@example.com for more information. (Posted: August 23, 2013)
Updates to school websites
To make sure all school websites meet a high standard for important and quality information about your schools and school offerings, the district office recently added updated links to important information on all school websites. School budgets, climate survey results, school profiles and school performance plans (for Title I schools only) can now be found on your school’s home page in the announcement section. Previously, these links were found in a different section on your website and have been deactivated. Please do not reactivate the old links. However, you can delete the deactivated pages.
The updated links can be moved from the homepage to another section of your website. The new links will be updated annually by district office staff. If you have any questions, please contact Gregg Ford (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Abby Lane (AMLane@bcps.k12.md.us) in Communications. (Posted: August 28, 2013)
Starting Monday, July 1, IEP teams will be required to implement revisions in MDOIEP in the following areas:
- Participation data: State assessment
- Special considerations and accommodations: Supplementary aids and services
- Services: Length of time and related services
- Placement data: Transportation
- Transition from part c to part b
Transportation requests for the first day of school
Student transportation requests should have been submitted in eTR by Thursday, August 15, in order to be routed in time for the first day of school. Any transportation request submitted in eTR after August 15 will not be routed in time for opening day. No changes will be made to routes until August 30; therefore students with transportation requests submitted between August 16 and August 29 may not begin receiving transportation until Tuesday, September 3. (Posted: August 16, 2013)
Update school websites
Principals - Please review the "School Requirement" column in the attached table and work with your school's web manager to make the appropriate updates by Monday, August 19.
District office staff - Please review the "District Office Requirement" in the attached table and prepare the appropriate documents by Monday, August 19. Your office will receive specific instructions from the communications team on how to post your items. (Posted: August 7, 2013)
Approved APEX courses
As final adjustments are made to schedules for the 2013-14 school year, it is essential that all schools with grades 9 to 12 (traditional, charter and operator run) comply with the Maryland State Department of Education's Maryland Virtual Learning Opportunities Office when offering courses via APEX. Additionally, schools must follow district scheduling guidance for these courses, as provided by the Teaching and Learning Department. The only credit-bearing APEX courses* in Maryland that align to City Schools’ courses are
- English I, III and IV
- French I and II
- Spanish I and II
*A select number of AP courses can be used, but must first be authorized by the Teaching and Learning Department.
Each of the above courses can only be offered in order to recover credit (i.e., after a student has earned a failing grade in the course of the same name) — these courses are not intended for original credit. APEX is a vendor that offers courses nationwide and its course menu includes many more options than those listed above; however, only the ones listed above are permitted in City Schools. Please review guidance regarding APEX courses. A revised guidance document stipulating the duration of each APEX course offering, requirements around the direct instruction component provided by a content area certified teacher, scheduling guidance and clarification around exceptions is forthcoming. Please email Dennis Jutras if you have questions. (Posted: June 28)
Procurement card program updates
City Schools has made a number of important revisions to guidance documents pertaining to the use of procurement cards (P-Card) by the district. They include:
- P-Card Approver’s Guide
- Revisions to the P-Card User’s Guide, Frequently asked Questions (FAQ) and the P-Card presentation
All of these documents are accessible on TSS or from the City Schools’ Procurement website Procurement / Overview. All P-Card users and approvers should read these documents before proceeding with any future transactions or approvals. The most important components of the program are:
- Proper use of the card
- City Schools’ does not pay sales tax on any purchase
- Submit and attach all receipts before you submit your expense report
Please contact Suzanne Addington in the Procurement Department should you have any questions. (Posted: Fall 2012)