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Friday, April 18, 2014

Incoming interim CEO Tisha Edwards' message of June 12, 2013, to staff, partners and friends of the district.

Dear City Schools Community,

On behalf of Baltimore City Public Schools, thank you for your many contributions to our students and schools during the past school year. Your dedication to our students and their success has allowed us to reshape many of their futures, and will be critical to the work of the district moving forward.

Next year, we will advance that work together in many important ways. In the essential areas of teaching and learning, we will continue implementing new curriculum aligned to the Common Core State Standards, supporting that implementation with professional development and instructional resources. The standards emphasize deep understanding and learning that is relevant for the real world and preparing our students for success in college and careers. And new evaluations for teachers and school leaders will start next year, as part of the work to ensure high-quality teaching happens across classrooms and schools.

We will also continue our work to transform the physical spaces for teaching and learning. Phase two of the 10-year buildings plan has begun, with development of educational specifications for 21st-century school buildings. Once complete, these districtwide specifications must then be tailored to our individual school communities. Expect to play a pivotal role in the months ahead in the development of building designs that support each school’s unique programs.

As many of you know, beginning on July 1, I will assume the responsibility and honor of serving as interim CEO for the school year, while the Board searches for a permanent CEO. My priority will be to continue to move forward the work we have accomplished under Dr. Alonso’s leadership, and to keep the focus on the success of our students.

Earlier this month, I saw that success up close as I shook hands with hundreds of students who walked across the stage to receive their high school diplomas. It’s a big accomplishment, not just for our graduating seniors but also for their families, friends, teachers, principals and members of the City Schools community who support them. Everyone can share in and celebrate their success. Please take a few minutes to watch this video of the Class of 2013. Their reflections about their time in City Schools and their excitement about what’s ahead are an inspiring reminder of what our work is all about.

I look forward to partnering with you in the work ahead. Get ready for a great year!

Tisha Edwards
Incoming Interim Chief Executive Officer
Baltimore City Public Schools