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Allegations at Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts

Your support and patience have been invaluable as Baltimore City Public Schools worked to rebuild your trust after learning of mismanagement by former school leaders. Earlier this year, we committed to helping students and families recover by finding the truth, holding those responsible accountable, and providing academic support.

Today, we are keeping that promise by sharing a summary of our investigation into the improper activities at Augusta Fells Savage from 2016-2019.

The summary details how the scheme was first detected by our checks and procedures in the summer of 2019 – well before any news story or other conjecture. At that time, we immediately removed those later found to be responsible from their positions and began the process of helping students determine the truth about their academic records. We also appointed an experienced and successful principal to make the changes needed to get Augusta Fells Savage back on track.

The summary also provides a clear picture of a coordinated effort among a small number of staff members at AFS between 2017 and 2019 to ignore our policies and regulations. We have devoted extensive resources to conduct a thorough investigation over many months, and we are implementing changes to protect our students and employees who are doing the right thing.

We concluded that four persons, including the former principal and a former assistant principal, allowed the following:

  • Assigned grades to students they did not truly earn
  • Placed students in classes that did not exist
  • Operated a credit recovery program that allowed credit to be earned wrongfully

The breach of trust by those former employees cannot be overstated. Three of the employees are no longer employed by City Schools, while the fourth person is participating in an administrative proceeding. We are disappointed those adults would place their selfish motives above the well-being of students. While our systems worked to uncover the scheme, we also learned lessons that will lessen the chance this can happen again.

Read the full letter

Summary Report on Grading Integrity Issues and Other Staff Misconduct Allegations

Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts