Skip to main content
Open all alerts
Possible technology service interruption.

On Friday, September 29, 2023, between 6 and 8 p.m., City Schools will be updating our technology infrastructure. This maintenance may cause intermittent service disruptions to all City Schools' technology services. This includes any systems that require internet access and cloud-based services. Please plan accordingly. 

Expires on 10/1

Blueprint for Success

Watch Video

Our plan for building a generation of leaders

Baltimore's students are filled with talent, dreams, and enormous potential. Our responsibility is to help them develop the knowledge and skills they need to pursue the future that calls them. Building a Generation: City Schools’ Blueprint for Success lays out how we are making that happen.

Based on research and conversations with hundreds of stakeholders, the blueprint focuses on three areas to help students reach their goals:

•    Student wholeness
•    Literacy
•    Staff leadership

These areas go hand in hand: If students are motivated and excited about learning, have the skills to think critically, analyze deeply, and express themselves powerfully, and have adults around them who encourage them to persist and excel, they can progress toward high school graduation and postsecondary success.

Building a Generation: Download the documents


A brief guide



A brief guide



Building a Generation

(Download the complete blueprint)

Student wholeness

Our students are unique people with unique experiences, talents, challenges, and social, emotional, and physical lives. By keeping the wholeness of our students in mind, meeting their needs, hearing their voices, and building partnerships with their families and communities, we can ignite their passion for learning.

Work in the area of "student wholeness" takes many forms. For example:

  • Schools are supporting students' social and emotional learning, helping them develop confidence, manage stress and emotions, collaborate and negotiate conflict, and make responsible decisions. These are all important skills throughout life, and they support learning across academic areas as well.
  • Restorative practices build positive communities based on the premise that open, respectful communication helps reduce conflict. When conflict does occur, restorative practices encourage students to focus not on punishment, but on the harm caused and on ways to repair relationships. 
  • A range of health and wellness services — from providing free meals to health services and athletics programs — support students physically and mentally so they are able and ready to learn.
  • A well-rounded curriculum, with art, world language, technology, and a range of options to meet students interests, along with extracurricular clubs and teams, keeps students engaged and motivated to come to school every day.


When reading, writing, speaking, and listening are part of learning in all subject areas, students gain complex knowledge, deep conceptual understanding, and the ability to write well and express themselves powerfully. This is the literacy our students want and deserve in order to access what interests them, and it is what they need for success not only in all school subjects, but in careers and in life.

To support students in reaching their goals, City Schools is focusing on professional learning for staff:

  • The Wit & Wisdom curriculum, used in elementary and middle grades beginning in the 2018-19 school year, includes texts that students can relate to, a strong focus on writing, connections across the curriculum, integration of arts, and clear connections to state standards.
  • Literacy coaches at an initial 20 schools are serving as on-site experts on the curriculum to provide direct support to teacher teams.
  • At all schools, the staff member who serves as the literacy representative is receiving additional opportunities for professional learning.
  • Teachers at grades 3 to 5, 6, and 9 are receiving focused training on best practices in teaching higher order literacy skills across content areas, including both reading and writing.


International and national studies — not to mention our own students — tell us consistently about the importance of teachers and other adults for student success. High-performing education systems around the world emphasize the professionalism of highly qualified teachers and have systems in place to encourage professional learning that focuses on the curriculum teachers teach; they work to develop leaders at all levels and ensure that collaboration, coaching, and mentoring are an essential part of the work day.

With the blueprint, City Schools is prioritizing leadership and continuous professional growth to create a culture where staff and students alike know that learning is valued and celebrated.

Implementation: Intensive learning sites

A key implementation strategy is establishing “intensive learning sites” where additional resources are supporting accelerated growth in literacy or key components of student wholeness. After competitive application, 55 schools were named intensive learning sites for the 2018-19 school year, and 40 more sites will be added in 2019-20. 

  • Literacy intensive sites have a dedicated literacy coach to support teachers as they improve instruction in English language arts, along with providing targeted professional development tailored to needs at individual schools. National experts in literacy instruction will reinforce professional learning for staff with additional on-site coaching. 
  • Social and emotional learning intensive sites have an inviting space where students can reflect and decompress, with a trained staff member who works with them on developing constructive behavior and connecting them to academic support or other services. 
  • Restorative practice intensive sites receive training to promote positive school environments and build healthy communities.

Find which schools are intensive sites by visiting our school profiles, and filtering under the "Program" menu.

Strategic Plan

In 2019, local school systems transitioned to the new Local ESSA Consolidated Strategic Plan for accountability, reporting, and school improvement. This plan includes goals, objectives, and strategies to promote academic excellence among all students to address areas of focus based on the analysis of state standardized data.

Provide feedback on the ESSA Consolidated Strategic Plan by taking our plan survey.