August 13, 2021
Students and Teachers Believe in the BMoreMe Curriculum
Great Survey Results in 2021
The rave reviews continue for City Schools’ BMore Me curriculum!
During the 2020-2021 school year, 271 students completed a survey on their experience with this innovative, culturally responsive learning experience. The results:
- 75% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “I feel more empowered to be engaged in my community.”
- 87% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “I had the opportunity to share my thoughts with my teacher and classmates”
- 73% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “I learned things that will help me succeed later in life.”
BMore Me is City Schools’ standards-aligned, inquiry-based curriculum for secondary students. Grounded in social studies and literacy, it connects what they're learning in the classroom to their unique community and empowers them to be active members of that community. BMore Me helps them discover their distinctive voice by providing opportunities to be creative and to explore their identities through the context of Baltimore history and culture.
BMore Me was first implemented as part of the City Schools’ Blueprint for Success in the 2018-2019 school year for grades 6, 8, and 9. It was expanded to include grades 7, 10, and 11 in the 2019-2020 school year.
The three-week curriculum asks students to explore a compelling question:
- 6th grade: Who deserves a monument?
- 7th grade: What makes us Baltimore?
- 8th grade: What is Baltimore's narrative?
- U.S. History: How did we get here and where are we going?
- Government: How can we build a better Baltimore?
- World History: Was the Industrial Revolution good for Baltimore?
In addition to engaging with the curriculum, students can participate in a speaker series that lets them learn from experts, as well as industry and community leaders. Last year’s speakers included New York Times education reporter Erica Green, activist DeRay McKesson, and Cori Grainger, Research Inclusion Program Manager at Google.
As part of City Schools’ distance learning, the timing of the BMore Me curriculum was temporarily shifted to the beginning of the school year in 2020. Educators believed that the community-building elements of the curriculum would be a great way to start a challenging school year, and they were right!
In addition to its popularity with students, the curriculum is also praised by teachers. Said one teacher in the year-end survey, “This is an amazing way to start the year. Engaging from day 1,” while another added, “The curriculum is relevant, fun to teach.”
As teachers prepare to return to the in-person classroom, City Schools is exploring ways to expand the BMore Me curriculum to other content areas beyond social studies.
In an interview with Forbes this past February, City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises said one of the most gratifying results of the new curriculum is hearing from parents who are impressed by what their children are learning: “Parents love knowing their children know something they don’t know,'' said Dr. Santelises. “Particularly in communities that have been underserved by the institution of school, that ability to see that your child is moving further than you is a very human need.”