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May 26, 2020
Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) Program

All students enrolled in Baltimore City Public Schools are eligible for the Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) Program. Households will receive approximately $114/month in benefits for each school-aged child in your household. P-EBT cards will allow families to purchase food directly from approved grocery stores and other outlets that accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), EBT, or the Independence Card.

If your household currently receives SNAP benefits, the P-EBT payments are automatically added to your SNAP card. If you think you may be eligible for SNAP, we encourage you to apply! View SNAP eligibility criteria and apply online at mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us by clicking “create account.” You can also call the MD Department of Human Services (DHS) at 1-800-332-6347 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. If you have trouble or need help applying for SNAP, call Maryland Hunger Solutions at 1-866-821-5552. 

If your household does not currently receive SNAP benefits, you are eligible to receive a new P-EBT card from the Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS). To help ensure access to these benefits, households should update their current contact information in their City Schools’ profile by emailing updated address documentation to the enrollment official at their student’s school. Providing updated address information ensures that City Schools is able to share the most accurate and up-to-date information with the responsible state agencies.  It also should reduce wait times to be contacted by the Maryland Department of Human Services. Inaccurate addresses or telephone numbers in your City Schools’ profile could delay the Maryland Department of Human Services’ distribution of a P-EBT benefit card to your family.

For more food options, visit: https://coronavirus.baltimorecity.gov/food-distribution-sites

May 22, 2020
Memorial Day meal site closure

All city meal sites will be closed on Sunday, May 24 & Monday, May 25 for Memorial Day. Be sure to pick up your grocery and produce boxes before the weekend. You can still visit food sites Friday and Saturday. For additional meal & food box information visit www.bmorechildren.com/freemeals

May 19, 2020
Response to questions from CEO Round Up

Facebook Round Up Responses – May 20, 2020
Note: Questions were taken verbatim from Facebook

Special Education
  • Question: What about in-person summer programs for children with disabilities? 
    • Due to the health and safety of our students and staff, we are not offering in-person summer programs for students with disabilities. 
  • Question: What about ESY? 
    • Students that have qualified for Extended School Year (ESY) via the IEP team process will receive this service. The Office of Special Education and stakeholders are currently working on a plan. 
  • Question: How will SPED students with one on ones be effectively supported with Social distancing measures? 
    • Please contact the IEP Chair at your child’s school for additional support.
Staffing 
  • Question: When the dust settles, will you have a task force to review the unbalances of teachers’ virtual classes and allocated professional days to technology development to bridge the technical curves for both teachers and students? 
    • We are currently offering professional learning around supporting virtual learning, including best practices for implementation. We are utilizing several formats to capture current feedback, surveys, focus groups, etc. to learn from ongoing work to inform our future work. We plan to continue professional learning bridging technology and content in the summer and throughout the upcoming school year.
General academic/distance learning
  • For the latest information on distance learning, visit https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/distance-learning 
  • Question: Will the children move forward or have to repeat the grade/ school year over I noticed its not a lot of children on the google classroom. How will this work? How are these packs even being graded?
    • Students engaging with learning packets will not return paper copies. Instead, teachers will monitor and offer support to students via weekly check-in calls. The goal of reviewing student work is to support those students in their engagement in the lessons.
  • Question: When will kids be able to take assessments for early admission?
    • In alignment with MSDE, and to support our focus of engaging students in continuous learning, City Schools will also not administer EOY districtwide assessments to its students.    
  • Question: Has a “last day of school” date been determined?  
    • Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners voted to authorize CEO Sonja Brookins Santelises to seek a waiver from the Maryland State Department of Education to change the last day of school. If MSDE approves the waiver, the last day of the 2019-2020 school year for City Schools students will be Monday, June 15, 2020. The last day for City Schools teachers and other 10-month staff would remain Tuesday, June 23. However, if the waiver is approved by the State, City Schools will continue to explore creative ways to leverage or repurpose this additional staff time to support our students and staff in the upcoming school year, which could result in an earlier last day for staff with the unions’ agreement
  • Question: Any updates on Summer programming as of yet? Particularly, Engineers of the Future 6-week program that was slated to be @ Fort Worthington? 
    • We are currently working to finalize summer planning with our senior leadership. We will have information available very soon. Please stay connected to our website as well as Facebook and Twitter pages for announcements.
  • Question: Who can we speak with if a teacher has not participated in virtual learning? Our principal is aware. This needs to be privately escalated. Thank you. 
    • The principal should be working with their supervisor to elevate and support. 
  • Question: As distance learning continues, how will parent/student accountability for authentic work submissions/ content be better managed? 
    • The plan for continued distance learning is currently underway. We will be including several considerations, including grading, assessments, authentic engagement, etc.
Enrollment/transfer/choice
  • For the latest information on distance learning, visit https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/enroll 
  • Question: How do we register them for the up and coming school year for high school?
    • Current families transitioning into high school will receive confirmation of their placements via US postal mail by mid- June or by accessing the campus portal.  New families seeking to enroll in City Schools for SY20-21 will be able to do so after July 1, 2020.
  • Question: What’s the number for pre-K registration?
    • Families in need of support to utilize the online prekindergarten registration system can call their neighborhood zone schools as calls are being routed to the respective enrollment officials.   Families are also able to receive support from district office staff by emailing Enrollment@bcps.k12.md.us or calling 410-396-8600 for assistance.
  • Question: Is enrollment for kindergarten in the fall available?
    • The priority 1 prekindergarten enrollment period for Baltimore City Public Schools has been delayed until May 15.  City Schools will be launching online registration through Infinite Campus to support the enrollment of priority 1 students in a manner that keeps both staff and families safe.  Priority 2 registration, including kindergarten students, has not been interrupted and is scheduled to launch on July 1.  
  • Question: I am looking at early admission for my son to kindergarten. Is there any information on when that process will happen, and what it will look like?
    • As a result of COVID-19, City Schools is still awaiting revised guidance from the State of Maryland regarding early admissions.  Please note that the district is collaborating with neighboring school districts to develop creative solutions to support students and families regarding this component.  Additional information will be forthcoming upon receipt.
 
Family Engagement
  • Question: If a hybrid model is used where students are not in their classrooms every day, what supports will be provided for parents (including teachers) who have to go back to work and would now have to provide childcare for their children on days they are not in school?
    • City Schools is finalizing continuity of learning plans, which include targeted focuses on parent and family supports, capacity building, family wellness resources, increased two-way communication, and access to take-home learning materials for those in need.  Supporting teachers with creating and sustaining School-Family Partnerships in Remote Learning is equally important. The Engagement Office is facilitating robust professional development opportunities and developing protocols for remote learning engagement that strengthen school-level capacity for sustaining authentic family engagement linked to student success. Areas of focus will include:
      • offering equitable access to opportunities for decision making and advocacy
      • fostering two-way communication during remote learning
      • building trusting relationships in virtual learning environments
      • utilizing best practices for English Learner family engagement 
  • Question: Will parents be trained over the summer for the upcoming school year 2021-2022 should school be doing Virtual Learning? Parents should receive a Stipend Check or be paid?
    • Virtual Parent University will be made available to parents and caregivers – a free one-stop-shop for parents and families to access content that builds capacity and confidence to support high-quality remote learning. The VPU will have a direct link to ensuring parents are supported: online safety/citizenship, family wellness, family literacy and preparing for online education, accessibility supports (i.e., assistive technology that supports with learning and thinking differences: text-to-speech, calendars, note-taking, guided access, etc.).
Seniors/graduation
  • For the latest information on graduations and supports for seniors, visit www.baltimorecityschools.org/2020graduation
  • Question: Will the Seniors be issued Cap & Gowns? 
    • Seniors will receive caps and gowns. They should expect to hear from their schools in the next several weeks how caps and gowns will be distributed. We will be celebrating Senior Spirit Week from May 18-22, and we will be celebrating student graduations virtually from June 10-17. More details will be forthcoming. 
  • Question: Will senior class dues be refunded to parents since there are no senior class activities such as promos and class trips? 
    • Schools will be refunding senior class dues for activities canceled on or after March 12. We are not yet ready to distribute reimbursements, but we are developing plans to do so within the next month. 
  • Question: When will you find out if your senior has graduated, and how are they doing high school diplomas? 
    • We will be conducting graduation validation in early June, and virtual graduations will take place from June 10 -17. More information about specific school graduation schedules will be provided soon. High school diplomas can be picked up from high schools during a senior check-out period, which will be scheduled for June.
Computers
  • Question: What happened to the computers bought, and what will be done to close the digital divide?
    • Visit https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/distributing-computers or keep reading.
    • The district also purchased 12,200 new or refurbished Chromebooks to supplement existing devices. Acquiring these devices expeditiously to get them in the hands of children as quickly as possible was challenging given the fact that demand was high (many other districts were purchasing at the same time) and supply was low (supply chains were also adversely affected by COVID-19). 
  • Question: How are computers being distributed?
    • Visit https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/distributing-computers or keep reading.
    • Working collaboratively with central and school-based staff, the district is amid a comprehensive device deployment strategy to loan Chromebooks to families who need them. The process was designed to support Seniors and Juniors in reaching their college and career aspirations, incorporate principal feedback, leverage school-based knowledge of students and community, and meet the needs of ALL students with an explicit focus on equitable approaches to distance learning.
    • Deployment started with high schools the week of April 13, followed by K-8 and middle schools the week of April 27. Each school had a two-day distribution window, with times scheduled to reflect a sensitivity to the needs of students and families. Schools were provided with PPE and detailed social distancing protocols to guide the process. As of early May, 11,000 devices have been distributed. 
    • The district is now in the planning process for the second round of distribution to reach families that have not yet received a device. The second round will begin in the coming days. 
  • Question: What do I do if I need a computer? 
    • Please reach out to your or your student’s school principal. 
  • Question: What if I need internet access?
    • In the short-term, the district is promoting Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which provides two free months of service to any City Schools family. 
    • City Schools also continues to focus on identifying a longer-term approach to solving this issue, in partnership with the City and local organizations like the Digital Equity Coalition and local businesses.
       
May 8, 2020
Meals and Technology Survey

The City Schools Meals and Technology Survey will come to a close at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, May 10.

However, the district is committed to identifying needs for food and technology support before and after this period. If you find you need assistance with meals and technology following the closure of the survey on May 10, please contact the COVID-19 Hotline at 443-984-2000.

May 6, 2020
Extended school closure

Today, the state of Maryland extended the closure period for public school buildings. All school buildings in Baltimore City Public Schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. During this time, City Schools students will continue with a distance-based learning curriculum. Students may call our Homework Hotline for assistance at 443-984-2001, Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m.- 6 p.m.

Learning packets and grab-and-go meals will continue to be available at our 18 emergency food sites from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please visit our Meal Sites webpage for a list of locations. 

For families whose students attend charter or contract schools, please continue to use the distance learning resources provided by your school and visit your school’s webpage or contact your school for more information.

The district will also continue to provide updates related to the schedule change as we learn more. For questions, you may call our COVID-19 Hotline at 443-984-2000.

May 5, 2020
Reopening the packet meal site

Effective Wednesday, May 6, Baltimore City Public Schools will reopen the learning packet and emergency meal site at Sandtown-Winchester Achievement Academy.

The site was closed May 4-5 after City Schools learned that an employee working there tested positive for COVID-19. The district followed its Standard Operating Procedure on cleaning and disinfecting school buildings and staffing changes have been made to the site. 

As a reminder:

  • Individuals who may have been in contact with staff working at the Sandtown-Winchester Achievement Academy emergency meal site should self-monitor for symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath for 2-14 days.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you think you have been exposed to COVID 19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. 

For a full listing of our 18 meal sites, please visit City Schools’ meal sites webpage.

May 4, 2020
Tip sheet for seniors

Quick and accurate information for the Class of 2020 is now available through the quick-reference version of “Transitions: A Guide for The Class of 2020.” This one sheet, available in English and Spanish, includes abbreviated updates about end-of-year matters such as testing, credits, and more.

Full version of the Transitions guide

May 3, 2020
COVID-19 Case

Baltimore City Public Schools has learned that an employee working at the emergency meal site at Sandtown-Winchester Achievement Academy recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Effective Monday, May 4, City Schools will temporarily close Sandtown-Winchester Achievement Academy to follow the district’s Standard Operating Procedure on cleaning and disinfecting school buildings. We will notify the community of the date when the meal site at Sandtown-Winchester Achievement Academy will reopen.

The employee may have had contact with others. Out of respect for the employee’s confidentiality, we cannot release any personal information.

City Schools places the highest priority on the health, safety, and well-being of our community while working diligently to support the education and social needs of its families. The district is offering the following guidance:

  • Individuals who may have been in contact with staff working at the Sandtown-Winchester Achievement Academy emergency meal site should self-monitor for symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath for 2-14 days. 
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you think you have been exposed to COVID 19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. 
  • For students and families seeking meals or learning packets, please visit our Meal Sites webpage for a list of 17 other sites where meals and learning packets will be available. 

As the situation continues to change rapidly, we will work to keep you updated regarding this rapidly evolving situation. And again, we encourage everyone to avoid contact with others. 

April 28, 2020
AP Exam Update

AP Exams are scheduled for May 11 – 22, 2020, and are designed to be taken online from home. Only students who were registered prior to March 14 to take the exam by their schools are eligible to take this year’s exams.

Other important points include:

  • AP Exams have been revised to about 45 minutes each, are limited to content that most teachers would have covered by March, and will only include free response components.
  • Please note that Baltimore City Public Schools’ students follow the Eastern Time schedule for exams.
  • Log into your device 30 minutes prior to the start of the testing window.
  • Students can access daily, online AP classes and review for the exam by following this link AP Exam Review.
  • Finally, students who have not received an email from the College Board with details about their exam schedules should contact their AP teacher or AP coordinator immediately in order to receive their testing access codes just prior to the exam.
  • Other AP related questions can be directed to Dennis Jutras (djutras@bcps.k12.md.us). 

 
Young Audience’s and Future Maker’s Arts & Learning Snacks
Young Audiences is providing Arts & Learning Snacks - activity packs that children can work on independently or with their families. The packs do not require internet access and that support academic, creative, and social and emotional development.

Each snack pack will also link to a website where families and educators can engage with the featured artist in video activities to further support learning and instruction. Parents and students can pick up the arts and learning snacks between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the following locations on Thursday, April 30:

  • Maree G. Farring
  • Gwynns Falls
  • City Neighbors Hamilton
  • Dunbar
April 27, 2020
Deadline extended and 3rd Quarter Report Cards

In an effort to support families through this difficult time, the deadline for the submission of Updated Choice applications and Decline Statements is May 1. For information about choice applications visit https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/choice. If you do not have access to download, print, or email the updated application, please call 410-396-8600.

3rd Quarter Report Cards
Beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, April 28, all City Schools student report cards, including for charter schools, for third quarter may be viewed electronically on Campus Portal.  To access report cards on Campus Portal, please follow the following instructions:

  1. Login to Campus Portal
  2. At the bottom of the list on the left-hand side, click More 
  3. Under Quick Links, select Academic Progress (Academic Progress displays in new tab)
  4. Find Report Card and click Quarter 3 (the report card will display in a new tab)

Report cards will also be mailed to families no later than May 8. If you do not have access to Campus Portal and cannot receive mail, please call the online learning support help desk after April 28 at 443-984-2001.

April 24, 2020
Follow these tips to protect your student online

City Schools is committed to keeping students safe while interacting with teachers and schools online. To help, the district is providing flyers in English and Spanish with information on protecting student privacy. 

Mobile Device Hotspot
Students and families with free Sprint phones from Sprint's 1 Million Project can use their phones as a hotspot for free internet. For directions, please check the Sprint website.

Additionally, Sprint has increased the monthly data plan for these phones from 10 to 20 gigabytes through June 30. 

April 23, 2020
City of Baltimore to provide 30-pound boxes of food April 24-25

The City of Baltimore will be providing 30-pound boxes of food to families at 10 City Schools campuses starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 24. The boxes will be available while supplies last at the following sites:

•    Alexander Hamilton Elementary School, 800 Poplar Grove St. 21216
•    Arlington Elementary School, 3705 W. Rogers Ave. 21215
•    Beechfield Elementary/Middle School, 301 S. Beechfield Ave. 21229
•    Franklin Square Elementary/Middle School, 1400 W. Lexington St. 21223
•    Gwynns Falls Elementary School 2700, Gwynns FalIs Parkway 21216
•    Holabird Elementary/Middle School, 1500 lmla St. 21224
•    John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School, 701 Rapolla St. 21224
•    Maree G. Farring Elementary/Middle School, 300 Pontiac Ave. 21225
•    Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, 1400 Orleans St. 21231
•    Sinclair Lane Elementary School, 3880 Sinclair Lane 21213

In addition, the City will provide meals starting at noon on Saturday, April 25 at the following sites:
•    C.C. Jackson Rec Center, 4910 Park Heights Ave. 21205
•    Crispus Attucks Rec Center,1601 W. Madison St. 21217
•    Harlem Park Rec Center, 700 N. Calhoun St. 21217
•    Northwood Rec Center, 1517 Winford Road. 21239
•    Oliver Rec Center, 1600 N. Spring St. 21213
•    Samuel F.B. Morse Rec Center, 424 Pulaski St. 21223
•    Virginia S. Baker Rec Center, 2601 E. Baltimore St. 21224

For more information about the 30-pound boxes of food, visit bmorechildren.com/freemeals

To learn more about City Schools' 18 meal and learning packet sites as well as 10 new Sidewalk Grab-and Go pantries, visit our meals webpage.

April 21, 2020
Grading Updates

Beginning April 28, all City Schools student report cards, including charter schools, for third quarter may be viewed electronically using Campus Portal. Report cards will also be mailed to families no later than May 8.

If you don’t have access to Campus Portal and can’t receive mail, please call the online learning support help desk after April 28 at 443-984-2001.

City Schools has also announced its Fourth Quarter Grading plan.

  • City Schools will offer a Pass/Incomplete grading option for quarter 4 for students in PreK-12
  • Graded work will include online learning opportunities, learning packets, and lessons via television.
  • Students may submit work assigned to them via our distance learning platforms. Students engaging with learning packets will not return paper copies. Instead, teachers will monitor and offer support to students via weekly check-in calls.
  • “Pass” is issued to students who have been able to engage in distance learning, to include learning packets.
  • “Incomplete” is issued to students whom the schools have not been successful in engaging through multiple avenues.

Charter and contract schools may have different requirements for 4th quarter based on their model; families should look for their school’s guidance on their website next week as it is still going through the approval process.

Overall Grade Graphic

April 20, 2020

CEO Round Up
Dr. Santelises will be answering your questions about the closure extension and 4th-quarter grading this Thursday, April 23 from 1-1:30 p.m. live on City Schools' Facebook page.

Sidewalk Grab and Go Pantries
City Schools is pleased to announce it will launch 10 new sidewalk grab-and-go pantry with food donated by the World Central Kitchen. A truck of frozen prepared meals will arrive at the 10 sites once a week on a designated day (either Wednesdays or Fridays). Meals will be distributed between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

An individual person may take 7 meals. Families may pick up meals based on the number of people in their household. For example, a family of 3 may pick up 21 meals or 3 bags of 7 meals each. The maximum number of meals one family may take is 28 meals.

School Pantry Schedule:

Please be sure to practice social distancing when picking up meals. In addition to the sidewalk grab-and-go meals, City Schools will also continue operating its 18 meals sites.

Updates for seniors
City Schools has created a helpful guide to keep seniors up-to-speed and on the right track to graduation. Please review the document and work with your school counselor as needed.

seniors transition pdf

* Additionally, seniors packets, with six weeks of work for seniors projects, will be available at meal sites beginning on Tuesday, April 21. 

April 17, 2020
School closure period update

Today, the state of Maryland extended the closure period for public school buildings. All school buildings in Baltimore City Public Schools will remain closed through May 15, 2020. During this time, City Schools students will continue with distance-based learning curriculum. Students may call our Homework Hotline for assistance at 443-984-2001, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.- 6 p.m.

Learning packets and grab-and-go meals will continue to be available at our 18 emergency food sites from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please visit our Meal Sites webpage for list of locations. 

The district will also continue to provide updates related to the schedule change as we learn more. For questions, you may call our COVID-19 Hotline at 443-984-2000 or visit our Health Updates webpage at www.baltimorecityschools.org/health-updates

Free STEM and art kits 
City Schools will offer free STEM and art kits for students at some meal sites. Please check the district website for the dates and sites. 

Replay of the April 16 CEO Conversation 
Did you miss the CEO Conversation on Facebook with Dr. Santelises on April 16? Get the latest updates on learning packets, distance learning, and the schedule for the rest of the school year. Watch the full video on Facebook

Free meals
Free meals this weekend (April 18 and 19) are available at city recreation centers from 12-4 both days, with the exception of Carroll F. Cook Recreation Center, which is temporarily closed.

April 15, 2020
Virtual Office Hours

City Schools is hosting virtual office hours for families who are interested in learning more about how to support the social and emotional needs of their children during this time. 

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, families of students in grades K-5 can participate in the virtual support hour from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. or 5 to 5:45 p.m. using this link https://bit.ly/2Va3t2F or by calling (571) 392- 7650. The PIN for accessing the call via phone is 898-721-9674. 

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, families of students in grades 6-12 can participate in the virtual support hour from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. or 5 to 5:45 p.m. using this link https://bit.ly/3bet9kr or by calling (571) 392- 7650. The PIN for accessing the call via phone is 451-222-4687.

Check out our flyer in English and Spanish

April 14, 2020
National Guard and Early Learning Enrollment

National Guard is here to help at meal sites
Baltimore City Public Schools is pleased to continue operating 18 sites across the community for you to pick up meals and learning packets for students. We encourage families in need of those items to visit any one of the locations. 

Beginning Wednesday, April 15, the Maryland National Guard has graciously offered to assist the district in helping to distribute meals and learning packets at 14 of the meal sites. With its help, we can minimize the time you spend at the locations and keep you safe. 

The men and women that make up the National Guard will be on-site to help City Schools achieve our goal of ensuring our academic materials are accessible and that students, families, and communities have access to healthy meals.

We look forward to seeing you – safely while practicing social distancing – at any of the 18 meal sites. To learn more visit, baltimorecityschools.org/meal-sites.

Reminder: Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten enrollment to be delayed
Due to the school building closure period, the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten enrollment period for Baltimore City Public Schools will be delayed. Currently, the district is considering alternative methods to support enrollment while keeping families safe. Additional information will be available the week of April 28.

April 10, 2020

City Schools wishes you a prosperous holiday weekend. Take the time to rest, reflect, and rejuvenate. May love, peace, and happiness be showered on you and your family.

Work packet availability 
Distance Learning work packets and Family Guides for the week of April 13 will be online after 4 p.m. today. On the Distance Learning webpage.  

Students and families should use the links on the page as a resource while school buildings are closed. Find your grade level and click the link to download daily lessons. Additionally, every Monday during the closure period, students will be able to pick up work packets at the district’s 18 meal sites.  Be sure to check out our helpful Distance Learning primer which outlines our Distance Learning materials.

CEO Conversation
On Thursday. April 16 at 5 p.m., join Dr. Santelises and a panel of City Schools leadership. They will provide updates on distance learning, technology, and student wholeness. This event will be streamed live on the City Schools Facebook page.

Reminder about meals
Baltimore City is providing free grab-n-go meals for youth on Saturday, April 11, at rec centers across the city.  Meals will not be served on Sunday, April 12, in observance of Easter. 
Visit bmorechildren.com for info on daily meal sites and times.

Distribution of devices for distance learning
Beginning Monday, April 13, some high school juniors and seniors will begin to receive computers. We are prioritizing students in these grades to make sure they can meet graduation requirements. Principals or school staff will contact families of students who have been identified to receive a computer with instructions and possible dates and times for picking up the computer. This information will also be available on the distance learning webpage.

The week of April 20, students in other grades who have been identified as needing a computer will be notified by their school leader that they may pick up computers at their schools during specified time periods that will continue through the end of April.  

If you have questions about homework, class assignments, online learning, or need support accessing tools such as Google Classroom and BlackBoard Collaborate, please call the help desk at 443-984-2001, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., or visit the distance learning or online learning support pages on the district website. 

Visit our FAQ page for more information on device distribution. 

City Schools spirit week
YOU(th) Up Next Baltimore presents City Schools spirit week! This week is designed to help students feel connected and express themselves during this unprecedented time. 

  • Monday, April 13: School spirit day
    Take a selfie wearing school swag.
  • Tuesday, April 14: Book Selfie Day
    Take a selfie with the book you are currently reading.
  • Wednesday, April 15: Wellness Wednesday & Workout Day
    Take a selfie showing how you are staying active.
  • Thursday, April 16: Thoughtful and Thriving Day
    Create or repost encouraging memes or videos.
  • Friday, April 17: Social Mixer and House Party

Don’t forget to tag City Schools and use the hashtag #CitySchoolsSpiritWeek

Flyer

April 9, 2020
Message from the CEO and COVID-19 case announcement

Message from the CEO about the launch of Distance Learning
CEO Sonja Brookins-Santelises shares her thoughts on the launch of City Schools' Distance Learning effort and the benefits for students and families.

Notice regarding COVID-19 case at City Neighbors Hamilton

Baltimore City Public Schools has learned that an individual working at the emergency meal site at City Neighbors Hamilton recently tested positive for COVID-19. The individual may have had contact with others. In conversations with the individual, they began to display symptoms Tuesday. According to health experts, a person infected with COVID-19 is contagious two days before they start to show symptoms.

Out of respect for the employee’s confidentiality, we cannot release any personal information.

City Schools places the highest priority on the health, safety, and well-being of our community while working diligently to support the education and social needs of its families. The district is offering the following guidance:

  • Effective Friday, April 10, City Schools will close City Neighbors Hamilton to follow the district’s Standard Operating Procedure on cleaning and disinfecting school buildings. 
  • Individuals who may have been in contact with staff working at the City Neighbors Hamilton emergency meal site should self-monitor for symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath for 2-14 days. 
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you think you have been exposed to COVID 19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. 
  • For students and families seeking meals or learning packets, please visit our Meal Sites webpage for a list of 17 other sites where meals and learning packets will be available. We will notify the community of the date when the meal site at City Neighbors Hamilton will reopen.

As the situation continues to change rapidly, we will work to keep you updated regarding this rapidly evolving situation. And again, we encourage everyone to avoid contact with others. 

April 8, 2020
Online Learning Support

As City Schools moves to distance learning, two ways teachers will work with students are BlackBoard Collaborate and Google Classroom. BlackBoard Collaborate will be used to give live instruction, and Google Classroom will host class assignments and resources. Please see the instructions for them on our online learning support page

wellness wednesday
City Schools Growing and Thriving Together: Compassionate, Connected, and Courageous

At City Schools, we believe that nurturing student wholeness is not only a top priority but a key part of how we ensure the success of our students as learners and as leaders in their schools and communities. This means that we must:

  • support students’ physical, social, and emotional well-being, as well as their academic growth,
  • help them explore their interests and identities, and
  • make sure they have trusting and supportive relationships with people inside and beyond their school communities.

It also means that we must build healthy learning environments that are safe and nurturing for all young people to enable them to reach their highest potential.

We are Here to Support

To help our students navigate this time in a way that ensures they are safe and whole, it is important that the adults in their lives—parents, family members, teachers, coaches, mentors, faith leaders, and others—all work together to provide care and comfort. We recognize that for some of our students, this period of uncertainty may be challenging and stressful. Some of the ways we can support are by…

  • creating opportunities for students to express what they are feeling
  • helping them to learn simple ways to manage stress and anxiety
  • and encouraging them to stay connected to family, friends, teachers, and classmates.

But we know that this is not just a hard time for many of our students—it can be just as tough on adults. Many of us are struggling to manage our own anxiety, sense of isolation, or the stresses caused by being stuck at home, dealing with work-related issues or unemployment, and figuring out how to parent children through these unprecedented experiences—including having to suddenly support our kids’ learning at home. To be fully present for our young people, we must tend to our own physical and emotional well-being, too.

Distribution of devices for distance learning
We are providing many tools and resources to help students and their families access materials during this period of distance learning. This includes loaning computers to many students. As you’re aware, we asked families to complete a survey about food and technology needs. Results from the survey have and will continue to inform our plan for distributing the computers. Please complete the survey if you haven’t already. 

Beginning Monday, April 13, some high school students will begin to receive computers. We are prioritizing students in these grades to make sure they can meet graduation requirements. Principals and school staff will contact families of students who have been identified to receive a computer with instructions and possible dates and times for picking up the computer. This information will also be available on the distance learning page on Friday. 

The week of April 20, students in other grades who have been identified as needing a computer will be notified by their school leader that they may pick up computers at their schools during specified time periods that will continue through the end of April. 

If you have questions about homework, class assignments, online learning, or need support accessing tools such as Google Classroom and BlackBoard Collaborate, please call the help desk at 443-984-2001, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., or visit the distance learning or online learning support pages on the district website.

Observing religious holidays
The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike any challenge our nation has ever faced, forcing us to make many adaptations and some radical changes to the ways in which we live, work, and educate our young people. A few changes we were required to make in our annual Spring Break schedule, and what that means for upcoming religious observances. 

As you know, Spring Break for schools was originally scheduled from Monday, April 6 through Monday, April 13, and was linked to days of observance for Passover and Easter. As a result of the first school closure period related to the COVID-19 outbreak, the district followed the recommendation of MSDE to change the dates for Spring Break for schools to Friday, March 20 through the following Friday, March 27. These changes eliminated the correlation that we had planned between the Spring Break dates and observance of these key holidays. 

We recognize that the observance of such high holy days is important to many staff members. Students and families may find that some teachers and staff members will be unavailable on April 10-12, as they use personal time to observe this period. We thank you for your support and patience as employees recognize this religious season.

April 6, 2020
Third Quarter Grading Update

City Schools firmly believes that grades are a measure of students’ progress in their courses. To promote the continuation of academic engagement during the school building closure period, the district will take the following actions regarding grading in the Third Quarter:

  • Student work completed through March 12 will not be adversely impacted due to the school building closure period.
  • Students have until Friday, April 10, to submit any remaining assignments that were due through March 12.
  • Teachers will communicate to students and parents the expectations for submitting makeup assignments and methods of submission. Students may have varied points of access to resources; therefore, teachers will consider accessibility limitations and exercise reasonable flexibility.

Again, all students have until Friday, April 10 to complete any uncompleted assignments and make-up work provided through March 12.

City Schools, similar to other school districts statewide, is seeking guidance from the Maryland State Department of Education regarding the grading of work packets and other assignments given during the closure period that began on March 16. City Schools will provide updates to students, families, and staff after receiving clarification by state officials.

Join us for a social media chat about distance learning
Do you have questions about navigating distance learning? Don’t fret, help is on the way. A representative of the district’s Teaching and Learning Office will be available to answer your questions on both Facebook and Twitter from 1 to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8. Log in to @baltcityschools on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/baltcityschools) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/BaltCitySchools) and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.

April 3, 2020
Distance learning webpage available Monday, April 6

Distance Learning in City Schools starts on Monday, April 6. The hub for this initiative is www.baltimorecityschools.org/distance-learning (page goes live Monday, April 6). Beginning that day, students and families will have access to learning experiences in the following ways:

  • Lessons on television - Students will be able to access daily reading, math, science, and art lessons on City Schools TV (Comcast 77) and the city’s CharmTV (Comcast 25 and 1025). Additionally, CharmTV will offer lessons via streaming video at http://www.charmtvbaltimore.com. A schedule of lessons will be available on the district’s Distance Learning webpage.
  • Distance Learning Packets - Each week, a new set of distance learning packets will be available with lessons for students via download from the Distance Learning Webpage. Additionally, every Monday during the closure period, students will be able to pick up work packets at the district’s 18 meal sites.
  • Teacher Collaboration - Two ways teachers will work with students are via Blackboard Collaborate and Google Classroom.  Blackboard Collaborate will be used to give live instruction, and Google Classroom will host class assignments and resources. Teachers will send a link to students to invite them to Blackboard Collaborate.

For help with homework and class assignments and questions about online learning, please call City Schools’ Homework and Technology Help Desk at 443-984-2001. The hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday.

April 1, 2020
COVID-19 Response FAQ

Out of concern and care for community, City Schools continues to monitor developments related to COVID-19. Thank you for working together to keep our community safe. We are providing this helpful list of frequently-asked questions to support your understanding as we act in the best interests of our students and community. If you have COVID-19 related questions, please email communications@bcps.k12.md.usView FAQs related to COVID-19

 

Message regarding COVID-19 case

Dear City Schools students, families, staff members, and community partners, 

Baltimore City Public Schools has learned that an individual supporting Steuart Hill Academic Academy recently tested positive for COVID-19 during the school building closure period. Once the person’s condition was known, they immediately ceased contact with the campus. Based on discussions and a review of the timeline, the individual contracted the virus after schools were closed. Out of respect for the individual’s confidentiality, we cannot release any personal information.

In recent days, federal and state leaders have been clear that as we learn more about the spread of COVID-19, additional cases will become known. City Schools places the highest priority on the health, safety, and well-being of our community while working diligently to support the education and social needs of its families.

The district is taking actions to continue distributing learning materials and emergency meals that are consistent with guidance from federal health authorities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the Baltimore City Health Department. 

The following steps reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure include:

  • To the greatest extent possible, practicing social distancing when distributing emergency meals or learning packets.
  • Encouraging frequent handwashing for employees that are working.
  • Cleaning and sanitizing high-use areas, paying particular attention to shared surfaces (doorknobs, sink/toilet handles, elevator buttons, etc.).
  • Taking all available steps to reduce the time and number of interactions between all parties at our meal sites, including the use of designated interaction points.

In alignment with directives from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and guidance from the Baltimore City Health Department, City Schools strongly encourages students and families to avoid contact with other individuals unless absolutely necessary. 

As the situation continues to change rapidly, we will work to keep you updated regarding this rapidly evolving situation, including updates on cases that have a direct impact on the delivery of services. And again, we encourage everyone to avoid contact with others. Please continue to check the school district’s Health Updates Web site for information.

Thank you, and be safe.

Learn more

March Health Updates

Quick Reference Guide