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School Portfolio Review

Every year, we take a close look at all of the city's schools and programs to make sure we are offering high-quality options to all of our students — no matter where they live or their particular needs, talents, and interests. We call this the annual school portfolio review.

This review results in a set of recommendations to the Board of School Commissioners each fall that can include 

- Creating new schools
- Relocating schools
- Changing grade spans at schools
- Renewing contracts or charters for schools run by external operators
- Amending the 21st Century Schools Buildings Program
- Closing schools

Download

Summary of Recommendations

English

Download

Final Portfolio Report

Spanish

2019-20 review

On November 12, the Board of School Commissioners received Building a Portfolio of Schools, 2019-20 Review and Recommendations, detailing the district's portfolio review process and the recommendations arising from this year's review.
 
Final Report: School Closures, Building Surplusing, and School Relocations
(decision issued on February 11, 2020)
 
A summary of the Board's decisions appears below. (mobile/PDF version)

School / Building Program Recommendation Building Recommendation Board Vote
Closures and Non-Renewals  
George W. F. McMechen High School  Close in June 2021 Retain building Approved
NACA II Freedom and Democracy Academy / Professional Development Center
Renewal Report / Recommendation Report
Close program and non-renew contract Retain building Approved
Sarah M. Roach Elementary School Close program in June 2020 Surplus building Approved
Charter Renewal  
Baltimore Collegiate School for Boys/ Professional Development Center (temporary location) 3-year renewal with conditions No new recommendation Approved
Bard Early College High School/ Lemmel Building Pending No new recommendation Vote delayed until 2/25 Board meeting
City Neighbors High School 5-year renewal  No new recommendation (building not owned by City Schools)  Approved
Govans Elementary School 5-year renewal  No new recommendation Approved
Lillie May Carroll Jackson School  3-year renewal  No new recommendation (building not owned by City Schools)  Approved
The REACH! Partnership School/ Lake Clifton Park Building 3-year renewal  No new recommendation Approved
Tunbridge Public Charter School 5-year renewal No new recommendation Approved
Wolfe Street Academy 8-year renewal  No new recommendation Approved
21st Century Building Plan Amendments  
Southeast Building n/a  change surplus date from 2020 to 2024 Approved
Claremont Building  n/a  remove from surplus list Approved
Surplus  
Grove Park n/a Add to surplus list and surplus in 2020 Approved

Parcels of Land

City Schools has land parcels within its control. Historically, the transfer of land parcels back to the City of Baltimore has been handled through an administrative process. Moving forward, the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners will make decisions about whether to initiate the transfer of land parcels at a public meeting to allow for transparency and provide the public with an opportunity to offer feedback. The Board voted on January 14, 2020, to approve the recommendation to transfer the following 13 parcels of land back to the City of Baltimore. The transfer process will be initiated in Spring 2020. 

Block Lot(s) Description/Address
0018 024 30-7X85
WS N. PAYSON ST
NWC PRESSTMAN ST
0018 025 23-1X30
WS N PAYSTON ST 30-7 RESS FT W OF PR
0018 046 50X55 
ES 10 FT ALLEY 1ST 
W OF PAYSTON ST 85 FT W
0077 065 933 N. WOODYEAR ST 10-8X57-3
1829 036 2-4X70-1
WS DURHAM ST 60 FT SOUTH OF FLEET ST
2444 058 56X18 
NS 10 FT ALLEY 1ST 
N OF WINCHESTER ST 1
3575C 235 84X70 
ES CLYDESDALE AVE
SWC ROSEMARY AVE 
4082 018 19-2X18
ES 20 FT ALLEY
1ST W LOCH RAVEN RD
5288D 271 0.289 ACRES 
ES PIONEER DRIVE
NEC WESTFIELD AVE
6019 028A 50X151 
NWS NEWHOLME AVE 415 FT
SW ONNEN RD 
7200 084A 1.322 ACRES 
NS CHURCH ST
NEC W. BAY AVE
7610 009 0.598 ACRES 
NS SEAMON AV 585 FT
N OF CHERRY HILL 
7471 023 2400 HARMON AVE
3.228 ACRES 

What factors are considered when making recommendations about schools or programs?

For traditional schools, we look at

  • Student achievement, including performance on state assessments, districtwide tests, national assessments, and (for high schools) graduation rates
  • School climate, including student attendance, suspensions, enrollment, dropout rates, students' school selections (for citywide middle and high schools), and school survey results

Charter and contract schools go through a separate review prior to renewal of contracts with their external operators. 

What kind of recommendations are made about school buildings?

Recommendations about buildings can include things like moving a school (either temporarily or permanently) or returning an unused building to the City of Baltimore. Factors including whether schools are too crowded, have low enrollment and are under utilized, and building condition are considered. Frequently, these types of recommendations are related to the 21st Century School Buildings Program.

Charter and operator renewal

Outside operators receive term-limited charters or contracts to run charter or contract schools, generally for three to five years. As part of the routine management of these schools, an evaluation (called renewal) conducted in the final year of the contract or charter leads to a decision on whether to renew the contract or charter for a subsequent term. 

The process

The Charter and Operator-led Schools Advisory Board reviews the following to inform the renewal recommendations it makes to City Schools' CEO:

  • Information provided by the school's operator in its renewal application
  • The renewal rubric and report
  • Data prepared by City Schools
  • School effectiveness reviews

These materials and the advisory board's recommendation are summarized in a renewal report for each school. (Find the most recent reports linked on schools' profile pages and archived reports in the renewal report archives) After review by the CEO, renewal recommendations are presented to the Board of School Commissioners for further review. According to policy, the Board may then vote for full renewal (another five-year contract term), partial renewal (a three-year period) or not to renew the operator's contract or charter.

Criteria and measures

Maryland law and Board policy establish criteria for renewal. Contract and charter schools are evaluated on multiple measures including, but not limited to,

  • Student achievement — performance on state assessments, growth measures, unique indicators, and fidelity to charter (accounting for at least 50% of the renewal score)
  • School climate — attendance, suspensions, enrollment, graduation and dropout rates, student choice data, and school survey results
  • Financial management and governance — annual audits, budget submission, grants management, and board documentation
  • Effective management — academic programming for special student populations and compliance with laws, rules, policies, and regulations
Improving the process

The Renewal Stakeholders Working Group (including school operators from a range of school types, City Schools staff, and representatives of the Maryland Charter School Network) met regularly in 2011-12 to advise on development of a fair, transparent, and rigorous evaluation process and rubric to reflect the unique nature and contributions of schools with outside operators. Since that time, district staff confer with key stakeholders following each renewal period to identify areas in which the process could be strengthened while also maintaining a level of predictability for schools up for renewal in the following school year.

Visit school profile pages

Renewal reports

Find the latest reports linked on school profile pages