BCP May 2020 Newsletter
In this issue:
  • City Springs Staff Deliver Pizza's and Create Video for Students
  • The Power of Restorative Practice
  • Hiring at BCP
  • Govans on WJZ
  • Principal Gaither's Heart of the School Award
  • Amazing Things at HHA
  • A Message from President and CEO Laura Doherty
A Letter From Laura Doherty
By Laura Doherty, Baltimore Curriculum Project President and CEO
The Baltimore Curriculum Project hopes that this update finds you all healthy, safe and able to find joy in your current circumstances. We would like to offer you all a virtual hug and convey our deep affection and warm wishes to all of you. We at the BCP virtual home office have been working hard to support the amazing efforts of our school communities as they adjust what it means to teach - and connect with - their students and support their families in these unprecedented times. 
It would be impossible to overstate how comprehensively, compassionately, and cooperatively our school leaders and their staff have responded to the COVID-19 school closures. Teachers, paraprofessionals and tutors are magnificently adapting to the abrupt and considerable demands of distance learning, all in order to continue providing the best learning experience possible for their students. Our social workers, counselors, community school coordinators and their colleagues are working equally inspiringly to meet the socio-emotional and physical needs of our students and families, while also working tirelessly to connect families with all available resources. Our broader school communities have responded with truly humbling generosity to ensure that our hardest-hit families have food and supplies to get them through this time. 
This newsletter contains many moving pieces to illustrate just a tiny piece of the work going on. Please click on the links to see for yourself. 
It is an ongoing honor to be a part of this wonderful, loving and mutually supportive community with all of you. We miss our students and colleagues deeply, and eagerly await the day we can experience each other again in person. Until then, be safe, and thank you so much for your support.
City Springs Staff Deliver Pizza's and Create Video for Students!
By City Springs Staff
City Springs Staff delivered pizzas to students that were the first to complete all of their e-learning work for each class.

City Springs ELC Staff also created a video for their students to spread some positivity during distant learning!










Hiring at Baltimore Curriculum Project
By Jon McGill
  One of the many challenges that the unique global situation presents is tiny on that world priority scale but still of concern and interest to those of us in education: finding qualified staff to continue our tradition of wanting the best possible teachers to work with our students and families. In fact, given the challenges that await, it might be more important than ever to bring great educators to our schools. 
To that end, we are continuing to recruit teachers, even if we do it quite differently. Our usual process it to find candidates through a combination of outreach to local and regional schools of education, to other contacts we have developed over the years and to the Baltimore City Public Schools, our long-time partner. Those and other sources have typically provided us with many candidates and together with the many unsolicited resumes we get from educators moving to Baltimore or simply wanting to teach in a BCP school, our supply of people has been good. 
We still have a few vacancies, primarily in the elementary level. We are interested in those seeking fourth/fifth grade positions, in PE candidates and in candidates who might fill needs that we are not even sure we have right now but might have going forward! 
Our process now is to field resumes, have initial conversation and then connect candidates to specific schools and their principal to further the process. Interested candidates should send resumes to: jmcgill@baltimorecp.org, including a cover letter and the grade levels at which they would like to teach.
Govans on WJZ!
By Nicole Baker, WJZ
  At Govans Elementary School, Kate Walsh-Little’s lesson for her third-graders wasn’t tucked between textbooks: it was straight from the heart.
“I hope that they learn that they still have a community of people who will support them no matter what happens,” she said.
For now, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays students will attend classes virtually. Like a normal day, the hours are filled with activities and homework.
“I tried to bring our class fish home,” Walsh-Little said. “I brought my easel and teaching materials. I just wanted to try and make it as comforting for the kids as possible so that they could feel like they were connected this way.”
City schools has partnered with “Knowledge on the Go” to give video lessons from “Great Minds,” a public benefit corporation that provides curricula to students nationwide. They are also using a new set of distance learning packets each week for students to download on their distance learning webpage.
Each Monday, students can pick up work packets at the district’s 18 meals sites.
While the changes mean learning can go on, Walsh-Little said it’s definitely not the same as seeing her students’ smiling faces each day.
“I really miss not being one-on-one with them in the classroom. That’s the hardest part,” she said. “I’ve already started some online sessions with them and the minute I saw them that’s when I really knew how much I missed them.”
Principal Bernarda Kwaw is proud of this textbook example of teamwork making the launch of online learning possible.
Despite that, there are challenges.
“We’re concerned about the number of students that don’t have access to devices and/or the internet,” Kwaw said. “So many of our teachers have gone above and beyond and have gone so far as to deliver learning packets to students that aren’t able to get to the nearby meal sites.”
There’s no way to tell how the curriculum will be impacted until in-person classes resume, but right now students and families know that whether on Wi-Fi or in spirit, they’re all connected.
“Everyone is working to grow and make sure that we’re meeting students’ needs,” Kwaw said.
Principal Gaither Wins Heart of the School Award
By Mya Hodge, HR/Development Associate, BCP
 Congratulations to Wolfe Street Academy’s (WSA) Principal Mark Gaither. He is a 2020 recipient of the Fund for Educational Excellence’s Heart of the SchoolAward. Principal Gaither has led WSA for the past 15 years, transforming the school from one deemed “in need of improvement” by the State of Maryland to one of the highest performing schools in the district. Under Mr. Gaither’s leadership, WSA earned an historic 8 year charter renewal in January, the first of its kind in Maryland. Furthermore, WSA had Baltimore City’s 2 nd  highest elementary school score under the Maryland State Department of Education’s 4 star rating system. The Baltimore Curriculum Project would like to express our deep gratitude to Principal Gaither and his talented staff for making Wolfe Street Academy a truly wonderful place for children.
Amazing Things at HHA
By Geri Swann, HHA Community School Coordinator
Let’s pause for a moment and recognize the incredible accomplishments of the 100 HHA staff members, 850 students, and nearly 2,000 family members who make it all possible.  
  • We safely distributed Chromebooks to hundreds of students.
 
  • We helped countless families get connected to the Internet and to log on to virtual Google Classrooms.
  
  • 95% of our students are connected to remote learning.
 
  • Many staff participated in live academic coach classes.  
 
  • Countless social-emotional connections are made through live and recorded sessions with teachers.

  • Our staff meets weekly as small teams and as a whole faculty.

  • Ms. Kannam held a Book Fair amidst a pandemic that raised $5,000; half went to sending books to HHA children and half for new additions to our library at school.

  • Ms.  Durkin started the Hive@Hive Online Play Festival.
 
  • The PTO and Ms. Butcher put together an Art Fundraiser (Square One Art).
 
  • The HHA community raised more than $17,000 in two weeks for HHA families in need. 
 
  • Our staff distributed grocery cards to those in need.
 
  • We held an HHA Spirit Week.  

  • There have been live Leaders Go Places (LGP) Community Circles with dozens of middle school students and teachers sharing time with each other.
 
  • We hosted regular Chat with Matt meetings with 45-80 parents to share information and answer questions.
 
  • We posted dozens of videos of children’s books read by staff (“Storytime” on our website) and provided many types of information to families through Remind, See Saw, Dojo, Chat, www.hha47.org, Facebook, the HHA Herald and so on.
 
  • Some of our clubs such as Green Leaders, Debate and Girl Scouts continue to meet via Zoom.   

  • The PTO carried on with a Zoom meeting along with the planned monthly Tutti Gusti night.