Exciting news from the BCP Schools: City Springs Elementary/Middle School,
Frederick Elementary,  Govans Elementary, Hampstead Hill Academy and Wolfe Street Academy.

February 2018 Newsletter
In this issue:

Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises
CEO, Baltimore City Public Schools
Tom Hall, Host, Midday on WYPR

We are excited to announce that Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises 
and WYPR Midday Host Tom Hall will compete in the seventh annual Are You Smarter than a BCP 5th Grader? Quiz Show on Thursday, April 19, 2018 from 6:15pm-8:15pm at City Springs Elementary/Middle School.

Find out if they have what it takes to outsmart our fifth graders from City Springs Elementary/Middle, Frederick Elementary, Govans Elementary, Hampstead Hill Academy and Wolfe Street Academy.

Enjoy dinner and a fun-filled quiz show. Onsite parking is available. Seating is limited.  All proceeds will benefit over 2,700 PreK-8 students attending BCP's neighborhood charter schools.

PURCHASE TICKETS AT: http://bit.ly/areyousmarter2018 or call 410-675-7000.
Alumnus Lorenzo Simpson Returns with an Inspirational Message
Reprinted with permission from the City Springs Elementary/Middle School Newsroom

Aspiring professional boxer Lorenzo 'Truck' Simpson is currently one of the most celebrated amateur fighters in the nation, with two Junior Olympics accolades, six National Silver Gloves titles, and aspirations to compete professionally in the 2020 Olympics.

Lorenzo is also a City Springs alumnus, having graduated 8th grade in 2014. As you can imagine, we at City Springs are absolutely brimming with pride over Lorenzo's accomplishments, and we were thrilled when he recently returned to City Springs with an inspirational message about how this school helped him become such an amazing young man!

At a special assembly, Lorenzo took to the stage to tell his story, detailing how he discovered boxing at a young age and started training under famed coach Calvin Ford.

Although Lorenzo quickly demonstrated an aptitude for the sport, he initially kept his skills secret from his peers because he didn't want other students to think he would bully them. In fact, his  classmates  did not learn about his hidden talents until he won a national junior championship in the 4th grade and Dr. Richetta proudly showed off his championship belt to the entire school at our morning assembly!

Lorenzo strongly encouraged our students to take their schoolwork seriously and  listen  to their teachers, insisting that school and boxing helped ground him during his  childhood . He also thanked several teachers by name, shouting out Ms. Pieters and Mr. McGee for inspiring him to always work his hardest.

After Lorenzo spoke, several students were chosen to approach the mic and ask him questions. "What other countries have you been to? What do you have to do to turn professional?" Lorenzo graciously answered each question, then wrapped up the assembly and transitioned with the students to the gymnasium. There, some of Lorenzo's boxing trainers chose students from the crowd and demonstrated different boxing stances and punches and ran some boxing drills.

City Springs thanks Lorenzo for taking time out of his busy training to share his inspiring story with our students!

Click or tap the picture to  watch  a  video  of Lorenzo running drills with his trainer.  Also, click or tap here to read an excellent article from Vice about Lorenzo's journey.

World Read Aloud Day at Frederick Elementary

Sgt. Clyde Boatwright read "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs" by Jon Scieszka.
Hundreds of Frederick Elementary students had the opportunity to listen to stories  read by teachers and special guests during World  Read  Aloud Day on February 1, 2018.

Sgt. Clyde Boatwright, President of the Baltimore City Public Schools Police Union,  read "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs" by Jon Scieszka. After the  reading, he talked with students about his career as a police officer.

Ms. Elen Sheares, retired N.Y.P.D. and AARP Experience Corps Maryland Team Leader, read "Young Thurgood Marshall: Fighter for Equality" by Eric Carpenter to a third grade class, in honor of Black History Month.

Litworld, a global literacy non-profit, created World  Read  Aloud Day to encourage reading aloud to kids of all ages. Every year, on World Read Aloud Day, people all around the globe read aloud together and share stories to advocate for literacy as a human right that belongs to all people.

Ms. Elen Sheares, AARP Experience Corps Maryland Team Leader, read "Young Thurgood Marshall: Fighter for Equality" by Eric Carpenter.
ing  aloud is woven into the curriculum at Frederick Elementary and other Baltimore Curriculum Project schools. In 2014,  BCP piloted the Core Knowledge Language Arts curriculum in order to build student background knowledge and vocabulary.

The curriculum includes authentic fiction and nonfiction texts that teachers read aloud. These texts are grouped in knowledge domains that create interactive opportunities to question, discuss and share ideas centered on text. The curriculum ensures that students are well prepared when they transition from learning to read to reading to learn.

Frederick Elementary and BCP would like to thank the following people for participating in World Read Aloud Day:

Sgt. Clyde Boatwright (President, Baltimore City Public Schools Police Union),  Laura Doherty (CEO, Baltimore Curriculum Project),  Harold S. Henry, Jr. (Principal, Frederick Elementary), Tetra Jackson (Assistant Principal, Frederick Elementary), Marvelyn Johnson (Academic Coach, Baltimore Curriculum Project),  Jon McGill (Director of Academic Affairs, Baltimore Curriculum Project), Shannon Call (IEP Chair, Frederick Elementary),  Elen Sheares (AARP Experience Corps Team Leader),  Charmaine Turner (Math Lead, Frederick Elementary), and  Sabrina Wiggins, Bon Secours Community Works Community School Coordinator).
Frederick Elementary Professional Development Day
Govans Robotics Team Takes Fourth Place at Regional Competition

LET'S GO Boys and Girls provides the after school STEM curriculum, teacher training, and on-site support. The LET'S GO program  introduces students to increasingly advanced STEM topics that build on each other from year to year. Engineering concepts are introduced through the LEGO Machines and Mechanisms curriculum in Kindergarten, first and second grade.

WeDo 2.0 is a hands-on activity that ignites students' curiosity, while enhancing their skills in science, engineering, technology, and coding in second and third grade.  Fourtth graders gain new knowledge by learning how to build and program a robotic vehicle with the LEGO EV3 robotics activity.

Students in all grades use the LET'S GO hands on science curricula to learn how to work in teams and explore science topics while engaging in hands-on minds-on science labs.  All this culminates with students in fifth grade participating on the FIRST LEGO League team.
FIRST LEGO League challenges youth to think like scientists and engineers. During the HYDRO DYNAMICS season, teams choose and solve a real-world problem in the project. They also build, test, and program an autonomous robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS technology to solve a set of missions in the Robot Game. Throughout their experience, teams operate under the FIRST LEGO League signature set of Core Values, celebrating discovery, teamwork, and Gracious Professionalism.

BCP would like to congratulate these students on their outstanding achievement. Special thanks to the Maryland State Department of Education for funding BCP's 21st Century Community Learning Center at Govans Elementary and LET'S GO Boys and Girls for supporting the STEM program.

To learn more about First Lego League visit FIRST in Maryland at:  https://firstinmaryland.org

About LET'S GO Boys and Girls
Founded in 2009 by Dr. Clark "Corky" Graham, LET'S GO Boys and Girls, Inc. (LET'S GO) set out to increase the number of STEM professionals from urban underserved communities by engaging and supporting elementary and middle school students through the STEM education pipeline. LET'S GO partners with schools and youth organizations interested in offering STEM to their students and provide the materials, training, and support necessary to implement fun, hands-on STEM curricular activities. http://www.letsgoboysandgirls.com/
National History Day at Hampstead Hill Academy
Reprinted from the February 2018 HHA News Magazine: http://bit.ly/hhanews-feb18

Student presentation on "Ronald Reagan and the Berlin Wall."
The first Annual Hampstead Hill Academy (HHA) National History Day (NHD) Project Fair was a smashing success.

Every HHA middle school student who takes honors social studies, is required to participate in NHD, a nationally recognized program designed to foster research, presentation, and writing skills that our students will need in high school, college and on the job.

More than 25 judges were invited to discuss and grade the projects. Every judge, including a school board member, the president of a foundation, business leaders, former HHA students, and staff came away impressed with the student work.

The NHD theme this year was "conflict and compromise." Student-selected topics included The 19th Amendment: Giving Women the Vote; the Battle of Midway in World War II; and Immigrants: the Chinese in California during the Gold Rush.

Four of HHA's top performing groups will go to the district-wide competition and, hopefully, to the Maryland State competition.

BCP and HHA would like to thank the following people for serving as NHD judges:

Student presentation on "Jackie Robinson Breaking the Color Barrier."
Cassandra Bailey (Assistant Principal, HHA),
Muriel Berkeley (Founder, Baltimore Curriculum Project and Baltimore City School Board Member),  Tony Berry (Specialized Tutor, HHA),  Meg Bollard (Special Educator, HHA),  John Braddock (Multimedia Technician, Johns Hopkins University),  Jen Burt (STEAM Enrichment Tutor, HHA),  Nathan Cappallo (STEAM Enrichment Tutor, HHA),  Laura Doherty (CEO, Baltimore Curriculum Project),  Maritza Dominguez (Site Director, Living Classrooms Patterson Park House ),  Ian Haupt (Special Educator, HHA),  Mike Kuethe (Outreach Assistant, Maryland Humanities),  Lea Ferguson (Vice President, Inspiration, Thread),  Mark Fetting (Friend of HHA),  Joe Francaviglia (Director of Partnerships, Strong Schools Maryland),  Laura Guitian (Director of Enrichment, HHA),  Nora Hogan (Academic Coach, HHA),  Sarah Hohman (Special Educator, HHA),  John Jewitt  (Manager, Social Science and History Department, Enoch Pratt Free Library),  Peter Kannam (Senior Advisor, America Achieves and Baltimore City School Board Member),  Andy Keiser (Principal, Navigators Global),  Jackie Korycki (Substitute Teacher, HHA),  Grace Leatherman (Maryland History Day Outreach Coordinator, Maryland Humanities),  Sarah D. Manekin, PhD (Director of Research & Publications, The Abell Foundation),  Abby Markoe (Executive Director, SquashWise),  Jon McGill (Director of Academic Affairs, Baltimore Curriculum Project),  Steve McGuire (Group Manager, M&T Bank),  Kristen Miller (Administrative Coordinator, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics),  Ellie O'Connor (5th Grade Teacher, HHA),  John Paz (Assistant Principal, HHA),  Anne Perkins (Baltimore Curriculum Project Board Member),  Ramona Piskor  (Administrative Assistant, HHA),  Toby Pitts  (Baltimore Curriculum Project Board Member),  Michael Rennard  (GAL Coordinator, The CJR School),  Devon Ritchie (Family and Community Engagement Coordinator, Living Classrooms Patterson Park House),   Shanaysha Sauls, PhD (CEO, Baltimore Community Foundation and Baltimore City School Board Member), Darryl Smith (CEO, Create a Truly Rich Life) Georgie Smith (Friend of HHA),  Katie Steinhardt  (5th Grade Teacher), and  Megan Trainer (Academic Coach, HHA).

Special thanks to middle school teachers Jason Farber, Kat Locke-Jones and Amy Kosmer for working with more than 240 students to produce such great projects and to the Middle School Academic Coach Carey Fetting-Smith for supporting teachers and serving as lead on the project fair! 
Legg Mason Awards BCP Generous Grant to Support Programming at Hampstead Hill and Wolfe Street Academy

Legg Mason has awarded BCP a generous grant to support Patterson Park Audubon Center programming for Hampstead Hill Academy and Wolfe Street Academy, and a new Mindfulness program at Wolfe Street Academy.

Patterson Park Audubon Center Progam

HHA students explore nature with Patterson Park Audubon Center.
Legg Mason has supported the Audubon program at Hampstead Hill Academy every year since 2002 and we are excited to be able to bring the program to Wolfe Street Academy. The  Patterson Park Audubon Center (PPAC) engages children in local wildlife exploration in their outdoor "classroom," teaching them the skills needed to protect and expand native habitat near their  homes  and schools, while addressing elementary science and core standards.

PPAC's staff and volunteers guide students in Pre-K through 3rd grade through multiple visits wherein they experience hands-on immersive lessons on the life, earth, and physical sciences, as well as engineering,  technology , and applications of science. An upper-elementary after-school program dives deeper into avian life in the park and our connection to the Chesapeake Bay, while a middle school after-school program, called Green Leaders, focuses on climate communication and leadership.

To learn more about PPAC visit: http://pattersonpark.audubon.org

Wolfe Street Academy Mindfulness Program

During the first week of October 2017, Wolfe Street Academy launched a new Mindfulness Program and opened the doors to its new "Mindfulness Room." The Mindfulness Room provides a space where both students and staff may take a moment to reflect, recenter, and re-focus during the school day.

An MSW Intern from the University of Maryland School of Social Work works with a student in the Mindfulness Room at Wolfe Street Academy.
When students visit the Mindfulness Room, staff guide them through various mindfulness practices such as deep breathing, guided meditation, using a stress ball, coloring, and yoga. These mindfulness practices help students calm down after they have experienced a conflict in the classroom and teach students new coping skills and strategies.

Targeted groups of students who have challenges with classroom behavior and self-regulation participate in weekly 15-minute mindfulness sessions, which are scheduled before 12:00pm. The students learn a new mindfulness skill during each session and talk about how and when they can use the skill when they feel agitated at school and at home.

Skills include de-escalation techniques, non-violent communication, self-regulation, and breathing techniques. The goal is to equip the most challenging students with the tools they need to "graduate" from the mindfulness room. Once one group graduates, the next group will be cycled through.

The Mindfulness Room is open daily for teacher referrals from 12:00pm - 2:00pm. During these hours, teachers can send students who are having a hard time to the room to calm down and reset. These hours were chosen because teachers communicated that 12:00pm-2:00pm is the toughest time of the day for student behavior.

The Mindfulness Room is staffed by Leah Beachley, Wolfe Street's University of Maryland School of Social Work Community School Coordinator, and three Masters of Social Work interns who have been thoroughly trained in mindfulness. When students visit the mindfulness room, facilitators can choose from a variety of tools including:
  • Yoga Pretzels Card - Illustrated cards that teach the basics of yoga and mindfulness through bending, twisting, breathing, and relaxing;
  • Breathing Cards - Breathing exercises such as animal breaths and belly breaths;
  • Guided meditation such as "Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents)" - An introduction to mindfulness meditation for children and their parents includes practices that can help children calm down, become more focused, fall asleep more easily, alleviate worry, manage anger, and generally become more patient and aware; and
  • Contemplative coloring using mandala coloring books 

Thank you Legg Mason

BCP would like to thank Legg Mason for this generous grant and for their longstanding partnership. Over the years Legg Mason has supported many innovative programs for the BCP schools including: the Bridges String Instrument Program at Wolfe Street Academy, City Springs Athletic Field, Govans Parent Engagement Initiative, BCP Academic Coach Training Program, and Hampstead Hill's Early Learning Wing renovation.

To learn more about community giving and volunteerism at Legg Mason visit:
Baltimore Curriculum Project | 410-675-7000 | bcpinfo@baltimorecp.org | www.baltimorecp.org