BCP January 2018 Newsletter
In this issue:

  • Rebecca Hoffberger, Sheilah Kast, Julia Marciari-Alexander and Alicia Wilson to Compete in "Are You Smarter than a BCP 5th Grader?"
  • Unity is Power at City Springs Elementary/Middle School
  • Frederick Elementary Launches "Attendance Counts"
  • Hampstead Hill Academy Hosts Visit with Principal Gertrude Williams
  • The New Govans Elementary School Building is Right Around the Corner
  • Legg Mason Supports Govans Elementary, Hampstead Hill Academy and Wolfe Street Academy

Rebecca Hoffberger, Sheilah Kast, Julia Marciari-Alexander and Alicia Wilson to Compete in Are You Smarter than a BCP 5th Grader?
Will the BCP 5th Graders from City Springs Elementary/Middle, Frederick Elementary, Govans Elementary, Hampstead Hill Academy and Wolfe Street Academy outsmart:

  • Rebecca Hoffberger, President and Founder, American Visionary Art Museum;

  • Sheilah Kast, Host of On The Record, WYPR 88.1FM;

  • Julia Marciari-Alexander, Executive Director & CEO, The Walters Art Museum; and

  • Alicia Wilson, Senior Vice President of Impact Investments, Port Covington Impact Investments.

Find out at the eighth annual Are You Smarter than a BCP 5th Grader? Quiz Show Gala on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 at the American Visionary Art Museum.

Enjoy a fun-filled quiz show, dinner and a cash bar. Actor and comedian Bob Heck will serve as MC.

Tickets: $25
Purchase online at: http://bit.ly/areyousmarter2019

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Email bcpinfo@baltimorecp.org.
Unity is Power at City Springs Elementary/Middle School
Reprinted from the City Springs Newsroom
It is becoming increasingly important for all of us to understand cultures outside of our own.

At City Springs, we want our middle school students to be well-rounded citizens who are knowledgeable about the world outside of their community.

Developing the skills to interact with people from different backgrounds and learning a new language can expand a student's view of the world and him or herself.

This is one reason why our middle school students are required to take a class in one foreign language before going to high school. 

Several of the students in Mr. Pullen’s class speak Arabic as their first language and know very little English. In order to facilitate the communication process between our Arabic-speaking and English-speaking students (as well as the teacher), the Arabic-speaking students have been learning English.

They have been using Duolingo, a free but powerful (and fun) language-learning program that effectively teaches the basics of conversing in a foreign language. Duolingo offers courses in a variety of languages, and our Arabic-speaking students have been learning basic English nouns, verbs, adjectives, and key phrases.

Whenever they complete a lesson, the students are asked to articulate some of their newly acquired skills. Mr. Pullen has noticed some very promising progress!

Next quarter, the English-speaking students will also be using Duolingo to learn the basics of Arabic. This will be an exciting challenge which will allow them to communicate with the Arabic-speaking students in the class, in addition to providing them with a new set of communication skills. 
Frederick Elementary Launches "Attendance Counts"
Frederick Elementary School (FES) officially kicked off its new attendance initiative, Attendance Counts, with a pep rally on January 11, 2019.

Increasing overall student attendance is a priority this school year. FES provides rigorous academic instruction, engaging enrichment activities, and family supports in a warm and welcoming environment; however, students can only derive the maximum benefit from these services if they attend school on a regular basis.

Attendance Counts is a multi-prong strategy that includes data collection and review; school-wide student and teacher incentives; phone calls and letters to parents; parent meetings; and home visits.

In November, FES established an Attendance Improvement and Monitoring Team to: (1) review attendance data during bi-weekly meetings; (2) develop a school-wide strategy for increasing student achievement; (3) develop and implement a school-wide incentive strategy; (4) communicate with staff; (5) coordinate student interventions; (6) connect families in need with community resources; and (7) work with the Instructional Leadership Team to gather data on attendance-related challenges.

Teachers serve as the "first line of defense" when addressing attendance issues. After identifying why students are not in school, teachers reach out to Frederick's Bon Secours Community Works Community School Coordinator and the Instructional Leadership Team. Teachers follow a protocol that escalates the response to unexcused absences as these absences mount.

By providing a continuum of supports ranging from school-wide incentives to home visits, Attendance Counts provide the appropriate intervention for the specific level of need.

FES hasn't forgotten the vital role parents play in supporting high attendance. On Friday mornings, parents whose children have attended school every day that week will enjoy pastries and coffee provided by the school.
The New Govans Elementary School Building is Right Around the Corner
Govans Elementary will be getting a new 21st Century School building in the not-too-distant future.

The project will break ground this summer and the new building is scheduled to open in 2021.

The three-floor facility will include a media center, science lab, music room, gymnasium, and more. USA Architects and Keller Construction Management are leading the project.

During construction, students and teachers will relocate to swing space in the former Chinquapin Middle School building on Woodbourne Avenue.

City Schools will provide yellow bus transportation to Chinquapin, and Govans will share the building with Medfield Heights, an elementary school serving around 380 students in Northwest Baltimore. Govans and Medfield are currently planning a community event to bring the Govans and Medfield communities together.

Govans is the second BCP school to be part of the 21st Century School Buildings Program. Frederick Elementary became a BCP school and opened the doors to its new facility in 2017.

"If Frederick Elementary is any indication, the students and teachers are going to love the new Govans facility," said BCP President and CEO Laura Doherty.

For more information about the 21st Century School Buildings Program visit: https://baltimore21stcenturyschools.org/schools/400
Hampstead Hill Academy Hosts Visit with Principal Gertrude Williams
Reprinted from the Hampstead Hill Academy January 2019 Parent News Magazine
HHA Principal Matt Hornbeck was honored to host legendary Principal Gertrude Williams for a recent visit with administrators, coaches and staff, as well as a tour of classrooms.

Principal Williams served as a teacher, counselor, assistant principal and principal for nearly 50 years.

At 91, she is sharp as a tack. She greeted students on the green top and then twice walked all three floors of the school.

Principal Williams made keen comments on our instructional practices and offered great
feedback for staff.

In her opinion, HHA is “clearly an A+ plus school.” You can learn more about this fierce advocate for children from her book Education As My Agenda.

Here is a summary of the book: “When Gertrude Williams retired in 1998, after forty-nine years in the Baltimore public schools, the Baltimore Sun called her 'the most powerful of principals' who 'tangled with two superintendents and beat them both.'"

"In this oral memoir, Williams identifies the essential elements of sound education and describes the battles she waged to secure those elements, first as teacher, then a counselor, and for twenty-five years, as principal."

"She also described her own education - growing up black in a largely white Germantown, Pennsylvania; studying black history and culture for the first time at Cheyney State Teachers College; and meeting the rigorous demands of the program which she graduated from in 1949."

"In retracing her career, Williams examines the highs and lows of urban public education since World War II. She is at once an outspoken critic and spirited advocate of the system to which she devoted her life.”

To purchase her book, visit https://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9780312295431.
Legg Mason Supports Govans Elementary, Hampstead Hill Academy and Wolfe Street Academy
Legg Mason recently awarded the Baltimore Curriculum Project a generous grant to support enrichment programming at Hampstead Hill Academy (HHA) and Wolfe Street Academy (WSA).

Audubon Program at Hampstead Hill Academy

Since 2002, Legg Mason has supported Patterson Park Audubon Center programming for Hampstead Hill Academy. Most HHA students would not have access to these kinds of hands-on, experiential enrichment opportunities without Legg Mason’s support.

This recent grant will support the continuation of this important program, which (1) improves literacy by increasing student vocabulary, knowledge and understanding of the natural world; (2) reinforces related science and humanities content learned in school; and (3) increases routine student contact with the natural world.

Last school year, through multiple visits with an Audubon instructor, over 300 HHA students engaged in hands-on immersive lessons on the life, earth, and physical sciences, as well as engineering, technology, and applications of science.

Students experienced 90-minute outdoor lessons in the fall and spring, plus a one-hour winter indoor lesson to bridge the two field experiences. Teachers were provided with two extension lessons designed to help students bring what they learned into their homes, schools, and communities.

Wolfe Street Academy Mindfulness Program

Last school year Legg Mason also supported Wolfe Street Academy's new Mindfulness Program and Mindfulness Room; a space where both students and staff may take a moment to reflect, re-center, and re-focus during the school day.

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 12:00 pm. 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 overall goal of the mindfulness room is to redirect students who would be typically sent to the office and provide them with a calming space to decompress.

This grant will support the continuation and refinement of WSA's Mindfulness Program.

Bridges String Instrument Program

This grant will also support the Bridges string instrument program at Wolfe Street Academy. WSA provides a well-rounded program that includes solid academics, the arts, physical education and an award-winning after school program; however, WSA families cannot afford to provide extra-curricular experiences for their children such as private music and art lessons. These kinds of experiences increase vocabulary, content knowledge and support academic and overall youth development. It is imperative for student success that WSA provide this type of programming.

Bridges, a program of MAESTRO Ensembles, will provide violin, viola or cello lessons and an orchestra experience for up to 36 students. Lessons are taught by trained, qualified teachers. Bridges supplies all necessary instruments and study materials and students will participate in at least one public performance.

Legg Mason Volunteer Event at Govans Elementary

Nearly 20 volunteers from Legg Mason volunteered with the After School program, part of BCP's 21st Century Community Learning Center at Govans, on December 6, 2018. The volunteers engaged in STEM and other enrichment activities with students in grades K-5.

Thank you

BCP, Govans Elementary, HHA and WSA would like to thank Legg Mason for everything they do to support our students!
Baltimore Curriculum Project | 410.675.7000 | bcpinfo@baltimorecp.org | www.baltimorecp.org