Baltimore Curriculum Project July 2018 Newsletter
In this issue:
  • City Springs Principal Rhonda Richetta Named JHU School of Education Distinguished Alumna
  • Surgeon for a Day: City Springs Partners with Johns Hopkins Medicine to Explore Medical Careers
  • Frederick Elementary Students Visit Junior Achievement BizTown
  • Introducing New Govans Elementary Principal Bernarda Kwaw
  • HHA Teacher Christina Luthers Receives Hopkins Excellence Award
  • Under Armour Supports "Leaders Go Places" at Hampstead Hill Academy
  • Support Wolfe Street Academy's Outstanding Teachers
City Springs Principal Rhonda Richetta Named JHU School of Education Distinguished Alumna
Rhonda Richetta, EdD, Principal of City Springs Elementary/Middle School, accepted the Johns Hopkins University School of Education's Distinguished Alumnus Award at the School of Education's graduation ceremony on May 23, 2018.

Dr. Richetta has served as principal of City Springs for ten years. Her leadership and use of Restorative Practices over the past decade has received broad acclaim for success in transforming school climate and reducing suspensions. City Springs has received local and national recognition for its restorative practices and positive school climate.

Dr. Richetta was named a Baltimore City Public School Transformational Principal in 2015, recognized by the district for going above and beyond the call of duty to profoundly and successfully transform the lives of their students, teachers, partners and the community that surrounds them. She is also a frequent speaker on school administration for her fellow educators at events such as the Baltimore Curriculum Project's annual Professional Development Conference.

Dr. Richetta is active in her community as a member of the Jonestown Planning Council and the Little Italy Community Association in Baltimore. Before becoming the principal of City Springs, Richetta was first a special education teacher, and then the special education department head for BCPS. She holds an MS in Education and certificates in School Administration and Supervision and Effective Teaching of Reading from JHU, as well as a Doctorate in Education Leadership, Management, and Policy from Seton Hall University.
Surgeon for a Day: City Springs Partners with Johns Hopkins Medicine to Explore Medical Careers
Johns Hopkins Medicine's Adopt-a-Class/Career Day Program introduces fourth graders at local elementary schools to hospital careers and expands their knowledge of career choices in general.

Staff and faculty from different Johns Hopkins departments are assigned to fourth grade classrooms at each school.

Once a month from October through March the teams visit the same classroom and deliver a one-hour presentation on healthcare-related topics and careers like surgery, nursing, and primary care.
Mr. Nebbia’s class at City Springs Elemtnary/Middle School was fortunate enough to participate in this program this past school year, and they wrapped up the year with a trip to Johns Hopkins Hospital to learn about working in a professional health care setting.

They toured the hospital; visited the kitchen where patients' meals are prepared; and performed "surgery” on a stuffed doll. The best part was going to the roof and walking onto the helipad, the giant landing pad for Johns Hopkins Medicine's Medevac 10 emergency helicopter. It was a day that they will never forget.
(Top Photo: Mr. Nebbia’s students enjoy the scenic view of Baltimore from the helipad. Bottom photo: the students suit up for surgery.)
Frederick Elementary Students Visit Junior Achievement BizTown
Sixty-six students from Frederick Elementary visited JA (Junior Achievement) BizTown to participate in a "micro-economy" on May 16, 2018.

JA BizTown is a 10,000 square-foot simulated city in Owings Mills where fourth through sixth graders experience hands-on workplace, business, and personal finance challenges.

“Junior Achievement was excited to once again host Frederick Elementary in JA BizTown this school year," said Sam Hodapp, Regional Director at Junior Achievement of Central Maryland.

"Seeing the kids experience their first day ‘on the job’ is always wonderful to see. Students take their jobs very seriously and often we have to tell them to take their lunch break even though they want to just keep working. Junior Achievement is enthusiastic to continue and grow our partnership with Frederick Elementary and Baltimore Curriculum Project for the 2018-19 school year.”

Prior to visiting Biztown, the students completed twelve in-class lessons, which helped them develop a stronger link between what they learn in school and the realities of how our economy works. Teachers then selected a career for each student. Occupations included CEO, CFO, Salesperson, Test Engineer, Mayor, Radio Station DJ, Bank Teller and Foreman.

At Biztown, students spent the day taking on the roles of real-world professionals. The fun, immersive atmosphere developed teamwork, critical thinking, and decision-making skills for each student. 

All BizTown "citizens" opened bank accounts, deposited paychecks, purchased goods, and worked to make their businesses successful. The students loved starting their first job, cashing their first paycheck, and seeing how everyone in a community works together.

BCP and Frederick Elementary would like to thank Junior Achievement for providing this wonderful opportunity for our students. Special thanks to the volunteers from T. Rowe Price, Columbia Bank, and Woodforest Bank for guiding students through the day and for offering their first-hand knowledge and expertise to enhance the students' experiences.
Introducing New Govans Elementary Principal Bernarda Kwaw
After a comprehensive search, the Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) is excited to announce that Bernarda Kwaw will serve as the new Principal of Govans Elementary School. Ms. Kwaw assumed leadership of the school from our beloved retiring principal, Linda Taylor.

We have tremendous confidence in and respect for Ms. Kwaw. She has been an outstanding teacher, instructional coach, and assistant principal at a BCP school. Her children attended a BCP school, and she served briefly on the BCP board of directors until assuming the AP position at Govans in 2015.

BCP selected Ms. Kwaw after conducting a thorough principal selection process. Throughout May and June, a search committee comprised of two parents (one of whom is a BCP board member and a leader of the York Road Partnership), two staff members, the Community School Director, a long-serving BCP principal, and the President and CEO of BCP interviewed qualified candidates. BCP also surveyed the faculty to ascertain what qualities the staff hoped to see in their next leader. After extensive interviews and discussions, the search committee enthusiastically selected Ms. Kwaw.

Ms. Kwaw is well-respected by the current staff at Govans, and had the endorsement of the retiring principal, Linda Taylor. She demonstrated great success in her prior roles, and more importantly, shares a vision for Govans that will serve it well as the school transitions over the next few years into its new 21st Century school building.

BCP will be scheduling a number of community events this summer so that families, neighbors, and other friends of Govans can meet Ms. Kwaw.
HHA Teacher Christina Luthers Receives Hopkins Excellence Award
Christina Luthers, an eighth grade math teacher at Hampstead Hill Academy (HHA), received an Excellence Award at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education's fifth annual Society of Excellence Awards on May 21, 2018.

Excellence Awards are given to outstanding candidates who have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership and collaboration with peers.

The award selection process included a thorough review of Christina's scholarship, achievements, evidence of participation in a Professional Learning Community, evidence of leadership at Urban Teachers and HHA, and overall accomplishments as a teacher and learner.

Christina joined the HHA community in 2016 as the school's first ever Urban Teachers resident. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a double major in Family Science and Psychology, and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Mathematics Education at the Johns Hopkins School of Education.

BCP and HHA would to congratulate Christina on this outstanding achievement.
Under Armour Supports "Leaders Go Places" at Hampstead Hill Academy
BCP and Hampstead Hill Academy would like to thank Under Armour for donating 44 jackets for students who achieved the platinum level in the school's Leaders Go Places (LGP) middle grades leadership program. The jackets were given out at the LGP Recognition Ceremony on April 20, 2018. The students who earned them were so proud. Special thanks to Jeff Breslin, UA's Sr. Manager for Global Philanthropy, for attending the recognition ceremony.

Each year Under Armour teammates dedicate their time and talents to community restoration projects, school renovations, tutoring, coaching, mentoring and many other inspiring causes. Under Armour is equally proud to invest in innovative ideas that strengthen the health & wellness of their shared communities.
Support Wolfe Street Academy's Outstanding Teachers
Wolfe Street Academy (WSA) is a Title I Schoolwide Program where, at any given moment, 40 adults serve 251 PreK-5 students.

Currently the school district estimates that 88% of students live in poverty. Over 63% of the students receive English as a Second Language services, and over 9% receive Special Education services.

WSA is committed to providing quality education for all students and this commitment has launched our students into academic success.

From 2005 to 2014, WSA moved from the 77th highest to the 2nd highest performing elementary school in Baltimore, as measured on the Maryland School Assessment. 

These exceptional academic outcomes are due to a collaborative effort between students, parents, neighbors, and school staff. As a Community School, WSA focuses on engaging parents and empowering them as their children’s primary educators.

In the classrooms, WSA ensures that all teachers provide rigorous, quality instruction designed to meet the academic and socioemotional needs of all students. Our WSA teachers and staff work diligently day in and day out to serve WSA students and their families to the best of their ability. On many days, this is a thankless, yet crucial task.

In the 2018-2019 school year, WSA would like to provide more opportunities for teachers to bond, collaborate, and support one another. Mutual support and positive morale has been shown to boost school climate and culture, making the school environment one that is pleasant for staff to work in and welcoming to students, parents, and community members. 

Due to limited school funding, WSA has had to make difficult choices that often limits the amount of support and teambuilding opportunities we can offer to teachers and staff. WSA is hoping to raise $4,000 to enhance teacher collaboration and morale. Activities will include a staff teambuilding retreat prior to the start of the school year, personalized school uniforms, Teacher Appreciation Week care packages, and other incentives throughout the school year. 

Help us help our staff. Please consider supporting WSA teachers! 

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