Welcome and Introductions
Baltimore City Schools Blueprint for Success
Dr Santelieses attended the meeting to discuss where they are with the District’s Blueprint for Success and take questions from the Committee. Focusing on student wholeness and mindfulness—trauma responsive care but also not defining students solely by their trauma, (reinvesting in arts, music, exrtracurricular activities); literacy—there has been a big shift in investing in content rich curriculum and foundational reading supports for kids, created BMore Me curriculum for 6-12 grounded in social studies classes for students to learn more about Baltimore; and leadership. This spring there will be a student run series of BMore Me exhibitions. There has been an uptick in student literacy achievement over the past two years. Vivien T had some of the highest gains. Leadership—have been investing in student leadership as well as in school staff.
Kirwan Commission is committed to ensuring that community schools are robust which has allowed for an increase in community schools in the city over the past school year. Are in full court press time for funding the Kirwan Commission recommendations. Maryland has been flagged as having a regressive approach to school funding despite being one of the wealthiest states in the nation. Still need advocacy work around funding the Kirwan recommendations.
School buildings and facilities—five year plan for AC in every school is still in place and is on track for implementation. Will be able to accelerate if there’s money—have 1/3 of the funding for capital work that Baltimore County and Montgomery County do. Pushing for additional school construction dollars during the next legislative session—will be one of the first bill in the upcoming session.
21st Century Schools—one track, five a year
Jane: what are the metrics for success? A: There are measures tied to student achievement, PARCC/test score data (focus on growth); also ways that investments across the city match the board commitment to equity. Have created resource zones to determine where they are making the investments. For example have expanded Gifted and Advanced Learning sites targeting neighborhoods where there weren’t those programs. Also look at survey and perception data from students/family members
Erika: what is the system’s best attack in terms of enrollment decline? A: 1. Having more schools that provide the kind of learning environments that families want. 2. Need to have real conversations across the district about how small a school is too small. 3. Messaging.
Ivan: heard that need to retain core staff and faculty for three to four years—is this an issue? A: tried to balance the need for stability with the need for urgency around doing the work for kids who will only be in a grade level for one year. Have tried really hard not to turnover large numbers of principals
Kristine: what zone are in? What can we look forward to? A: Sabrina will get us the information on the details
Cynthia: what about accountability for the parents? A: Yes, there does need to be at some level a different level of accountability for some parents and families, but school system ‘gets who they get’—public schools have to serve all children. Big need is that there are so many people who don’t know how to connect with resources out there—big benefit of the community school coordinator. Majority of parents are doing the best they can with where they are. Family Community Engagement Office is working on a guide for families. Also other institutions around the city that they work with on this.
Chuck: from a population health standpoint the best thing to do is to get kids to finish high school. There’s a lot of communication around a strategic communication to undermine Kirwan and how do we fight it? A: Strong Schools Maryland and NCSA are crafting messaging to encourage support Kirwan. One of the things that they’ve found is that people respond well to additional funding for access to career trajectories. The other message that polled well was that across the state people are in support of helping young people living poverty and other stressful conditions are living in. Will stay in contact as talking points become available will share with the community.
Lou: does it bother you that the Kirwan Commission was given the task without a sense of what a sense of the budget—especially for the city aspect of the funding? A: No. The work that still needs to be done is figuring out overall where the money is coming from and then figuring out what portion over time the city can afford. Baltimore City gives the second lowest percentage of its budget to schools in Maryland. Also knows that there are budget items that impact schools and students in city budget.
Quincy: Is there something that those of us that care about education should look for in mayoral candidates? A: look for commitment on making sure that Kirwan passes also hold accountable and ask candidates the same questions and holding people accountable
Lou: talked about school size and getting to tough decisions. There is going to be a new school in the area with 500 seats (Catholic School), poses significant challenges for the rest of the schools in the seven neighborhoods. Seems like there should be a particular focus on the schools in the neighborhood because of the new Catholic School being built. A: Better schooling options and choice is a good thing. Do have to consider the push to accelerate having high quality schooling options within the neighborhood in Southwest, knowing that there is going to be a new high quality option.
Community Schools Update
Have made offers to CSCs at two schools, recommended/final decision made by the principal. Still hiring for Charles Carroll Barrister—please send folks who might be interested to Elizabeth
Project Updates- pushed to next month
Announcements- UMB and Foundry Church will be doing Christmas Store at UMB 12/7 and 12/14 1-4