Are you a parent with a school-aged child looking for ways to make a difference in his or her education? We urge you to join us for the DBFA and Greater Homewood Community Corporation’s Parents for Public Schools Summit, taking place Wednesday, May 22, at 8:30 a.m. at Breath of God Church in Highlandtown.
This inaugural summit will focus on equipping parents with strategies to support their public schools. Topics will include:
How to raise $30,000 for your school with a single event
Art, music, and sports – How to make sure your school educates and enriches
The five secrets of successful after-school programming
North Avenue – Navigating your way to Central Office resources
Why families leave a school… and how you can stop them
We’ll share success stories of effective school-family-community partnerships around the city and the country and hold roundtable discussions on such topics as fundraising, building community partnerships, and taking the first steps to support a school.
This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to get involved in supporting their local school.
Please click here for more details and/or to register for this free event.
From my inbox:
Monday, May 6, 2013
Dear City Schools Partners and Friends,
I am writing to you today to let you know that at the end of the current school year, I will retire and leave Baltimore City Public Schools and this great city to return to my home in New Jersey to care for my aging parents and begin an academic position at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. It has not been an easy decision, because what we have accomplished together in recent years has been both important and extremely gratifying to me, professionally and personally. But life presents us with seasons, and it is time now for me to shift my focus.
I want to thank the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners for the opportunity to help lead this era of reform in City Schools and for its commitment to transformational change. But without your dedication to our kids, your incredibly hard work and your willingness to join me on this reform journey, we would not be where we are today, proud of many successes and poised to usher in the biggest reforms yet for our kids and the district.
With the recent passage of legislation that provides funding for our 10-year buildings plan—which could not have happened without you—the work to provide 21st-century buildings for our students is moving full-steam ahead. And we have laid the groundwork to roll out new academic standards next year, along with support and evaluation systems for teachers and school leaders to ensure the best possible teaching and learning for all of our teachers and students in every classroom, in every school. This next chapter in the transformation of our district will be the most critical yet, and I know you will continue to partner with City Schools to make sure it does its best work on behalf of our kids.
Starting July 1, City Schools Chief of Staff Tisha Edwards will serve as interim CEO throughout the 2013-14 school year, while the Board of School Commissioners conducts a search for a permanent CEO. Ms. Edwards has provided exceptional energy and leadership in the past several years, leading the implementation of key reforms and overseeing the day-in and day-out work of running the district. In partnership with you and our Board members and staff, she will build on the work we all started together. For the district’s formal announcement and statement regarding the transition, please see today’s press release.
Transitions can be hard, and they can be disruptive. But this is a timely transition; it is the right time for me, and it is the right time for the district. The district is poised for a new level of reform. Coupled with our clear focus on kids and the strength of current leadership, this momentum makes me confident the transition also will be a smooth one. I am handing my work over to an extraordinary individual who has worked alongside me for more than five years, to a great team here at the district office, to a supportive Board that understands the critical role of leadership throughout the district, to teachers and administrators who serve our kids in heroic ways every day and to an entire community—from our political leaders and fellow agencies to our advocates and parents—that continues to rally in support of the work we all have done together.
You have been essential to the progress of the last six years, and on behalf of City Schools, I thank you for your unwavering commitment to our students and their futures. I look forward to working with you for the next couple of months and to cheering from a distance as you continue to support and help guide City Schools in its work to ensure the success of our 85,000 tremendous kids.
Andrés A. Alonso, Ed.D.
CEO, Baltimore City Public Schools
Press conference will be live streamed at 1 p.m., here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/education-channel-77
Build Schools. Build Neighborhoods.SENATE BUDGET COMMITTEE PASSES THE BALTIMORE CITY SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION BILL UNANIMOUSLY!We’re one step closer to achieving $1 billion for city school teachers, students, and neighborhoods!After winning a 107-30 vote in the MD House of Delegates last week, the Senate Budget and Tax Committee unanimously passed the Baltimore City School Construction bill today. Not only have we succeeded in getting more than a super majority of the votes, we are also getting significant bipartisan support.But our work is NOT DONE. The full Senate has to pass the bill before the Governor can sign it into law. The Senate floor vote could happen this week – we will send out a message asking you to join us to witness this historic event.We are also meeting with senators right now, leading up to this critical vote. If you are able to make calls or join us in Annapolis, please let us know!A HUGE THANKS to all of our partners – Baltimore Education Coalition, ACLU of Maryland, BUILD, Greater Homewood, CHAI, CLIA, Child First Authority, Baltimore Curriculum Project, Advocates for Children and Youth, the Baltimore Teacher Union, American Federation of Teachers, KIPP, Reservoir Hill Improvement Council, City Neighbors Charter, Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance, Elev8, Roland Park Parents, Baltimore Community Foundation, Fund for Educational Excellence, League of Women Voters, Seawall Development, Greater Baltimore Committee, Maryland IAF, and many more for being present and active over the past 3 months in Annapolis to move this bill forward.- Transform Baltimore Team
If you’ve been following the fate of the Baltimore City school construction bill, you were probably hoping for closure Wednesday night. The vote has been postponed to give legislators a chance to read the bill. Haven’t read the details yet yourself? Why wait? Download the PDF of HB0860 here. The bill returns to the floor March 21 at 10 a.m.
For national context on the state of the nation’s public school buildings, this article is also worth a look. It explains that a recent report estimates the cost of repairing America’s dilapidated school buildings at half a trillion dollars. Sounds like a whole lot. But in these days after the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, it may be appropriate to note that Americans spent an estimated $1.7 trillion on that effort at nation building.
The time is ripe for nation building at home. Public school buildings are the right place to start.
“I’m so angry, I’m so angry,” I say at breakfast, my calm affect completely at odds with anger as I gently close up the Velcro on my 3-year-old son’s little sneakers.
“Why are you angry?” asks my husband.
“Because the world doesn’t look the way it should,” I say.
“Then let’s make it into a different world,” says my son.
And I give him a big fat kiss on his little round cheek.
Then let’s make it into a different world.
This is why every American who makes a middle class living should care about millionaires’ and billionaires’ dabbling in education reform. Why sequestration is hogwash. Why anyone who tells you there is no money for school buildings or public school teachers or health care or medical benefits is full of it. There is more than enough to go around.
Commence reality check.
For more about the issue, click around:
- Check out this site for all the legislative info you’ll need and ways to show your support: Transform Baltimore
- Preview of tonight’s event: Supporters predict large turnout for schools rally in Annapolis: Baltimore advocates seeking construction funds, Michael Dresser, Baltimore Sun, Feb. 25, 2013
- Yasmene Mumby and Elizabeth Reichelt of the Baltimore Education Coalition on Dan Rodricks: Download the mp3 and start listening around 32:45.
- Alonso: Chances good Baltimore will get block grant, WBAL-TV11 Feb. 22, 2013
Wanna get on a bus? Looks like limited seats are still available on buses leaving from Poly and Northwood Elementary: For emails and phone numbers of bus captains click here: http://www.becforourkids.org/