This summer, City Springs Elementary / Middle School and Hampstead Hill Academy received national funding to address pandemic learning loss this summer. These two BCP charter schools are among the 18 Baltimore charter schools to receive summer 2023 funding from the Bloomberg  Philanthropies. Funding is exclusively for charter schools.

City Springs and Hampstead Hill are excited to be recognized through this unique, national program. The Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Summer Boost program provides funds for high-quality summer learning programs – up to $2,000 per student, K-8 – to charter schools in eight cities this summer: Baltimore, Birmingham, Indianapolis, Memphis, Nashville, New York City, San Antonio, and Washington, D.C.

The program began last summer in New York City in response to COVID-related learning loss, an academic disruption creating significant lost learning opportunities, particularly for low-income students of color. 

The 2022 results of Bloomberg’s program were encouraging: 

  • The percentage of charter school students in the program showing proficiency in math nearly doubled, and in English, it more than doubled.
  • The percentage of students scoring below basic levels of proficiency dropped nearly in half. 

The City Springs and Hampstead principals applied for the funding to address learning loss among their student populations following the COVID-19 pandemic’s remote learning phase and the catch-up all schools are playing to bring student learning back to pre-pandemic levels. “Receiving Summer Boost funding gives Hampstead Hill the post-pandemic opportunity to provide much needed extra time for highest need students to catch up in reading and math,” notes Matt Hornbeck, HHA principal.

A total of 125 students combined were identified for the academic program through test scores. Each school creates its own schedule and curricular approach.

For City Springs, its Summer Boost program is also an opportunity to work with a nonprofit dedicated to expanding the number of Black physicians and healthcare experts. Students in City Springs’ Summer Boost program spend the afternoon immersed in the biomedical STEM curriculum–a pre-med “boot camp”–developed by MedReimagined.

Having funds to provide ongoing academic immersion for our students in the summer and offer unique opportunities to see themselves in the biomedical and healthcare professions are invaluable to our community. Our students are from some of the most underserved communities in Baltimore. Bloomberg funding for this great summer program is a boost to their learning and achievement now and in the future.

Dr. Rhonda Richetta

Principal, City Springs Elementary / Middle School

Laura Doherty, BCP President and CEO, adds: “We’re thrilled that two of our six BCP neighborhood conversion charter schools were recognized in such a distinctive program. Finding innovative ways to help our students bridge their pandemic learning gap is critical to their success. Our educators at City Springs and Hampstead Hill have really created exceptional programs that are making real differences for our students.”

City Springs’ Summer Boost Program

Number of students enrolled: 45

Academic focus: Reading, math, and biomedical STEM program

Program basics: Monday- Thursday from 9am- 2pm


Morning: Reading and Math Lavina Rise Curriculum (75 minutes for each subject with a 10-minute brain break/recess in between)

Afternoon: Med-School Reimagined Biomedical Program with MedReimagined,  a nonprofit committed to creating medical professionals that reflect the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of the patients they will serve. City Springs’ Summer Boost program is using MedReimagined biomedical curriculum and STEM kits to inspire middle school students to careers as physicians.

Hampstead Hill’s Summer Boost Program

Number of students enrolled: 80

Academic focus: Reading, math, Spanish language immersion for K-6

Program basics: Monday-Friday for five weeks


Morning: Reading and math curriculum every morning with recess and breakfast 

Afternoon: Lunch, then Campo STEM, a Spanish Immersion STEM program 


Thank you, Bloomberg Philanthropies, for this incredible opportunity!

About the Baltimore Curriculum Project

Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) is the largest operator of local neighborhood, public charter schools in Maryland. We create safe, supportive learning environments for children PK-8 by providing innovative, research-based educational strategies, intensive teacher training and extensive support for administration and staff. We support our local neighborhood needs by tailoring our resources and support through community partnerships.

As one of the longest-running charter operators in Maryland, our schools are regularly recognized as some of the most highly acclaimed neighborhood charter schools in the state. 

Pimlico Elementary / Middle School

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