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Exciting news from the BCP Schools: City Springs Elementary/Middle School, Govans Elementary School, Hampstead Hill Academy and Wolfe Street Academy.

BCP January 2016 Newsletter
In this issue:
City Springs Receives 5-Year Charter Renewal

BCP is proud to report that the Baltimore City Public Schools Board of School Commissioners recently approved a five-year charter renewal for City Springs Elementary/Middle School from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2021. 

City Springs and BCP would like to thank all of the partners who demonstrated their support for City Springs throughout the charter renewal process: AARP Experience Corps, Albemarle Square Tenant Council, Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Urban Debate League, Beatty Development, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Chesapeake, BioEYES, The Boys' Latin School of Maryland, Business Volunteers Maryland, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Catholic Charities of Baltimore, Child First, Delegate Luke Clippinger, Core Knowledge Foundation, Garrison Forest School, Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance, Family League of Baltimore, Senator Bill Ferguson, Delegate Peter Hammen, Higher Achievement, Holistic Life Foundation, International Institute for Restorative Practices, The Jewish Museum of Maryland, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, Johns Hopkins Medicine East Baltimore Community Affairs, Johns Hopkins University SOURCE, Jonestown Planning Council, KIds-4-K9s, Dr. Joan Kub, Delegate Brooke Lierman, Live Baltimore, Living Classrooms Foundation, Jonathan Manekin, Maryland Book Bank, McKim Center, Medical Decision Logic, Middle Grades Partnership, National Aquarium, National Institute for Direct Instruction, Open Society Institute-Baltimore, Perkins Homes Tenant Council, Pinkard Properties, Pleasant View Gardens Resident Council, Raising a Reader, Resident Advisory Board of HABC, Baltimore City Councilman Carl Stokes, University of Baltimore School of Law Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, USTA/Mid-Atlantic Section, Children and the Courts, Venable LLP Foundation, Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young, and Young Audiences of Maryland, 
BCP Schools are Community Schools

Infographic created by the Family League of Baltimore.
The Family League supports 52 Community Schools in Baltimore City.

Calling all Community School Coordinators: BCP has just unveiled a new Community Schools Resources section on our Resources webpage at: http://baltimorecp.org/resources.html.

BCP has been part of Baltimore's Community Schools Strategy since its inception in 2005. Over the past 10 years, Baltimore City Public Schools and the Family League of Baltimore City have transformed 52 of the district's schools into Community Schools.

With the support of a full-time site coordinator, these schools tap into a network of partnerships between the school and other community resources to promote student achievement and family and community well-being.

An integrated focus on academics, enrichment, health and social supports, youth and community development and family engagement is designed to promote student success, strong families and healthy communities.

Partnerships allow schools to become resources to the community and offer programs and opportunities that are open to all.

All BCP schools are Community Schools that serve neighborhood attendance zones.
BCP would like to thank the Family League and BCPS for supporting this critical initiative.
thinkBCP Educators Think Tank Tackles "Tough Kids"

Thank Tank
Teacher Elena Gagnier demonstrates the "Walking Billboard" strategy.
The guest presenter for this month's BCP Educators Think Tank was Elena Gagnier, a Special Education teacher at City Springs Elementary/Middle School. Ms. Gagnier provided practical and effective classroom strategies for managing "tough kids."

In the photo on the right, she is demonstrating a strategy known as a "Walking Billboard." This strategy allows you to remind students of important information or a useful strategy --- without repeating yourself.

The BCP Educators Think Tank is facilitated by Susan Lattimore and Brenda Kahn, Academic Coaches with the Baltimore Curriculum Project.

This group of dedicated and optimistic educators meet monthly to brainstorm and develop materials to enhance teaching practices.

Teachers benefit from being part of a professional learning community in which current neuro-educational research is shared with the goal of applying proven techniques to enhance student success. Throughout the year, participants assemble a "teaching toolkit," comprised of best practices.

Participants can receive one AU (Achievement Unit) from Baltimore City Public Schools. Returning teachers, like Ms. Gagnier, can receive a second AU for developing leadership skills by co-presenting with the session facilitators.

To learn more about the BCP Teacher Think Tank, please contact Sue Lattimore at wondersue@hotmail.com or Brenda Kahn at bkahn@bcps.k12.md.us.
Hero Lab Helps City Springs Students Unlock Their Inner Hero

Upper School students in Mr. Tiller's Library class at City Springs Elementary/Middle School are unlocking their inner changemakers. During the past three months, students have been building hope, optimism, and purpose by designing "Dream Projects" for the City Springs community.

A Dream Project is a club, event, activity, or resource that would make City Springs an even greater place to be. Students have been working on these Dream Projects with the help of Ms. Siddhi Sundar from The Hero Lab, a non-profit organization that works to build a culture of positivity, possibility, and problem-solving amongst Baltimore's youth.

The Hero Lab has been working with Mr. Tiller for the last three months, teaching positive thinking and project design to our 6th and 7th grade Library students to help them plan out their Dream Projects in small groups. Learning to craft interview questions for school stakeholders, develop project goals, and write proposals and timelines are among the new skills our young change-makers have picked up as they get ready to launch their ideas into action!

After students complete their proposals, students will spend the remainder of the semester presenting their projects to school administration. Ultimately, the will be able to bring their ideas to life and see how optimism, resilience, and purpose can make their schools and communities even greater!
And the winner is... Govans Logo #2
The results are in and the Govans Elementary School Community has voted overwhelmingly in favor of logo #2 as their new school logo. The logo is one of three school logos designed by Live Baltimore as part of a new Live Baltimore marketing program.

Live Baltimore selected Govans to participate in the program this school year, which includes developing a new brand identity, designing a brochure and outreach materials, promoting Govans in the community, and collaborating with BCP to pursue funding for continued marketing activities.

Live Baltimore envisions strong and thriving neighborhoods, where families benefit from meaningful community connections and enthusiastically enroll in their zoned elementary schools. The "destination school" model that BCP has fostered, especially at Hampstead Hill Academy, is one that must be replicated for this vision to become a reality.

Live Baltimore has found from research that high-performing, diverse schools are among the most important factors in families' decisions to remain in Baltimore City. Therefore, Govans Elementary's success is key to Live Baltimore's marketing of zoned neighborhoods, especially Belvedere, Chinquapin Park, Evesham Park, Homeland, Lake Walker, and Mid-Govans.

Live Baltimore's "Way to Stay" initiative, launched in early 2015, seeks to keep more families with school-aged children in Baltimore. For more information about Live Baltimore visit: http://livebaltimore.com
Govans Elementary's 21st Century Community Learning Center
The Govans Elementary 21st Century Community Learning Center, managed by Baltimore Curriculum Project, is supported by a generous grant from the Maryland State Department of Education. Launched in early November 2015, the program has since settled into a happy afternoon rhythm and routine.

Under the direction of Sarah Ceponis, nearly 100 kindergarten through fifth graders spend an hour each day engaged in exciting STEM activities supported by Let's Go Boys and Girls, followed by an hour of enrichment and electives. Offerings include string instrument instruction with MAESTRO, art, drama, character education, service-learning, field trips, and much more.

The program is supported by a long list of devoted partners including K.C. Kelleher, the 2015-2016 MDCCC AmeriCorps VISTA Youth Programs Coordinator for Loyola University Maryland's York Road Initiative.

With auditions for our after school play coming up, amazing science experiments under way, and even a new yoga class, 2016 is off to a great start for our 21st Century Community Learning Center.

Mea Murphy facilitates a Restorative Circle with students in kindergarten and first grade. Restorative Circles are used daily to help students transition from STEM instruction to enrichment and electives.

Peter Modlin helps students draft letters to legislators for their upcoming field trip to Annapolis; part of a service-learning partnership with the ACLU of Maryland.

HHA Students Take a Virtual Field Trip with Google Cardboard
students using google cardboard
HHA students have fun using Google Cardboard.
On December 8th, Hampstead Hill Academy (HHA) students in grades 5-8 participated in a unique virtual reality experience.

Google Associate Christina Dorsett visited HHA with panoramic virtual reality viewers known as Google Cardboard.

Google Cardboard is new way for students to feel like they are being transported to another place while still in their classroom. Using a tablet, teachers are able to select and guide the students' experience.

Students embarked on virtual expeditions to coral reefs, Egyptian pyramids and land forms throughout the world.

Many of the expeditions related to topics that students are currently studying in the classroom. This was truly a memorable, cutting-edge, educational experience for teachers and students.

BCP and HHA would like to thank Ms. Dorsett and Google for providing this experience for our students. Special thanks to HHA STEM Tutor Ed Meade for organizing the visit.
HHA Alum Kathy Le Selected as National Intel Semifinalist
Hampstead Hill Academy Alum Kathy Le
Hampstead Hill Academy alum Kathy Le, a current senior at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and a member of the Ingenuity Project was selected as a national semifinalist in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search.
Kathy's research focused on stem cell competition in relation to genetic disorders and aging. She tracked populations of mutated stem cells in fruit flies and found that a specific mutation, known to cause a genetic disorder in humans, leads to stem cell competition in fruit flies. Her results can be used to optimize a new method of finding mutations that may further advance our understanding of genetic disorders and aging in humans.
The title of Kathy's project was "Activating mutations in FGFR leads to a competitive advantage in Drosophila germline stem cells." Kathy did her work at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Department of Cell Biology and was mentored by Dr. Erika Matunis and Leah Greenspan.
The announcement of 300 high school seniors named as semifinalists in the Intel Science Talent Search 2016, a program of Society for Science & the Public, was made on January 6, 2016.  Each semifinalist receives a $1,000 award from the Intel Foundation with an additional $1,000 going to his or her school.  Semifinalists were selected from more than 1,750 entrants hailing from 512 high schools in 43 states, Puerto Rico, Washington, DC, and six American and international high schools overseas.
Operation Warm and Weinberg Foundation Provide Winter Coats for Wolfe Street Academy
BCP and Wolfe Street Academy (WSA) would like to thank the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and Operation Warm for providing brand new winter coats for every student at Wolfe Street Academy.

The Weinberg Foundation provides funding for WSA's after-school program and included WSA in the donation of coats, which was arranged for schools with Weinberg-sponsored libraries.

Operation Warm was founded in 2012 to counter one of the most unfathomable hardships of childhood poverty; the lack of adequate winter clothing.  By necessity, families struggling to survive prioritize food, heat, and rent above winter clothing resulting in frequent absenteeism from school.

This translates not only to forgone learning but also missed opportunities for socialization, play, and balanced nutrition provided through the Federal Free and Reduced Meal Program. School attendance is as important as warmth because through education, upcoming generations will become productive, hopeful, and enterprising.
WSA Library Partnership Featured in School Library Journal
Patricia Rickle (left) and Julia Malanka, volunteers with UFPIA, sort books at the new Wolfe Street Academy reading area. (Photo courtesy of Mollie Fein)
Wolfe Street Academy's lending library, made possible by partnerships with Upper Fells Point Improvement Association (UFPIA) and The University of Maryland School of Social Work, was featured in December's edition of the School Library Journal. 

"Almost 10 years ago, Connie Phelps-Bozek became the community school coordinator at Wolfe Street Academy (WSA), a small, K-5 school just north of Baltimore Harbor. Her job at one of the city's first community schools is to work with local partners to bring additional services and programs to students and families-from afterschool and summer learning opportunities to annual dental exams for students provided by the University of Maryland School of Dentistry."

"But she had a hard time addressing the school's lack of a library. That's when the Upper Fells Point Improvement Association (UFPIA), a neighborhood organization, stepped in. Phelps-Bozek worked with UFPIA members to turn office space near the cafeteria into a "reading room" and a computer lab. A grant from the Carson Scholars Fund, presidential candidate Ben Carson's nonprofit organization, provided books and furniture. The school also reached out to the University of Maryland School of Social Work, which brought interns into the school to help organize materials and integrate new ones. Mollie Fein, a retired public librarian and a UFPIA member, helped catalog the materials, so students can check out a book each week-just as if they attended a larger school with a fully operational library."

Many thanks to UFPIA's Mollie Fein and Karyn Hassen, and University of Maryland Social Work Community Outreach Service (SWCOS).

Read the full article at: http://bit.ly/wsalibrary
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