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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 February 2016 Newsletter
In this issue:
City Springs Students Apply Core Knowledge at the Aquarium
Reprinted with permission from the City Springs Newsroom:

Left: Ms. Gagnier and Mrs. Livers' students pose for a shot in the skeletal mouth of a giant vertebrate called a megalodon, an extinct shark that lived millions of years ago. Right: Terrell reaches out and touches an aquatic invertebrate, a moon jellyfish, at the Aquarium's interactive exhibit "Living Seashore."
At City Springs Elementary/Middle School, Ms. Gagnier and Mrs. Livers' class has been studying different animal groups in their Core Knowledge lessons.

They learned about several different ways that animals can be "classified," or separated into groups according to their characteristics.

For example, all animals can be classified into two large groups: vertebrates (animals with a backbone) and invertebrates (animals without a backbone).

Vertebrates include many animals that you might see at the zoo, like lions, snakes, and fish; while invertebrates are animals that don't have a backbone in their skeleton, like insects, spiders, and crabs. Students also learned that all vertebrates fall into one of the following groups: mammals, fish, birds, amphibians, and reptiles.
During the month of December, Ms. Gagnier and Mrs. Livers' students had the opportunity to see many of the animals they have been studying at the National Aquarium in downtown Baltimore. 

In addition to checking out the scary sharks and getting up close and personal with some jellyfish, they also identified characteristics of all the animals they saw.

"I see a vertebrate!" "I see a mammal!" "I see a flightless bird!" Our students loved applying their knowledge and putting what they learned into action.

To learn more about Core Knowledge, visit the Core Knowledge Foundation website at: http://www.coreknowledge.org
Del. Maggie McIntosh Helps Govans Student Speak to House Appropriations Committee.
A group of 30 students from the Baltimore Curriculum Project's 21st Century Community Learning Center at Govans Elementary visited Annapolis on February 5, 2016 to attend the House Appropriations Committee briefing on school construction.

The trip was the first of several service-learning projects the students will participate in as part of the 21st Century Community Learning Center after-school program, which is made possible by a generous grant from the Maryland State Department of Education.

"The students were very excited about the field trip," said 21st CCLC Program Director Sarah Ceponis.

"This special trip set the trend for more service-learning to come, with students involved in a few weeks of learning and preparation leading up to the briefing in Annapolis. The classroom discussions were lively, and students carefully thought about what they wanted to share with legislators about their school."

The school construction briefing was particularly relevant for the students because Govans Elementary is in year two of Baltimore City Schools' 21st Century School Buildings Plan.

K.C. Kelleher, an AmeriCorps VISTA Youth Programs Coordinator from Loyola University Maryland's York Road Initiative, worked with students throughout the service-learning project, as did Frank Patinella and Jana Lee of the ACLU Education Reform Project.

Throughout January, Ms. Kelleher and Ms. Lee facilitated student discussions in Peter Modlin's after-school Civics Club, compromised of third, fourth and fifth graders in the after-school program. Students learned all about the 21st Century School Buildings Plan and the legislative process, and wrote letters to Delegate McIntosh about plans for a new school building.

"Two of our students were able to prepare testimony for the Appropriations Committee," said Ms. Kelleher.

"Delegate McIntosh helped one of the students deliver his testimony to the Committee. When we bumped into a group of legislators outside the committee room, they took the time to listen to the testimony from both students. Our student voices were heard!"

The ACLU Education Reform Project has been the lead partner for this service-learning opportunity and organized the field trip. The Baltimore Education Coalition paid for bus transportation and lunch.

We would like to thank Sarah Ceponis, Frank Patinella, Jana Lee, Peter Modlin, K.C. Kelleher, MSDE, the ACLU and BEC for making this service-learning project possible.
playworksPlayworks: Partners in Play at City Springs Elementary/Middle
Reprinted with permission from the City Springs Newsroom:

City Springs Students in the Playworks Program
Playworks is a nonprofit organization that works to create an environment in which every kid can feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills, both on and off the playground. City Springs has had the privilege of partnering with Playworks for the 2015-2016 school year.
Our Playworks representative is Ms. Yaasmiyn Finlayson, AKA "Coach Ya-Ya." A new face to City Springs this year, Coach Ya-Ya leads our kids in daily recess activities on the football field during student lunchtime.

In addition to recess, Playworks provides children the opportunity to participate in sports leagues as a way to continue to encourage their social, physical and emotional growth.

Playworks offers elementary girls basketball, co-ed volleyball, and co-ed kickball. Playworks leagues do not believe in keeping score; instead, they focus on the fundamentals of the sport and the meaning of teamwork. The goal is for each child to discover their own passion for the sport and to continue to be a part of future athletic teams.
Coach Ya-Ya also leads our elementary girls basketball team, which goes by the name "The C.S. Ladies." Many of these young ladies started practice in November with little prior knowledge of the sport.

With continued hard work and encouragement, their skills have progressed. Every one of the girls has gained greater confidence in their abilities, and each of The C.S Ladies has grown on and off the court. Now that basketball is coming to an end, Coach Ya-Ya is excited to begin the volleyball season at the end of January.

For more information about Playworks visit: http://www.playworks.org/
Brothers in Action Supports Govans Elementary
Govans Elementary and BCP would like to thank Brothers in Action for clearing the pathway to Govans Elementary and for helping to clear city streets along York Road after snowstorm Jonas.

Brothers in Action is a mentoring program focused on developing character skills for young inner city males ages 12-18. For more information visit: http://brothersinactioninc.org/

HHA Awarded Distinguished EGATE Status by MSDE
Thanks to the work of Hampstead Hill Academy's talented staff, especially Director of Enrichment Laura Guitian and STEM Tutor Zoe Fortier, HHA has qualified for the 2015 Maryland Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) school award.

The EGATE application process required school teams to reflect upon and document the ways in which the school's gifted and talented education program is aligned with the Maryland Criteria for Excellence: Gifted and Talented Education Program Guidelines.

This year, the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education reviewed EGATE applications from across the state and identified six schools which qualified as EGATE schools.  
Schools that earn the EGATE designation will:
  • receive a Governor's citation and a citation from the Maryland State Department of Education;
  • be recognized at a statewide reception on February 24, 2016; 
  • display the Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) school banner; 
  • appear on the MSDE website as an Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) school;
  • host celebratory EGATE visits from members of the Maryland State Department of Education and the State Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education;
  • serve as a model and resource to other schools planning to achieve the EGATE status.
For additional information, please visit these links. 
MSDE Press Release
HHA Staff and Partners Take on Snowstorm Jonas
Reprinted with permission from HHA's February 2016 newsletter:
As you can see from the pictures below, Hampstead Hill Academy staff members Ms. Chris, Ms. Melanie, Ms. Davis and Ms. Rasheed did a tremendous job of digging out HHA after snowstorm Jonas.

The first picture shows what the HHA courtyard looked like during the snowstorm and the second shows Ms. Chris after most of the removal had been accomplished.

Thank you to Ms. Chris, Ms. Melanie, Ms. Davis and Ms. Rasheed for all their hard work. Special thanks to John Chojnacki, our friends at CASA and the crew at ABM for lending a hand.

Hampstead Hill Academy before and after the snow cleanup.
Downtown Sailing Center Offers New STEM Program at WSA
Wolfe Street Academy has formed a new partnership with the Downtown Sailing Center, which will be providing a free STEM-based after-school elective beginning in March and running through May.

Students will engage in STEM-based activities twice a week. When the weather warms up, students will go sailing in the harbor.

The Downtown Sailing Center provides quality education and life enriching programs that promote self-esteem and teamwork through the joy of sailing.

For more information visit: http://www.downtownsailing.org/
Girls on the Run Comes to Wolfe Street Academy
Students from City Springs, Hampstead Hill Academy and Wolfe Street Academy participate in Girls on the Run.
Wolfe Street Academy ESOL teacher Kylee Wineberg has organized and is volunteering to run a new after-school running club in partnership with Girls on the Run of the Greater Chesapeake. Special Educator Liz Bucke is also volunteering as a second coach.

Students in grades 3-
5 will practice twice a week for 10 weeks ending with a Girls on the Run 5k including all teams in the region in May.

City Springs Elementary/Middle School also serves as a Girls on the Run site, thanks to the generous support of CareFirst.

Students from Hampstead Hill Academy participate in Girls on the Run at the Patterson Park Youth Sports and Education Center, which is run by the Living Classrooms Foundation.

Girls on the Run inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

For more information about Girls on the Run visit: http://www.gotrchesapeake.org/.
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