Family & Community Engagement
BCP has been part of Baltimore’s Community Schools Strategy since its inception in 2005.
Community schools promote positive, equitable outcomes by providing students and families with the physical and mental health, academic, and extracurricular supports needed to thrive. Community schools serve as hubs that bring families, communities, and partners together to remove barriers to learning. Using an asset-based approach, community schools strive to strengthen connections to generate improved student outcomes.
With the support of a full-time site coordinator, Community Schools tap into a network of partnerships between the school and the community to provide wraparound services like academic and language supports, nutrition, and medical, dental, and behavioral health care that enhahnce student’s ability to be successful.
Click here to watch a video and learn more about Community Schools.
BCP schools collaborate either with a lead agency or directly with City Schools to identify their community assests, needs and opportunities. City Springs Elementary/Middle School, Govans Elementary and Hampstead Hill Academy’s comunity coordinators are all through Baltimore City Public Schools. The remaining schools use the following lead agencies:
- Frederick Elementary is supported by Bon Secours Community Works.
- Wolfe Street Academy is supported by Elev8 Baltimore.
- Pimlico Elementary/Middle School is supported by Park Heights Renaissance.
Thanks to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, community schools are supported through a Concentration of Poverty school grant. Other funding that support this initaive is provided by the Family League of Baltimore.
To address the array of challenges faced by students from low-income families, BCP provides after-school and summer school services at some of its schools (Wolfe Street Academy, Govans Elementary, and Frederick Elementary). All BCP after–school programs include rigorous academic instruction and a variety of engaging enrichment activities. Each program follows a high-quality replicable program model tailored to meet the specific needs of the school community.
BCP-operated After-School & Summer School Programs are overseen by a full-time director of Out of School Time (OST) program. The OST director and program staff are employees of both the school and BCP. This in-house model allows for greater alignment between day school, after-school, and summer school, and program staff are fully integrated into the school culture. The academic teaching staff is typically recruited from the day school’s certified teaching staff.
Our enrichment educators come from various backgrounds including the arts, sciences, education, social services fields, and more. Many are young adults, some with degrees and some pursuing degrees; some are day school staff as well. Volunteers are also essential members of the program staff. Each program relies on the work of volunteers to lead enrichment activities, provide one-on-one tutoring, assist in the classroom, and more.
Each program blends academic and enrichment opportunities into the day, typically adding 400 hours to the school year. Programs are free of charge to working families and incorporate family engagement events as well as parent workshops. Students receive homework help, tutoring, and healthy snacks and meals.
Academic subjects may vary from school to school based on the school’s specific areas of need, but each school incorporates STEM, literacy, and math. BCP academic coaches oversee academic teaching staff to ensure rigorous academic instruction. Enrichment opportunities also vary by school and are based heavily on student interests. Enrichments have included activities such as sailing, yoga, character education, physics, Girls on the Run, robotics, chess, string instruments, and more!
All Baltimore Curriculum Project schools have strong school cultures that support academic success. The schools use a variety of strategies to build school culture including CHAMPS, Restorative Practices, and leadership programs.
CHAMPS is a research-based approach to behavior management that helps classroom teachers design or fine tune a proactive and positive classroom management plan that teaches students how to behave responsibly. By following the effective, research-based practices outlined in CHAMPS, teachers develop methods for clearly communicating their expectations on every classroom activity and transition. BCP began using CHAMPS in 1996. For more information, visit Safe and Civil Schools.
Restorative practices are an integral part of the school culture at all BCP schools and provide a constructive alternative to suspensions. Restorative practices provides a proactive approach for building a school community based on cooperation, mutual understanding, and respect. It includes processes for holding students accountable for their actions and behavior while building a nurturing school environment. BCP implemented restorative practices in 2007 with the support of grants from OSI-Baltimore and the Goldsmith Family Foundation. For more information visit the International Institute for Restorative Practices.