Friday, August 31, 2012

SOURCE Donates Supplies to BCP Schools

SOURCE has donated all of the school supplies from their annual School Supply Drive to benefit the over 2,000 students attending BCP's four neighborhood charter schools. Between August 13th and August 24th Johns Hopkins students, staff, and faculty members filled donation boxes in the School of Public Health, the SOURCE offices, and the School of Nursing with 474 much need supplies including notebooks, pens, binders, book bags, pencils, and art supplies.

This drive was co-sponsored by the Green Student Group and the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. We would like to thank SOURCE, the Green Student Group, and the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing for supporting our schools. Special thanks to SOURCE Founder and Director Mindi Levin and SOURCE Assistant Director Noah Smock.

The Student Outreach Resource Center (SOURCE) is the community service and service-learning center for the Bloomberg School, the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing at Johns Hopkins University. SOURCE provides academic, professional and personal development opportunities through community outreach and service-learning partnerships with community-based organizations. For more information visit:

Bryn Mawr and Safe and Sound Support BCP Sports

The Bryn Mawr School and Baltimore's Safe and Sound Campaign have donated a wealth of sports equipment to BCP's four neighborhood charter schools. The donation included 8 tennis rackets, 10 volley balls, 2 portable nets, over 100 tennis balls, and other items. We would like to thank The Bryn Mawr School and Baltimore's Safe and Sound Campaign for supporting our students. Special thanks to Bryn Mawr's Athletic Director Wendy S. Kridel and Safe and Sound's Director of Youth Recreational Opportunities Tim Almaguer for coordinating the donation.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Collington Square School June 2012 Newsletter

Ms. Kelley's class shakes up bags of trail mix
as part of the 2012 Healthy Foods Challenge
Check out the June 2012 Collington Square School of the Arts newsletter at: 

This edition features:
  •  Fulfilling the Promise Mentoring Group
  • Students Perform at 4H Youth Expo
  • 2012 Healthy Food Challenge
  • Battle of the Brains

BWGC Supports Wolfe Street Academy

The Baltimore Women's Giving Circle (BWGC) of the Baltimore Community Foundation has awarded the Baltimore Curriculum Project a grant of $12,180 to support Wolfe Street Academy's After School Academics Program. The program serves 75 children in grades 1-5, with three classes per week in reading, math, science and social studies.

Through collective giving and collaboration, The Baltimore Women’s Giving Circle seeks to improve life for disadvantaged women and their families in the greater Baltimore area. BWGC is a fund of the Baltimore Community Foundation We would like to thank BWGC for supporting our students.

For more information visit:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

SquashWise Selects City Springs as New Partner

SquashWise has selected City Springs Elementary/Middle School as their new school partner. SquashWise is a unique youth development program providing long-term academic and social support to public school students in Baltimore City, combining intensive academic tutoring with instruction in the sport of squash.

This college access program uses squash opportunities to motivate students and open doors for their future, both academically and athletically. Short-term goals include improved grades, academic effort,fitness and nutrition. Long-term goals are to ensure 100% high school graduation and to support college completion and life planning.

We would like to thank Squashwise for providing our students with this amazing opportunity. For more information visit:

Monday, August 13, 2012

City Springs Football Team Visits FSU

 City Springs Elementary/Middle School's new middle grades tackle football team visited Frostburg State University on Friday, August 10th.  They practiced with the football team and toured the university. City Springs Head Coach and para professional Antoine Lewis organized the trip. It was a great day for the kids. They were very impressed with the facilities at the University and thrilled to practice with a college team! We'd like to thank Frostburg State University for giving our kids this amazing opportunity.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

John Boulton on Public Education in the UK

John Boulton
The Baltimore Curriculum Project's four-part series, Around the World in Four Newsletters, features interviews with education leaders from around the world. The interview below features John Boulton, Director of Training and Consultancy for the International Institute for Restorative Practices. Mr. Boulton is ex-Principal of a residential special school for pupils with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

What is the purpose of public education?
I would agree with a previous contributor who suggested that ‘the purpose of any education is to enrich the lives of students and develop in them the tools that they will need to be active, critical, and contributing members of society’, but I would also add that it should be about helping each individual achieve their full potential. The challenge for public education (state education in the UK), is that it needs to be made available to everyone and that there are conflicting demands and expectations. An additional and increasingly important factor is that of public finances.

There is a constant debate as to what direction the curriculum should take. For many years employers have been complaining that some school leavers have not reached the standards which enable them to function effectively in the workplace, thereby, impacting upon their employability. A similar claim, albeit at a higher level, has been made by various universities. The alternative camp argue that education should have wider horizons and is not only about future employment prospects as that would be also be achieved.
Since the introduction of the ‘comprehensive school’ system in the 1960’s, education has been a political issue both at a national level as well as local level, and as a result, a consistent and cohesive approach has not been achieved.

In my role as Director of Training and Consultancy for the International Institute for Restorative practices I visit many schools in different parts of the country and at times, the contrasts can be stark. The recent ‘Building Schools for the Future’ programme created some ultra modern schools with fantastic facilities that would not look out of place in a modern business environment. At the other extreme, pupils are being taught in poorly maintained buildings that house equally poor resources. Whilst quality education is not just about the environment it must have some impact upon both the pupils and staff. 

How does your country measure school success and hold schools accountable for educating students effectively?
Again, the answer is not straightforward. At the national level the answer to both parts of the question would be  Ofsted  and ‘league tables’. Ofsted is the process under which Inspectors visit a school for a number of days to; observe lessons, interview staff and pupils, gather information from parents and review all of these findings against the schools’ self evaluation. How this works seems to be subject to constant change, the most recent being that the notice to schools for the inspection is to be reduced to about 24 hours.
Over the years, and often in association with a change of government, the emphasis on, and benchmarking of standards, has also change.

League tables that provide an overview of pupil / school performances in the main subject at the various key stages of education receive a mixed reception. They are regarded by some as an effective way of ensuring that a school concentrates on achieving good results in the key subject areas, whilst others think that they merely reflect the catchment areas of the school, and as such, some schools are almost destined to appear to perform poorly.

How do the schools in your country address the impact of poverty on education?
Overall, schools are very aware of the socio-economic levels which prevail in their local area and attempt to meet the challenges in a variety of ways. For example, ‘Breakfast Clubs’ are popular and essential in some areas. Additional finances are made available from different sources and this translates into the deployment of additional staff and / or resources. A recent development has been the introduction of a system whereby   schools receive a relatively large amount of money for each pupil on their register who is receiving free school meals. How the money is used is then left to the individual schools.

How do we educate children to become citizens of a global community instead of merely competitors in a global economy?
Having recently looked at over 600 school websites it was very clear that some schools actively encouraged their pupils to widen their horizons and engage with the ‘global community’. There is much evidence of schools linking with establishments in different parts of the world, supporting charities and projects abroad and in some cases, arranging visits and exchanges. Those pupils who are involved in these projects must develop a greater understanding of global issues, however, the current worldwide economic problems are likely to have a ‘pull’ in the opposite direction.

The British have acquired an unenviable international reputation for being poor at learning other languages and this is now being viewed as having a detrimental impact upon our ability to promote international trade. The government has just released plans to ensure that the teaching of languages is given a higher profile and age related targets are to be introduced.

There is little doubt that at the moment, we are all in state of financial and economic uncertainty. Given these circumstances the tendency is for individuals, organisations and countries to become more insular. How this all unfolds over the next decade will be interesting and difficult to predict.

Ravens ACT Foundation Supports BCP Sports

We would like to thank the Baltimore Ravens All Community Team Foundation (RACTF) for awarding the Baltimore Curriculum Project a generous Ravens Plan in Motion grant of $4,950. This grant will help support the Patterson Park Elementary Soccer League and the BCP/Patterson Park Tennis League.

The Ravens Plan in Motion project provides grants of up to $5,000 to qualifying nonprofit organizations that create and/or continue programs or projects promoting physical fitness and nutrition education. The RACTF is committed to improving, encouraging, and enabling the healthy development of youth in the Baltimore area, as well as other parts of the state of Maryland.

The Patterson Park Elementary Soccer League started in 2007 as a one-school clinic and has grown into a league serving approximately 205 students from seven Southeast Baltimore public schools. Participating schools include the four BCP charter schools, Patterson Public Charter School, Highlandtown Elementary #237 and, beginning in fall 2012, Highlandtown Elementary #215. The league will meet twice a week for eight weeks in the fall of 2012 and will serve children in grades 2-5. Games will take place in Patterson Park.

The BCP/Patterson Park Tennis League began in spring 2012 as a partnership with the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) and Baltimore’s Safe and Sound Campaign. USTA chose to work with BCP schools and Patterson Park Public Charter School because of the successful Patterson Park Soccer League model. During 2012, over 100 students from four schools participated in the tennis league twice a week for four weeks.

During spring 2013, City Springs School, Collington Square School, Hampstead Hill Academy, Patterson Park Public Charter School and Wolfe Street Academy will participate in another four-week league. The program will serve 160 mostly African American and Hispanic-American students in grades 3-6 from low-income families.

For more information about the Ravens ACT Foundation visit:

Congressional Bank Sponsors Leading Minds Forum

We would like to thank Congressional Bank for their generous $1,000 sponsorship of BCP's 2012 Leading Minds Forum, How to Evaluate and Support Great Teachers, to be held on September 27, 2012 at Loyola University Maryland.

Congressional Bank is a community bank serving the greater Washington, DC area. For more information visit: