Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Career Day 2015 at Govans Elementary

Govans Elementary hosted a Career Day on November 18, 2015 as part of the National Education Association's American Education Week.

We would like to thank the following guest speakers for participating:
  • Nick Alexopulos, Associate Director of Media Relations and Social Media at Loyola University Maryland
  • Muriel Berkeley, Member of the Baltimore City School Board of Commissioners and Founder/Former President of the Baltimore Curriculum Project
  • Michael Bell, Military Pilot/Engineer
  • Brandon Crowder, Area Leader at Procter & Gamble
  • Matt Facchine, System Architect at Northrop Grumman Corporation and Baltimore Curriculum Project Board Member
  • Councilman Bill Henry, Baltimore City Council
  • Clarence Jeffers, Pharmacist
  • Maggie Richard, Director of Professional Practice, Research, and Education for LifeBridge Health’s Sinai Hospital
  • Lamonte Tyler, Senior IT Support Analyst at Fox News Channel
  • Thiru Vignarajah, Deputy Attorney General, Maryland Office of the Attorney General and Baltimore Curriculum Project Board Member
  • David Walsh-Little, Chief Attorney, Felony Trial Division, Baltimore City Office of the Public Defender 
  • Marcus Washington, Anchor and Reporter, WJZ Eyewitness News

Monday, November 30, 2015

Nancy Grasmick Visits Govans Elementary for Ben Carson Reading Day

BCP and Govans Elementary​ would like to thank former Maryland State Superintendent Dr. Nancy Grasmick​ for serving as the guest reader at Govans Elementary School for the Ben Carson Reading Day on November 16, 2015.

Ben Carson Reading Day is an annual literacy event designed to raise awareness of the importance of everyday leisure reading.

Special thanks to the Carson Scholars Fund​ and Bank of America​ for creating the Carson Reading Room at Govans Elementary, which opened in 2011.

View the video at:

For more information about the Carson Scholars Fund visit:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Open Society Foundations Global Board Visits City Springs Elementary/Middle School

A group from the Open Society Foundations Global Board visited City Springs Elementary/Middle School on October 8, 2015.

The school was included on the tour because, in addition to being a BCP conversion charter school, City Springs is a Community School and the Open Society Foundations support Community Schools.

Child First Authority serves as City Springs' lead Community School Agency and Child First Community School Coordinator Abby Baldwin oversees the implementation of the Community School strategy at the City Springs. The strategy is supported by a generous grant from the Family League of Baltimore.

Joining Karen Webber from the Open Society Institute-Baltimore office for the tour was Director Diana Morris, who organized the site visit for Open Society Foundation’s regional Global Directors, who were in Baltimore for a senior management subcommittee meeting.

The group included Kenneth Zimmerman, Director of U.S. Programs, under which OSI-Baltimore falls. The other directors in attendance were from initiatives in Eurasia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa. Each director manages a vast breadth of social justice related initiatives specific to the region, education included.

BCP and City Springs would like to thank the Open Society Foundation for visiting our school. For more information about the Open Society Foundations visit:

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon Visits Hampstead Hill Academy

Under Secretary Concannon chats with an HHA student giving
visitors a tour of the school's organic garden

Hampstead Hill Academy hosted a visit with Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, on September 25, 2015.

Undersecretary Concannon, Delegate Keith E. Haynes, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Gregory Thornton and other attendees toured the school's organic garden and sampled food prepared by students in HHA's Food for Life Program.

Food for Life is run by HHA Food Educator Ariel Demas and is regarded as a national model for food education in public schools. Food for Life uses the Food is Elementary curriculum, which was developed by the Food Studies Institute (

House Ways & Means Committee Visits Wolfe Street Academy

Thank you to Chair Sheila E. Hixson and the rest of the House Ways & Means Committee members who visited Wolfe Street Academy (WSA) on September 29, 2015 to learn about the Community Schools Strategy and Out-of-School-Time program at WSA.

Thank you also to the University of Maryland Social Work Community Outreach Service (SWCOS), Family League of Baltimore, The After-School Corporation (TASC) and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation for supporting WSA.

Educators from Bosnia and Herzegovina Visit City Springs

A delegation of educators and government officials from Bosnia and Herzegovina visited City Springs Middle/Elementary School to learn about the BCP education model on October 1, 2015.

The World Trade Center Institute coordinated the visit and the delegation was invited to the United States under the auspices of the Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program.

The Department of State wanted to introduce the delegation to the Baltimore Curriculum Project’s objectives and mission as well as its efforts to incorporate student-focused learning. The delegates learned about the various programs that BCP engages in during the school year in order to maintain student progress, address teacher challenges, and encourage an overall school improvement. They also learned about BCP’s education a model of providing an exceptional learning experience for all children.

BCP would like to thank World Trade Center Institute and the State Department for always bringing such wonderful educators from around the world to visit our schools.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

U.S. Department of Education Awards BCP $217,000 Charter School Program Grant

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the Baltimore Curriculum Project a grant of $217,000 through its Charter Schools Program (CSP), which funds the creation and expansion of public charter schools across the nation. (Total recommended funding is $282,720.)

This year's CSP replication and expansion program will invest more than $32 million in 12 high-quality charter management organizations (CMOs) that serve students from low-income families.

BCP will use this funding to support the implementation of its education model at Govans Elementary School. which became a BCP conversion charter school on July 1, 2015.

BCP is one of 12 grantees across the nation. Other grantees include: Achievement First, Across the Bridge Foundation, Einstein Group, Inc., Lawndale Educational and Regional Network, Mastery Charter High School, Noble Network of Charter Schools, RePublic Schools, Success Academy Charter Schools, UP Education Network, Uplift Education and West Denver Prep DBA STRIVE Preparatory Schools.

These organizations have a history of effectively serving high-need students, and will use these funds to replicate their successful programming for more than 40,000 additional students.

Most of this year's grantees are newer CMOs who are receiving their first charter grant. They are particularly focused on educating students who would otherwise be enrolled in low-performing schools and on encouraging diversity within their student populations.

Read more at:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

City Springs Teachers Win 2015 Engelmann Excellence in Education Awards

City Springs Elementary/Middle School Pre-K teachers Nicole Lefrancois, Mallory Davis and Mindy Cipriano received Engelmann Excellence in Education awards at the 2015 National Direct Instruction Conference.

These three teachers have served their careers at City Springs. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of their most recent group of students were in the high risk category at the beginning of the year. By the end of the year, only 23% remained in that category. In math, 83% of the students were at risk for failure at the beginning of last year. By the end of the year the number had decreased to 32%.

Laura Doherty, President and CEO of the Baltimore Curriculum Project writes, "These three teachers exemplify the skill and intensity in instruction which is critical to helping students at risk of academic failure compete with their middle class peers. They also exemplify the warm, nurturing, positive environment all students deserve."

BCP would like to congratulate Ms. Lefrancois, Ms. Davis and Ms. Cipriano on this recognition of their outstanding accomplishments.

For more information about the National Direct Instruction Conference and the National Institute for Direct Instruction visit:

Friday, September 4, 2015

BCP Holds 19th Annual Summer Training Institute

If you are a teacher, you probably remember what it was like on your very first day of school when you were thrown into the deep end and left to sink or swim.

Fortunately for new BCP teachers, BCP provides life vests (and sometimes life rafts) in the form of BCP's Summer Training Institute and ongoing in-class coaching support.

BCP held its 19th Annual Summer Training Institute for new and returning teachers during the week of  August 10, 2015. Academic Coaches Brenda Kahn and Marvelyn Johnson and Director of Student Support Services Jeff Krick conducted the week long training in classroom management for 36 teachers from City Springs Elementary/Middle School, Govans Elementary School, Hampstead Hill Academy and Wolfe Street Academy.

"[This was the] best PD I have been to since I can remember in my seven years of teaching in BCPS," wrote one teacher on the evaluation form.

"I wish I had this as a first year teacher. I learned so much."

Most educators agree that classroom management is one of the biggest challenges facing new teachers. BCP Schools use CHAMPS, a program of Safe & Civil Schools, that helps teachers to design (or fine tune) a proactive and positive classroom management plan that will overtly teach students how to behave responsibly.

"I want to thank all of the teachers who are new to our schools for working so hard at the summer CHAMPs training," said Mr. Krick.

"We believe that the hard work of organizing their behavioral expectations and preparing lessons to teach the children how to master the classroom routines and procedures will help everyone surpass their academic growth targets this year."

Teacher feedback on the training was overwhelmingly positive:

  • "Thank you! One of the best PDs I've attended!"
  • "I thought this PD was great!"
  • "Everything was great! Very clear and interesting."
  • "Very useful information that I will be able to implement."
  • "Great sessions, thanks!"
  • "Thank you! This was so organized and full of useful info. I enjoyed this PD!
  • "CHAMPS expectations rules!"
  • "Amazing! Great presenters, super informative!"
  • "I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Marvelyn's enthusiasm!"
  • "This workshop gave me a much better handle on feeling like I might stay vertical the first week of school."

At the end of the week, teachers shared the "Best Ideas" they learned from the training. The list can be viewed at:

BCP's Summer Training Institute is part of BCP's comprehensive Professional Development (PD) program, which includes PD Conferences, in-class coaching, and the Novice Teacher Think Tank.

For more information about PD at BCP, please contact Larry Schugam at 410-675-7000 x17 or

Thursday, June 18, 2015

City Springs Students Learn about the Watershed in Their Backyard

By Zachary Carey, Teacher, City Springs Elementary/Middle School

This year City Springs Upper School science students had the opportunity to take part in two new programs, Trout in the Classroom (TIC) and Your Watershed Your Backyard (YWYB). Trout in the Classroom allowed students to raise around 100 rainbow trout in our classroom. Your Watershed Your Backyard taught students about our watershed and the effects that humans have on it.

These programs were brought to City Springs through support from BioEYES of the Carnegie Institution for Science. BioEYES provided logistical and material support for TIC, while developing and presenting the YWYB program for our 7th grade students.

Students releasing one of the trout.

The Trout in the Classroom program began when we received 100 or so alevins, trout larvae, in January. Students from the City Springs Science Club maintained the trout's 55 gallon tank by checking the pH and ammonia levels, monitoring the tank temperature, and feeding the fish.  Each day after school different student groups had tank maintenance, which strengthened the students' teamwork and analytical skills.

Over the course of the program, all upper schools students had the incredible opportunity to observe the development of trout larvae into 3-4 inch long juvenile trout! The program concluded with a trip to Stony Run, a tributary of the Jones Falls near Hampden, to release the trout into their natural habitat.

The trout release trip coincided with the 7th graders' Your Watershed Your Backyard program. The success of the trip was thanks to an all-hands-on-deck effort by BioEYES, Blue Water Baltimore, Trout in the Classroom, and the Baltimore Curriculum Project. This work was made possible through the generous support of the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

These organizations allowed students to participate in enriching activities, including water testing, micro-invertebrate collection and observation, identifying and removing invasive species, hiking through the woods on a scavenger hunt, and of course, releasing our trout. The variety of activities provided an opportunity for students to stay engaged and find something uniquely interesting to them.

The release of the trout represented the exceptional work of our students, school, and the organizations that have supported them. Although seeing our finned friends swimming away was bittersweet, the students loved seeing the fish in their natural environment and luckily, next year we'll have the opportunity to take part in the program again!

For more information about BioEYES visit:
For more information about Trout in the Classroom visit:
For more information about Blue Water Baltimore visit:

Students cutting down wineberry, an invasive plant.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

First Harvest from City Springs' American Heart Association Teaching Garden

By Abby Baldwin, Child First Authority Community School Coordinator at City Springs Elementary/Middle School

City Springs Elementary/Middle School had its first harvest of veggies this morning from the school's American Heart Association Teaching Garden. They found banana peppers and one cherry tomato ripe for the picking.

City Springs and BCP would like to thank the American Heart Association and CareFirst for the wonderful Teaching Gardens program. The students are excited to see their veggies growing!

For more information about the American Heart Association's Teaching Gardens program visit:

Friday, May 29, 2015

BCP Schools Take Top Honors in Hopkins Science Fair

Congratulations to City Springs Elementary/Middle School, Hampstead Hill Academy and Wolfe Street Academy for winning first, second and third place respectively in the 2015 Johns Hopkins Community Science Fair on Thursday, May 28th.

Each year, area elementary schools are invited to Johns Hopkins to participate in the Community Science Fair. Each school is allowed to submit three projects for judging by Johns Hopkins faculty and staff, BCPS's administrative staff, and a special guest judge. First, second and third place prizes are awarded based on projects that exemplify ingenuity, clarity and presentation using the scientific method criteria.

Guest speakers at the event included Dr. Deidra Crews (Chair, Department of Medicine Diversity Council, Johns Hopkins Bayview), James Page (Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, Johns Hopkins Medicine), Ashley Llorens (Senior Staff Electrical Engineer and Project Manager, Force Projection Sector, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory) and Edward McKay (Senior Operating Room Technician, Johns Hopkins Hospital).

BCP would like to thank Johns Hopkins Medicine East Baltimore Community Affairs for providing this wonderful opportunity for our students. For more information about the Community Science Education Program visit:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

American Heart Association and CareFirst Promote Healthy Living at City Springs

By Robert Heck, Resident Artist at City Springs Elementary/Middle School

On Thursday, May 7th City Springs Elementary/Middle School held a special resource day, "Teaching Gardens", sponsored by CareFirst and the American Heart Association. We had a terrific day working with our students, talking about plants, how they grow and the food and nutrition aspects. Students planted approximately 150 vegetable plants including eggplant, peppers, and celery.

The students also participated in story times, made their own paper pots with seeds to take home, and ran on the athletic field as part of a fitness focus organized by Care First.

I had a chance to speak with our partners and highlight the important work we do here every day with our community. Dr. Richetta plans to have our students stay involved, caring for the plants and monitoring growth. Ms. Abby Baldwin, our Child First Community School Coordinator, along with our resource teachers, did a terrific job keeping the students engaged.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Thank You Mama's on the Half Shell and Nacho Mama's for Sponsoring BCP Fundraiser

We would like to thank Mama's On The Half Shell and Nacho Mama’s for donating the delicious dinner for the Baltimore Curriculum Project's fourth annual Are You Smarter than a BCP 5th Grader? fundraiser. Over 280 attendees enjoyed Chips and Salsa, Salad, Pizza, Chicken N'Orleans, Ultimate Fajitas, and Cookies.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Former Raven Prescott Burgess to Compete in "Are You Smarter than a BCP 5th Grader?"

We are pleased to announce that former Raven Prescott Burgess will compete in the fourth annual Are You Smarter than a BCP 5th Grader? Quiz Show on April 16th at City Springs Elementary/Middle School.

Burgess is a personal trainer, youth coach, and former Ravens linebacker. During his time with the Ravens he established himself as a special teams standout, becoming one of their top tacklers in that unit.

Before being drafted in the sixth round by Baltimore during the 2007 NFL Draft, Burgess was a standout at the University of Michigan, twice named an All-Big 10 Conference honorable mention in 2005 and 2006.

In addition to his work as a personal trainer at Federal Hill Fitness, Burgess is a youth coach and mentor at Coppermine Fieldhouse, teaching kids from ages 3 to 13 not only sports and exercise, but the value of sportsmanship and teamwork.

Burgess uses this same supportive approach when he's training people in his "Boot Camp on The Hill," the training class he holds at 9 a.m. on Saturday mornings in Federal Hill Park.

Learn more at:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to Compete in Fourth Annual "Are You Smarter than a BCP 5th Grader?"

We are pleased to announce that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will compete in the fourth annual Are You Smarter than a BCP 5th Grader? Quiz Show on April 16th at City Springs Elementary/Middle School.
Learn more at:

Friday, March 6, 2015

City Schools CEO Gregory Thornton to Compete in Fourth Annual "Are You Smarter than a BCP 5th Grader?"

We are pleased to announce that Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Dr. Gregory Thornton will compete in the fourth annual Are You Smarter than a BCP 5th Grader? Quiz Show on April 16th at City Springs Elementary/Middle School.

Learn more at:

Mama's On The Half Shell and Nacho Mama's to Sponsor Baltimore Curriculum Project Fundraiser

Thursday, April 16th at City Springs Elementary/Middle School
100 S. Caroline Street 21231
Tickets at $100

Generous donation of the evening's hors d'ouevres, dinner and dessert will enhance an already exciting program that will pit Baltimore education and political representatives against 5th graders from the Baltimore Curriculum Project Public Charter Schools -- City Springs Elementary/Middle, Govans Elementary (beginning SY15-16), Hampstead Hill Academy and Wolfe Street Academy. Fundraising efforts will benefit the 1900 students in these neighborhood schools.

Mama's On The Half Shell:
Nacho Mama's: 
2901 and 2907 O'Donnell Street, On the Square in Canton

Thursday, February 19, 2015

City Springs Students Testify in Annapolis

Last week three City Springs EMS students traveled to Annapolis on two consecutive days to testify before the Education and Economic Development Subcommittee of the Maryland House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee on behalf of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. They also visited with State Delegate Brooke Lierman in her office.

Last year these students participated in the For Whom It Stands ( exhibit at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, which is seeking continued State funding. The students' testimony is below.

City Springs and BCP would like to thank the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and Delegate Lierman for all they do for our students. Special thanks to Ms. Trudgeon for working with these students to prepare their testimony and traveling with them on both days to Annapolis.

Student Testimony:
I am currently a fifth grader at City Springs Elementary School and attend with my brother, who is in first grade. Last year my brother and I were given the opportunity to be a part of a photography project for the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, which is just a few blocks from my school. I was really excited when I arrived and was given a tour of the museum-- and I was astonished that something like the museum was in my community, since it was the first time I had ever been there. It was cool to see things that are a part of my culture, and it was even cooler to be a part of an exhibit at this museum. It made me realize that I am a part of black history. 
I am a sixth grade student at CS E/M school. In the spring of 2014, I was given the privilege to be a part of For Whom It Stands... That exhibit was funded by the Reginald F Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture. For Whom It Stands prompted Americans to interact with the flag and portray how they felt about it. I stood with the folded flag in front of me, which symbolizes the freedom and the privilege to do things that others in different countries do not. I was proud to hold the American flag, and I am proud of what it stands for.

I am an 8th grader attending CS E/M school. I'm here on behalf of my school and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, to tell you about my experience and how the museum has become a real treasure in our school community. It started with the "For Whom It Stands" exhibition. I, along with ... several other students, was fortunate enough to participate in this project and have my photograph installed on the outside of our school building. The mural is publicly shown to people passing by. At every glance, it gives us different perspectives and meanings. When I think back to the creation of the mural, I remember being called up for the photoshoot and the photographer, Sheila Pree Bright, asking me a question that I had never before thought deeply about: "What does the American flag mean to you?" Many of us were left dumbfounded, but the photoshoot gave us the opportunity to really think of what the flag stands for. Maybe it means more than just red, white, and blue. As a young Asian-American, it was difficult for me to portray the meaning of the flag in my photograph because being an American isn't my sole identity, or my original identity. Crawling out beneath the flag's folds helped me explore and embrace this complex idea. Grasping for meaning in the flag, the other students and I began to truly value our history. The Reginald F. Lewis Museum provided this opportunity— and has challenged my community to also explore, embrace, and value their heritage as well.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Kevin Spacey Foundation Supports BCP

We would like to thank The Kevin Spacey Foundation (KSF) for awarding the Baltimore Curriculum Project a generous grant. This grant was part of a KSF initiative to support local charities during their Kevin Spacey in Concert event on September 29, 2014.

One of BCP's long-time partners, the Baltimore Urban Debate League, was also awarded a grant through the KSF initiative.

This concert event was critical for KSF to provide critical scholarships for undergraduate performing arts students, competitive project grants to emerging artists, and mentorship during the process from our distinguished roster of established artists.

At the same time, KSF will expand their efforts to bring the arts to underserved youth through the HOME GROWN program.

We would also like to thank KSF for providing BCP with tickets to the concert event and after-party.

About The Kevin Spacey Foundation
The Kevin Spacey Foundation enables the creation of new work via KSF Grants, designs bespoke education opportunities through KSF Learning, and offer free university placements via KSF Scholarships.

For more information visit:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Chef Cindy Wolf Hosts Tour of Charleston for City Springs Students

Chef Cindy Wolf hosted a behind-the-scenes tour of Charleston Restaurant  for a group of 22 City Springs students on January 16th.

The tour began with a cooking demonstration. Chef Wolf prepared a salad and gave students the recipe so that they could recreate the dish at home. Students learned about all of the ingredients and the proper way to work in a kitchen.

Chef Wolf talked about the importance of discipline in cooking and how she is the general of her kitchen. When she gives an order, her chefs must follow directions without "rolling their eyes" or complaining.

"Your teachers have gifts to share," said Chef Wolf. She encouraged the students to respect their teachers in order to receive these gifts.

After the cooking demo, we walked through the kitchen and stopped in the walk-in refrigerator, where Chef Wolf introduced us to a variety of fresh foods that are delivered daily; some of which are flown in.

We learned about a type of expensive beef that comes from cows that drink mostly beer and receive regular massages; why cooking shrimp with the heads on creates the tastiest sauce; and how soda from glass bottles tastes better.

After the tour, everyone sat down for a fine lunch of salad topped with baked chicken, corn bread, and cookies for dessert. The students' manners were impeccable throughout the entire meal.

As we lunched, Chef Wolf continued to answer students' questions. She shared stories of her culinary career, including the time she had the opportunity to prepare lunch for Julia Child.

After lunch, we bid Chef Wolf farewell and returned to City Springs with full bellies, full minds, and happy hearts.

We would like to thank Chef Wolf and her staff for their wonderful hospitality and for providing such an amazing experience for our students.

About Chef Cindy Wolf
Executive Chef & Co-owner, Charleston

A 2006, 2008 & 2014 James Beard Foundation finalist for Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic, Chef Wolf's cuisine is backed by French fundamentals and grounded in preparations that emphasize the natural flavors of the very finest regional products.

Charleston is an American Academy of Hospitality Sciences Five-Star Diamond award recipient, a Forbes Four-Star award recipient, and AAA Four Star Diamond Award recipient. The restaurant is recognized by Zagat for best food and service and has been rated the #1 restaurant in Baltimore by Baltimore magazine year over year.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Wolf has received notices in Food Arts, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, The New York Times, The Washington Times and The Washington Post. She has appeared in cooking segments on major local, national and cable television stations.

Wolf is business partners with Tony Foreman in their other restaurants which can be accessed through

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year to our Partners!

We would like to wish our partners a Happy and Healthy New Year! Thank you for all you do for BCP!