There are great ways to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week this year!
Food in the break room
Drinks in the break room
Cinco de Mayo themed Happy Hour
Support their Donor Choose Project
Leave a message via email or Class Dojo - Kind Words or Encouragement
Homemade thank you cards from parents, children and community
Volunteer in the classroom and help for a few hours.
Donate School Supplies
Governor Hogan submitted a supplemental budget to the legislature last week. The budget adds $139.9 million to Maryland’s education reform plan.
Blueprint for Maryland’s Future updates https://www.marylandmatters.org/2022/02/02/without-full-staff-blueprint-accountability-board-faces-deadline-for-education-reform-implementation/
This year is a gubernatorial election. We will vote for a new Governor, State's Attorney, Comptroller, and other positions.
Baltimore City has changed polling places! Find your new polling location here
This year, Baltimore City voters will be able to vote for At Large members for the Baltimore City School Board. This is the first time Baltimore City voters will have a chance to vote for their school board members. No one has filed yet. I do not believe that they file under Republican or Democratic. https://www.elections.maryland.gov/elections/2022/primary_candidates/gen_cand_lists_2022_3_by_county_3.html
On January 11, Baltimore Family Alliance sent the following communication to BFA families.
Good morning Baltimore Families!
Late in the evening on Sunday, City Schools announced they were moving 57 (and counting) schools to a virtual format beginning Monday, through January 19th. Many families were faced with an inability to find childcare or ensure their child has meals typically provided through school - which in turn impacted parents’ ability to work.
This lack of communication at a reasonable hour, resulting in no time to make adequate plans, has been extremely frustrating for many parents. We know that the Baltimore Teachers Union advocated for COVID testing prior to (not after) the return to the classroom, in an attempt to prevent large-scale positive pools that would risk shutting down entire schools.
It can feel as though decisions are being made in a vacuum, without understanding the complete downstream implications on city families from the standpoint of mental, emotional and economic well-being.
The past two years have been incredibly stressful for students, families and school staff. We are fortunate that the Baltimore City Public School System (City Schools) has been a national leader in COVID safety precautions for schools, with weekly pool testing, masking requirements, quarantining protocols, and requiring teachers and staff to be vaccinated. Where City Schools have failed to meet the needs of our families is in effectively communicating and in balancing risk in a way that allows City families to be successful.
We have heard the stories of significant delays in communicating pooled testing results to families and unclear timelines for quarantining across the district. These are standards that should be managed and communicated at the district level. All families deserve the same transparency and support, regardless of which school their child attends.
Ultimately, families decide whether Baltimore City is the right place for their children, and whether public school is the best option. Some families have the resources to send their children to private schools or to homeschool their children - but not every family can do this.
That is why it is so important to advocate for policies that account for the needs of ALL families, so that ALL families have access to resources for educational and economic success. Please share your voice to ensure all Baltimore families get the support they need. Two advocacy opportunities are listed below - the first is time-sensitive.
Today (January 11) is City Schools’ January Public Board Meeting. Public comment will be taken at this meeting. Any members of the public interested in participating must e-mail Leatrice Jones (LLJones02@bcps.k12.md.us) between 4:15 – 5:15 PM on January 11. Only the first ten submissions will be included in the Board meeting. The email to Leatrice Jones must include:
More details about the public board meeting can be found here.
You can email City Schools leadership directly and let them know what your family needs to make City Schools schools work for your family:
Dr. Santelises’ email is CitySchoolsCEO@bcps.k12.md.us
Christian Gant, Board Executive Director’s email is email@example.com
Parent and Community Advisory Board’s Email is firstname.lastname@example.org
In past years, we have written letters, rallied, and marched for adequate school funding. We kickoff 2022 by demanding better communication from City Schools. Baltimore Family Alliance thanks you for your continued engagement in education advocacy.
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On Thursday, October 7, Seema Iyer, PhD of Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance—Jacob France Institute joined Baltimore Family Alliance virtually for our Community Conversation: What does the Census Data mean for our families? Seema D. Iyer Ph.D. is associate director of the Jacob France Institute (JFI) in the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business. Dr. Iyer oversees the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance at JFI, which is also part of the Urban Institute’s National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership of sites that provide longitudinal, community-based data on demographics, housing, crime, education and sustainability. Prior to joining UBalt, Dr. Iyer served as Chief of Research & Strategic Planning for Baltimore City’s Planning Department.
What does the Census Data mean for our families?
According to EdNote, "The census directly influences education, as census counts impact the federal funds allocated for educational programs. Census data determines funding for special education, Head Start, school nutrition, after-school programming and classroom technology, as well as maternal and child health programs." Given this importance, Baltimore families need to know what do these recent Census numbers mean for them.
In September, guest speaker Dr. Jeanette Beaudry, pediatrician and public health expert from Johns Hopkins Children's Center, joined Baltimore Family Alliance virtually for New Babies on the Block: Vaccinations! She answers tons of questions about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccinations. She discussed the mRNA vaccines and how the body develops immunity against the virus.