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April Newsletter

Following Up on Broken Pathways: City Schools New Career Readiness Strategic Plan

Broken Pathways: The Cracks in Career and Technical Education in Baltimore City Public Schools
In February 2019, the Fund published our Broken Pathways report examining Career and Technical Education in City Schools. Interviews with 140 former CTE students and current teachers revealed that the existing CTE program provided minimal career-related advising and little exposure to real-world work experiences, confusing pathway placement and difficulty with changing focuses. The report’s resulting recommendations included expanding internship and professional experiences, focusing on career pathways that lead to living-wage jobs, and consolidating CTE programming to maximize use of limited resources, especially teachers. The key recommendation of the report called for City Schools to restructure CTE so that students have experiences and training that lead to meaningful careers and wages.

Reimagining Career Prep in Baltimore City Public Schools
As a follow-up to the report, in October 2019, the Fund worked with the district to organize a Re-Imagining Career Prep in Baltimore City Public Schools community conversation and panel discussion to hear perspectives from 120 students, parents, educators, employers and district and city leaders. Following a compelling panel and discussion on effective career prep, attendees formed small groups to brainstorm ideas to better prepare students for life after high school. Baltimore City Public Schools committed to using the information collected at the community conversation to inform its strategic plan for career and technical education and for continued engagement with students, parents, educators, employers, and community members.

City Schools’ Career Readiness Plan
Last month, City Schools released its Career Readiness Strategic Plan. The new strategic plan focuses on strengthening CTE programming and equitable access, developing more work-based learning opportunities, providing professional development for staff, pursuing effective community partnerships, and redesigning and refreshing the curriculum to align with industry standards and in-demand, higher-wage careers. We are proud to have amplified the voices of students and the community and then worked with the district to integrate their ideas into this plan.

Read the Full Strategic Plan Here

The Heart of the Schools Presents: A Big Thank You Night at Bengies Drive-In for Baltimore’s Principals!

Wow – What a year! After navigating the most challenging year imaginable, Baltimore City’s principals deserve the biggest thank you night out possible. In recognition of principals’ hard work and dedication, the Heart of the Schools is taking over the world-famous Bengies Drive-in, home of the largest movie screen in America, on June 16th! We look forward to providing updates and pictures in an upcoming newsletter.

Share Some End of the School Year Love to a City Schools Principal

After this year, principals deserve some praise. What better way to commemorate our amazing City Schools principals than with a heartfelt message to close out the school year! Show a principal your appreciation for all that they’ve done for their school communities this past year with a message of thanks, encouragement, congratulations, or simply share some kind words. We would love to share these messages with principals on the last day of school, via social media and on the big screen at Bengies Drive-in!

Submit Your Message Here

Of Note:

Additional insights, updates and resources:

  • Join the Center for American Progress for the third installment of the K-12 Education Policy team’s Quality Education event series May 5 – 19, Wednesdays at 1 PM. Learn more and register here.
  • Congratulations to Sidney Thomas of Holabird Academy, the 2021 City Schools Teacher of the Year! Watch the surprise announcement here.
  • Check out some of the amazing advocacy efforts of City College’s SOMOS (Students Organizing A Multicultural and Open Society) students featured in the Baltimore Sun! This year, SOMOS has worked to address the inequitable access to internet, ensure fair academic opportunity for English language learners and make school reopenings safe. Read here.
  • ICYMI: Last week, City Schools hosted a Virtual Health and Wellness Resource Fair. Check out the family-focused event here.

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The Fund’s latest reportNOT IN SERVICE, examines how students experience public transportation in Baltimore and the implications that experience has for their education, employment and other opportunities.