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April Newsletter

Read below for news on what the Fund for Educational Excellence has been focused on this month, including:

  • Heart of the School Awards Postponed
  • City Schools’ Emergency School Closure Family Support Fund
  • New Blog Series: Baltimore School Leaders & their Response to COVID-19
  • Share Some Love for Baltimore City Public School Principals

Heart of the School Awards Postponed

On behalf of the Heart of the Schools, we want to share that the 2020 Heart of the School Awards, originally scheduled for May 21st, will be postponed.

The Fund For Educational Excellence and our many partners throughout Baltimore are focused now on supporting our city’s principals, students and school communities. While it doesn’t feel safe or right to celebrate together until we know we are “all clear”, we will continue to shine a light on the extraordinary work these leaders are doing.

We look forward to celebrating these exceptional principals with you at a later date – when we as a community can give them the recognition and appreciation they deserve.

Donate Today: City Schools’ Emergency School Closure Family Support Fund

The Baltimore City Public Schools Emergency School Closure Family Support Fund – created to provide vital resources to Baltimore’s communities and schools through challenges associated with schools closing and COVID-19 – is now accepting public donations on an ongoing basis.

In these challenging and uncertain times, we were committed to supporting the request from Dr. Sonja Santelises, City Schools’ CEO, to create this fund on behalf of the children and families in our public schools. Donations to the Emergency School Closure Family Support Fund are used to address priority needs for communities, including technology access and food insecurity. The Fund for Educational Excellence has partnered with Baltimore City Public Schools to serve as administrator of this initiative – working closely with the district to identify needs, manage funds and secure contributions.

Donate By Clicking Here

New Blog Series: Baltimore School Leaders and Their Response to COVID-19

Over the last two weeks, Baltimore City Public School principals have shared their perspectives and experiences in grappling with challenges stemming from school closures and the COVID-19 pandemic on the Fund for Educational Excellence blog. These school leaders – all 2020 Heart of the School Award Finalists – provide inspiring insight on the challenges, steps, approaches and successes in adjusting and supporting their school communities. Be on the lookout for additional installments moving forward.

Read the first four posts, including:

  • Dr. Katrina Foster, principal of Hampden Elementary/Middle School, describes how this unprecedented situation has given rise to support and solidarity in her school’s community. Read her post here.
  • Joe Manko, principal of Liberty Elementary School describes how his school community is rallying to provide high quality virtual learning tools and resources to students and families. Read his post here.
  • David Guzman, principal of Mary E. Rodman Elementary School, calls for a collaborative effort to rethink and quickly adapt our learning model. Read his post here.
  • Zaharah Valentine, principal of Baltimore Design School provides her perspective on the challenges she and her staff are facing. Read her post here.

Share Some Love for Baltimore City Public Schools Principals

Year-round and especially right now, the leadership, talent and tireless commitment of our principals is crucial to the students and communities of Baltimore. As a community, these inspiring leaders deserve our thanks for deftly navigating changes, providing encouragement, and actively supporting students and staff.

And we need your help!

Send us a story, picture, or video showing a principal doing something worthy of praise – or simply a message of thanks! We will share these messages directly with the principals and will post them on social media.

Click Here to Submit Your Message
(or email

Of Note:

Here are some great examples of what organizations are doing to support students and families

  • “Business-Nonprofit Collaboration Provides Over $1MN To Address COVID-19 Food Insecurity For  Baltimore City Residents” – Citybizlist
  • City Schools is providing grab-n-go meals to all Baltimore children and youth (18 and under) at 18 meal sites. The meals will be available from 10am-2pm and children and adults can each receive 4 meals/person. Find the list of meal sites here.
  • “Under Armour making protective gear for Maryland hospital workers during coronavirus pandemic” – Baltimore Sun
  • Pratt Library is delivering a variety of programs online to students and families, including virtual storytime, homework help from librarians, teaching tips for parents and even meditation. Find details here.
  • “K-12 Schools Try To Salvage The Term By Teaching Remotely” – NPR’s Morning Edition

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