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August Newsletter

Heart of the Schools Back to School Campaign

The new school year started back up this week! The Heart of the Schools, the Fund’s principal-centered program, is kicking off the year with a back-to-school fundraiser for the Heart of the School Fund – a year-round program funding projects and resources that enhance Baltimore City’s schools and learning. Now more than ever, ensuring that children continue thriving is crucial.

With their leadership and your support, principals and their students will access the meaningful experiences they need most. A donation to the Heart of the School Fund will help us fund more projects, more schools, and more ideas that help students and communities.

The Fund’s Latest Report In the News

In the week leading up to the start of school, the Fund’s Analysis and Engagement team penned an op-ed for the Baltimore Sun addressing the issue of teacher shortages and our recent report on teacher burnout, retention and recruitment in Baltimore City Public Schools.

On August 26th, Kwane Wyatt, Program Director of Analysis & Engagement, and Ruth Farfel, Analysis & Engagement Manager, co-authors of our newest report Should I Stay or Should I Go? Retaining the Teachers Baltimore City Students Need, joined Jayne Miller on WBAL News Radio for a discussion about teacher shortages and retention in Baltimore City Public Schools:

Through interviews with a demographically representative sample of 202 current City Schools teachers and nine recently separated teachers from 100 of the 164 schools about their working conditions, general experiences, what makes the job difficult and what they love most about teaching. The full-length report outlines key themes and findings and culminates with recommendations from teachers and the Fund for Educational Excellence to improve conditions and retain and recruit the educators Baltimore City students need.

Interested in learning more? Schedule a briefing with the report’s authors by emailing us at For more on Should I Stay or Should I Go? visit to read the full-length report, including detailed key themes and findings, teacher stories, and the Fund’s recommendations.

Heart of the Schools Partnership Events with the Baltimore Ravens

Ravens Training Camp Visits for City Schools Principals and their Staff
The Heart of the Schools is grateful for our partnership with the Baltimore Ravens, who invited us out to training camp again this year. Over 180 principals, school staff, and family members were able to join us at the Castle to watch Lamar Jackson, Marlon Humphrey, Odell Beckham Jr and their fellow Ravens up close and personal. Children in the group were able to get autographs from their favorite players, and principals were able to enjoy time with their teams. We were able to offer trips on two days this year and hope to expand next year!

Baltimore Ravens Back-to-School Event at Henderson-Hopkins
We were also happy to connect the Ravens with Henderson-Hopkins and help plan a back-to-school event featuring star linebacker Roquan Smith on August 22nd. 100 students from grades 3 to 8 got the chance to meet Roquan Smith, Ravens cheerleaders, and Poe while they participated in fun activities to welcome them back to school, and received school supplies, food, books from the Ravens Bookmobile and all students were offered haircuts and styling from Rob’s Community Barbershop Foundation!

Check out WBAL’s coverage as well as photos from the event!

Ravens’ Roquan Smith, community foundation provide free haircuts for kids

Of Note:
Additional insights, updates and resources.

  • Head to City Schools website to find a back-to-school checklist, information about laptops and hotspots, where to find meals, and upcoming events, here.
  • From take-home activities and author presentations to literacy games and teacher conferences, Family Literacy Nights make sure City Schools students are supported in their reading journeys at home and in class. Learn more, here.
  • High-schoolers-turned journalists! At City Schools’ City Neighbors High School, students in the Backpack Journalism program – a partnership with Loyola University – are raising questions and telling their communities’ stories. Learn more, here.

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