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December Newsletter

A Lookback at the Fund in 2023

2024 is almost here! With your support, 2023 was a productive year at the Fund!

Here are some of the things we accomplished together:

  • Following months of research, we released our newest report, “Should I Stay or Should I Go? Retaining the Teachers Baltimore City Students Need”, examining teacher burnout, retention, and recruitment in Baltimore City Public Schools.”
  • Celebrated principals through the Heart of the Schools, including sharing over 9,000 notes of encouragement to school staff through our Share Some Love Campaign, honoring 5 principals as Heart of the School Award winners, and providing grants for over 50 school-identified projects and staff celebration events.
  • Over the past few years, the Fund has secured nearly $40M in philanthropic support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wallace Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, and the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation for a wide range of critical initiatives within Baltimore City Public Schools.
  • Provided high-level financial and grant management expertise to 25 mission-aligned local organizations, allowing them to focus on their programmatic goals and serve our community.
  • Facilitated and expanded ChiPP, an early childhood development program focused on giving parents of pre-school aged children effective parenting strategies, to 24 schools.
  • And so much more!

These programs are made possible with your support! Thank you for your generosity this year!

Together, we can realize what’s possible for every student in our city’s public schools!

Haven’t made a gift? There’s still time before the clock strikes midnight!

Donate Today!

Heart of the School Holiday Celebration Recap

On Thursday, December 14, the Heart of the Schools, the principal-centered program of the Fund for Educational Excellence, kicked off the holiday season with our annual Heart of the School Holiday Celebration! Over 430 Baltimore City Public School principals, district leaders, school staff, and partners gathered at M&T Bank Stadium for a night of fun and fellowship in celebration of their hard work and dedication this school year. The festive evening was brimming with fantastic food, beverages, entertainment, and dancing, offering school leaders a chance to unwind, rejuvenate and revel before the holiday break!

Read the Fund’s blog to learn who were the lucky winners of the amazing raffle packages we gaveaway on the night of:

Holiday Celebration Recap

Check out a few photos of the evening, linked and below:

Thank you to all who joined us! To learn more about the Heart of the School Holiday Celebration visit

Nominations for the Heart of the School Awards Open January 1!

Mark your calendars! The 2024 Heart of the School Award principal nominations open Monday, January 1, 2023 and run through January 31st.

Anyone – student, parent, school staff, community member or organizational leader – can nominate a principal they would like to see honored at the Heart of the School Awards – the annual event coordinated by the Fund for Educational Excellence that celebrates Baltimore City Public School principals for their tireless work on behalf of students and families. Award criteria and details on the quick nomination process can be found, here. Spread the word!

School Choice Applications Due January 18

School Choice season in full swing, head to the Fund’s website for a suite of resources to help students and families more easily navigate the choice process, including: a find your fit chart, a how-to navigate City Schools’ school finder tool instructional video, Spanish and English School Choice powerpoint presentations and a list of open house and shadow dates. Find these school choice tools at

Here are a few key school choice tips for students and families:

  • Families of City Schools 5th and 8th graders can complete and submit their School Choice applications now through January 18 using the new Student Enrollment Management System (SEMS). Charter applications are due February 2. Look up open houses and shadow days, here.
  • Talk with your school choice liaison about high school programs, which schools you’re eligible to attend, visiting schools you’re interested in, how to apply, and more. Find City Schools school choice liaisons list, here.
  • Review your composite score! Make sure to consult with your school choice liaison about the five schools you put on your school choice application, so you have the best chance at the best fit for you. Composite scores and choice applications are available for families in the new Student Enrollment Management System (SEMS).
  • Check out Baltimore City Public Schools choice guide for tips on how to find, choose and apply to your future school. Find the English and Spanish choice guides on City Schools’ choice webpage, here.

Of Note:
Additional insights, updates and resources.

  • Starting next school year, Baltimore City Public Schools students who rely on public transportation to travel to and from school will have a seat at the table with transit leaders through Maryland Transit Administration’s new Youth Transit Council. Learn more, here.
  • Over the last 5 years, the office of Senator Cory McCray has collaborated with College Bound to host an “Apprenticeship Tour” for high schools within our district. Check it out, here.
  • Do you know a student who stands out as a leader or change-maker in their community? Nominate them for Junior Achievement’s upcoming 18 Under 18 class! Winners will be featured in the June 2024 issue of Baltimore magazine and acknowledged at an event in June 2024. Nominations close January 15, 2024 and can be submitted here.

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