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February Newsletter

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

  • Heart of the School Award Tickets Now on Sale
  • New Blog: Kirwan Plan Must Prioritize Equitable Access
  • UA Student-Athlete Leadership Council Session
  • New Grade Level Reading Tip Sheets for Parents
  • Of Note, News You Should Know

2020 Heart of the School Awards Tickets Now On Sale

Join hundreds of community members, educators and civic leaders in celebrating Baltimore’s exceptional principals at the Heart of the School Awards: Thursday, May 21 – 5:30 p.m. at the Hippodrome Theatre!

Purchase tickets today at

Proudly hosted by the Fund, the fifth annual Heart of the School Awards will honor 10 exceptional Baltimore City Public School principals with testimonials from their communities, celebratory presentations, and a lavish, on-stage reception with food and drink.

The honored principals were principal-identified from over 650 nominations for 92 school principals. Winning principals will receive $2,500 for school projects.

All proceeds from the event support the Heart of the School Fund, the year-round grant program funding principal-selected school enhancements such as new technology, professional development, field trips, musical instruments and school beautification.

Act now! Tickets are $50 before May 1st and increase to $75 after.

New Blog Post: Kirwan’s Career Prep Revamp Must Prioritize Equitable Access

The Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education has the opportunity to transform education in Maryland. The Fund’s latest blog post analyzes the Commission’s recommendations for career and technical education and its implications on equitable access to high-quality learning experiences.

Read the blog post here

The Fund Coordinates UA Student-Athlete Leadership Council Session

Last week, two student-athlete representatives from every Baltimore City Public High School convened at UA House for a leadership development retreat as part of the Baltimore Student Athlete Coalition’s work– a program coordinated by the Fund for Educational Excellence and Under Armour that supports and guides Baltimore student-athletes towards success on the field and in the classroom with professional development, events, resources and mentorship.

During the UA Student-Athlete Leadership Council session, students heard from former Baltimore Raven Torrey Smith about preparation as a foundation for success. Smith and Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises shared stories and lessons learned through their experiences, including self-motivation, flexibility of leadership, a goal-oriented mindset and maintaining commitment. Take a look at some photos from the session below!

Visit here for more info on the Baltimore Student Athlete Coalition and Under Armour’s support of student-
athletes in Baltimore City Public Schools.

Grade Level Reading Tip Sheets Now Available for Parents

Grade Level Reading, the early childhood literacy program managed by the Fund for Educational Excellence, collaborated with City Schools to revise and expand parent tip sheets that align with the new English Language Arts curriculum, Wit & Wisdom, for grades K-3. Module 3 is ready for distribution!

Please find the tip sheets here.

Created with input from families and teachers, the tip sheets provide families with detailed information on each module along with fun activities to do at home that correlate with each curriculum module. Help spread the word to families and educators in Baltimore! Feel free to share the blurb below in any email messages, newsletters or social media:

Calling all K-3 families! English Language Arts tip sheets are available to you. The tip sheets have information on the English Language Arts Curriculum and activities you can do at home to support your child’s reading growth. Go to to access the tip sheets.

Of Note:

Updates, resources, and articles of interest to the educational community

  • Questions about the Kirwan Commission’s process and work? Check out this great article for answers –
    “Key questions about the Kirwan Commission and the debate over funding Maryland’s public schools” –
    Baltimore Sun.
  • Inspiring perspective from 2019 Baltimore Teacher of the Year Kyair Butts – “This is why I teach in
    Baltimore schools”; Baltimore Sun.
  • Last June, City Schools adopted an equity policy to address and reverse decades of public policies that
    have disproportionately disadvantaged students of color. Racial equity training for district staff is a key
    step. Read more about that work here.
  • Wonderful news for students, educators and our entire community! “Baltimore City school board gives
    chief officer Sonja Santelises rare second contract” – Baltimore Sun.

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