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September Newsletter

The Fund Recognizes Betsy Nelson as Board Member Emerita

In recognition of her dedicated years of service and the significant ways she helped sustain and grow the organization, the Fund for Educational Excellence is pleased to announce the appointment of Betsy Nelson as a board member emerita. During her nine years as a member of the Board of Directors, Betsy made many noteworthy contributions to the organization. Among her most significant priorities was reshaping our board governance policies and committee structures allowing board members to be more active and engaged in the governance of the organization. Betsy served as the Chair of the Fund’s board for five years during which time the Fund experienced significant growth. In addition, she served with Paul Wolman as the first Co-Chair of the Heart of the Schools, the Fund’s principal-centered program, helping to make it what it is today.

We are incredibly grateful to Betsy for her years of service and shared commitment to ensuring an equitable and excellent education for all City Schools students. Betsy has been a thoughtful, engaged, enthusiastic board member for the entirety of her tenure with the organization. “I am so grateful to Betsy for the many years she served on the Fund’s board. Her leadership, guidance, and friendship have been so valuable to me personally and to the organization. We are so appreciative that Betsy chose the Fund as a place to share her talent, commitment, and smarts for so long and in so many ways!” said Roger Schulman, President and CEO of the Fund.

School Choice Workshops and Resources

School Choice season is just around the corner! Below are a few resources to ensure City Schools elementary and middle school students are prepared for the choice process:

Upcoming Open Houses: 

  • Baltimore School for the Arts: September 30, 10-11:15 a.m. & 12-1:15 p.m. Register, here.
  • Tunbridge Public Charter School: October 10, 9:00 a.m. Register, here.
  • Bard High School Early College: October 19, 7:00 p.m. (virtual on Zoom); November 18, 10:00 a.m. (in-person). Register, here.
  • Baltimore City College: October 19, 6:15-8:30 p.m. Register, here.
  • Baltimore Polytechnic Institute: October 29, 1-3 p.m. & November 9, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Baltimore Design School: November 8, 4:30-6:30; portfolio workshops for rising 9th graders 4:30-5:30 on any open house night. Register, here.

School Choice Workshops:
Starting next week, the Fund will be hosting free virtual and in-person school choice workshops to help families of 4th/5th graders and 7th/8th graders better understand and navigate the school choice process. These workshops are available in either English or Spanish to groups of four or more City Schools parents or students at a date and time convenient for them. During the workshops, families can learn more about:

  • The middle school and high school choice process
  • Academic programs available to students (The Ingenuity Project, CTE, P-Tech, etc.)
  • The current composite score formula

To request a workshop, please email ruthf@ffee.org or fill out this form. Visit our School Choice Workshop webpage for a suite of resources to help families more easily navigate the school choice process.

Learn More Here

City Schools Composite Score Update:
Baltimore City Public Schools has updated the composite score calculation formula for the 2024-2025 school year. City Schools will incorporate MCAP scores again this year. To learn more, visit https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/choice.

Farewell, Pete!

After over six years at the Fund for Educational Excellence, our esteemed colleague, Pete DeCandia, is transitioning from his role as Program Director of Student Athlete Development. Pete joined the Fund in 2016 to lead Project Rampart— a partnership between Baltimore City Public Schools and Under Armour, focused on improving the experience of student athletes and promoting an equitable access to physical activities for Baltimore City Public Schools students.

During his time at the Fund, Pete oversaw the renovation of 49 City Schools facilities, convened student representatives for the Under Armour Student-Athlete Leadership Council, including recognizing two student-athletes of the month throughout the school year, distributed new uniforms to all City Schools student-athletes and continued to guide City Schools sports with coaches training and professional development. He will be greatly missed as a staff member; we wish Pete the very best as he embarks on this exciting next chapter!

Of Note:
Additional insights, updates and resources.

  • Do you have a vision for Baltimore City Public Schools? Here is your chance to make a difference within your community and the Baltimore City School System. The Board of School Commissioners Applications are open through September 29th. Apply today, here.
  • Have questions about the Baltimore Board of School Commissioner role? Please join the information session this evening from 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm. Join, here.
  • ICYMI: Kwane Wyatt and Ruth Farfel, co-authors of our newest report, spoke with Jayne Miller on WBAL News Radio about the issue of teacher shortages and how to improve conditions for our City Schools teachers. Watch, here.

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