Strong City Baltimore employs three Community School Coordinators, at Guilford and Margaret Brent Elementary/Middle schools and Govans Elementary School. Each coordinator has been highly involved in working through the tumultuous end of last school year and preparing to start this year with virtual and distance learning. Through strong partnerships and extensive preparation, our community schools have started off the year strong.
Learn more from each of our Community School Coordinators:
Guilford joined the rest of Baltimore City Public Schools in opening with a distance learning format. While this provides new, unique challenges to the staff and administration at Guilford, they have used a multi-faceted approach to take these challenges head on.
Fortunately, Guilford has a web of community partners, both individual and organizations, that support the school’s mission of providing every single student with an environment that promotes safe and comprehensive learning.
We are a partner of the Maryland Food Bank and maintain a food pantry at Guilford for families of students, along with school supplies and hygiene products. Another partner, Christ Child Society, donated over 150 books for students, which are also included in the care packages.
These services are usually conducted in person, but we have worked to create premade care packages to make social distancing easier.
Strong City and Guilford are thankful to our community partners for assisting us in adapting to these new circumstances. It is our network of individuals working hard that allows us to continue to strive to provide for our students and their families.
Margaret Brent Elementary/Middle School had a successful first two
– weeks of school, and we anticipate continued momentum. While there were a few technological glitches with the district-based loaned devices, staff, faculty, and teachers were able to assist students with their required logins and passwords.
Some of Margaret Brent’s highlights include:
The first week of virtual learning at Govans Elementary School was successful and exciting due to the extraordinary preparation provided by the Principal, Mrs. Kwaw; Vice Principal, Mrs. Jennings; and a team of awesome teachers and staff.
Staff prepared for our scholars to return with an eight-day professional development training before the start of the year, and it certainly paid off. In addition to academic capacity building, we also went over how teachers, staff and students should remain safe and healthy during this time of COVID-19.
Prior to school beginning, families received Chromebooks for students in grades 2nd through 8th and mini iPads for grades Pre-K-to 1st to use for their school lessons. Every student also received a bookbag filled with supplies and a white board. Sixty-nine parents signed up to receive one-on-one tutorials with our Technology teacher to learn how to help their children access their virtual classes. There were some technology hiccups and many students focused on learning how to navigate their new virtual learning environment.
Govans is a charter school and unfortunately is not eligible for the free computers given to traditional public schools. Through additional fundraising, we were able to purchase enough computers and iPads (which are easier for the youngest children to use).
Beyond technology and supplies, Govans also prepared for increased staff time and connection. Govans hired four new teachers and a school counselor. Community School Coordinators are helping make daily telephone calls to parents when the teacher reports a student is not in class. Home visits are also scheduled for parents whose children have sparse attendance or may not have logged on yet.
Overall, the first week of school was good and is reflected in an overall attendance rate of 85.89%!