City Schools Update: March 24, 2020

City Schools Update: March 24, 2020

March 24, 2020

Greetings City Schools students and families,

As I shared on March 20, City Schools has made great strides in planning and preparing to ensure our nearly 80,000 students receive access to a continuum of learning during this unprecedented period. We are proud to note every student has been provided access to learning packets, both online and hard copy.

We thank you for your patience and support during this time of frequent and unusual change. Together, we have demonstrated that when times are tough, we have what it takes to overcome them.

The rapid changes of recent weeks mean we must prepare for a “new normal” where education occurs outside our school buildings. City Schools is exploring a variety of distance-based learning methods with the goal of providing each student with access to a learning experience, including supporting efforts to keep them connected personally to their school communities. City Schools, similar to other school systems statewide, is also receiving guidance from the Maryland State Department of Education on how to best achieve these goals.

Here’s how:
For the week of March 30 through April 3 - Students will continue to complete the district-created learning packets along with learning tools they received from their school and teachers. For families that have not yet picked up the packets for their students, additional copies are available at the emergency food sites. Again, completing the packets is voluntary but highly encouraged. The district learning packets may be downloaded here.

Beginning April 6 – Students will be provided schoolwork using a wide variety of options based on their needs and access to technology. In some cases, this could include access to online options such as Google Classrooms. Schools will also continue the use of student work packets, its education cable television channel, and help desks to help students complete the learning activities.

We are also committed to working closely with our partners at the City of Baltimore and others to provide access to meals both this week and moving forward. Baltimore City is providing grab-n-go meals to all Baltimore children and youth (18 and under) Monday-Friday, March 23-27. The city is also distributing meals for families at select Housing Authority of Baltimore City sites for those communities’ residents only. Be sure to visit our Health Updates webpage for a listing of all the sites

Adjusting to our new normal is an ongoing challenge, especially for our students. Anxiety and fear are common during moments like these. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shared a series of helpful tips you may use to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on our community. Suggestions include making yourself available to listen, and remaining calm. Your reassurance is important to during this time of fast-changing developments.

Over the past two weeks, the students, families, and employees of Baltimore City Public Schools have demonstrated that, together, we will overcome any challenge with great determination, energy, and care for each other. Let’s keep the momentum moving forward.
We are grateful for your support and look forward to sharing additional details with you about this potential teaching and learning direction as we gain more clarity.

Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises
CEO, Baltimore City Public Schools