Monday, January 25, 2010

New schools

I got the following email today:
January 25, 2010

Dear City Schools Colleagues, Staff, Partners and Friends,

We are working hard and fast to prepare for the 2010-11 school year, and a key piece of this work is creating more and better school options for all students.

I am pleased to report some exciting new options for our students, starting next year, which the Board approved at its Jan. 12 meeting. The Board approved four new Transformation Schools, including the conversion of an existing high school to a Transformation School, and three wholly new Transformation Schools.

• In fall 2010, the Academy for College and Career Exploration High School (ACCE) in Hampden will expand to include grades 6-8 and become ACCE/PREP, a Transformation School.
• Also next year, Baltimore IT Academy will open as a wholly new Transformation School with a focus on mathematics and information technologies; the school is an offshoot of the Chesapeake Science Point Public Charter School in Hanover, MD.
• Green Street Academy will also open as a wholly new Transformation School this fall, to prepare students for careers in the green economy.
• Finally, Fashion, Architecture and Basic Design Middle/Senior High School (FAB) will open as a wholly new Transformation School—though not until fall 2011.
• In addition, Vanguard Collegiate Middle School and Vanguard Collegiate High School, both new Transformation Schools operated by the College Board and approved by the Baltimore City Board of Schools Commissioners last year, will open their doors this fall. And earlier this school year, the Board approved two new charter schools for the 2010-11 school year—Tunbridge Charter Elementary School and City Neighbors Charter High School, an extension of the existing and highly successful City Neighbors Charter School. Together, these actions bring the number of charter schools and Transformation Schools in Baltimore City to 29 and 18 respectively, and continue to expand City Schools’ portfolio of exciting, thematic options for our kids.

In the days and weeks ahead I will be sharing more news with you about City Schools’ efforts to create great school options for all of our students. In the meantime, I thank you for your support of and participation in this important work thus far.

Andrés A. Alonso, Ed.D.
CEO, Baltimore City Public Schools

There was a time when this sort of email would be posted on Inside Ed and discussed. Since that's not happening anymore I'll post it here and see if any discussion comes.

My opinion is that this is great news. I'm not all that familiar with all these schools, but it's hard to argue that choice is a bad thing. With different kids and different needs we are always looking at options. Not too many years ago our choices were very limited. For msk this meant that we couldn't find an acceptable choice within City Schools and took a non-public placement. Happily, we've found a place for him back inside the system. Sadly, transistions will come soon enough and I'm always looking at options. More options might make choices harder, but I appreciate them.

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