This page is designed to provide policy documents from Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS), policy recommendations from TDP and guidelines on how to prepare your own testimony.
For more BCPSS policies visit Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners - BoardDoc
Meeting are held at 6pm at BCPSS Head Quarters: 200 E North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21202
BCPSS Contact information
200 E. North Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21202
Guidelines for Testifying at a School Board Meeting
Research your issue
What’s the history of the issue? This can be as simple as finding out what was discussed recently in a news article or at a previous board meeting or it can involve going back in time, if you are really interested. The ACLU is often a good source of information as they have papers written on many topics.
Why does the problem still exist today?
What are the stats or data on the issue?
Who needs to make the change you wish to see? (City Schools? The State? City Government? A principal? Be clear what power the school board has and what pieces might rest with another entity)
What are the barriers to your target audience making the change?
What exactly do you want the school system to do differently?
Who else is or has been working on this issue? Write to or call them to see what they might be planning to say; coordinate your testimony if possible.
Ideally, attend one of the board committee meetings where this issue will be discussed. You can find out which board members are most concerned, and learn a lot about what they are wrestling with.
Preparing your testimony
Make your issue into a story so it’s personal
Connect the story to a systemic issue so it’s clear it affects others
Share any pertinent data that shows the impact of the problem
Articulate what you want to see happen. This can be more powerful when you know more about what the school board is debating doing and where the pressures are coming from.
Write your testimony and practice it so you don’t have to read it word for word. Ideally the written testimony is a crutch only if you need it.
Submit your testimony 24 hours (ideally) in advance to email@example.com. This way the public has access to your testimony as well as the school board members. They will read it.
Sign up at 4:30. If there are a lot of issues coming before the board that will bring out a lot of people, arrive early to be first in line. (Only 10 people can testify)
Make your testimony visual when possible.
You can have multiple people testify with you or stand with you in solidarity as long as you stick to your 3 minutes.
Reach out to TDP for help thinking through your testimony
Pipeline Update:Teachers & School Leaders
Presentation to the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners Teaching and Learning Committee
EDUCATION POLICY 101: WHERE IS POLICY MADE
Use this document as a starting point for where to go to get answers about policy issues.
20 Years of Forgotten History: Why Organizing is Our Only Chance at Adequate School Funding in Maryland
Maryland’s historical failure to fulfill its constitutional obligation to adequately and equitably fund public education - by Corey Gaber
DISCIPLINE POLICY: RECOMMENDATIONS
The following recommendations came from a group of 30 teachers, parents and students who gathered to discuss and articulate their recommendations. There was a very clear consensus around the necessity for creating structures that support relationship building and Restorative Practices.
COMMUNITY SCHOOL STRATEGY: recommendations
Over the past month, the Teachers’ Democracy Project has attempted to understand the full implications and back story behind the newly proposed Community Schools Policy. TDP staff and fellows have interviewed teachers, parents, lead agencies, community schools coordinators and others and we recently pulled together a public forum where we invited input and discussion. This document attempts to look at how City Schools might further enhance this positive policy.
COMMUNITY SCHOOL STRATEGY: Policy
The goal of the Community School Strategy is to ensure all students in City Schools are academically successful and graduate college, career and citizenship ready. Community Schools achieve this through creating positive conditions for learning in the school and the community, in partnership with the families connected to each Community School. With equity as a key driver, Community Schools is an effective strategy to address concentrated poverty. This strategy offers an integrated focus on academics, health and mental health services, youth development, expanded learning opportunities and family and community supports to ensure students are ready and able to learn.
COMMUNITY SCHOOL STRATEGY: REGULATION
This administrative regulation establishes procedures for the required collaboration between the CEO, Mayor’s Office, Baltimore’s Local Management Board, identified City Schools offices/departments, schools and Lead Agencies. Additionally, the purpose of this administrative regulation is to clearly define City Schools’ role in support of the Community School Steering Committee (i.e. oversight, designation, conflict resolution and evaluation).
FAMILY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
This policy establishes the framework and responsibilities for the implementation of strategies to increase family and community engagement throughout Baltimore City Public Schools (“City Schools”). The Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners (“Board”) supports the development of a goal-oriented, comprehensive program of family and community engagement that supports the academic achievement of all students and that meets local, state, and federal mandates.
Code of Conduct 2016-17
The Code of Conduct includes definitions of disciplinary responses, student and parent rights with respect to suspensions, and descriptions of levels of intervention and response to inappropriate or disruptive behavior. Disciplinary responses focus on promoting positive relationships, intervention strategies, and the use of suspensions only as a disciplinary measure of last resort.
Oakland Discipline Policy
Below are a set of polices put in place by the Oakland school district that present interesting way of address and implementing Restorative Practices.