O’s launch educational websites to help kids learn at home during the pandemic

Image via

With thousands of kids around the Baltimore region forced to learn at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Orioles are launching two websites to help young baseball fans learn math, vocabulary and much more.

Maryland public school to remain closed for four weeks, Hogan announces additional actions in response to coronavirus

Gov. Larry Hogan announces additional actions in response to the coronavirus on Wednesday inside the State House. Image via Gov. Larry Hogan’s Facebook Live broadcast.

All Maryland public schools will remain closed for at least the next four weeks as the state attempts to limit the spread of COVID-19, State Schools Superintendent Karen Salmon announced Wednesday during a press conference with Gov. Larry Hogan.

“We do not make this decision lightly. However, with the challenges facing our state and our country, we have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of our school communities and the communities at large,” Salmon said.

Salmon said state school personnel are working with local school systems to “resume the continuity of learning” next week. Schools will be closed until at least April 24.

City Schools will distribute meals, provide at-home learning packets for students

Right, Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Sonja Santelises addresses school closures, food distribution, disinfecting buildings, and other steps City Schools is taking in response to the coronavirus. Santelises was joined by Baltimore City Health Commissioner Letitia Dzirasa during a press conference Friday morning. Screengrab from Baltimore City Public Schools’ Facebook.

As public schools across Maryland prepare to close for two weeks to limit the spread of coronavirus, Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Sonja Brookins Santelises outlined how the system will provide meals for students and educational packets while they are at home.

All Maryland public schools will be closed from Monday, March 16, to Friday, March 27, State Schools Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced Thursday afternoon during a press conference in which Gov. Larry Hogan announced a list of “major actions” the state is taking to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

University System of Maryland urges post-spring break remote instruction, colleges cancel classes to prepare

Image courtesy of University System of Maryland

University System of Maryland Chancellor Jay A. Perman urged universities to prepare for students to remain off campus for at least two weeks after the end of spring break, during which time instruction should be given remotely.

“The health of our students, faculty, and staff is my paramount concern as the University System of Maryland (USM) develops protocols in response to the coronavirus outbreak,” Perman said in a statement Tuesday. “Our recommendations align with those of our public health experts, and we’re prepared to adapt our protocols quickly as circumstances change.”

Towson-based InferCabulary app uses visuals, context clues to teach vocabulary words

An example of what users can find on the InferCabulary app, including a vocabulary word, related pictures and their accompanying captions. Image courtesy of InferCabulary.

A visual vocabulary-learning app that is looking to change the way students learn and comprehend language recently received a $250,000 joint investment from the University System of Maryland’s Momentum Fund, which supports early-stage companies.

InferCabulary, an app developed by speech and language pathologists Beth Lawrence and Deena Seifert, displays one vocabulary word at a time, accompanied by a collection of pictures, and has students infer a definition for that word based on context clues in the images.

City Schools’ 4-year graduation rate down slightly with new testing requirements

Baltimore City Public Schools headquarters on North Avenue. Photo by Eli Pousson/Baltimore Heritage, via Flickr.

Baltimore City Public Schools’ four-year graduation rate decreased by nearly 2 percentage points in 2019, the first year since Maryland implemented “more rigorous” graduation requirements, city school officials announced Tuesday.

Of the 4,955 students in the Class of 2019, about 70.3 percent graduated in four years, down about 1.9 percent from 2018, according to data from the Maryland Report Card for 2018 and 2019.

Poll: Marylanders support school improvements, but don’t want to pay with increased taxes

William “Brit” Kirwan discussed school improvements on March 5, 2019, with Strong Schools Maryland representatives in Annapolis, Maryland. Charlie Youngmann / Capital News Service

The majority of Marylanders recognize the need for improvements to various aspects of the state’s public schools, including teacher salaries, facility repairs, vocational training and spending accountability. But most residents do not want taxes to increase in order to pay for state services, a recent Goucher College poll finds.

Baltimore begins countdown to College Signing Day

Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, joined by city and school leaders, announces Baltimore’s 2020 College Signing Day during a press conference Wednesday. Photo courtesy of the Mayor’s Office.

There are just over two months left until Baltimore’s College Signing Day on May 1, and city leaders are encouraging high school seniors to start thinking about post-secondary education.

Tisha Edwards, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Children & Family Success, said in a press conference Wednesday with Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young that students have to pursue career training or higher education beyond grade school to be part of today’s competitive workforce.

“We know that they have to go beyond high school in order to have a living wage and to be able to thrive in Baltimore,” Edwards said. “This is an opportunity to message that, reinforce that and help young people understand that high school is just the beginning.”

Art Abounds at St. James Academy

Artist-in-residence, Joanne Bare worked with SJA Middle School students, creating a mural inspired by David Hockney’s artwork.

At St. James Academy, art is everywhere— in the halls, hanging from ceilings, and certainly in the minds of the students. Colorful murals, whimsical sculptures and other impressive visual works created by artists-in-residence fill the building. The art teachers inspire a passion for art-making in their students who are usually found in the art room during recess, putting finishing touches on projects they began in class or engaging in arts-themed after-school clubs.

“My goal is to create art patrons, and for them to enjoy the process of art,” says Annie Bergland, middle school art teacher at St. James Academy. Within a supportive environment, students attain that goal in various ways.