District Innovation Support

The Fund provides trusted expertise to explore innovative models with a track record of success, and facilitate their implementation as part of a systemic solution. The Fund has the unique ability to extend Baltimore City Public Schools’ (City Schools) own capacity to pursue new policies and practices for enhancing district effectiveness and deliverng strong results for students. Our extensive knowledge of district priorities and close working relationship allows us to take a lead role in researching and designing new reform models, managing large-scale projects, assessing data and results, and codifying and disseminating outcomes.

Examples of Current Efforts:

Charter School Application Redesign

The Fund is currently partnering with City Schools to re-design its Charter School Application and scoring rubric. With 31 charter schools in operation, and another three slated to open over the next two years, City Schools has been a leader in charter school authorization in Maryland; its 31 charters account for more than 65% of the 47 charters operating across the state.

To improve the charter application and approval process, the Fund and City Schools have been working together to:

  • Complete a charter landscape to learn about local stakeholders’ experiences with the charter application;
  • Look at best practices being employed in other districts;
  • Develop a rubric to assess the quality of charter applications in a standardized way; and
  • Align the charter application and renewal frameworks to the district’s school effectiveness review protocol.

School Choice Website

The Fund led the creation of a new School Choice website that gives City Schools’ students and parents online access to information that dramatically enhances their ability to select a school as part of Baltimore City’s middle and high school choice process.  As project manager for this initiative, the Fund researched vendor options, outlined recommended functionality, and attracted needed funding to develop and maintain this important new enhancement to City Schools’ school choice process.

Now in its 7th year, school choice is at the heart of the district’s efforts to give students and parents a greater say in which schools they will attend. This online system allows familes and students to search by multiple criteria for schools that best meet their needs, provides in depth comparison data on potential choices, and supplies critical information about the School Choice process and components. The search data collected by this new system also will help the district better tailor school offerings to meet actual student needs and demands.

Visit the new School Choice Website.