Johns Hopkins and the East Baltimore Community School
August 23, 2011
Dear Faculty and Staff Members and Students:
Johns Hopkins is not just in Baltimore, but also proudly from Baltimore and fiercely devoted to the city’s health and success.
You demonstrate that devotion every day. You demonstrate it in the work you do in the community. You demonstrate it in the programs you offer its citizens. You demonstrate it in the unequaled patient care and other services you provide. You demonstrate it with hours and hours of volunteer effort for schools and nonprofits.
We are about to take that Johns Hopkins devotion to Baltimore to a new and very significant level.
When the city’s public schools reopen next week, one very important school – the East Baltimore Community School – will be under the direct supervision of the Johns Hopkins University School of Education.
This new arrangement is part of a partnership among our university, Morgan State University, the EBCS school board and the Baltimore City Public Schools.
Our School of Education will operate the school. Morgan State’s School of Education and Urban Studies will participate in its governance. Both universities will provide support for teacher development. Both will place student teachers and interns in the school. Both will seek outside funding for school programs, and both will work with its students, families, the community and the school district to make East Baltimore Community School a model of K-8 education for the rest of the city.
Our responsibilities include hiring and supervision of the principal, administration and faculty; the implementation of a proven, effective curriculum; and planning and execution of a strategy for success.
The school serves a community, just north of our East Baltimore campus, that is very important to the city and to Johns Hopkins. We have been a partner for years now with residents, the city and state, and prominent foundations to redevelop that community and restore it to its historic status as a vital, energetic, attractive place to live, work, study and shop.
This redevelopment has taken a holistic approach: It’s about housing. It’s about jobs. It’s about services. And it’s about public education, a critical element in the health of any community.
Both Johns Hopkins and Morgan have been involved with EBCS from its founding in 2009. The operator, however, was East Baltimore Development Inc., the nonprofit entity overseeing the overall revitalization project. But EBDI is in the community-building business, not the education business. The school’s board believes that Johns Hopkins, in partnership with Morgan State, is the more appropriate school operator for the long term, a decision that has been largely embraced by the school’s parents and teachers.
There is a lot to do. The school currently enrolls about 260 students in kindergarten and the first, second, third sixth and seventh grades. Fourth, fifth and eighth grade classes will be added incrementally.
And the school is currently operating out of temporary facilities. A new $30 million, 90,000-square-foot facility will open in 2013 on a 7-acre site within the EBDI redevelopment area. The school will share that site with a new $10 million early childhood center. This will be the first new school built in East Baltimore in 25 years; it will be significant not only as a first-class facility but also as a symbol of the rebirth of the Middle East neighborhood. Johns Hopkins is providing $3 million toward construction and has committed to an annual operating subsidy for the new school.
I want to thank Dean David Andrews and all School of Education faculty and staff members who are devoting so much of their time, knowledge and experience to this important effort for East Baltimore and the city. I also am grateful to leaders across Johns Hopkins for their support, and especially to the senior leadership of Johns Hopkins Medicine, CEO and Dean Ed Miller and Executive Vice President Ron Peterson. David Nichols, vice dean for education of the School of Medicine, is also a crucially important player in his role as chair of the EBCS board.
One final note: Residents and former residents of the redevelopment area have first priority for places in the EBCS student body. But it is expected that there will also be room for Baltimore City children whose parents are employed in the area, including at our East Baltimore campus. I hope employees there will keep a close eye on the school and seriously consider whether the combination of academic excellence and convenience to your workplace will make it right for your family.
More details of this exciting new development can be found in a news release online athttp://releases.jhu.edu/2011/08/23/soe_ebcs/.
Thank you for your support of our effort to make the East Baltimore Community School the finest in our city.
Ronald J. Daniels