Baltimore City opening in-person learning centers for K-5 students by month's end

Posted at 12:17 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 18:17:03-04

BALTIMORE — More than 1,000 Baltimore City Public School students could be eligible to attend in-person learning centers by the end of the month.

Beginning September 28, 15 different city rec centers and schools will open to groups of 10 to 15 students.

The new program is for students in grades K-5, who need help completing their virtual classes. It's a partnership between Baltimore City Public Schools and Recreation and Parks.

“As we learned in the spring, the transition from a traditional classroom to a virtual learning environment can create challenges for some of our most vulnerable students – including those without ready access to, or familiarity with technology, internet, and other resources,” said Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, chief executive officer of Baltimore City Public Schools.

The lessons will still be online and taught by an instructor teaching remotely, but in-person assistance will be provided to keep students engaged and informed. Each center will have health and safety equipment and mandatory health screenings.

"We really appreciate the sacrifice the students are making at this time. They are some of the groups that have made the biggest sacrifice to keep all of us safe. So we really owe it to them to give them a safe place where they can learn, there's activities and this is a way that they can do that," said Alison Perkins-Cohen, Chief of Staff for Baltimore City Schools.

Recreation and Parks will also lead activities for the students.

"We are very aware that the isolation of being home is a big thing for students too and they don’t get any interactions or activities other than their virtual learning and so this is a way too for them, for us to address some of the other things they are interested in," said Perkins-Cohen.

Preference will be given to children whose parents still have go to work during the pandemic and those who actually attend the school where the learning center is at.

Interested families should apply here between now and September 9, or by calling 443-984-2001.

Selected families will be notified between September 14 and 16.

The following learning centers were chosen based on their location, air conditioning, WiFi access, and outdoor space.

  • William Paca Elementary
  • Waverly Elementary Middle
  • Calvin M. Rodwell Elementary Middle
  • Dorothy I. Height Elementary
  • Elmer A. Henderson Elementary Middle
  • Wildwood Elementary Middle
  • Mary E. Rodman Elementary
  • Sinclair Lane Elementary
  • Pimlico Elementary Middle
  • Sandtown-Winchester Elementary Middle
  • Farring Bay-Brook Recreation Center
  • Lakeland Recreation and STEAM Center
  • John Ruhrah Elementary Middle
  • Beechfield Elementary Middle
  • Baltimore International Academy East

Students and staff will be provided face shields or masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer.