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Announcements December 5, 2018

A Message From Principal Valentine Regarding MSDE Report Card Rating

The Baltimore Design School has earned an overall three stars. This rating reflects a portion of what we are doing well and spotlights where we need to grow.

A note from Principal Valentine:

To the Baltimore Design School Stakeholders and Community:

Today, the Maryland State Department of Education released ‘star ratings’, a new assessment tool for school performance.  With this rating, MSDE is identifying schools for comprehensive support and improvement (CSI) based on school performance and graduation rate, as well as targeted support and improvement (TSI) based on student performance. All schools, regardless of their star rating or classification, must work to raise the bar for educating our children. To support school improvement, the state will provide different levels of assistance based on school performance. Schools earning one or two stars and are identified as CSI or TSI will receive the most help.

Schools can earn one to five stars based on criteria ranging from test scores to attendance and graduation rates. The Baltimore Design School has earned an overall three stars. This rating reflects a portion of what we are doing well and spotlights where we need to grow. We have an active school improvement plan with focuses on attendance, literary and college and career readiness. We will continue to use this to better our students, and our school.

As a design school, BDS is unique in the manner in which students apply and are accepted.  Middle school students complete an interest survey that indicates their level of interest in art and design; high school students are required to submit a portfolio. Neither process considers academic merit and/or composition scores.  Because of this, our students come to us with varying degrees of academic abilities. Our staff remains committed to ensuring that all of our students have the support they need to meet state learning requirements, placing an emphasis on each student’s individual needs and ensuring resources to foster growth.

As a community, we have already taken huge strides to support the needs of our students. By carefully integrating art and design into all courses, our students receive a well-rounded education that encourages them to think critically and creatively. BDS stakeholders have undertaken a comprehensive literacy initiative, designed to strengthen our student’s reading, writing, and verbal skills and significantly increase their test scores in these areas. The initiative involves strengthening our English Language Arts (ELA) skills, developing curriculum in our academic courses that reinforces the commitment to literacy and integrating the literacy initiative into our design curriculum. We will have classrooms equipped with mobile libraries to better support the needs and interests of our scholars.

This rating is an indicator of what we are doing well as a school, and where we will continue to direct our resources toward growth in areas of math, literacy and standardized testing strategies.  We want to assure our parents that their child’s education remains our top priority. At BDS, our students deserve and will receive a high-quality education with rigorous academics balanced with inspiring design. Using the school improvement plan, we will continue our model of growth and improvement. School improvement is a community effort that requires help from parents, students, teachers, administration, and community members. It will take all of us working together to improve.  The Baltimore Design School has what it takes to be a five star school, and together, we will achieve this result.

I invite you to attend our School Family Council meeting starting at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, December 12. We will discuss this new rating system and how our school scores break down. More importantly, we will review our school improvement plan and discuss how it measures up against our school rating – are we allocating resources where we need. Please click here to RSVP.

To view a message from Dr. Santelises about the state’s new report cards, click here.

We appreciate your attention to this news and look forward to your input on December 12th.