Rally on June 16th

rally2The rally on June 16th in front of City Schools’ was a great success. Several hundred people including labor leaders, such as Fred Mason, President of the Maryland-DC AFL-CIO, Ernie Grecco, President of the Baltimore Metro AFL-CIO, Dr. Lorretta Johnson, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFT and President Emeritus of the PSRP Chapter and Glenn Middleton, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 67. During the rally, students from Baltimore Poly-Technic Insitute performed and BTU President, Marietta English let the crowd know that the changes to the cut scores are simply unacceptable.

The BTU filed a class action grievance against the school system regarding the scores. It will be at least a few weeks before that is resolved. The BTU will continue to fight on this issue.

APRI Banquet

APRI Baltimore President, Dr. Lorretta Johnson, who also serves as the Executive Vice-President of the AFT, presented Arlene Holt-Baker, Executive Vice-President Emeritus of the AFL-CIO the APRI Legacy Award and she presented Dr. Charles Simmons, President and Founder of Sojourner-Douglass College the APRI Community Service Award.

Both Honorees were very honored and humbled to receive such awards. “Sometimes you can’t just take orders and stand quietly,” Arlene Holt-Baker said of working in the Labor Movement. “You have to stand up and fight.”

Wingspan 2014

wingspan2Wingspan at Monarch Academy is a yearly event where students at the school can show off what they have learned over the course of the school year. In the inaugural year of the new Monarch building, Middle School students were able to show off their talents on Thursday, June 5th and the elementary students were able to show off their work on Friday, June 6th.

 During the event, students give presentations and demonstrations on what they have learned on topics ranging from bugs to good nutrition. Kindergarten teacher, Blair Szydlowski’s students learned all about bugs over the course of a few months and were ready to show off what they had learned. The unit on bugs began around February or March and students were able to go out and actually see and touch real bugs. “They loved it!” said Szydolowski. “They really enjoy doing things like this. It makes them want to come to school.”

 Students also had the opportunity to go to local farms and the Smithsoean in Washington D.C. to explore the bugs’ natural habitat. Nyasia Stewart who was showing off the bug bookwingspan3 she had created for her presentation as well as other exhibits said her favorite part of learning about bugs, was learning about their anatomy.

 First graders did projects and presentations on healthy food. They showcased everything from how to make a healthy smoothie to spinach dip with carrots. They were even able to get former educators to help out. The school was able to have one of their former teachers donate some equipment for the presentations.

 “This is such a great day for our school and our students,” Monarch principal, Sundai Riggins said. “This is what Common Core is, exploratory learning.”

 Parents, community members and volunteers were invited to this event, which was very well attended!