July 27, 2015
Even though the temperatures are quite high, we continue to make our way to visit the AP calculus summer programs sponsored by the Office of the Presidential Scholar and the College Board.
As mentioned earlier, we visited the student boot camp program led by Ms. Santavenere, at Dundalk High School, (left) in early July and the one at Milford Mill Academy led by Mr. Dalsimer, on July 21. All of the students were so engaged, and working very hard!
Then on July 22, we visited the teacher workshop led by Dr. Gail Kaplan, assisted by two of her recent Towson University graduates.
We are very pleased with the results we have from the first cohort of boot camp students from summer 2014, and their teacher, who had participated in the first teacher professional development cohort. We believe this program has real promise as a winning combination of teacher preparation and student support to enhance student success with the AP calculus exam.
July 15, 2015
Although the campus is fairly quiet, and many are on vacation, the Office of the Presidential Scholar is buzzing with activity. We have spent a lot of time visiting innovative and exciting classrooms in schools and summer camps.
We visited Andrew Coy at the Digital Harbor Foundation, a wonderful and engaging tech center in Baltimore, where we saw our first 3-D printing, programmed by middle and high school students. We also got to visit with first graders who were making their very first “Pixar”-style movies.
The All SySTEMs Go Advanced Placement boot camp for students taking AP calculus next school year began in two Baltimore County schools this month. When we visited, students were busy brushing up their pre-requisite skills and getting a jump ahead on calculus content. Boot camp teachers are Kevin Dalsimer, Kate Santavenere, and Sean Selba. Sean is known for entertaining students with the calculus songs he writes and performs to help them internalize what they are learning.
The Maryland Writing Project continues its re-invention and expansion this summer with two three-day teacher professional development sessions at Halstead Academy that will continue into the fall. Thirty very talented and committed teachers from elementary, middle and high schools are participating along with three Towson University professors: Dr. Diane Wood, Dr. Vicki McQuitty, and Ms. Clare Kruft.
Last week, we traveled to beautiful Frederick County to meet with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Terry Alban. She is an innovative leader who puts her students first in every decision she makes, and has some compelling ideas to improve schools. She is forming many partnerships with local businesses to provide students with opportunities to have internships and work experiences relative to their studies.
Finally, many thanks to the Whiting Turner Contracting Company for their $1 million contribution for UTeach. This is such an important program to me, and I am so happy that it is also valued by this highly respected Baltimore business.