Values set Baltimore school apart: USA Today

Baltimore’s Talent Development High School, using the Johns Hopkins University model to help at-risk students is showing signs of success. See this USA Today story. See also the links here to other stories the USA Today did on this particular high school over the past few days.

A link to the JHU Talent Development H.S. program is located in the blogroll section on the right-hand side of your screen. Many of Guilford County’s high schools have ninth grade academies using the JHU model.

An excerpt:

It was an odd little idea that stuck in assistant principal Saeed Hill’s head and wouldn’t die: Two years after his tiny high school’s founding, it needed something β€” he wasn’t sure exactly what β€” to set it apart from the dozens of others in the city, even the small core of “innovation” schools to which Baltimore Talent Development High School belonged.

“I realized the school needed some kind of tradition,” Hill says.

Before students arrive at Talent Development, many are on the path to dropping out. In a city where only one in three students are likely to earn a high school diploma, the school offers a gold-plated second chance. But that wasn’t enough.

He began asking people: What does it mean to be a student here? Soon he had an idea.

He envisioned a sort of honor society whose members would wear enamel lapel pins painted with “words that meant something to me.”

So Hill created five pins, each showing a star and a positive trait: respect, dedication, integrity, perseverance and leadership.

“Education should be more than just math, science and English,” Hill says. “You have to build character.”

E.C. πŸ™‚


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