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Promise Heights In The News

Filtering by Tag: RA

College Knowledge Jeopardy! at Renaissance Academy

Jennifer Hasselbusch

On October 10th Ms. Green, our new College and Career Coordinator, organized College Knowledge Jeopardy! for 9th grade students at Renaissance Academy High School. Participating freshmen were invited to the auditorium and divided up into three teams to play. Students were able to show off their existing college knowledge by answering questions from five categories. After a shy start, Team 3 came out on top with a total of 2,400 points and received awesome Morgan State t-shirts as a prize.

College Jeopardy Winners.png

Following the friendly competition, freshmen were able to enjoy lunch as they learned more about Ms. Green’s afterschool College Crew sessions that will be starting next week. This event marks the kick off of our MSDE Next Generation work by providing a fun learning experience about college for students and enable them to bond with their fellow classmates, hear about the supports made possible through our Next Generation Grant, as well as meet Ms. Green formally. We are very excited about what is to come for the 2018-2019 school year!

The Community Schools National Forum honors Hallie Atwater with the Community School Coordinator Award for 2018

Jennifer Hasselbusch

H. Atwater.jpg

Congratulations to the AMAZING Hallie Atwater for receiving the National Community School Coordinator Award!

Her work with the Renaissance Academy High School #433 school community will be recognized at the 2018 National Forum in Baltimore on May 2-4. She's being honored for developing over 40 school-community partnerships, focusing on issues of social justice and violence prevention, and lifting up youth and family voices to successfully advocate to keep the school open.

Click to learn more about the Community Schools National Forum Leadership Awardee winners  

Hope to see you in May for the big event! #Partner4Equity

Strange Fruit wins big at the Baltimore International Black Youth Film Fest

Jennifer Hasselbusch

Strange Fruit is a short film created by Renaissance Academy students, working under Ras Tre Subira of Griot’s Eye, about their experiences growing up in the Upton/Druid Heights neighborhood and how police brutality has affected their lives. Filmed during the 16-17 school year and submitted to the Baltimore International Black Film Festival for their Youth Film Fest, the students walked away with the honor of Best Film.

Congratulations to all of the individuals involved with the creation of this project.

Special thanks to MSDE, who partially funded the program through the 21st CCLC program awarded to Promise Heights.

You can learn more about the Baltimore International Black Film Festival by visiting their website.

Renaissance Academy Renovations Unveiled on September 18, 2017

Jennifer Hasselbusch

Renaissance Academy Senior Tyshaun Wallace speaks to Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson after the press conference on Monday, September 18, 2017.

Renaissance Academy Senior Tyshaun Wallace speaks to Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson after the press conference on Monday, September 18, 2017.

A press conference on Monday, September 18th, marked the official unveiling of extensive renovations to Renaissance Academy High School. Started at the end of the 2016-2107 school year, the project was funded by a generous donation of $1.5 million byThe Baltimore Ravens to Baltimore City Public Schools after seeing multiple stories about the dedication of RA students and the community to the school.

Speakers at the event included Baltimore City Mayor Catherine E. Pugh, Ravens President Dick Cass, Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson, CEO of BCPS Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, University of Maryand Baltimore President Jay Perman, and RA Principal Nikkia Rowe. Improvements made to the school include:

  • Classrooms modified to increase office space for social workers and mentors who need private settings to provide counseling services to students.
  • New food pantry and laundry room
  • Updated science and art rooms.
  • A large student common area.
  • Cosmetic and beautification to throughout the school and complete re-do of the lobby.

Perhaps Nikkia Rowe, RA Principal, says it best.

"At Renaissance, we always speak to 'changing the outcome,' and we are humbled by the leap of faith taken by the entire Ravens organization."

Thank you to the Baltimore Ravens for improving the lives of our students and teachers!

Read more about the press conference:

Video coverage:

  • CBS            
  • WBAL        


photo credit: Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun and Betsy Stein, University of Maryland Baltimore

Renaissance Academy renovations, courtesy of the Ravens

Jennifer Hasselbusch

Ravens officials said owner Steve Bisciotti was moved after reading articles about the school's plight and the devotion of the students. (Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore)

Ravens officials said owner Steve Bisciotti was moved after reading articles about the school's plight and the devotion of the students. (Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore)

Earlier this year, Baltimore City Schools announced that an anonymous donor had given $1 million dollars to be used for the renovation of Renaissance Academy after public outcry surrounding the potential closing of the school at the end of SY17. We are very happy to report that this week the Ravens have revealed themselves to be the generous donor. They have also kicked in an additional $500,000 to be put toward the completion of the school renovations.

You can read the full article written by Contact Reporter for The Baltimore Sun, Andrea K. McDaniels, by clicking here.

We are extremely thankful to the Ravens for making it possible for our students to stay in the school they love and look forward to the reopening of Renaissance on September 5th when SY18 begins.

'Santelises must save Renaissance Academy' an op-ed by Councilman Eric Costello and Promise Heights ED Bronwyn Mayden

Jennifer Hasselbusch

Councilman Costello and PH's own Bronwyn Mayden make the case to keep Renaissance Academy open in The Baltimore Sun.  This follows the recommendation put forth by City Schools CEO Sonja Santelises to close Renaissance Academy after the current school year ends. 

"City Schools CEO Sonja Santelises and the Baltimore City School Board should join the long list of partners who are working to support students in one of the neediest neighborhoods in our city. These students carry the burden of our city's weaknesses: trauma from community violence, poverty, mental and behavioral health issues, and a failing education system."

To read the full article, click here.  Baltimore City Schools will vote on the closing of RA as well as three other city schools at their December 13th Board meeting. 

'West Baltimore's Renaisance Academy once again facing closure'

Jennifer Hasselbusch

Baltimore Sun reporter Erica L. Greene reports that new Baltimore City Schools CEO, Sonja Santelises, is recommending that Renaissance Academy be included as one of four schools to be closed at the end of this school year.  The previous recommendation for closure after SY14-15 was successfully overturned under then CEO Gregory Thornton.  Beyond reasons sited at the time of the original recommendation, Satelises states that the school is, "...a physical remind of a tragedy,"  and that attempts to find an alternative space for the school have fallen through.  Read the full article here for more detail.

Several meetings regarding this and other recommended closings have been announced by the school board:

  • Wednesday, November 16th - a meeting for students and parents to get information and give feedback to school officials regarding the potential closure.
  • Tuesday, November 22nd at 6 pm - a special session for the public regarding all recommended closures at BCPS Headquarters. 
  • Tuesday, November 29th at 6 pm - the public hearing regarding the closures at BCPS Headquarters.