+ CTY Emerging Scholars
Now in 15 Baltimore schools, the Emerging Scholars gives elementary students access to free, in-school programming for advanced learners.
+ Teacher Training
CTY has partnered with Baltimore City schools to provide professional development to educators serving the district’s gifted and advanced learners.
+ Family Resources
CTY is conducting local school-based workshops and other events to help families navigate their students’ educational opportunities.
Financial aid for CTY’s academic programs and the four-year CTY Scholars program for high school students is available specifically for Baltimore families.
Building bridges for bright kids in Baltimore
It was 2 p.m. on a Monday in Jeannine Disviscour’s classroom at Moravia Park Elementary School in Baltimore, and eight third-graders were sitting at their desks, giggling. They were trying to tell their teacher how to make a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich—but they weren’t having any luck.
“Put the jelly on the bread,” said 9-year-old Mekhi Manning. Disviscour picked up the whole jar of jelly and sat it on top of the bag of bread. Then she crossed her arms. “Well, that’s not going to work,” she said, inciting more chuckles.
As participants in the Builders and Shakers: Introduction to Engineering course, offered this year at their school through the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth’s Baltimore Emerging Scholars Program, these students were laughing while learning important lessons about the value of specificity and attention to detail, ordering directions sequentially, and modifying instructions when steps aren’t clear.
“We get to play and to see how engineers fix problems and give us solutions,” said student Sencere Chisholm, 8. “When I come here, it’s like recess. I’m learning, but I feel free.”
The 25-week program—a partnership between CTY and Baltimore City Public Schools—grew out of CTY’s recognition that its traditional means of using above-grade-level testing to identify students for its gifted programs was not reaching Baltimore students who have the capacity and motivation to learn, but may not have had the academic opportunities that would prepare them for these types of tests.
In 2014, CTY debuted the Baltimore Emerging Scholars Program in two city schools. This year, the program has grown to include 500 second-, third-, and fourth-graders in 15 city schools. Plans are in the works to add a fifth-grade curriculum, and a summer skill-builder workshop for younger students.
“We are helping city schools meet their mission of serving every student, while fulfilling CTY’s mission of reaching students who may be underserved because of their schools’ resource limitations,” said Amy Shelton, CTY’s interim executive director and director of research, who leads the CTY Baltimore Emerging Scholars Program.
Participating schools’ teachers and principals recommend students for the program. Once students have successfully finished a course, they may be given the opportunity to enroll in a CTY course. So far, 19 scholars have gone on to participate in CTY programs, and have thrived alongside peers who entered through the traditional route.
Second-graders taking the Shaping Our World: Early Architecture course are learning about geometry, polyominoes, and scale drawing; they spent a recent class planning a new school playground. Meanwhile, fourth-graders in the To Infinity and Beyond: Space and Astronomy course are learning about gravity, black holes, and Kepler’s laws of planetary motion. The lessons aim to build students’ critical-thinking skills and knowledge of advanced concepts and their real-world applications. CTY provides the curriculum and training for city schools teachers. The program is free to families.
“Schools are at the heart of a community because they represent the promise of the future,” Shelton said. “I can’t think of a better way to enhance a community than to help its youth reach their highest potential.”
CTY Baltimore Emerging Scholars Schools include:
Belmont Elementary School
Cecil Elementary School
Commodore John Rodgers Elementary School
Furman L. Templeton Preparatory Academy
Glenmount Elementary/Middle School
Hamilton Elementary/Middle School
Hampden Elementary/Middle School
Hampstead Hill Academy
Moravia Park Elementary School
Morrell Park Elementary/Middle School
Mount Royal Elementary/Middle School
North Bend Elementary/Middle School
William Paca Elementary School
Woodhome Elementary/Middle School
CTY and Baltimore City Schools Team Up
CTY is identifying Baltimore City students with advanced abilities and connecting these students and their teachers with gifted resources.
CTY-Baltimore City Schools Symposium
This annual free event is open to Baltimore City students and their families. Experience hands-on workshops and learn about gifted resources within Baltimore City Schools and at CTY.
March 9, 2019. Details to come.
Baltimore Emerging Scholars on WYPR
Baltimore’s public radio station talks with CTY Director of Research Amy Shelton and of a Baltimore Emerging Scholars student and his family.