Baltimore Bauhaus

A school committed to transforming Baltimore's neighborhoods through youth empowerment and project-based learning.

Contact: Deane Nettles


Aug 11

Talked with Jennifer Bodensiek from Junior Achievement. Figures for the Junior Achievement business school are $250,000 to start up the program, then about $500/student/year when we're talking about 150 or more students. JA wouldn't be able to impliment for about two years. Jennifer will talk with Atlanta about a "crawl before you walk" approach; this might be a possible approach for next year.

JA also has a project with Baltimore city schools to bring financial literacy to lower grades.

Aug 9

Talked with Linday Thompson from Baltimore CityLab about a redevelopment zone along Central Avenue. She would like to have my school in the charter school in that area, which is a K-12 charter school.

Aug 9

Interesting talks with Neekta Khorsand from Thread and Neil Roseman from Hopkins Carey School of Business. Will comment more later.

July 28

Talked to Jim Brennan at BCPS and asked him how detailed Michael Thomas needed the information for the initial presentation to principals about the school-within-a-school (he said that he didn't understand my email, so perhaps was over-written); sent an email to Will Holman at Open Works about a possible collaboration, and contacted the Design School to let them know that was bouncing.

July 26

Went to BCPS Board meeting; saw presentation from Heart of America Foundation about the renovations they've been able to do in city schools. (Possible organization for our students to work with?) Recommended to JD Merrill they contact Black & Desker as a sponsor. New Board chair Cheryl Casciani asked if the companies servicing school's generators and pumps could have their contracts include training for students, another possible cert for us. Spoke with the COO for the schools, J. Keith Scroggins, and he recommended that the students learn estimating. Question: Could Teach for America provide suitable teachers? Could BIFF Energy solar farm provide jobs?

What continues to strike me is how powerful, smart, and dedicated to the success of the students everyone I have met in the school system is. I look at what I pay in property taxes and I would pay that just to support these people. Given that progress isn't linear, I would predict that in the next five years there is a massive improvement in school results based on the energy being put in.

July 25

Sent email to Jim Brennan, BCPS, asking him if sending an email question about how much information they needed for financing and the final cert to Michael Thomas was the best way to go, or if there was a better way.

July 24

Meet with Allison Gardner, Betamore, about areas of collaboration. Allison offered to work with the school on a variety of web fronts.

July 20

On way to bank stopped in at TouchPoint in Mondawmin Mall. Touchpoint is a workers space created by Thread, Center for Urban Families, Baltimore Corps and investedimpact. It occurred to me that nonprofits are an "industry" and we could create a certificate around what they need.

Met with a gentleman from Thread who gave me a rundown of the organizations and said that one thing nonprofits need is entry-level social workers. He said that it would not require much education but would require a certain amount of in the field training. Idea: What if the cert was for social work, and requiring more education to increase their level of social work skill, but what we would be providing would be social workers who know how to change their world and could teach their clients that many problems are solvable?

Talked with Neekta Khorsand from Thread about my school idea; she has contacts at Open Works and suggested we may be able to collaborate. She will check and see whose toes she's stepping on and arrange a meeting next week. We discussed the possibility of her very bright students be part of the curriculum discussion so it's grounded in reality. (Was she also connected to Elemental Metalworks?)

We also briefly discussed the idea of getting a bunch of nonprofits in the same room to have a discussion. My intention is to ask Neekta to enroll someone to draw up a list of organizations and possible topics to discuss to move this to happening. ("Started is half done.")

Talked with the Community Law Center in Hampden about setting up a nonprofit. I will need to ask at least three people to be on the Board. There will be financial liability; board liability insurance is approx. $700/hr per member, and would be covered by nonprofit once set up. Have list of requirements and application.

Idea: This morning I met a bicyclist and we talked about the bikelane problems on Roland. I mentioned I had an idea about bicyclists mapping hazards on roads throughout Baltimore City. He liked the idea; he has connections with Joe's Bikes; I gave him my card. This afternoon I called BikeMaryland and outlined my idea. I will follow up on Monday. Question: How to get monority participation?

I called the Design School to start a conversation about what financial numbers they would need to approve the school if they wanted to take it on.

July 19

Discussed school project with Charlie Cronheim. Charlie said I should talk with Paulo Gregory Harris again about what the certification could be, as he is working on placing kids in viable work positions in Baltimore. Mentioned that Beatty Construction has large construction contract with Port Covington right now.

Charlie also mentioned that Paulo had started an organization that provided sconstruction site cleanup and security called the Clean and Safe Team. This may be an opportunity for the students.

I had sent an email to Make Baltimore about being part of their pitch competition — I thought it would be fun! — and got a reply from Betamore, a campus for technology + entrepreneurship in Baltimore, that they were interested in potential partnerships. We meet Monday.

July 18

Talked with Robert Vasser. He looked at the figures from James Bond and said that I should read Jonathan Kozol's "Savage Inequality"; that there is a lot of unseen support created in wealthier schools by parents. Question: what figures do I really need to have in the rough financials we need to show for this school?

July 17

Talked with James Bond; I think he just wanted to check me out. He said that they have about 167 kids and the cost is about $2m, with $400k in donations and grants. This comes to about $12k per pupil. School system would provide $5k per pupil, plus about $4.5k structural, administrative support, etc. (Total value likely to be greater than $9.5k they give charter schools.) Additional $3.5k would need to be donated to cover higher level. So very rough budget for 60-kid test school would be $300k for teachers, supplies, classrooms, etc. but total budget better at $400k, with us having to raise $100k.

James said that certificate is very important, and that IF this school becomes a reality it COULD be a school he would send Living Classrooms kids to. That's a hurdle I would be up to clearing.

July 14

Met with David Steiner; he said that the certification is going to be the most important part of putting this school together. You want the students to get a part-time job based on the certificate, with the carrot that, if they finish a more advanced cert in community college, they would get hired full-time at a higher pay grade. The question is, what would be valuable, and in what industry?

July 13

Met with Michael Thomas from CTE and Jim Brennan from Baltimore Schools. Short meeting; Michael Thomas said he liked the idea and that he would walk the concept around to school principals to see who would be willing to take it on as a school-within-a-school if I would give him: 1) A one-age summary, 2) a financial estimate and 3) a certification the students could obtain that would guarantee them a job when they graduate. On the face of it an easy list, but not really.

July 11

Talked with Jennifer Bodensiek from Junior Achievement. She said they'd be happy to help, and that there is a program they are working on in Atlanta at five schools where the curriculum is taught using business projects. on't have much info and won't until after first week in August, but is a promising basis for the curriculum. (David Steiner said that there are specific tests that they use in Baltimore that don't get used in Atlanta.)

July 7

Met with Kevin Frick from Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business. This was a GREAT meeting; we threw around a lot of ideas. He said he would talk to two of his faculty and see what their interest level was.

June 27

Talked to Fred Lazarus, who heads the board for the Design School. He said he liked the idea; recommended I talk to his neighbor, David Steiner, at Hopkins about curriculum. Fred mentions that the Design School was considering industrial design as a curriculum for the school, but the school needs two more years to smooth out the bumps before they'll be ready to take on another curriculum.

June 26

Talked with David Ashton, who said I should talk with Fred Lazerus, who knows more about how the board is managed.

June 8

Meet with Jim Brennan, Baltimore Public Schools. He likes the idea, and will shop it around to the various players in the school system.

May 24

Received an email from Alison Perkins-Cohen at 12:45am saying she liked my idea and connecting me with Jim Brennan.

May 23

Went to BCPS school board meeting and afterward introduced myself to Alison Perkins-Cohen, chief of staff to Sonja Brookins Santelises, Ed.D., chief executive officer. Explained my idea and that I'd emailed her about it. She said she'd look it over.