We transferred our rising 2nd grader from a charter school to Govans Elementary. The principal, teachers, and community partners exceed my expectations everyday. I suspect the low ratings for the school are either out-dated or the special-ed grades are included in the averages. My student is very bright, but a slow reader, and the school adjusted his classes and activities to challenge him in STEM while meeting him where he was in reading. Two thumbs up and five stars.
Our first Baltimore City principal addressed the students & parents with rules: you must be on time, in uniform, and ready to learn OR ELSE. At Govans, the principal addresses the reasons: if you don't get to school on time, you miss out on valuable reading and learning time that you can't get back. Shifting the focus from requirements to opportunities shifts the way the kids view school-- it's a world of opportunities for them.
Govans Elementary and its charter operator, Baltimore Curriculum Project, use a restorative justice model. Kids are supported while they address fairness and injustice through round-table meetings. My son was bullied by an older student. The students and their teachers sat together, discussed the negative behaviors, and the kids made an agreement about how they would behave towards each other going forward. The bully had to hear from his victim and admit what he'd done, and the victim learned he has a voice in the school and in defending himself. It was a very positive experience for my young son.