School board gives its OK to electronics magnet facility Teaching academy also wins panel's approval

April 26, 1996|By Jean Thompson | Jean Thompson,SUN STAFF

Adding to Baltimore's array of magnet-style programs, the city school board approved yesterday plans to launch an academy for the teaching professions and a middle school emphasizing electronic skills.

The board will allow students citywide to apply for admission to Francis Scott Key Elementary-Middle School in South Baltimore, where the staff has been building computer labs.

Middle-school students will work with spreadsheets, use word processing programs and design multimedia projects, Principal Arthur Chenoweth told the board. Each student will compile an "electronic portfolio," a computer and videotape resume and a scrapbook, he said.

Prompted by declining enrollment, Key began in 1992 to invest in computer equipment and position itself as a magnet school. "It's about creating choice and about taking parents in Federal Hill and neighborhoods nearby and showing them there is an alternative" to private schools, said Gary Thrift, the administrator who oversees schools in the area.

The board also approved an academy emphasizing teaching careers, proposed by Northern High School with help from Morgan State University.

Board members praised the concept, citing its long-term potential for increasing the number of Baltimore-born and African-American candidates for city teaching positions.

In other action, the board voted to close Lexington Terrace Elementary-Middle School at the end of this academic year. The school system is considering proposals for renovating the school and searching for money for the project.

Pub Date: 4/26/96

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