February 17, 2016 - From the Blog
By Kim Wiggins, Live Baltimore’s Resident Outreach Manager
Seeing you with kids, strangers in Baltimore may approach you on the street and say “I guess you will be moving to the suburbs soon.” But why?
Your Baltimore story is probably like many.
Maybe you went to college in Baltimore, lived with some roommates and had a great time in the city. Then you got a job, met your soulmate, bought a house, and continued to enjoy city living. Now you are thinking about adding a baby to this picture or maybe you already had your first child and the whispers are getting louder.
These are all MYTHS:
- The only kids that go to public schools have no other choice.
- All city schools are bad.
- There is only one good public school in the city you can send your child to.
- Schools in the suburbs are better than ANY city school.
- If you don’t get into a Charter School you should leave the city.
- Paying lots of money for private school is your only option if you live in the city.
So what is true?
First of all, many people (of varying social-economic statuses, no less) raise kids in the city and are just fine. While some city schools do struggle, there are many others that are doing remarkable things! Did you know that the Maryland teacher of the year came from a Baltimore City Public School? There are also Gifted and Advance Learner (GAL) designated schools, Ingenuity Project schools (accelerated math and science), and multiple other cutting edge curricula.
If you love the city, you don’t have to leave just because you have kids. Do your research. There are many school options within the city. People from the county even pay to send their kids to schools in the city. Check out the independent and charter options, AND your local zoned school. You can volunteer and attend parent meetings even if you don’t have a kid in the school. Schools love help from people in the community. Attend an open house, schedule a tour with the principal, and talk to parents. Know that you are not alone in this. There are many people having kids in the city (and probably in your own neighborhood) that hear the same myths and wonder what to do. Because so many people are looking for a Way to Stay, Live Baltimore created a program offering information on schools, space, and support for families. Take a look and find your Way to Stay®.
Think before you move: Some residents have listened to myths like the ones listed above, left a city neighborhood that they loved, and moved to a school district in the suburbs that performs WORSE than the zoned neighborhood school they left in the city. Don't let this happen to you!
This blog post was written by Kim Wiggins, Live Baltimore’s Resident Outreach Manager. As part of the “Way to Stay” program, Kim attends open houses and meetings at public, private, charter, and parochial schools throughout the city. She works with city families, educating them about schools options and family-friendly neighborhoods where they can make their home. To hear more from Kim, shoot her an email.