Toward the end of 2013, the Fund for Educational Excellence embarked on an intensive study of Baltimore residents’ views on their public schools. Over the course of four months in 2014, we heard from 859 Baltimore residents representing all 55 community statistical areas (CSAs) in Baltimore City through a series of intimate conversations about schools and neighborhoods.
In the Greater Mondawmin CSA, we heard from 19 participants. We held two ‘kitchen table conversations’ in this CSA, one at a community meeting held at Frederick Douglass High School on April 30, 2014 and another with students at Frederick Douglass High School on May 29, 2014. Along with these conversations, we received an additional response via an online survey. All of the 19 participants chose to submit at least some demographic data.
Some of the themes that we heard most often from participants in our discussions included:
- Participants talked about the activities and programs available for students. Participants praised the programs, but requested more, and suggested that the district should decrease the cost of after-school and summer programs.
- There was also a lot of discussion regarding district policies and practices. Some of the topics discussed included changing the school schedule and the uniform policy.
- Respondents discussed discipline and behavior, and requested that the district do more to address peer pressure and bullying.
- Respondents also discussed the role that a school can play in a community, and shared their belief that schools can help by providing resources for parents and students.