Four new schools are vying to open in Baltimore in the next two years, including an early college high school that would bring a successful model to the city that allows students to earn a college degree by the time they graduate.
The Bard High School Early Colleges network, which operates five tuition-free college programs in New York, New Jersey, and Ohio, applied to open a campus in Baltimore in the 2015-2016 school year.
The organization applied to operate a "contract school," meaning it would have an entrance criteria, that would serve 500 students in grades nine through twelve. Its college-preparatory programs focus on a liberal arts and sciences education, and allows students to complete an associate's degree by the time they graduate high school.
The Baltimore Curriculum Project, which currently runs three charter schools in the city, applied to add Govans Elementary School to its portfolio.
The school would serve 459 students in grades Pre-K through fifth grade. The application says that the BCP would bring an "array of experiences" such as visual and performing arts and physical activities.
Morgan State University has applied to save the Bluford Drew Jemison STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) Academy, which has been on the district's radar for closure.
The school was one of two all-male academies started for young men in the city -- and highly sought after by parents -- but whose operators faced several challenges and recently had their charter licenses revoked. The city school board, however, has searched for a way that the school could stay in operation.
Morgan has proposed to operate the school, which would be called the Morgan State STEM Institute, for 644 boys in grades six through twelve. The school would continue to focus on the sciences and has the goal that "all students will be able to graduate within a five to six year period with a high school diploma and an associate's degree in a STEM area.
In 2016-2017, the National Education Partners has applied to operate William C. March Elementary School. The school would serve 850 students in East Baltimore.
The applicants will participate in a public review over the next several weeks. The school board will vote to accept or reject the applications on May 27.