Baltimore’s Bard High School Early College announced Monday that it received a $1.5 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, which officials plan to use to improve advising for students.
The school in Northwest Baltimore, part of a partnership with New York’s Bard College, offers students the chance to graduate with some college credit, or a free associate degree, after four years of study. A first for the city, the school opened in 2015.
“This gift opens a world of possibilities for our entire school community, from students to families to faculty to alumni,” said Bard Baltimore Principal Francesca Gamber in a news release. “As we welcome students back from the pandemic, the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies will help us to respond to their academic and social-emotional needs in ways that will amplify the success we’ve already seen over the past six years.”
Bard has just over 400 students, 81% of whom are Black and more than 50% of whom are first-generation college students, according to a news release from Bard College. Of Bard Baltimore graduates, 85% have gone on to attend college. Some 93% have graduate high school with at least a year’s worth of college credits, and 54% graduated the high school with an associate degree.
The newly announced grant will help the school “expand its academic curriculum and deepen its student guidance programs to better support Baltimore City Public School students pursuing early college credits and degrees at Bard College,” the news release said.
“Bloomberg Philanthropies’ extraordinary commitment to this unique campus will deepen the school’s impact for young people across Baltimore, particularly in disinvested and underestimated Baltimore communities,” said Bard Early College Executive Director Stephen Tremaine in the news release.
Bloomberg Philanthropies, which manages former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s charitable giving, donated about $1.6 billion in 2020. Bloomberg, a 1964 graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, has donated billions of dollars to that school.