Monarch Academy Annapolis, a public contract school with Anne Arundel County Public Schools, named Miguel Vicente as bilingual student recruitment and community engagement liaison and Keith Rowel as family and student support specialist. Vicente and Rowel will work to support families and contribute to the building of an inclusive school culture.
Monarch Academy Annapolis restructured and expanded its staffing model to increase proactive supports for students and families and to grow family partnerships.
“In order to ensure maximum success for our students we must educate their hearts and minds, attend to their social-emotional wellness and authentically collaborate with families and our community,” said Principal Rachel Amstutz. “With a richly diverse student body, we are honored to have Miguel and Keith join our team. They each bring years of experience and a deep passion for the work in which we are engaged. They will help us serve all of our students and families, celebrate diversity, build bridges within our community, provide a high level of targeted support and to connect with and engage our families in their child’s education and development.”
As bilingual student recruitment and community engagement liaison, Vicente will work to build an inclusive and culturally informed support network for school families, encouraging family advocacy and facilitating a sense of community. With over 10 years of experience working with Latino nonprofit organizations, Vicente was executive director of Education Based Latino Outreach in Baltimore and previously served with Baltimore County Public Library, Maryland Relay and Morgan State University.
“We’re transforming Monarch Academy Annapolis into an inclusive hub within the community for the Hispanic families of Annapolis,” Vicente said. “As a Spanish speaker, I have the privilege of reaching out to Spanish-speaking families, making them feel welcome at Monarch Academy Annapolis and working toward the success of all of our children, families, teachers and administrators.”
As family and student support specialist, Rowel will support students and families through the school’s Student Support Center and collaborate with the staff to recommend interventions and strategies to help students learn and grow. Previously, Rowel taught for the Anne Arundel County Health Department’s Strengthening Families program for which he received a citation from the county executive. He brings nearly 15 years of experience with Head Start supporting children from low-income families. He also directs music at First Baptist Church of Annapolis and volunteers in the Annapolis community.
“I consider it to be an absolute honor to have this unique opportunity to pour back into the Monarch Academy Annapolis families and communities,” Rowel said. “MAA has a spirit of unity that is driven from the heart of diversity. Having cultural differences is what makes learning so awesome. It is because of diversity that we get to have a bird’s eye view of a whole different world in which we live.”
Andrew Ross will step down as president and CEO of The Children’s Guild Alliance on June 30, 2021, after 26 years. The Children’s Guild Alliance, a nonprofit organization based in Baltimore, serves children, families and child-serving organizations.
When Ross joined The Children’s Guild, the organization had two special needs schools, one group home and a $6 million budget. Today, with a $82 million budget, the organization serves close to 6,000 children through two special needs schools, four charter/contract schools in Anne Arundel County and Washington, D.C., three therapeutic group homes, a treatment foster care program and a behavioral health program that serves students in 90 schools in Baltimore, Howard, Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, and Cecil counties.
Ross was instrumental in the development of TranZed Apprenticeships, the TranZed Academy for Working Students and the Transformation Education Institute that holds national conferences and programs for child-serving professionals throughout the year.
“Among Dr. Ross’ greatest contributions was the introduction of Transformation Education to The Guild and caring for the whole child. Transformation Education puts the needs of the child ahead of the needs of the adult and creates a culture for learning to meet the individualized learning styles of each child in creative, attractive environments,” said Chris Zimmerman, chair of The Children’s Guild Alliance board of directors.
Most recently, Ross launched Kids First, a national campaign to transform the way America cares for and educates its children. Effective July 1, 2021, Ross will become senior advisor to the Kids First campaign, which will work nationally to create the cultural awareness, teacher preparation and political will to put kids first.
Ross said, “Until June 30, I will continue to support the deployment of the new initiatives in The Guild’s strategic plan to include a preschool in College Park and Monarch Academy Annapolis and the expansion of our special education schools to serve more students with autism. I will also continue to support our work on diversity, equity, inclusion and Kids First. In addition, I will be preparing the organization for a seamless transition to a new president and CEO.”
The Children’s Guild Alliance retained Koya Leadership Partners, an executive search firm, to implement a national search for Ross’ replacement. Zimmerman will head the search committee, which will work to hire the new CEO by March 2021.
“It has truly been an honor to have led The Guild over the past 26 years. Life has taught me that this change will result in great opportunity and growth for the organization and for me,” Ross said.
The Children’s Guild Alliance experienced a year like no other in its 67-year history. Our amazing team responded to the COVID-19 crisis with extraordinary compassion, energy, creativity, and commitment. Through these difficult and challenging times, we pulled together and accomplished more than we ever could have imagined.
We invite you to take a moment to read this year’s annual report and celebrate the many ways The Children’s Guild Alliance supported children this year.
Annual report highlights:
- The heroic efforts of our staff members during the pandemic.
- Our rapid transition to distance learning through the distribution of more than 1,000 Chromebooks so our students could continue learning even though in-person teaching stopped on March 13, 2020.
- The opening of food distribution centers in our schools and the delivery of more than 10,000 pounds of food to our students and their families in Annapolis, Washington, D.C., and the surrounding communities.
- Our launch of teletherapy to provide social and emotional support for 2,550 students and their families in more than 90 schools.
- An agreement with Steve Wozinak’s Woz U and Infosys, the seventh largest tech employer in the U.S., to provide nontraditional apprenticeships as an alternative to college.
This is just a sampling of the milestones achieved in 2019-2020. We could not be more grateful to our students, families, staff, and friends for making this school year a success. Together we are transforming the way America cares for educates its children.
Grants fund school’s new pre-K, resources for virtual learning
Monarch Academy Annapolis received two competitive grants from the state of Maryland: a $600,000 Prekindergarten Expansion Grant funding the school’s new full-day pre-K and a $173,997 Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund grant supporting the school’s efforts to reach students and families and build community during virtual learning.
“We’re excited to make the most of these grants. Launching a pre-K is vital to Annapolis families and creates access and opportunity for student learning for our youngest learners during this challenging time,” said Rachel Amstutz, principal of Monarch Academy Annapolis. “The grants help us ensure our students continue to receive a strong education and essential social-emotional supports, while our teachers receive training and preparation for implementing distance learning.”
The Prekindergarten Expansion Grant, awarded by the Maryland State Department of Education, funds 60 income-eligible seats for 4-year-old students. The program launched in September. Students may apply for available seats. The program will equip children with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary for success in kindergarten and beyond. Monarch Academy Annapolis offers an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, which challenges students to think critically and take responsibility for their learning as they explore local and global issues.
The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund grant supports resources and activities benefiting students, families and educators at Monarch Academy Annapolis during distance learning. Funding allows the school to purchase supplies for students and additional tools and training for teachers and administrators, including staff attending a Harvard University course this summer on teaching and learning in a distance learning environment. It also supports projects promoting collaboration between teachers, school counselors, and families.
Awarded by the Maryland State Department of Education, the grant channels federal CARES Act funds to schools “that demonstrate unique strategies to address academic accessibility as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant recipients have presented creative strategies to support disengaged students, students with disabilities, teachers, and families in need,” according to a press release from Gov. Larry Hogan’s office.
Elementary school students in Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) and prekindergarten through second grade will be the first to return to classrooms in a hybrid setting under a timeline adopted by the Board of Education tonight.
The timeline is similar to the one presented to the Board by Superintendent George Arlotto at its October 5 meeting. It has been reviewed and approved by the Anne Arundel County Department of Health.
The action approved by the Board means that students in ECI and Pre-K through second grade will begin hybrid classes on Monday, November 16, attending on either Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday and working virtually on other days. All students and teachers will work virtually on Wednesdays to allow for a thorough cleaning of school buildings.
On Monday, November 30, students in grades 3 through 5 will return in a hybrid format, operating under the same guidelines as students in ECI and prekindergarten through second grade.
Families will have the option of whether to have students take part in the hybrid format or remain as virtual learners for either the semester or the full year. Families must indicate their preference by Thursday, October 15. Information on that selection process will be provided to parents by Friday, October 9.
AACPS will continue to work with the Department of Health and closely monitor the health data to make further decisions on middle school and high school students, with the goal of beginning to bring those students into buildings beginning in mid-December.
The school system will also continue to increase the number of students taking part in in-person learning at its developmental centers and specialty sites.
Under the plan approved by the Board, teachers will return to their classrooms and begin teaching virtually on Monday, November 2.
More information will be posted on the school system’s website, www.aacps.org, by Friday, October 9.