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Johns Hopkins University and East Baltimore Community School/Henderson-Hopkins School (Baltimore, Maryland)

Johns Hopkins University is taking their effort to revitalize the struggling East Baltimore neighborhood just outside its campus to an unprecedented level. The world-renowned health sciences research university is making a brand new community school the centerpiece of its 88-acre redevelopment project aimed at reviving the neighborhood.
 
The school broke ground in June on a new $40 million, 90,000-square-foot K-8 community school that will be called the Henderson-Hopkins School. Johns Hopkins officials said their aim with the new school was to use the most effective and contemporary approaches to meeting the needs and challenges of children, families, and the entire community.
 
"The school will take a holistic approach to developing the potential of each student, one that focuses on the behavioral, cognitive and physical health of the child. It will emphasize individualized learning, and family and community involvement supported by wrap-around services," Johns Hopkins writes on its website about the new school.
 
Henderson-Hopkins will be located next to a new $10 million, 28,000-square-foot Early Childhood Center as part of the 7-acre education campus Johns Hopkins is building in the middle of its redevelopment.
 
Class sizes at Henderson-Hopkins will be no larger than 20 students and will have a strong emphasis on project-based learning with an adherence to the Success for All reform model that was originally developed at Johns Hopkins. A host of the university’s centers will also be involved in the school including the Center for Talented Youth, Urban Health Institute, Peabody Institute; as well as the athletics department and the schools of medicine, nursing, and public health.
 
Henderson-Hopkins will be managed by JHU’s School of Education in partnership with Morgan State University, a historically-black college nearby. Johns Hopkins will oversee day-to-day operations while Morgan State assumes the "primary governance representation" of the school. Henderson-Hopkins is contract school in the Baltimore City Public School System. It is owned by the independent nonprofit East Baltimore Community School, Inc.
 
East Baltimore Community School, which is comprised of parents, community and foundation leaders, and Johns Hopkins representation, currently runs the temporary school students in the enrollment zone now attend. The East Baltimore Community School places a heavy emphasis on parent and community engagement. A resource coordinator staffed by Coalition partner Elev8 Baltimore (formally called an Elev8 Family Advocate) assists the parent and community council with its various needs.
 
The school is also part of the growing movement of community schools in the city, which is facilitated by The Family League of Baltimore City. The Family League helps fund the after-school dinner program at East Baltimore Community School, while the YMCA of Central Maryland offers free after-school activities for students. 
 
The University of Maryland’s School of Social Work is an intermediary in several other community schools in Baltimore City. But the scale and scope of Johns Hopkins’ investment in community schools is unprecedented.
 
The rationale behind the revitalization effort is multi-faceted. Hopkins officials have stated their desire to lure working-class families back to the neighborhood while making the area more attractive for recruiting students and faculty to the university.
 
Johns Hopkins also aims to be a bigger influence in the city’s well-being and becoming a marquee anchor institution, taking a cue from the University of Pennsylvania and its success reinvigorating west Philadelphia.
 
Henderson-Hopkins is expected to open for the 2013-14 school year.


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