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All Children’s Guild Alliance’s schools are currently providing virtual learning with some students receiving support and services on campus at our schools in Baltimore, Prince George’s County, and Washington, DC. Virtual/hybrid learning is in effect at our AACPS Monarch Academy schools. Our headquarters staff is working remotely and maintaining regular operating hours.

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NBA All-Star, Russell Westbrook, Spreads Holiday Cheer to The Children’s Guild DC Public Charter School

Smiles and shouts of glee abounded at The Children’s Guild DC Public Charter School when NBA All-Star Washington Wizards Point Guard Russell Westbrook along with the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation selected our school to host its first Washington, D.C., holiday drive-through event. Held on Dec. 21, the drive-through was created to ensure the safety of everyone in attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly 300 of our students in grades K-8 were gifted face masks, backpacks, and signed pairs of Westbook’s signature Jordon shoe. Students met Westbrook, who personally handed out the shoes, and new teammates Deni Avdija and Cassius Winston, who came by to show their support.

“This year has been tough for so many families across the country and giving back continues to be an enormous focus of mine. I’m so happy to be able to partner with The Children’s Guild DC Public Charter School and give back to the community here in Washington, D.C. My goal is to continue to connect with the inner-city youth here to empower them to ask, ‘Why Not?’ when they’re told they can’t do something and inspire them to be the change they want to see in the world,” said Westbrook.

“The Children’s Guild DC Public Charter School offers a unique, proven philosophy of education where children are valued and respected. Our mission to empower students for success in life aligns with that of the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation,” said Bryan Daniels, principal of The Children’s Guild DC Public Charter School. “Receiving a new pair of shoes from an NBA star can make a world of difference in a child’s life. We thank Russell Westbrook and the Why Not? Foundation for recognizing our students and making their holidays brighter, especially this year, after they and their families have faced so many challenges and hardships.”

The mission of the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation is to inspire the lives of children, empower them to ask, “Why Not?” and teach them to never give up. The foundation is dedicated to supporting community-based education and family service programs while encouraging youth to believe in themselves. For more information, visit whynotfoundation.org (hyper link).

The Children’s Guild DC Public Charter School offers an enriched physical environment combined with an arts-infused curriculum, a visual and performing arts program, hands-on project-based learning, character development, information and communication technology and a student support center. Located at 2146 24th Place NE in Washington, D.C., the school is an affiliate member of The Children’s Guild Alliance, a nonprofit organization serving children, families and child-serving organizations dedicated to transforming how America educates and cares for its children through education, behavioral health and national training and consultation services. For more information, visit tcgdc.org

Monarch Global Academy Laurel Names Kate Dreibelbis Dean of Students

Monarch Global Academy Laurel, a public contract school with Anne Arundel County Public Schools, named Kate Dreibelbis dean of students. Dreibelbis is a strategic leader and behavioral specialist with experience supporting children with a wide range of behaviors.

“Kate comes to us with a plethora of knowledge and experience. She is leading our student support team, ensuring they are meeting the needs of our school community. Our virtual environment has created many challenges, and Kate has taken the initiative to connect with families for support,” Monarch Global Academy Principal Donna O’Shea said.

As dean of students, Dreibelbis works with students, family and staff members to motivate positive and appropriate student behavior and works with an interdisciplinary team to create and implement Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports schoolwide programs. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports is a framework for improving student outcomes.

Prior to coming to Monarch Global Academy Laurel, Dreibelbis was dean of students for the past two years at Monarch Academy Annapolis, which she joined in 2017 as a student support coach. Dreibelbis previously worked for the Episcopal Center for Children in Washington, D.C., as director of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, coordinator of behavioral support specialists and behavioral support specialist.

She graduated from High Point University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in human relations and earned a Master of Education degree from Concordia University. Dreibelbis also has an applied behavior analyst certification from Penn State University.

Monarch Academy charter and contract schools in Annapolis, Glen Burnie and Laurel, Maryland, are affiliate members of The Children’s Guild Alliance, a nonprofit organization serving children, families and child-serving organizations and dedicated to transforming how America educates and cares for its children through education, behavioral health and national training and consultation services. Affiliates of The Children’s Guild Alliance include The Children’s Guild, The Children’s Guild D.C. Public Charter School, The Academy for Working Students (TAWS), TranZed Apprenticeships, Transformation Education Institute and The National Children’s Guild Fund.

Two Monarch Academy Teachers Nominated for AACPS Teacher of the Year

Sonia Bolotin

Maria Cummings

Monarch Global Academy Laurel teacher Maria Cummings and Monarch Academy Glen Burnie teacher Sonja Bolotin are among 43 teachers nominated for Anne Arundel County’s Teacher of the Year. Monarch Global Academy Laurel and Monarch Academy Glen Burnie are charter or contract schools with Anne Arundel County Public Schools.

Sonja Bolotin teaches second grade at Monarch Academy Glen Burnie.

“Mrs. Bolotin meets each child where they are, creates a safe crew where children thrive and brings students to success as they engage in meaningful work that makes a difference. She does this while contributing to a culture of personal growth for the adults at Monarch Academy to ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to our commitment to equity,” said Monarch Academy Glen Burnie Principal Kim Jakovics. “Walking into Mrs. Bolotin’s second grade class is a magical experience. There are few places where I would rather be.”

Through Bolotin’s leadership, second grade students partnered with an author and nonprofit organization to write and illustrate a book about bees. The book was translated into Amharic and then distributed to children in Ethiopia.

“Our students, with Mrs. Bolotin’s commitment and passion for relevant learning experiences that affect the local and global community, made that happen,” Jakovics said.

Bolotin also created a reading program called the Caterpillar Club to encourage her second grade students to be excited about reading as she worked to ensure that all read on grade level by the end of their second grade year. This program brought in community volunteers and partners each morning and made reading fun and exciting for children.

Maria ‘Conchi’ Cummings teaches world and classical language to middle school students at Monarch Global Academy Laurel.

“Sra. Cummings came to us with a wealth of experience in all things Spanish. In her time at Monarch Global Academy, Conchi, as she is called, has consistently demonstrated her effectiveness as a teacher through her strong example, tireless work ethic and high expectations. Conchi’s classroom radiates a warmth that embraces her Spanish heritage,” said Monarch Global Academy Principal Donna O’Shea. “She is a true leader and team player and supports the implementation of curriculum and instruction that is both rigorous and highly differentiated to meet the needs of all learners. Parents respect Conchi because she holds high expectations for her students. They appreciate her willingness to go above and beyond, so their children succeed in Spanish.”

Cummings’ students have consistently scored high on the quarterly benchmark tests. Her students said they can tell she loves them. Positive and calm, she allows students to be creative and experience different things, they said.

Anne Arundel County Public Schools will honor Bolotin and Cummings at its 35th annual Excellence in Education Awards hosted by the 21st Century Education Foundation on April 15, 2021. The event will culminate with the announcement of the 2021 Anne Arundel County Public School Teacher of the Year, who will represent the county in the Maryland State Teacher of the Year competition. 

The Children’s Guild DC Public Charter School Holds Virtual Open Houses

The Children’s Guild District of Columbia Public Charter School (TCGDC) will hold virtual open houses for prospective students living in the District entering kindergarten through eighth grade in the fall of 2021. Families will have the chance to meet the staff and virtually tour the school.

 Virtual open houses will take place on various Wednesdays, December through February:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 16, from 5 to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 6, from 5 to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 20, from 5 to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 10, from noon to 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 5 to 6 p.m.

To attend an open, RSVP at tcgdc.org.

Families may apply to the District of Columbia Public Charter School at www.myschooldc.org or call 202-774-5442, ext. 3428. The application deadline is March 1, 2021.

 “The Children’s Guild District of Columbia Public Charter School offers a unique, proven philosophy of education and welcome families looking for a place where children are valued and respected,” said Bryan Daniels, principal of TCGDC. “We are excited for our new Visual & Performing Arts Program launching in the 2021-22 school year which will engage students in focused arts instruction of various art mediums to include: vocal and instrumental music, dance, visual art, drama/theatre/creative writing, and coding/engineering.”

 In additional to arts integration, TCGDC offers an enriched physical environment combined with hands-on project-based learning, character development, information and communication technology and a student support center. When school is in-person, bus transportation for students is also available from home and before/after school care facilities.

 For more information about the school, visit www.tcgdc.org.

The Children’s Guild DC Public Charter School Names Robert Seabrooks Board Chair

The Children’s Guild District of Columbia Public Charter School named Robert G. Seabrooks Jr. chair of the board of directors. Located in Northeast Washington, D.C., the school is an affiliate of The Children’s Guild Alliance and serves individual learners from gifted students to those with special education needs.

 A certified public accountant and lawyer, Seabrooks has been the resource allocation officer at the District of Columbia Department of General Services (DGS) since 2013 and manages an approximate $1 billion budget. Among his accomplishments is the establishment of DGS’s Sustainability Operating Budget, which was a key component to enable the agency to represent Washington, D.C., in receiving the C40 Cities Award for Global Leadership on Climate Change.

 From 2008 to 2013, Seabrooks was senior resource allocation analyst for the District of Columbia Department of Real Estate Services.

 “Although we are in challenging times, I look forward to and am excited to have the opportunity to  work with the board of The Children’s Guild DC Public Charter School, as there is no shortage of talent, vision or creativity on this board,” Seabrooks said. “I was drawn to The Children’s Guild and this board by the shared enthusiasm everyone has to give back to our community. Knowing that my efforts are going to directly impact underserved children provides no greater motivation. We as a board look forward to helping both the school and The Children’s Guild reach its fullest potential.”

 Dr. Andrew L. Ross president and CEO of The Children’s Guild Alliance says, “We are so very pleased to have the leadership of Rob at this time. His knowledge of the DC community and his passion for seeing that the needs of all children in our community are met makes him the ideal person to help us continue to grow The Children’s Guild DC Charter school. “

 Seabrooks earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from Howard University and was a member of Beta Alpha Psi honors accounting fraternity. He went on to earn his law degree from Howard University School of Law and was a member of the Sigma Delta Tau legal fraternity.

Monarch Academy Annapolis Launches Clubs on Black History, STEM, and Fitness

Monarch Academy Annapolis, a public contract school with Anne Arundel County Public Schools, introduced Black History 365, a student extracurricular club that looks at the Black History 365 textbook presenting an inclusive account of American history, focusing on Black people, groups and cultures. Black History 365 meets virtually at no cost to students and will restart in January.

“Students walked away from the first session learning about ancient Africa along with the great kings and queens that ruled over vast kingdoms and empires,” said Lakisha and Woodly Thelusma, school parents and club organizers. “They were also introduced to many unique African animals, natural resources and the overall beauty of Africa; the enchantment and excitement seen in the eyes of the students communicate just how rich the experience has been for them.”

“Students must know their history,” the Thelusmas continued, “in order to shape their future just as the great Maya Angelou said, ‘You can’t really know where you are going, unless you know where you’ve been.’”

The Thelusmas are adapting the high school-level Black History 365 textbook for kindergarten and first grade students at Monarch Academy Annapolis. The club allows students to expand their cultural awareness, earn badges and advance to higher levels. School districts across the country, including Prince George’s County Public Schools, have adopted the Black History 365 curriculum.

“Monarch Academy Annapolis is so lucky to have Lakisha and Woodly Thelusma leading our Black History 365. They have stepped up to develop and implement an amazing club experience for our youngest learners,” said Kate McFaul, student support and club coordinator at Monarch Academy Annapolis. “We hope the parent partnership on this diversity project can pave the way for future projects that encourage empathy and understanding for diverse cultures.”

In addition, Monarch Academy Annapolis offers other extracurricular activities for students:

  •  Mighty Milers club will help students stay active and learn health and wellness virtually this year. Monarch Academy Annapolis students join other students from Annapolis schools to participate in the club, led in partnership with Annapolis Recreation and Parks and United States Naval Academy midshipmen.
  •  MESA (Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement) offers students a chance for the first time this year to participate in a national competition connected to Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Twenty students in third grade—with plans to add students in fourth and fifth grades in the future—will participate in the teacher-led program.

Monarch Academy Annapolis also offers clubs for students interested in music, books, chess and other topics as well.

“At Monarch Annapolis, we strive to provide our students with a wide variety of extracurricular experiences that enrich their thinking and learning, provide the opportunity to meet new friends and extend school beyond our classrooms,” said Rachel Amstutz, principal of Monarch Academy Annapolis. “We are excited to continuously expand our club repertoire and that even in the virtual environment we have been able to create many exciting opportunities. At this point this year, over 160 students are engaging in our clubs, and they are having a blast.”