Margaret Brent, located at the corner of 26th and St. Paul Street, serves the elementary and middle school grades. It is a small school with a diverse, family like environment that educates the whole child with a focus on Character, Creativity, and Community.
In 2008-2009, 80 percent of students met or exceeded state standards in reading on the Maryland School Assessment (MSA), and 67 percent made the state grade in mathematics. The school has a strong partnership with the nearby Village Learning Place, a community-created library with after-school programs for students.
Dr. Jacqueline Waters-Scofield has been a principal in Baltimore City public schools for seventeen years and is now in her fourth year at Margaret Brent. Under her leadership, the school has met Adequate Yearly Progress on the state’s Maryland School Assessment for the last three years. With a strong focus on instruction, Dr. Waters-Scofield has recruited and retained highly qualified staff with the school seeing almost no teacher turnover each year. Dr. Waters-Scofield believes that when educators concentrate on planning, preparation, and instruction, academic success will follow. As such staff and principal meet weekly as a team to analyze student work and benchmark assessments. Developing a safe and secure learning environment is also a high priority for Dr. Waters-Scofield, who has initiated Positive Behaviors, Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Lion’s Quest Character Education Program, and the Daily Rap.
Throughout her career as a principal, Dr. Waters-Scofield has encouraged parent and community support. She enjoyed six fruitful years at Mt. Washington Elementary and seven years at Guilford Elementary/ Middle earning recognition for success in state assessments and community involvement. In 2004, she received her PhD in Educational Leadership and Planning from Morgan State University with a full scholarship from the Goldseker Foundation. Since 2006, she has taught graduate level classes as an adjunct professor at the College of Notre Dame and Morgan State University. In 2006, she earned recognition as an associate professor at the College of Notre Dame for ten years and was also named Woman of the Year in Education by the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.
Curriculum: Margaret Brent serves 260 Pre-K – 8th grade students. Staff, parents, and students enjoy the family atmosphere of the school. Everyone knows and cares for one another. The school’s vision is to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of all children.
We use small and flexible grouping to meet their academic needs. Margaret Brent implements the mandatory State Curriculum of Maryland in the core subjects and adds projects, experiments, academic competitions, and literary circles to supplement learning. Every class and grade uses manipulatives, learning stations, and class libraries to enhance independent work. Margaret Brent is also part of the Reading First Program. The Reading Mastery Plus, SRA program is used in grades K – 5. It focuses on decoding through phonemic awareness. Comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency are taught through direct instruction techniques and interventions are used to differentiate instruction from remediation to enrichment. When middle school grades were added, students began using Language of Literature. Now students in all grades can do independent reading based on reading levels. A selection of novels or chapter books span three grade levels which include below and above level readers. Now the School Family Council and Family Engagement Team can make good decisions based on children’s interests and reading level. We use experience-based programs such as Geography and History Alive and hands on science programs like SEP-UP in our science lab. Math focuses on the individual through Teacher Assisted Instruction and Linda Eberhardt’s acclaimed Math Works for supplementing Baltimore City Schools texts.
Margaret Brent has in place certain aspects of our vision for the future. We want to be able to implement the Voluntary State Curriculum in a more creative way by further implementing arts integration and the state arts standards. To take us to the next level, we are implementing interdisciplinary, thematic, project-based instruction.
Test scores are available here.
Margaret Brent partners with the Village Learning Place (VLP), a community-created library and learning center supported by a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant from the federal government, to provide after-school programs for eighty of our students in K-8. The debate team, Science for Girls, and sports programs provide activities Monday through Friday from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Johns Hopkins University work-study students and volunteers offer after-school activities such as ballet, hip-hop dance, orchestra, and Girl Scouts. Tutoring is provided by Loyola University, and a ceramics class by the school’s art teacher. Margaret Brent middle school students receive Spanish instruction through the Rosetta Stone foreign language program. Students use one of the school’s two computer labs run by one of our paraeducators. The school has a partnership with Johns Hopkins University in which students in grade three learn conversational French twice a week. Margaret Brent’s strong partnerships with the Greater Homewood Community Corporation and the VLP enable it to offer enriching after-school programs and take advantage of broader community support.
The school also has ten Experience Corps volunteers and a team leader who assist in pre-kindergarten through grade three classes. They work with individuals and small groups of children who may be below or above grade in reading or math. The volunteers help students to focus during the teachers’ instruction or to complete tasks when working independently.
Every classroom has three or four computers that are Internet accessible with the appropriate blocks. Students can play academic and logic games or find information on research projects for class credit or self-interests. There are also computers in the well apportioned library. The highly qualified librarian sees classes once or twice a week and has a flexible schedule for students in grades six to eight. The first floor computer lab is available for primary students with the help of class assistants or if parents need computer access. The school’s technology leader provides professional development for parents and staff.