The Baker Buzz

Newton D. Baker School of Arts Family Newsletter - May 2021

Dear Families,

Spring is here and the weather is starting to warm up! With the warmer weather comes thoughts of summer. While this summer will certainly look different, it will be another step toward normalcy after an otherwise abnormal and challenging school year. The Cleveland Metropolitan School District is taking steps to address learning loss stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Summer Programming

In early May, the District will announce plans for summer programming. This programming will be unlike any that has been held in the past. it was be offered to ALL CMSD scholars and will allow for students to not only strengthen their academic knowledge but also explore programs and topics that interest them. Many schools around the district will serve as summer programming sites and families will be able to register their children for the site and program of their choice. Join us at the Zoom link below to attend a Summer School informational session. Stay tuned for more details to have your scholar participate!

As always, to keep up to date check the Cleveland Metropolitan School District Website, The Newton D. Baker School of Arts Facebook Page, and Baker's Website. Recordings of any informational sessions will be available at these links.

Teacher Appreciation Week

The first week in May is Teacher Appreciation Week! In a year where we have spent a lot of time talking about virtual instruction, hybrid learning, and the stress and pressure it has placed on students and families, we have somehow said very little about the effect it has had on our staff. Newton D. Baker's staff has worked hard this year, rolled with the punches, and has done anything and everything it has taken to support our students and families!

Please take time during Teacher Appreciation Week (and every week) to say thanks to the staff members at NDBSA who work so hard for your children every day!

-Ms. Lockear & Mr. Wobser

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A summer like no other: Introducing the Summer Learning Experience

For Cleveland students, this will be a summer like no other.

The CMSD Summer Learning Experience is on the way, offering fun and adventure in a safe environment for students of all ages. And it’s free. Registration begins Monday, May 3.

This isn’t just summer school with a fancy new name. Educators have taken bold steps to create a true “experience” for all students, whether they are catching up, trying to get ahead or simply in a mood to explore.

The Summer Learning Experience will be offered at school locations in neighborhoods throughout the city and be divided into two sessions – June 7 to July 2 and July 12 to Aug. 6. Enroll for one session or both.

During the morning, students can finish the year strong by getting back to where they would be, if not for the pandemic. High school students will make up credits and get back on track to graduation; younger students will focus on English language arts and math.

Other parts of the day will feature enrichment and engagement. Students can take on projects and participate in on-site camps that appeal to their strengths and interests.

Free shuttle service and meals will be provided, as will supports for special-education students and English learners.

The Summer Learning Experience will have something for families, too. Planning is under way for workshops ranging from financial and computer literacy to yoga, meditation and personal development.

To learn more, go to

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Gund Foundation Gives $1 million to Expand CMSD Arts Education

Ann Gund is passionate about the arts, and a gift of $1 million given in her honor will allow Cleveland Metropolitan School District students to share in that passion.

The grant from The George Gund Foundation is the inaugural gift to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District Arts Education Fund for musical, performing and visual arts. The fund, managed by the Cleveland Foundation, will grow as other donors contribute.

The tribute to Ann Gund comes as she retires from the Gund Foundation’s Board of Trustees. During nearly 30 years of service, she has been a strong supporter of the arts, including arts education, an area where CMSD is seeking to make major advances.

CEO Eric Gordon took a lead role in crafting an arts plan and included it in commitments that would follow passage of Issue 68 last November. Despite the economic challenges of the pandemic, Cleveland residents easily approved renewal of a 15-mill property tax and added a 5-mill increase.

“I am thankful to The George Gund Foundation for this extremely generous gift,” the CEO said. “We have some amazing educators doing meaningful work with our talented scholars. This will help us take arts instruction to a deeper level and make arts part of the fabric of every CMSD school.”


Arts-infused education is not the teaching of art. It is using the arts to teach core subject areas. It is a methodology wherein teachers use all of the arts; visual, drama, technology, music, and movement to effectively touch all of the multiple intelligences in teaching. The arts are a transformative tool for engaging all learners. Arts-infused education improves educational achievement, creates innovative models for teaching and learning, and promotes the systemic integration of the arts into the core curriculum. Incorporating the arts into the curriculum allows children to have a better opportunity to flourish when it comes to academic achievement.

P-EBT Funds Available Only On Remote Learning Days

Under federal rules, students in hybrid learning will not be eligible for Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer, or P-EBT, funds on the days they attend classes in their school buildings. They will be eligible for the benefits on the days they attend school remotely.

Students who are fully in remote learning will continue to receive the benefits on all days when school is in session.

The benefits are for students in preschool through 12th grade who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program. P-EBT is part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

Enrollment lists are sent to the Department of Job and Family Services on a regular basis, and any questions or concerns about benefits should be directed to DJFS at 1-866-224-0071. The school or District will not be able to address the situation.

Benefits are mailed out or loaded on cards in waves. Not every family will receive benefits on the same day.

May In-Person Menus

Breakfast and lunch will be served at the school for in-person scholars for the remainder of the school year. Remote-only students who are at the school for testing will also be given a lunch. Below are the menus for breakfast and lunch for the month of May.
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NWEA Reading - Third Grade

Third Grade will be taking the Reading NWEA on the following dates:

  • Hybrid - Group A Students: Monday, May 3
  • Hybrid - Group B Students: Thursday, May 6
  • Fully REMOTE Students - TBA (Week of May 3-7)

*** Reminder: Please make sure that devices are fully charged for the test, and if students wear prescription glasses - - please bring them too. ***

THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all our third grade families for making testing possible and encouraging your child to take their time and do their BEST work. We appreciate everything that you're doing to support our students in preparing for 4th grade!

May Testing Update

The following tests are conducted in April. Reach out to your scholar's teacher with any questions in regard to testing.

  • Ohio State Test (OST) Math (Grades 3-8) April 19- May 7
  • Ohio State Test (OST) Science (Grades 5 & 8) April 19-May 7
  • Aimsweb Benchmark (K-3) April 26 - May 14
  • NWEA ELA (Grade 3 only) - May 3 (Group A) & May 6 (Group B)
  • Early Learning Assessment (PreK) Feb. 16 - May 14

Be sure your scholar is able to perform to the best of his or her ability by having your scholar follow these tips:

  • Log into class on time and every day!
  • Complete synchronous and asynchronous assignments
  • Get a good night sleep.
  • Have a healthy and nutritious breakfast.
  • Practice every day!
  • Relax!

Mark Your Calendars

  • May 5 - Summer School Informational Session (See above for Zoom link)
  • May 12 - PreK Professional Development (No School for PreK)
  • May 26 - Last Student Day (end of MP4)

Kindergarten Only -

  • May 21 - Kindergarten Promotion (R/F scholars)
  • May 24 - Kindergarten Promotion (M/T scholars)

Eighth Grade Only -

  • May 20 - Eighth Grade Promotion (R/F scholars)
  • May 25 - Eighth Grade Promotion (M/T scholars)

**Wednesdays will remain asynchronous learning days. The school building will be closed for cleaning and sanitation.**

Virtual Learning Opportunities for Parents/Caregivers

There are many community partners, agencies and organizations offering FREE online learning opportunities. Please check out the offerings below to attend a variety of workshops on topics which will assist you with supporting your family and gain new skills. These offerings include Online Computer Training, free high-quality courses, and career training programs online, and SEL and academic workshops to support scholars and families. Check them out on our Parent University webpage.

Cleveland Public Library Delivery Service

Adult residents of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District may now have Cleveland Public Library books and movies shipped to their homes. Learn more about Words on Wheels at and Cleveland Public Library.

P-EBT Produce Perks at Kamms Corner

Wonderful news – as of Monday, the USDA has extended the Pandemic EBT program through the summer! At Kamm’s Corners Farmers Market, families can see dollar-for-dollar returns at the market: spend $25 dollars with your P-EBT card at the Market and you can get $25 credit towards fresh fruits & vegetables!

This year, the Farmer’s Market will begin on Sunday, June 13th and continue through Sunday, October 17th at the corner of Albers Avenue and W. 168th St (right behind Walgreens with convenient access to the bus line as well as ample parking). In addition to the nutrition supplement programs that we are super excited to host again, we hope to bring back more family-oriented activities that can enrich the experience for everybody, plus sustainability activities, health screenings, and more.

Baker Highlights

Second Grade Paleontologists

In second grade we have been studying the job of a paleontologist. Students have not only learned about the tools that paleontologists use, but the gentle nature that is required to make sure that all fossils remain intact. We practiced being gentle and using paleontologist tools to find hidden gems. Check out Baker's paleontologists in the pictures below!

Stop the Hate Songwriting Contest

The 7th and 8th grade classes worked with two artists, Ray Flannagan (8th grade) and Afi Scruggs (7th grade), to create original songs to protest hate in our world. The contest is sponsored by the Maltz Museum and the artists are provided through Root of American Music. The program allowed students to reflect on what they’ve learned, discuss their own experiences with discrimination and bias, and then work together to pen an original song. One of Newton D. Baker's 8th grade classes is a FINALIST! The winner will be announced in May. Here is a link to all the songs! Check them out HERE!

Hands-On Learning In Middle School Science

Mrs. Tobin and her science classes are so excited to be back in the building and completing individualized hands-on science projects!

To begin, the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders practiced using the engineering design process. The challenge was to build a structure using 20 toothpicks and 10 jellybeans that could hold a large textbook. After the challenge, they discussed who won the challenge, what strategies were successful, and different structures that they could build with more toothpicks and jellybeans.

Additionally, they tied in their learning of photosynthesis and the ecosystem with Earth Day by planting four different types of marigolds. This allowed us to begin a scientific investigation. The students hypothesized which type of marigold would grow the most and least in the classroom environment (Petite Yellow, Queen Sophia, Crackerjack, and French Double Dwarf). The students take data and analyze the results to see which Marigold grew the best. They are already beginning to see some sprouts from the Hybrid A group.

Ms. Pittard's Art Updates

Third and fourth graders had fun learning about the artist, Alma Thomas and her beautiful abstract paintings. They were inspired to create an abstract painting using shape, line, and rhythm.

Middle school students learned about the art style “Op Art” and the art of optical illusion. They focused on three artists and their amazing optical illusions, Victor Vasarely, Bridgette Riley, and MC Escher. They are busy creating our own Op Art masterpieces.

Students in Kindergarten and first grade are learning about pop art (pop art is a movement in which artists incorporated common objects—comic strips, soup cans, newspapers, and more—into their work). They used food as our inspiration and created Pop Art Pizza collages and drawings.

Check out the pictures below!

Attention Band & String Students

From Mr. Cummings - Attention BAND and STRING students, please return all school band instruments to Mr. Cummings or the music room ASAP. Let Mr. Cummings know if you have any questions. Thank you!

Stay Connected With Baker

Strong communication is the key to making a partnership work. While our staff will reach out in a number of ways (robo-calls, Schoology, Remind and ClassDojo as some examples), one of the best ways to stay up-to-date with the happenings at Newton D. Baker is through our Facebook page. Be sure to follow us! Access Newton D. Baker School of Arts on Facebook @ndbsoa.

Synchronous (On-Stage) vs. Asynchronous (Off-Stage)

Synchronous time is the live instruction held on Zoom or Teams that your scholar participates in at a set time during remote instruction. Links to all live sessions are on the Seesaw/Schoology pages of the teacher.

Asynchronous learning is student-centered and student-guided learning. Examples of asynchronous learning include self-guided lesson modules, pre-recorded video content, virtual libraries, and discussion boards.

As much as your scholar would like you to believe - Wednesdays are not "free" days. On the contrary, they are strictly dedicated to asynchronous time. There is assigned classwork on your teacher's Seesaw/Schoology page. Office hours are held in the morning where your scholar is able to meet with the teacher to receive extra help. This is also a good time for parents/guardians to meet with teachers as well!

As always, reach out to your scholar's teacher if there are any questions about what is assigned during asynchronous time!

Tech Respect & Responsibility

Families, we need your help with talking to your children about being respectful and responsible digital citizens. There have been a few items that have come up this year that teachers and administration have been and will continue to be addressing in class, but we would appreciate your help with reinforcing and monitoring at home. Thank you for partnering with us in creating amazing and safe digital citizens!

In Need of Tech Support?

If you have technology challenges, please call the CMSD Help Desk at 216.838.0440. They are there and eager to support!

If the problem has not been resolved through the Help Desk, then give us a call at the school. We are willing and eager to assist! Please call the CMSD Help Desk at 216-838-0440 before coming to the school with technology issues.

Need to Enroll?

If you are interested in enrolling a student at Newton D. Baker, please reach out to our secretary, Ms. Lee, directly at 216-838-6650.

If you would like more information about PK enrollment, please see the flyer below.

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Family Resources

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COVID-19 Assistance

If you or someone you know is in of need support because of the COVID-19 pandemic, please call the district's COVID-19 hotline at 216.838.WELL.

Newton D. Baker School of Arts

The Baker families are what drive this community! Reach out to Newton D. Baker in a number of ways!

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