The Baker Buzz

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

Dear Families,

Happy New Year!

It's hard to believe that 2020 is in the rear-view mirror and 2021 is at our doorstep! In our wildest dreams, when the calendar turned from 2019 to 2020, we could never have envisioned what our world would look like today. What a difference a year can make! You, the parents and guardians of our scholars, deserve a huge amount of appreciation for how you have assisted us this year with your child's education! Your understanding and flexibility, as well as your dedication to the scholars of Newton D. Baker and Cleveland Metropolitan Schools is truly appreciated!

Stay safe and healthy in the new year! We hope to see you soon!

As always, if you have any questions or need support, please reach out to us via the school phone at 216.838.6650

-Ms. Locklear & Mr. Wobser

January Testing Update

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

  • AIMSWEBplus Universal Screening Benchmarks (Grades K-3) Jan 5 - 29

  • NWEA ELA and Math (Grades 1-8) Jan 26- Feb 26

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!

True2U at Newton D. Baker

We are excited to inform you that as part of your student’s eighth grade experience, they will take part in a personal development and career awareness-mentoring program, True2U!

True2U prepares eighth grade students for the transition from middle school to high school using a unique advisory model in which each eighth grade class at your student’s school will be led by mentors (supported by a CMSD teacher) through a formal curriculum on personal development, helping students think more about their career options and how they can use high school as a pathway to their future. All programming will be held virtually, for 50 minutes on each school’s selected day, during each True2U week.

Virtual program sessions are planned for the weeks of:

January 11 – 15

January 25 – 29

February 8 – 12

March 15 –19

April 12 – 16

To kick-off this engaging opportunity, your student is invited to attend the True2U Virtual Program Launch that will take place December 4th, 2020! Students will be introduced to the True2U program and curriculum from representatives of CMSD, NLI, and motivational speaker and recording artist Dee-1! During this live event, students will have the opportunity to win prizes and all participants will receive a Pizza Hut e-treat gift card.

If you have any questions regarding this program please contact Ms. Orozco, Mr. Haberkorn, or Ms. Audrey Davis, CMSD True2U Program Manager, at 216.838.0286

High School Choice for Eighth Grade

CMSD’s online choice portal is open, allowing eighth graders and their families to begin selecting a high school for next school year.

Under The Cleveland Plan for education reform, CMSD allows students to attend any school they and their families choose, provided that space is available and, in a few cases, the students meet admissions criteria.

The portal,, will accept high school choices until the first round of the choice season ends Feb. 5. Families can select up to five schools, ranking them in order of preference.


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 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. 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 fall 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!

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, 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.

Mark Your Calendars

  • January 4 - Students Return ASYNCHRONOUS LEARNING DAY (make-up work) (Professional Development for Teachers)
  • January 18 - Dr. MLK Jr. Day (No School)
  • January 22 - End of MP2/Semester 1
  • January 25 - First Day of MP3/Semester 2
  • February 3 - Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • February 10 - PreK and K Professional Development Day (No Office Hours for PK & K)
  • February 15 - President's Day (No School)

Baker Highlights

Does Bigfoot Exist?

Ms. Sherwin's third graders have been using their detective skills to gather and analyze evidence from several different books about Bigfoot. After becoming experts on the topic, students shared their opinions about the existence of Bigfoot. This engaging activity encompasses a variety of ELA standards. Below are some of Newton D. Baker's third grader's opinions about the existence of Bigfoot!

Dak Majok: "I believe Bigfoot does not exist for several reasons. First, some people play hoaxes about Bigfoot to get famous. Next, some people wear Bigfoot costumes, so the pictures of Bigfoot are not real. Also, YouTubers just fake seeing Bigfoot to get subscribers. For these reasons I do not believe in Bigfoot!

Desiree Gray: "I believe Bigfoot does not exist for several reasons. First, nobody has ever found Bigfoot in a forest or anywhere else. Next, mostly all the books prove that people were making a hoax. Also, why has no one ever captured Bigfoot in real life? Finally, most people agree that he is just a myth. To me it is clear that Bigfoot does not exist.

Josilyn Sparks: "I believe that Bigfoot does exist for several reasons. First, there are movies about him. Next, there are the footprints! Also, people cannot find his bones, which means Bigfoot must still be alive! As you can see, evidence clearly shows that Bigfoot does exist!"

What do you believe?!

Third Grade Virtual Field Trips

During the month of December third graders enjoyed a variety of virtual field trips.

Mrs. Bloodsaw's students attended a "live" theatrical performance of Air Play Acrobuffos, sponsored by Cleveland's Playhouse Square. During the show, theatre clowns used wind to move beautiful fabrics and balloons to music.

Mrs. Sherwin's class visited an assortment of exotic locations including Mount Vernon (home of George Washington), the International Space Station, Fort Worth's Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and Moscow! Students were impressed with the grandeur of George Washington's home and mentioned that they would want to live there, even though the outhouse or "Necessary" was part of the tour!

The International Space Station was another big hit! Students learned how astronauts sleep, brush their teeth, and use the bathroom while in outer space.

At the Bureau of Engraving and Printing students observed how money is printed and distributed around the world, reinforcing the economics lessons learned in social studies.

The final field trip was a tour of the beautiful Christmas light display in Moscow, complete with plenty of snow!

Third grader Isabella Martin declared, "Field trips are what I like best about school!" We hope January brings more opportunities to explore our world together virtually!

Second Grade Snowflakes in Ms. Masuga's Class

Anabelle Hupcej lead the class by teaching everyone how to make snowflakes. Way to go Annabelle!

A COVID Christmas Carol

Our last parent Newsletter showcased Grand Prize winner, Evan King's entry, A COVID Christmas Carol. Below is Nick Steen of Great Lakes Theater reading Evan's poem. So cool!
A COVID Christmas Carol by Evan King

Sixth Grade Holiday Spirit Week

Ms. Brinker and Ms. Wise held a Holiday Spirit Week to help boost attendance before Winter Break! Days included holiday themed hat, sock, sweater, and pajama days. Check out some pictures from the week!

Real-World Learning in Room 214

Room 214 explored different cultural celebrations around the world that occur this time of year. Scholars learned about the cultural celebrations of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa around the world. Students explored the cultural celebrations by reading different books through December.

Ms. Campion's class then had the pleasure of having April Ramsayer read Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto through Zoom. Ms. April shared her real-world experience of living in California and her experience with fresh hot tamales being sold on street corners.

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!