Plans are underway for West Baltimore’s Renaissance Academy High School to potentially move to the campus of Baltimore City Community College (BCCC).  Angela Alvarez, Executive Director, Office of New School Initiatives for Baltimore City Public Schools, gave a brief report to the Public Schools Board members this week, announcing the cooperative effort.

Renaissance Academy

Renaissance Academy

“We’ve been working collaboratively with partners, particularly Baltimore City Community College and are looking at the potential of relocating Renaissance Academy to BCCC’s campus across from its main campus on Liberty Heights,” Alvarez said at the meeting on Jan. 24.

Baltimore City Community College released a statement shortly before the school board meeting, confirming the current negotiations underway to welcome Renaissance Academy.

“BCCC and BCPSS are evaluating the financial costs, academic programming and structural needs required to support a potential Renaissance Academy partnership. It is the intent of both organizations to ensure the educational experience of the students is one that will enhance student learning outcomes.”

Renaissance Academy families received letters and calls this week from BCPSS informing them of the proposed move.  A school-based meeting to solicit community input will be scheduled for early February.

Renaissance Academy was originally scheduled for closure in the summer of 2017.  The school experienced a number of problems in the previous school year that put it on the closure list in the 2015-2016 school year including a student stabbed in class and the confiscation of a loaded gun on campus.

A high level of community support for Renaissance Academy caused the Schools Board to delay formally recommending closure of the school at its December board meeting, when several other BCPSS schools were slated to close.  BCPSS CEO Sonja Santileses said she listened to the input of community partners in making the decision to delay closing the school.

“I took very seriously the advisement of partners in the faith community and partners at the University of Maryland about the social-emotional needs of the young people.”

The BCPSS will issue a final decision on the Renaissance Academy move to BCCC on Feb. 24. Nikkia Rowe, principal of Renaissance Academy, did not return a request for comment by press time.