Baltimore County Now
Teri Rising, Historic Preservation Planner
Department of Planning
While it is hard to believe today, educational opportunities for young women were not readily available during the mid-19th century in the United States. In Baltimore County, we are fortunate to have several historic schools that were founded for the primary purpose of educating young women. These institutions were made possible by the shared vision of women and religious organizations who provided the resources necessary for their establishment. While their historic campuses feature a variety of 19th century architectural styles, together they tell a story of those who dedicated their lives to the mission of educating young women. In honor of Women’s History Month, let’s learn about some of these historically significant schools.
Just outside of historic Reisterstown is the former Hannah More Academy campus which was established in 1832. Built on land donated by Mrs. Ann Neilson, the former girls’ Episcopal boarding and day school provided education to young women until it merged with Saint Timothy’s School in Greenspring Valley in 1974. While the original school buildings were lost to fire in 1857, the school was rebuilt and today houses various nonprofit offices and recreational space. Located on the campus is the Gothic Revival board and batten Saint Michael’s Chapel, a National Register property and Baltimore County Landmark.
The Mount de Sales Academy has been educating young women within the walls of its historic campus in Catonsville since 1852. Organized by the Sisters of the Visitation, this was the first Catholic institution in Baltimore County to provide educational opportunities to young women of all religions and backgrounds. The school is also significant as the oldest educational facility in the County still actively in use for its original purpose. The 19th century collection of campus buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places and the Baltimore County Landmarks List.
Oldfields School is situated in the former village of Glencoe that grew with the arrival of the railroad in 1838. Located near the Gunpowder River, Oldfields School was founded by Mrs. Anna Austen McCulloch in 1867. The school began in her mid-19th century double tenant house, now a Baltimore County Landmark, and referred to on campus as the “Old House”. Unlike many early schools for young women, Oldfields was not affiliated with any particular denomination and was known for its progressive curriculum which featured subjects and activities not easily found in other institutions of the time.
To learn more about the history of women’s education along with these historic schools:
Blake Lubinski, Communications Intern, Baltimore County Public Schools
Long before the schoolhouse doors open for a new year, preparations begin for 10 months of teaching and learning. From classroom housekeeping and lesson planning to summer reading and supplies shopping, educators and students are thoroughly involved in back-to-school season.
But what about you? Does back to school involve you, too? According to Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS), it does!
From now until the end of October, BCPS invites you to gear up for the new school year through its “Back to School Involves You, Too!” campaign. Including special workshops open to the community through the school system’s Parent University, back-to-school programming airing on the school system’s television station and contests beginning after the first day of school, the campaign also offers opportunities for Baltimore County residents to become active members of Team BCPS.
To start, visit the “Back to School Involves You, Too!” webpage on the BCPS website to download and print one of three 8.5-by-11-inch signs welcoming the students back and wishing them a great school year. Then, on Wednesday, August 27, the first day of school for BCPS students, take a photograph of the sign posted in your community or held by your BCPS student. The best photographs submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or received through Facebook or Twitter (@BaltCoPS, #BCPSfirstday) will appear on the BCPS website or Flickr page.
What’s more, when back-to-school season ends later this fall, Baltimore County residents can remain active Team BCPS members throughout the school year by attending school events, becoming business partners, offering internships to BCPS students and volunteering at their local schools. And, to stay up-to-date on school system happenings all year long, Baltimore County community members can download the BCPS Now app, follow the BCPS Deliberate Excellence blog and subscribe to the weekly BCPS e-newsletter.
Back-to-school season comes once a year, but BCPS students prepare every day to become Baltimore County’s future citizens and workforce. Help the students with their preparations by following the first rule of back to school: be involved!
Blake Lubinski, Communications Intern, Baltimore County Public Schools
Great news! You made the team – Team BCPS!
Team BCPS includes ALL current, former and future students, teachers, staff, parents, neighbors, volunteers and supporters of Baltimore County Public Schools – everyone whose lives are impacted by the County school system.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 15, 2014, BCPS will launch “We Are Team BCPS,” a new campaign intended to promote pride in and encourage engagement with the school system. Unfolding over the year, the campaign will include multiple opportunities for community involvement.
Among the opportunities is Team BCPS Day. Scheduled for the campaign’s launch date, the day calls upon the community to dress in “BCPS blue” (which is any shade of blue) and submit photographs and videos. The best photographs and videos received through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BaltCoPS) and Twitter (@BaltCoPS, #BCPSblue) will appear on the BCPS website, www.bcps.org, and Facebook page.
A second opportunity for involvement is through story-sharing. BCPS invites Team members to share their stories of the school system’s impact on their lives through short paragraphs and videos. Select testimonials submitted to email@example.com will appear on BCPS-TV, the BCPS “Deliberate Excellence” blog, the BCPS Facebook page or in the weekly BCPS e-newsletter.
The community may become involved online, as well. In addition to the debut of a new “We Are Team BCPS” page offering opportunities to get involved with the school system, the BCPS alumni webpage allows former students to relate their high-quality BCPS education to their accomplishments in their respective professions. Graduates may submit high-resolution photographs and brief profiles, including the name of their alma mater, a short description of major achievements/activities and thoughts about BCPS’s role in preparing them for the future, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any nominations for inclusion on the alumni page must include direct contact information for the nominee.
Visit the BCPS website to learn more. And don’t forget to go blue. Team BCPS is bound to score on January 15!