27 Feb Great Neighborhood School Options for Families
Strong schools are the mark of a great neighborhood, and Belair-Edison has a range of high-quality, diverse educational options for families living in, or considering a move to, the area.
Three of the neighborhood’s best offerings are public charter schools: The Green School of Baltimore, Afya Charter School, and Brehms Lane Public Charter School.
The Green School of Baltimore, at 2851 Kentucky Avenue, is a Kindergarten-Grade 5 school that, says Principal Kate Primm, is kept “intentionally small.” Its 160 students come from all across the city, but its proximity to Belair-Edison makes it a viable choice for students from the area.
Because of its emphasis on environmental stewardship, Primm says that the school is ideal for active kids who enjoy engaging with others and who have a high level of curiosity, especially about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning. “We’ve grown our outdoor space to be an extension of the classroom.”
Being part of the community is also important to the school, and Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc. (BENI) is a member of its rich network of partnerships. The students are active participants in neighborhood life, painting murals on storm drains, doing art projects, and participating in park clean-ups.
Like all public charter schools, The Green School is part of the Baltimore City Public School System and open to all Baltimore City residents. If there are more applications than slots for students at each grade level, enrollment is determined by public lottery.
Afya Charter School and Brehms Lane Public Charter School are also part of the Baltimore City Public School System, they are 2 of 5 schools operated by Afya Baltimore Inc. (ABI), a non-profit organization. Afya is a Swahili word for health and ABI’s overall mission is to teach children to live healthy, balanced lives. If a family lives within Belair-Edison they can automatically enter Brehms Lane without going through the lottery process, as their community school.
Both schools are in Belair-Edison. Afya, at 2800 Brendan Avenue, is a middle school, with 350 students in grades 6-8. Brehms Lane, at 3536 Brehms Lane, serves 675 students, pre-K through 5th grade. According to Will McKenna, ABI Executive Director and Founder, both schools have an “intellectual, nutritional, mental, and social focus.”
In addition to improving students’ academic performance, the schools emphasize good nutrition and exercise. The Wellness Ambassador program involved Towson University, a physical therapist from the area, students and parents in a monthly program about healthy activity and healthy eating. ABI also started a food pantry program so students can get the groceries they might need at home.
Brehms Lane has been part of the Belair-Edison community for a number of years, but McKenna says, they saw a need to convert it to a charter school. ABI is dedicated to improving it and also has plans to develop the building and grounds so the school becomes an even greater asset to the community.
Belair-Edison Walking School Bus
Looking for a fun way to volunteer, get some exercise and meet some of our great kids? Join us in the Walking School Bus program, where a group of children walk to school every day with adult supervision. The Belair-Edison community has launched this program to assist in the safe passage of children to and from school. There are two routes to choose from and morning and afternoon times.
For more information and to sign up to volunteer click here.