Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts
Address
1500 Harlem Ave

,
21217

United States
Coordinates39°17′48″N 76°38′29″W / 39.29667°N 76.64139°W / 39.29667; -76.64139Coordinates: 39°17′48″N 76°38′29″W / 39.29667°N 76.64139°W / 39.29667; -76.64139
Information
School typePublic
Founded2004
School districtBaltimore City Public Schools
School number430
PrincipalKamala Carnes[1]
Grades912
Enrollment419[1] (2018)
AreaUrban
Team nameSabers
WebsiteCity Schools Site

The Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts (AFSIVA) is a public high school in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. It is named after Augusta Savage, a sculptor associated with the Harlem Renaissance. The school opened in 2004 within the former campus of Southwestern High School as part of a program intended to break up larger high schools in to smaller, more individualized schools.[2] It graduated its first class in 2007.

History

Initially created without a name, the school was named for Augusta Savage by the Baltimore school board in November 2005.[2]

In January 2006, due to standardized test results, Augusta Fells Savage was identified as one of seven low-performing city schools that would require a "turnaround specialist" to assist the administration with increasing student achievement.[3] A month later, the school board additionally proposed to move Augusta Fells Savage from its location in the former Southwestern High School complex to space within Calverton Middle School.[4] By this time, Augusta Fells Savage shared the Southwestern campus with three other schools, with a total student population of 1,459.[5] The school's principal would also be replaced with a new hire through the New Leaders program.[6]

At community meetings following the proposal, the plan's call for mixing high school students with younger students was opposed by many parents over safety concerns.[7] Community members also complained of lack of prior consultation for the plan, and enlisted the support of politicians including (then former) Congressman Kweisi Mfume in opposing its implementation.[8] As a result, the board decided first to postpone their final decision and then ultimately scrapped the planned move to Calverton Middle altogether.[9] Due to the desire to completely phase out the aging Southwestern complex where it resided, the school system still sought to find a new location for Augusta Fells Savage.[10]

In January 2007, the school board recommended instead to relocate the school to the campus of Harlem Park Middle School instead, a site it would share with several other schools.[11] The proposal, too, received criticism, this time from the principal of the Talent Development High School who predicted conflict between the combined groups of students, and who threatened to quit should the move take place.[12] Another administrator of Talent Development wrote to The Baltimore Sun further arguing that the combination would cause trouble in the Harlem Park community due to the need for 600 to 700 additional students to commute into the neighborhood via bus every day.[13] The predictions of disruption and trouble were rejected by Augusta Fells Savage's then-current principal, who argued the merger "could benefit students in both schools."[14] In an op-ed, the editors of The Sun supported the proposal of the Talent Development High School administration, calling on the school board to extend the timeline to allow for consideration of alternative placement options.[15] However, at the end of February, the city's school board approved the final plan to move Augusta Fells Savage to the former Harlem Park Middle building, described as "the most contentious issue" in a larger, city-wide consolidation of schools buildings.[16]

2021 controversy

In March 2021 Augusta Fells Savage made national headlines after a story about a student who failed 22 classes and missed 272 days of school went viral online. While the student had only a 0.13 GPA he ranked 62 out of 120 students. The student who was in his senior year of high school would be sent back to 9th grade to restart high school from the beginning. [17] Maryland Governor Larry Hogan ordered a investigation into the school following the national coverage staying that "....the report was "far worse than anything" he has "heard in the whole time" he has been governor."[18]

References

  1. ^ a b "Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts". Baltimore City Public Schools. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  2. ^ a b Neufeld, Sara (2005-11-09). "School board OKs new names". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. p. B3. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  3. ^ Neufeld, Sara (2006-01-11). "Future Rides on Test Scores". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. p. B1. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  4. ^ Neufeld, Sara (2006-02-15). "Plan calls for closing several schools". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. p. A6. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  5. ^ Marech, Rona (2006-02-16). "Those at targeted schools show mixed emotions". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. p. B8. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  6. ^ Neufeld, Sara (2006-04-27). "Vote delayed on restructuring". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. p. B3. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  7. ^ Neufeld, Sara (2006-03-09). "West-side school closings decried". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. p. B3. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  8. ^ Neufeld, Sara (2006-05-29). "Parents Protest School Merger". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. p. B1. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  9. ^ Neufeld, Sara (2006-06-09). "School Closing Delay Sought". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. p. B1. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  10. ^ Neufeld, Sara (2006-11-09). "Another round of city school closings planned". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. p. C2. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  11. ^ Neufeld, Sara (2007-01-18). "Proposal to close schools finalized". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. p. A12. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  12. ^ Jones, Brent (2007-02-06). "City principal threatens to quit position". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. p. B1. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  13. ^ Balfanz, Robert (2007-02-17). "Move would disrupt a series of schools". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. p. A13. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  14. ^ Jones, Brent (2007-02-26). "Principal disputes prediction of trouble". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. p. B1. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  15. ^ "Closing with care". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. 2007-02-26. p. A8. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  16. ^ Jones, Brent (2007-02-28). "Overhaul OK'd for Schools". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. p. A1. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  17. ^ "Baltimore-area student passed only 3 classes in 4 years, ranked near top half of class". FOX TV Digital Team. 2021-03-05. Retrieved 2021-03-06.
  18. ^ Conklin, Audrey (2021-03-06). "Maryland Gov. Hogan calls for investigation into Baltimore HS failing students, others call for shutdown". Fox News. Retrieved 2021-03-06.