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Programs > Charter Schools > Schools
ConneXions Community Leadership Academy

ConneXions Community Leadership Academy #325
Baltimore City Public School System
Rodney Powell & Dana Polson, Principals
Converted to charter school status in August 2006
Grades 6 through 11, 196 students served
* Expanding to 12th grade in SY 2009-2010
2801 N. Dukeland Ave., Baltimore, MD 21216

ConneXions Community Leadership Academy

About ConneXions Community Leadership Academy

ConneXions, a small public charter school located on the west side of Baltimore City, converted to charter school status in 2006. ConneXions has a strong arts program gaining recognition throughout Baltimore and beyond. Its academic program focuses on strengthening students’ skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. Connexions community is small, safe and respectful.

Program Philosophy and Model:

ConneXions is a member of the Coalition of Essential Schools. “CES has been at the forefront of creating and sustaining personalized, equitable, and intellectually challenging schools. Essential schools are places of powerful student learning where all students have the chance to reach their fullest potential.” –CESNationalweb

CES Practice is guided by the Following Common Principles:

1. Learning to use one’s mind well
2. Less is more, depth over coverage
3. Goals apply to all students
4. Personalization
5. Student as worker, teacher as coach
6. Demonstration of Mastery
7. A tone of decency and trust
8. Commitment to the entire school
9. Resources dedicated to teaching and learning
10. Democracy and equity

  • ConneXions mission is to develop the leadership potential of children by preparing, inspiring, and empowering them to take responsibility for themselves and their city.
  • ConneXions was founded on four pillars: community, leadership, scholarship, and discovery.
  • ConneXions aims to promote a supportive, safe, and respectful community that challenges its members to achieve their maximum social, emotional, and intellectual growth while contributing to the collective needs of the group.

Learning Environment:

  • ConneXions’ is designed for young people interested in arts, activism, and in-depth learning.
  • Prospective ConneXions students should have a strong desire to become an expert in their artistic/athletic field, though there are no audition or entrance requirements.
  • All students are seen as intellectuals at ConneXions, capable of original thought and knowledge construction.
  • ConneXions culture is based on relationships and connections.
  • The typical ConneXions community member, whether student or staff, is a creative, thoughtful, independent thinker, engaged in learning and willing to be a positive member of the community.

Student Support Programs and Services:

  • Students receive additional support from a full-time counselor, advisors, and a new mentoring program
  • Students have access to intensive training in African Drum, Dance (African, modern, ballet, and hiphop), the visual arts (painting, 2D design, screenprinting, art and culture, and both digital and film photography), and athletics (physical education, martial arts, health, and sports health and management.
  • The ConneXions debate team has achieved success and recognition on the National Debate Circuit.
  • The Connexions Performing Arts Dance Company provides students demonstrating a strong interest in pursuing an arts career the opportunity to travel as artists.
  • The ConneXions Cultural Exchange Program is an urban/rural exchange program that provides students with the opportunity to network and share cultures, experiences, and ideas with age level peers who live and learn in areas much different than their own.


ConneXions maintains partnerships with the following community organizations:

  • Sankofa Center For Cultural Enrichment
  • Clayworks
  • Urban Leadership Institute
  • The Friends School of Baltimore (Middle Grades Project)
  • Algebra Project
  • Baltimore Urban Debate League
  • The Connexions Performing Arts Travel Company
  • The Connexions Cultural Xchange Program
  • Debate Team


Contact Information
Charter Schools Office
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

(410) 767-3678

Email:  charterschools@msde.state.md.us
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