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Middle school matters: Lansdowne Middle School


In honor of national Middle Level Education Month, this March we are taking a closer look at Baltimore County Public Schools’ wonderful middle schools. Every day during March, one or two more school profiles will be posted. To see all that have been posted, please click here.

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(Acting) Principal: Frank Dunlap (quoted below)
Feeder elementary schools: Primarily Baltimore Highlands, Lansdowne, and Riverview; however Landsowne Middle is an ESOL center so it also has students from Halethorpe, Arbutus, and Catonsville area schools, too.

School website:

  • Academic achievements

The school has made significant gains on the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment since last year and is working to build on those gains.

Attendance has increased over the past year.

For the first two quarters of the school year, 85% of all grades earned by Lansdowne Middle students have been As, Bs, or Cs.

“Our teachers have partnered with Towson University to be involved in a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Professional Learning Community. A few of our teachers have been selected to present at an upcoming UDL conference at Towson later this month.”

Recent awards and grants

“Lansdowne Middle School is in the process of becoming a certified Maryland Green School. The Green School Club meets each week, and they have planted native plant gardens in front of our building. They regularly collect recycling and monitor our energy use, and they are waiting to install bluebird boxes with staff from the BCPS Office of Outdoor Science.”

Lansdowne Middle was the recipient of a Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant for $5,000.

“This past holiday season, one of our art teacher’s worked with our students to design ornaments that raised more than $500 for a wildlife refuge in Colorado.”

Special academic programs offered

The Saturday PARCC prep program helps students build mathematics and English language arts skills and improve their performance on the PARCC exam. “Students apply for this opportunity.”

“Even though most people will not have the opportunity to travel around the world, one can learn about 28 different countries and at least 15 different languages by talking to Lansdowne Middle students.”

As an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) center, Lansdowne Middle serves 159 English learners. These students come from 28 countries: El Salvador, Honduras, Myanmar, Pakistan, Guatemala, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, China, Nigeria, Cameroon, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Eretria, Grenada, Senegal, South Africa, Mexico, Kenya, Liberia, Iraq, Dominican Republic, Nepal, Afghanistan, Ecuador, Syria, Puerto Rico, and United Arab Emirates. They speak Spanish, Burmese, Hakha Chin, Mara, Falam, Tedim, Zomi, Urdu, Arabic, Bengali, Persian, French, Nepali, Chinese, and Yoruba.

Lansdowne also offers a magnet program focused on career and college readiness.  “While we accept applications for students from outside our zoned area, all students in our building benefit from the magnet program. Each Friday, we modify our daily schedule to include a magnet lesson that focuses on a career, skill, or ways to prepare for the future. Recent lessons have included preparing a resume, writing a cover letter, information about HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning careers), electrical careers, and teamwork and enthusiasm.”

“For the past several years, utilizing our Title I funds, we have held a summer bridge program to enrich the education of students coming into our building. This year we will be able to offer this program to all students who apply in our building as we focus on math, reading, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).”

Popular/unique extracurricular activities

Drama Club has been a Lansdowne Middle tradition for 20+ years!  The group is rehearsing “The Magical Land of Oz,” a musical to be performed on Thursday, May 5, and Friday, May 6.

Lansdowne Middle has had a partnership with the Hippodrome Foundation Incorporated since 2013. The foundation sends guest professionals to work with student musicians and provides opportunities for students to visit the historic Hippodrome Theatre for clinics, tours, and performances!
“Two of our teachers co-host the Comic Book Club.  With around 30 students participating, they meet to discuss and create comics.”

“We also offer a Minecraft club for our students interested in this game. Minecraft allows students to create their own worlds using various materials and then interact with each other in this created environment.”

School traditions

Basketball Bonanza: Each year around Winter Break, students use points earned for good behavior (through Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support) to attend this event.  Students have an opportunity to participate in several basketball-related events. “Our teachers then play each other in a fun game of basketball, refereed by our members of our basketball teams.” 

Trunk or Treat: For the past two years, the Lansdowne Middle School family has worked with community members and Lansdowne Elementary School to hold this event each October.  Teachers and community members decorate their cars in the parking lot as students parade through to show off costumes.  “We have increased attendance each year, with more than 700 community members attending this past fall.”

Baltimore Highlands Recreation Council Parade: “During this parade, members from our school marching band perform.”

Bet you didn’t know…

“According to our school website, Lansdowne Middle School was designed as the “first” middle school in BCPS.”

“We also have an alumnus playing for the University of Maryland Lady Terps Basketball Team.”

The Lansdowne Middle School mascot is a lion. “We are working with a team of students to redesign our mascot and create a school logo.”



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