S. Dallas Dance, Ph.D.
Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools

S. Dallas Dance, Ph.D.

August 2015

Dear Team BCPS,

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! On the first day of school, August 24, we’ll welcome about 111,000 students to a host of new beginnings.

Every elementary school across the county is now a Lighthouse school for S.T.A.T., Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow. We expect students to be more excited about learning and more engaged with instruction that incorporates 21st century skills and 1:1 digital devices. That’s what we learned from last year’s pilot, as you can see in this video. Seven of our middle schools are now Lighthouse schools as well.

And 25 of our elementary schools are Passport schools, teaching Spanish at Grade 4 instead of waiting until students are in middle school. Last year’s 10 pilot schools will add Grade 5 Spanish. If you haven’t seen how excited students are about this opportunity, take a look.

Our Back to School Involves You, Too! campaign is well underway. It’s our way of celebrating the start of school with the entire community, because great schools involve everyone – students, families, neighbors, staff, and businesses. Here are some highlights:

  • Fill the bin to the brim!: Donate school supplies at Baltimore County Office Depot stores from August 1-14.
  • Share your voice:
    • Tweet your encouragement to students at #BCPSfirstday.
    • Students are invited to create “commercials” (up to 60-seconds long) promoting the importance of on-time daily school attendance.
    • Parents, teachers, and students can submit School Year Resolutions to BCPS and NBC News’ Education Nation from August 3-31.
  • Gear up with free school supplies and other resources at the 4th Annual Back to School Festival sponsored by Kevin Liles for a Better Baltimore Foundation on August 29 from 12-4 p.m. at Security Square Mall.
  • Celebrate Baltimore County Day with the Orioles on Saturday, September 12, at 1:05 p.m. Five dollars of every ticket sold will benefit the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools.
  • Contact a school to become a volunteer, join our business partner network, or donate to the Education Foundation.
  • Attend a Parent University workshop.
  • And drive safely! Our students are back on the roads heading to and from school.
    CONNECT

    RT @lisadingle5: Isn't it wonderful to be different? @MDreally @Relay_BCPS @DDance_BCPS http://t.co/9nscH0dA8p
    Friday, 28 August 2015 @ 12:59:06 PM

    RT @mark_bedell: Pikesville students engaged in improvisation performances. @PikesvilleHS @DDance_BCPS http://t.co/BNY6uXJirJ
    Friday, 28 August 2015 @ 12:58:53 PM

    RT @spes0310: Our new #kindergarten students are excited to begin! @DDance_BCPS @BaltCoPS http://t.co/1yKo5uVvnr
    Friday, 28 August 2015 @ 12:58:34 PM

    RT @lisadingle5: We're on a roll TEAMrelay! Thank you for all that you do! #On The Right P.A. T.H!@Relay_BCPS @DDance_BCPS @MDreally http:/…
    Friday, 28 August 2015 @ 12:58:31 PM

    RT @KevinLiles1: With success comes responsibility. I'm looking forward to celebrating with you all. Let's make this… https://t.co/qBFazIQv…
    Friday, 28 August 2015 @ 11:29:36 AM

    twitter

In case you missed it, bell times at some schools in the northwest, northeast, and southwest areas of the county changed. We want every student to be at school on time to learn and grow each day. Get the updates.

This will be our best year yet. Stay in the loop with everything we’re doing to graduate each student globally competitive by subscribing to our newsletter and downloading the BCPS Now mobile app.

Take care,

S. Dallas Dance
Superintendent

Dr. S. Dallas Dance

Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools

Distinguished as a vibrant and visionary leader, Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance has united Baltimore County Public Schools students, staff and the community into Team BCPS, a powerful force committed to producing globally competitive graduates.

In collaboration with Team BCPS, Dr. Dance spearheaded the development of Blueprint 2.0, a five-year strategic plan focused on improving academics, safety, communication and organizational effectiveness.

Under Dr. Dance’s leadership, fundamental shifts in teaching and learning are taking place through groundbreaking initiatives including S.T.A.T. (Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow), designed to create a 1:1 digital learning environment for all students, and the Second Language Acquisition program, which will support all students in achieving fluency in a second language.

Champions of Change
Superintendent Dance is honored as a Connected Educator Champion of Change by the White House

In recognition of its advances in instructional technology, BCPS was accep

ted into the League of Innovative Schools, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded a $1.5 million grant to BCPS. In 2014, Dr. Dance was selected by President Barack Obama as one of 10 national “Connected Educator Champions of Change,” named one of eight “tech savvy” superintendents by eSchool News, appointed to the board of directors for the International Society for Technology in Education, and received the “Walk the Walk" award from EdSurge and Digital Promise. Dr. Dance also was named among the National School Boards Association’s prestigious “20 to Watch" educators for 2014-2015. Microsoft honored BCPS in 2015 by selecting it as one of its “Showcase” school systems.

Other areas of focus for the Dance administration have been enhancing special education services and magnet programs; expanding preschool access; increasing equity and rigor; rethinking middle schools; and boosting the graduation rate.
The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate surged to 86.3 percent for the Class of 2013, gaining nearly two and half percentage points in a single year with the help of concerted efforts to identify struggling students and provide interventions. The rate rose to 87.6 percent in 2014. As a result of these increases, District Administration magazine named BCPS a national “District of Distinction."

Open dialogue with the community and professional development for all staff members are additional hallmarks of Dr. Dance’s administration. In recognition of their commitment to communications, Dr. Dance and BCPS Chief Communications Officer Mychael Dickerson received the prestigious national Leadership Through Communication Award from AASA, the National School Public Relations Association, and Blackboard.

Other honors for Dr. Dance include an appointment from President Barack Obama to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans and selection to the executive committee of the American Association of School Administrators.

Prior to his appointment in Baltimore County, Dr. Dance served as one of three chief school officers in the Houston Independent School District, the seventh largest school system in the nation, and served in executive leadership positions in Virginia.

Dr. Dance earned doctorate and master's degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and a bachelor's degree from Virginia Union University.

A resident of Baltimore County, Dr. Dance is the proud father of one son, Myles Dallas Dance.

 

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