Dear Team BCPS,
Happy New Year!
As we adjust to the new calendar year, plans are well underway for the 2015-2016 operating budget, also known as fiscal year 2016 (FY16). On January 13, BCPS will host a public hearing on the FY16 budget at West Towson Elementary School at 7 p.m. (The snow date is January 14 at the same location and time.)
This is an opportunity for the community to learn about and give input on priorities for the next school year including expanding student access to digital learning environments through S.T.A.T. and second language acquisition through Passport Schools. The budget reflects BCPS investments to raise achievement and close achievement gaps. Budget materials from the January 6, 2015, board meeting are available here.
To facilitate 21st century teaching and learning for a growing student population, we’re embarking on a capital improvement program. Please review the plan update here, as well as a comprehensive assessment of the capability and functionality of each BCPS school building.
January 15 is the second annual celebration of Team BCPS Day. Team BCPS includes all of us -- students, families, community members and staff members. Let’s turn social media blue by posting pictures with hashtag #bcpsblue. Last year featured blue faces, hair, lighting, banners and props, from homes, businesses, the county government, and BCPS offices and schools, with plenty of team pride. Find out more here.
With @arneduncan & other educational leaders discussing how we can collectively increase the number of leaders of color across our country!
By the end of January, schools will begin the third marking period. Let’s take what we’ve learned from the first half of the school year to make sure that every student is making strong progress in every school, every day.
S. Dallas Dance
S. Dallas Dance, Ph.D.
Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools
Distinguished as a vibrant and driven leader, Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance has united Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) students, staff, and the community into Team BCPS, a powerful force committed to deliberate excellence and 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.
In 2014, Dr. Dance was appointed to the 12-member board of directors for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and was named one of eight eSchool News Tech-Savvy Superintendents. He became one of 10 White House Connected Educator Champions of Change in 2013.
Academic milestones are already evident under Dr. Dance’s leadership. Curriculum and infrastructure redesign are
underway to fundamentally shift teaching and learning through S.T.A.T.—Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow—equipping each teacher and student with a digital device that will enable personalized learning. The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate surged to 86.3% 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 small-group and online options for completing diploma requirements.
Audits of special education services and the district’s magnet programs are guiding improvements in equity and effectiveness. At the school system's second annual State of the Schools event in April 2014, Dr. Dance announced plans to pilot a Grade 4 blended-learning Spanish program in 10 schools, propose an equity policy to ensure fair access to quality learning, expand preschool access and improve middle school rigor.
Open dialogue with the community—both in-person and digitally—and professional development for all staff members are additional hallmarks of his administration.
As superintendent of the 26th largest school system in the nation, Dr. Dance is responsible for overseeing the instruction of 108,376 students and leading and managing a $1.4 billion budget, 18,783 employees, and 173 schools, centers and programs.
Prior to his appointment in Baltimore County, Dr. Dance served as one of three chief school officers responsible for the administration of nearly 300 schools in the Houston Independent School District (HISD), the seventh largest school system in the nation. Before his tenure in Houston, Dr. Dance served in executive leadership positions in Virginia that leveraged his expertise in curriculum, instruction, assessment, school improvement and strategic planning.
Dr. Dance received his master's degree in administration and supervision and a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from Virginia Union University.A resident of Baltimore County, Dr. Dance is the proud father of one son, Myles Dallas Dance.