Dear Parents/Guardians, Students, and Staff:
We are in the midst of the winter holiday season, but our work of improving academic progress for all students continues.
I find continued inspiration and direction for my work through conversations with the diverse members of Team BCPS. Every week, I spend time in schools, but that time often is insufficient to have the kinds of conversations I want to have with students and teachers.
This month, in addition to a Student Town Hall with high school students – a tradition I started last school year, I also will be hosting my first ever Student Town Hall with middle school students and my first Teacher Town Hall.
The Student Town Hall with high school students will take place on Thursday, December 12, at the building for Dundalk and Sollers Point high schools and will include students from those schools as well as students representing Chesapeake, Eastern Technical, George Washington Carver, Kenwood, Loch Raven, Overlea, Parkville, Patapsco, Perry Hall, Sparrows Point and Towson high schools, and Crossroads Center and Rosedale Center.
The Town Hall for middle school students will take place later that same day and will also be held at Dundalk/Sollers. Students will be participating from Deep Creek, Dumbarton, Dundalk, General John Stricker, Golden Ring, Holabird, Loch Raven Technical, Middle River, Parkville, Perry Hall, Pine Grove, Ridgely, Sparrows Point and Stemmers Run middle schools, and Crossroads Center and Rosedale Center.
The first Teacher Town Hall meeting, which is open to all teachers, will be held on Thursday, December 5, at New Town High School.
Additional teacher and student town halls will be held in the spring.
My purpose in all of these meetings is to hear directly from students and teachers about their ideas, challenges and opportunities – and to use what I learn to continue helping the school system move forward. The town halls will be live-streamed and available for viewing on the BCPS website and on BCPS-TV (Comcast Cable Channel 73 and Verizon FiOS Channel 34).
I hope that you will be watching and learning along with me.
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 students, staff, and the community into Team BCPS, a powerful force committed to deliberate excellence and to producing globally competitive graduates. Working in collaboration with Team BCPS, Dr. Dance spearheaded the development of Blueprint 2.0, a five-year strategic plan focused on improving academics, safety, communications, and organizational effectiveness.
Dr. Dance is highly regarded for his problem-solving, consensus-building, communication, and human relations skills. He believes strongly in the potential of every student and that, through functioning as Team BCPS, all students will achieve at the highest levels.
Since assuming the superintendency in July 2012, Dr. Dance has accelerated activities to prepare for the adoption of Common Core Curriculum in school year 2013-2014; launched an audit of special education services; restructured administration to ensure more targeted support to the schools that need it most; defined a trajectory to ensure that students are college and workforce ready; established a new Office of School Safety and Security; and continues to be proactive in initiating preventive measures to promote school safety. Open dialogue with the community – both in person and digitally – and professional development for all staff members are additional hallmarks of his administration. At the school system's inaugural State of the Schools event, held in March 2013, Dr. Dance announced plans to move the school system to a 1:1 digital learning environment and to expand world languages so every student has equitable access to learning and developing proficiency in a second language.
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. As part of the HISD senior leadership team, Dr. Dance played a significant role in improving student academic performance and launching several innovations including two single-gender college preparatory academies and the redesign of a school to accelerate at-risk students.
Before his tenure in Houston, Dr. Dance served in executive school and district leadership positions in Virginia that leveraged his expertise in curriculum, instruction, assessment, school improvement, and strategic planning.
Dr. Dance earned a doctorate degree in educational leadership and master's degree in administration and supervision from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a bachelor's degree in English from Virginia Union University.