Dear Team BCPS,
We have officially entered the second half of 2015. It’s hard to believe! While many in our community are settling into the laid-back ease of vacation, there’s no rest for the weary. Students and staff return for summer school from July 6-31. And school and district leaders are involved with training and planning experiences to prepare for the next great school year.
I’d like to send heartfelt thanks to those who gave us feedback to improve the BCPS One online portal. We heard you, and a redesigned version of this gateway to information, tools, and resources is now available. New features are now available for students and parents, and more updates will roll out throughout the summer. Take a look.
To promote summer reading, we’re asking students to send in book reports on selections written by winners of the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award. Get the details under Check This Out in the Students section of www.bcps.org. Students can also come up with their own book lists. Summer is the perfect time to explore personal interests through reading or other activities.
BCPS values the contributions that all community members make to the success of our students. We know that parenting comes from many sources, and grandparents play a loving and supportive role in the lives of many of our students. The Baltimore County Department of Aging is offering a “What’s Grand About Being a Grandparent?” workshop that kicks off on July 23 at the Jacksonville Senior Center. Sessions run through November throughout the county. Find a location, or check out other summer learning opportunities on the Parent University schedule.
I hope we can stay connected throughout the year. Subscribe to the BCPS weekly e-newsletter on our home page at www.bcps.org.
S. Dallas Dance
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.
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.
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.