Dear Team BCPS:
Happy summer! Student lockers have been cleaned out and the last report cards have been issued for the 2013-2014 school year. Now school and district leaders are hard at work planning to make 2014-2015 even better.
Every BCPS teacher has now received a digital device through S.T.A.T. – Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow – in advance of summer training opportunities. Similarly, at the 10 pilot schools for the Second Language Acquisition initiative, professional development is underway. These are important milestones on the path toward fulfilling our theory of action that will lead to graduating globally competitive students.
This spring when we asked Team BCPS members to reflect on our progress, we were floored by the 800 percent increase in participation in our annual Stakeholder Satisfaction Survey. With principals leading the charge, the survey attracted more than 40,000 responses from students, parents, community members and school and district staff members. Click here to see survey results that are helping to guide our preparations for the new school year.
While you are on our website, please explore some of the many ways that you, too, can get ready for 2014-2015.
RT @harveychambers1: "Teachers who have the best relationships with students are the most successful." This is the most essential aspect of…
@KevinLiles1 Welcome back to town! Look forward to connecting soon!
@JHarsel2 Look forward to catching up.
Every Monday, we are highlighting new summer reading recommendations for all ages in the form of "Glick's Picks." These are provided by Fran Glick, supervisor of library media and instructional technology in the BCPS Office of Innovative Learning. Many of the "Glick's Picks" are available in school libraries, some of which are holding off-season hours this summer.
For the other recommended books, visit your local Baltimore County Public Library branch. While you are there, don't forget to sign up for its summer reading program – which this year has a science theme.
For more ways to make the most of your summer break, be sure to check the Parent University Schedule of Events page regularly for updates and to subscribe to the BCPS e-newsletter for information on the latest school system happenings.
Some of our classrooms will come back to life this month for summer courses. I look forward to welcoming back staff and students.
Wherever you are this month, I hope you are enjoying the three Rs for summer: reading, relaxing and rejuvenating!
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.