Dear Team BCPS,
I’m sure you’ve noticed that the days are shorter, and winds are now often brisk. Darkness meets us earlier each evening. As the 2014 calendar year comes to an end, the school year is just gearing up.
Every school has developed a plan to support the growth of all students, raise achievement and close achievement gaps. Second quarter is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the first months of the school year and make necessary adjustments.
Family-school partnerships are critical to ensuring that each student is making strong progress. One tool to support these partnerships is the BCPS One online portal. Families can access timely information about student schedules, assignments and grades, anytime, anywhere. Please contact your child’s school for help creating an account.
I’d like to extend warm wishes for a restful winter break beginning December 24 and a very happy new year. Remember that learning is never limited to school walls. Check out family learning tips for daily educational activities fueled by imagination.
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.