Dear Parents/Guardians, Students and Staff:
We've had a great school year! Thank you so much for all you have contributed to our successes and growth.
We have experienced a lot of firsts together this year – including the development of Blueprint 2.0 – our new five-year strategic plan, the inaugural State of the Schools event, the student-created Anti-Bullying Day, Student Town Hall Meetings, the first countywide SAT Day, and the new BCPS Now mobile app. We have reorganized our administration to provide greater levels of support to those schools with lower levels of student achievement, but to ensure that all schools receive the kind and amount of support they need.
One important theme that connects these achievements is that of engagement. The students of BCPS succeed only if all of Team BCPS participates – and that requires engaging in real conversations about our challenges and opportunities and then putting "all hands on deck" to get the work done.
There is much work ahead. As I go to commencements this spring, I shake graduates' hands as they cross the stage, and I watch them walk off ready to go out into the world. It is a powerful reminder of the responsibility we have to do all that is right for them.
To fulfill our commitment to graduate globally competitive young men and women, we will be busy over the next few years converting to a digital learning environment and expanding world language instruction – working toward the day when all BCPS students will graduate fluent in a second (or third) language.
This school year, Team BCPS has proven its ability to succeed through hard work, dedication and innovation. As a proud member of the team, I look forward to more success in the 2013-2014 school year.
Have a great summer – one filled with family time, recreation and, as always, continued learning.
S. Dallas Dance, Ph.D.
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.