Dear Team BCPS,
In what ways would you say that you are proactive? Maybe you give yourself extra travel time, just in case there might be traffic. Or, when you’re learning something new, you do what’s best for your learning style -- like taking careful notes and asking questions -- to make sure that you understand.
Planning ahead -- that’s the approach BCPS is taking to provide safe and secure learning and working environments. We’re upgrading our comprehensive security plan with additional equipment to control access and monitor schools. It’s another example of our strong partnership with County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, the county council and the Baltimore County Police Department to set priorities that are in the best interest of our students.
From November 16 to 22, communities across the country will celebrate public schools and their staff for American Education Week. Please check with individual BCPS schools for planned events including visits from the Parentmobile and Parent University workshops.
I love my dad!!! #ThankfulFor
During American Education Week, members of our school board, elected officials and business partners will join me in visiting demonstration sites for core initiatives aimed at preparing students to graduate globally competitive. S.T.A.T. Lighthouse schools are using technology to transition from teacher-centered environments to learner-centered environments. We’ll also observe how BCPS Passport schools are piloting conversational Spanish at Grade 4.
I hope that you have the opportunity for rest and relaxation during the Thanksgiving holiday before we begin the last month of 2014.
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.