S. Dallas Dance, Ph.D.
Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools

S. Dallas Dance, Ph.D.

March 2015

Dear Team BCPS:

In case you missed it, there’s more good news about BCPS. For the fourth consecutive year, the graduation rate is up, now at 87.6 percent for the class of 2014. The graduation rate gap between black and white students has nearly disappeared, while most student groups are improving.

As proud as we are of these gains, our commitment is to graduate each of our learners. This school year, we’re emphasizing earlier intervention by identifying students at the first sign of struggle and developing flexible options to get students back on track in collaboration with their families. These efforts are targeting incoming ninth graders as well as students receiving special education and English for Speakers of Other Languages services.

In addition to (hopefully) warmer temperatures, March is also ushering in the beginning of efforts across the country to better assess student progress toward college and career readiness. Prior tests were not able to provide the kind of information that educators need to adjust instruction and help every learner prepare for a successful future.

CONNECT

RT @CLETS_STAT: 5th grade narrative writing with feedback from visiting teachers! #bcpslh @BCPS_ELA @DDance_BCPS @msmueller100 http://t.co/
Friday, 27 March 2015 @ 1:19:25 PM

RT @StefaniPautz: Using the Learner Centered Environments PL tool as a lens for curriculum development @Sec_ELA_BCPS @nickschiner http://t.
Friday, 27 March 2015 @ 1:16:39 PM

Enjoying the student-centered learning environment in a math class at Deep Creek MS! #teamBCPS http://t.co/Zy2PTojT1M
Friday, 27 March 2015 @ 10:56:44 AM

Outstanding choice - http://t.co/EZLY1qGBnn via @seattletimes
Friday, 27 March 2015 @ 6:30:50 AM

RT @WoodbridgeES: Asst Superintendent @kblannard works with a small group in 4th grade. #TeamBCPS @DDance_BCPS http://t.co/jirGsTOJWL
Thursday, 26 March 2015 @ 10:03:17 PM

twitter

That’s what’s so exciting about the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC. A consortium of states including Maryland developed PARCC to capture student performance in English language arts and math in a way that engages learners so that we can deeply understand what they know and can do.

This month will round out the end of the third marking period. It’s now more important than ever for students to use each school day to the optimum by working and studying hard.

Take care,

S. Dallas Dance
Superintendent

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.

Champions of Change
Superintendent Dance is honored as a Connected Educator Champion of Change by the White House

In recognition of its advances in instructional technology, BCPS was accepted 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.
The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate surged to 86.3 percent 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 interventions. The rate rose to 87.6 percent in 2014. As a result of these increases, District Administration magazine named BCPS a national “District of Distinction."

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.

 

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