Dear Team BCPS,
Autumn has indeed arrived in our neck of the woods. The air is crisper and trees have begun shedding leaves. Staff and students around the county are settling into the familiar routines of academics, clubs, sports, and school events. It's a wonderful time of year to visit classrooms and see such enthusiasm for learning.
That energy is not limited to our borders. Last month, I had the opportunity to share S.T.A.T. -- Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow -- with education leaders from around the world. I was struck by how quickly the world is changing and the urgent need to prepare each student to graduate globally competitive. Stay updated on S.T.A.T. by visiting here.
Late last month, Western School of Technology and Environmental Science became the 17th BCPS school to be named a National Blue Ribbon School for academic excellence. I salute the hard work of the entire Western community -- its leaders, educators, students and families -- in achieving this honor.
October is National Principals Month, an opportunity to recognize the men and women without whom our schools would not succeed. Principals bring the community together with inspiring visions for their schools, create and maintain positive learning climates and ensure that teachers are supported in meeting students' needs.
October is National Principals Month! I want to personally thank each of our 173 principals for the amazing job they do EVERY day! #TeamBCPS
To BCPS' 173 talented principals, I am so grateful for your efforts in the schoolhouse and throughout the community to prepare our students for successful futures. I hope that everyone will take a moment this month to thank a principal.
And let's support our students as the end of this month signals the end of the first marking period. How time flies!
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.