Baltimore County Now
Dr. S. Dallas Dance, Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools
Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) is so fortunate to have the support of students, their families, staff, elected officials, business partners, and community members. By working together, we are preparing every student for success in the future and ensuring that the county remains strong.
Every year, we ask for your opinions on how our schools and system are doing so that we can pinpoint areas for improvement. The 2016 BCPS Stakeholder Satisfaction Survey is now available online at https://bcps.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eQm7Z37Wguu2eRT.
There are separate but related questions for students in Grades 4-12, parents, community members, and staff. The survey is anonymous and only takes about five minutes via phone, tablet, or computer. We want to know what you think about academics, safety, communication, and organizational effectiveness.
Last year, we received almost 75,000 responses. That was a huge increase from prior years, but I know we can do better. Individuals who fit into more than one category can take the survey more than once: as a staff member, as a community member, and for each school your children attend.
Parents can choose to take the survey at a school or the public library. In addition to English, this year’s survey is also available for parents and community members in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Urdu, Arabic, Nepali, Yoruba, Russian, French, Tagalog, Uzbek, Amharic, Korean and Gujarati.
I want to hear from all of you! Please take a moment and share your voice by February 29.
Wear Any Shade of Blue
When I came to Baltimore County, one of the things I noticed first was the tremendous pride people have in their neighborhoods and in their schools.
A few years ago, we created an annual Team BCPS Day as a special time to celebrate our school system and the impact it has on Baltimore County and beyond.
This year, I want to invite the entire community – current, former, and future students, families, staff, volunteers, partners, and community members – to participate on Thursday, January 14, in Team BCPS Day 2016.
The simplest way to get involved is to wear blue – any shade will do – and send us the photo via Twitter using the hashtag #BCPSblue or email email@example.com.
Showcase the Strength of BCPS
If you want to go a little further, we encourage alumni and business partners to write or record messages about how they are part of Team BCPS and what the school system means to them. These messages also can be sent to BCPS through Twitter with the hashtag #BCPSblue or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, to celebrate the publication of “Building the Future,” a book written by a former BCPS employee about the school system’s history, BCPS is looking for class pictures and photographs of classrooms, schools, and school activities. Alumni and community members can share any pictures and photographs that they have through Twitter with the hashtag #BCPSblue or email email@example.com.
Help us grow Team BCPS Day, and help us showcase the strength of this school system and the impact of its successes.
By Dr. S. Dallas Dance, Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS)
School Bus Safety Week is October 19 to 23
It’s up to all of us to make sure our children are safe getting on and off the school bus.
October is School Bus Safety month. From October 19 to 23, public safety officials focus on the importance of laws and regulations designed to keep kids who ride buses safe.
The theme of this year’s campaign “Be smart, be seen, I wait in a safe place” addresses the children’s role in staying safe while stressing that the drivers must be vigilant.
Traffic laws require drivers to come to a full stop when a school bus stops with lights flashing and the stop arm extended. Drivers can’t pull ahead until the bus gives the “okay” by cancelling the lights and pulling back the stop arm.
Although motorists may be on the other side of the street from the bus, they must stop unless there is a physical barrier between the two lanes. Children will cross the street after getting off the bus. The same holds true when children are boarding buses. Children are not paying attention to motorists. They are worried about getting to and on the bus in time. It is the motorist’s responsibility to stop and yield to bus riders.
There are penalties for the drivers who disregard the law and put children at risk. Drivers who pass a school bus while the lights are flashing and the stop arm extended could receive a $570 fine and three points. For motorists who stop and proceed before the bus lights have stopped, the fine is $570 and two points. Drivers who fail to stop and cause an accident may face additional charges.
Observe School Bus Safety Week by stopping when bus lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended. Our children depend on us for their safety.
Public Safety Office of Media and Communications