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Keyword: baltimore county public schools

By Verletta White, Interim Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools

Last year, Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) used Stakeholder Survey results to shape our budget, staffing, and programs. This year, we’d love to hear from even more students in Grades 3-12, parents/caregivers, community members, and staff.

Available online through March 2, the survey is anonymous and takes five minutes or less on a phone, tablet, or computer. The survey is available for students, parents, and community members in 16 languages: Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, English, French, Gujarati, Korean, Nepali, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese, and Yoruba.

In addition to your role as a community member, if you are a parent or staff member, you are encouraged to take the survey more than once to reflect those different roles.

I look forward to hearing from our whole community. Please take the survey by March 2, and encourage others to shape our future!

Jake Oliver, Dr. Tim Tooten and Verletta White to be Honored at February 5th Ceremony

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz will recognize the 2018 recipients of the Louis S. Diggs Award, in a ceremony held during Black History Month to celebrate Baltimore County’s African-American heritage. This year’s honorees are Jake Oliver, publisher of AFRO-American Newspaper; Dr. Tim Tooten, WBAL-TV reporter and pastor of Harvest Christian Ministries; and Interim Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Verletta White.

 “I am proud to recognize these outstanding individuals whose life work represents a commitment to the celebration of the African-American experience in Baltimore County, and whose accomplishments inspire others to strive for success,” Kamenetz said.

Kamenetz created this annual award in 2016 to recognize individuals who demonstrate a commitment to promoting African-American history and culture in Baltimore County. The award was named in honor of local African-American historian and lecturer, Louis S. Diggs, who has researched and published numerous local history books and is President of the Diggs-Johnson Museum in Granite. 

The awards ceremony will take place on Monday, February 5 at 11 a.m. at the Owings Mills Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library, located at 10302 Grand Central Avenue, in the 3rd floor Meeting Rooms A, B and C. About 100 community members are expected to attend and the public is welcome. In case of inclement weather, the event will be postponed until Monday, February 12 at the same time and location.

Integrated Video and Electronic Door Locks Facilitate Cohesive Public Safety Response 

Technology and public safety took center stage today on the final day of American Education Week as Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz highlighted the $13.6 million in school security upgrades his administration has invested since 2011.

Baltimore County Police Chief Terrence Sheridan and Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) Chief Administrative and Operating Officer Kevin Smith joined the County Executive at Southwest Academy in Gwynn Oak to assert the value of their school safety partnership; including collaborative training and operations; and unprecedented investments in integrated security video technology, secure door access and school bus GPS technology.

“Thanks to our $1.3 billion Schools for Our Future program, we are creating modern, healthy learning environments for students all around Baltimore County, and a critical element in our investment is in ensuring that all of our schoolhouses are safe places for students and staff,” said Kamenetz.

“Safe, secure schools are of the utmost importance and these technology investments make sense in today’s world,” said Baltimore County Council Chair Tom Quirk.

Security Cameras and Card Reader Door Locks Now Installed in all County Schools

Since 2011, the Kamenetz administration has invested $13.6 million to safeguard schools by installing security cameras and card reader door locks in all Baltimore County elementary schools and enhancing these security measures in middle and high schools. This funding initiative increased the number of school cameras by 400%, from 1,150 to 4,600; newly installing them in all elementary schools, and enhancing existing cameras and adding them as needed in middle and high schools. In the same time frame, the number of card reader door locks in schools more than doubled from 261 to 583, providing an important measure of security for routine schooldays as well as in emergencies.

Integrated Video Dashboard Offers Police Real-Time Situational Awareness

The County is now completing the installation of video dashboard technology that provides public safety officials with instant access to video feeds from security cameras at schools, libraries and other public facilities; as well giving them direct access to live traffic cameras on state highways. GPS systems are now installed in County school buses through a partnership between County government and Baltimore County Public Schools.

Today’s event included a demonstration by a Baltimore County police officer of the video dashboard technology that provides responding officers with immediate, unfiltered situational awareness information when responding to an incident at a school.

Training and Coordination

BCPS and Baltimore County Police continually train together and conduct multiple live scenario exercises each year to ensure a rapid, coordinated response to any situation that may arise, including active assailants. The County’s  School Resource Officer program, which places specially trained officers in schools, is a key component of the integration of resources and expertise between schools and first responders.

IT Infrastructure Investment Enables Modern Security Technology

The County’s aggressive $18.5 million investment in broadband fiber connectivity and a $12 million dollar WiFi initiative for schools not only gives students and teachers high-speed internet access for instruction, it also supports modern security techniques like integrated video technology and card reader door locks.

Kamenetz also funded $2 million for the school system to employ a robust Internet content filtering system to protect students from accessing inappropriate or potentially harmful websites.

Please feel free to share photos from today’s event, which are online at

Revised September 11, 2017