Update from DCPS superintendent


The school year has been off to a strong start with the introduction of the Ron Clark Academy House system in those of our schools that had not yet adopted a House system. This means that all our students are not only Vikings or Eagles, Huskies or Hummingbirds, but are now also members of a House, a smaller, connected community within the wider school community. Houses rely on inclusion and encourage each member’s talents, abilities and participation to reach specific goals. It has been shown that Houses have the potential to build a sense of belonging that we hope to leverage to increase academic engagement, and we look forward to their activities as the year progresses.

We have begun a reorganization of the Alternative Education Program for our most challenging learners. The Board of Education has agreed a contract with Vision Quest, the organization operating Morning Star Youth Academy in Woolford, to work with Dorchester County Public Schools in providing educational and therapeutic services to some high school students who might have previously attended DCPS’ New Directions Learning Academy. NDLA will continue to serve and support middle school students as well as provide a learning environment for some high school students receiving remote instruction from their classroom teachers.

Beginning in December and continuing over the following few months, I will be holding an evening Superintendent’s Forum in every school. This will give families and the community the opportunity to hear about important issues such as what the implementation of the Blueprint means to our schools, the challenges of next year’s budget, our MCAP data, as well as ask me questions. The first forum will be at Maple Elementary on Dec. 6 at 6 p.m., followed by Choptank Elementary on Dec. 7 and South Dorchester School on Dec. 13. Superintendent Forums at other schools will follow in the new year.

I’m pleased to say that the gains identified in the recently released results from the MCAP (Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program) taken by our students last spring offer reason for optimism. Significant growth was shown in ELA (reading and writing) at several schools, including Hurlock Elementary, Sandy Hill Elementary, Vienna Elementary, Warwick Elementary and C-SDHS. In math, our results were not as good as hoped, mirroring the results of the state as a whole. However, the most promising growth occurred at Hurlock Elementary and South Dorchester School. School-level data summarizing the county’s results can be found at tinyurl.com/abn7a3ry.

Lastly, as the Thanksgiving break approaches and we reflect upon our blessings, I am grateful for the trust you put in Dorchester County Public Schools to help shape the future of our children and our county.

David Bromwell


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