BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD — A focus on quality instruction and systemic supports will guide the next eight years of Baltimore County Public Schools, according to “The Compass: Our Pathway to Excellence,” a new strategic plan for the school system approved at a recent meeting of the board of education of Baltimore County.
“Now, more than ever, we need the clarity provided by The Compass to support the academic and social-emotional wellness of each of our children,” said BCPS Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams in a statement. “We have plenty of unanswered questions as our communities continue to face uncertainty related to COVID-19, but we are strong in our resolve to achieve BCPS Policy 0100: Equity by raising the academic bar, closing gaps, and preparing students for success in the future. We need all hands and hearts to join us!”
The Compass is based on extensive public outreach that began on Williams’ first day as superintendent – July 1, 2019 – and extended through the calendar year with formal and informal community engagement opportunities for students, families, community members and staff, including the 100-Day Entry Plan and 10 Community Conversations.
The broad feedback Williams received yielded five priorities: learning, accountability and results; safe and supportive environment; high-performing workforce and alignment of human capital; community engagement and partnerships; and operational excellence.
For each focus area, The Compass provides key initiatives, strategies and measures of progress.
According to the school district, those are:
Focus Area 1: Learning, Accountability and Results
Increase achievement for all students while preparing a variety of pathways to prepare students for career and college.
Increase the percentage of students meeting or exceeding the state of Maryland’s English language arts/literacy standards for college and career readiness.
Increase the percentage of students meeting or exceeding the state of Maryland’s mathematics standards for college and career readiness.
Increase the number of eighth grade students participating and successfully completing algebra 1 in middle school.
Increase the percentage of students meeting or exceeding the state of Maryland’s science assessment standards.
Increase the percentage of students meeting or exceeding the state of Maryland’s social studies assessment standards. (Dependent on assessment availability)
Close the gap between student groups in (gifted and talented) GT identification.
Increase the percentage of English learner students making progress toward English proficiency.
Increase the percentage of BCPS graduates who meet the state of Maryland’s standards for college and career success.
Focus Area 2: Safe and Supportive Environment
Provide a safe, orderly, and caring environment for students and staff.
Increase student attendance and reduce the number of students who are chronically absent.
Increase the percentage of students who respond favorably to stakeholder survey items in the areas of student support and belonging.
Close gaps between student groups in suspension rates to reduce disproportionate impact for overrepresented students.
Increase the percentage of students who respond favorably to stakeholder survey items in the areas of social-emotional well-being and physical safety.
Ensure the emergency preparedness of schools.
Focus Area 3: High-Performing Workforce and Alignment of Human Capital
Recruit and retain a qualified, highly effective and diverse workforce, and create a systemwide professional development plan to improve work performance.
Increase teacher retention through proactive measures that maximize the system’s human capital capacity.
Promote higher levels of teacher attendance through employee and supervisor training and wellness activities.
Increase the percentage of teachers working within their area of certification through efforts to recruit and retain in national critical shortage areas.
Focus Area 4: Community Engagement and Partnerships
Communicate, engage, and partner with our families and communities.
Maintain high levels of family and community engagement and increase the effective use of partner resources.
Increase the resources provided to serve non-English speaking students and their families.
Focus Area 5: Operational Excellence
Ensure resources are aligned to our system priorities and are distributed efficiently, effectively and equitably.
Increase efficiencies in fiscal processes and improve the effectiveness of practices through technology improvements and the implementation of new procedures.
Ensure adherence to BCPS’ sustainability standard for energy consumption to support the effective use of physical resources.
Support safe and secure buildings through increased maintenance efficiencies in addressing and resolving building repairs and routine maintenance.
Decrease the time required to resolve technical assistance requests to support efficient operations in schools and offices.
Optimize utilization levels that support safe and secure environments and minimize the impact of overcrowding.
Increase the percentage of daily bus runs arriving within an established window.