Friday, December 12, 2014

A Nice Present - but not a Gift

This recent report from a company called Niche, which ranks schools based upon all publicly available data was nice.  If you missed it, it ranked Calvert County Public Schools 4th in Maryland.   Graduation rates, test scores, community attitudes, culture – all were apparently a part of the equation.

The Calvert Recorder noted in an editorial on December 5 that “It’s no surprise to see Calvert listed near the top in this ranking. “

There are other independent organizations that rank schools as well.  Go to a website called Great Schools and you’ll see that they give Calvert County Public Schools a score of 9 out of 10.  Although they don’t do a ranking of all school districts in Maryland from top to bottom, you can click on each county and find no others with that high of a rating.

In last year’s report on high schools from U.S. News and World Reports, two of Calvert’s high schools were in the top 20 of 244 high schools in Maryland.

It is nice to get presents such as these great stories, but they are not gifts.  They are well earned.

We have a lot of hard working people – especially principals and teachers who help make our students everything they can be.   Our support staff is second to none.  We have a very supportive county government which consistently funds our schools above the maintenance of effort level, even in tough economic times.  We have a forward thinking Board of Education which effectively tackles new issues with efficient policies and practices and which gives the leadership team the authority to make the decisions they need to keep us ahead of the latest state and federal mandates.

Finally, there is one gift that we all get.  The gift of the children of this community - All-American children who are curious and enthusiastic and funny and ornery and eager and friendly.  They want to change the world.  They want to travel the world.  They want to own the world and they will someday.  You can’t have a conversation with any of our kids without walking away thinking, “we’re going to be alright.”

On behalf of the Calvert County Public Schools employees I want to thank the parents of this community for sending us your children.   They are the raw product from which we grow the next generation of citizens.  They are the gift that will keep on giving.

Happy Holidays


  1. How do you plan on continuing to achieve such a high standard of achievement in calvert county public schools with cutting so much staff in the coming year?

  2. Good question with no easy answer. We are compelled to make some reductions for several reasons. 1. The last two budgets relied on some fund balance. That is, we spend more than we take in. We have to stop that. 2. Our enrollment is going down every year. There are 1300 in the senior class and 1000 in kindergarten. 3. Our health care costs have been increasing significantly. 4. Our employees haven't had a raise in awhile. We will focus our planned reductions on equitable staffing for all schools and aim particularly not to increase class sizes at the elementary level. In the end, our high performance is not based upon the number of employees we have but their skill level, their professionalism and the partnership with the families of our children.