Friday, May 26, 2017

It's Been an Outstanding Year

We’re winding down the year here in Calvert County.  ‘Tis the season for end-of-year concerts and recognition assemblies.  At yesterday’s meeting of the Board of Education, we recognized our school volunteers, our employees of the month and a new local club for kids - Creative and Striving Hard to Succeed (C.A.S.H.) National Society of Black Engineers. 
Today I managed to stop in on a couple of elementary field days (one where I personally removed a snake from the field), a middle school summit for 8th grade girls and a planning retreat for our Department of Instruction.  Lots of good stuff.
Our seniors are all gone and we’ll celebrate them through four graduation ceremonies on June 7 and 8.
As I reflect back on School Year 16-17, I can think of so many things to celebrate.  First, we celebrate the accomplishments of our students.
  • Calvert County PARCC scores in 10th and 11th grade English Language Arts were the best in the state of MD.  The best as in “WE ARE NUMBER 1!”
  • We have a graduation rate of 95%.
  • SAT scores went up.
  • Numerous individuals and student academic, fine arts and athletic teams won 1st in Maryland.
Of course, we give our outstanding staff credit for the above as well, but the Calvert County employees shined in other ways.
  • Teacher of the Year Donna Miller was a state finalist.
  • Sunderland Elementary was named a Blue Ribbon School.
  • We successfully negotiated 4-year contracts with our teachers’ union and support staff union. 
  • We successfully negotiated a 2-year contract with our administrators’ union.
  • Our Supervisor of Equity initiated a new priority.
  • We negotiated a new funding formula with our Board of County Commissioners that will assure increasing revenues for the next 4 years.
And then there are some things that are attributable to our district staff and the Board of Education and the even the weather.
  • We had just one snow day and we made it up in February.
  • We broke ground for the new Northern High School.
  • We initiated an outside review of special education and transportation and we anticipate reports that will help us be more effective and efficient in those areas.
  • We initiated a strategic planning process which, when complete this summer, will set the stage for all future planning.
  • We have approved a budget that will give all of our employees a step increase and assures another step for most. 
And, thanks to all, our maintenance department announced that we have reduced its overall consumption of electricity by 17.14% since 2008 by installing energy-efficient equipment and encouraging people to change behaviors to conserve energy.
Yes, it’s been a good year.  I feel very lucky to be a part of such a good district.