Team huddle yields new insights

More than 100 community leaders invited “back to school” as Team BCPS members

Kelly Carter wasn’t quite sure what she’d hear when she came to the Valley Mansion in Cockeysville early one morning recently. As executive director of the Liberty Road Business Association, she was among the scores of Baltimore County’s community association leaders invited to a special breakfast with BCPS Superintendent Dallas Dance.

Ninety minutes later, she left impressed with what Dance had to say about the direction of the 110,000-student school system, the 25th largest in the nation. He discussed demographic and educational trends with the crowd, talked about the importance of the system’s initiatives, and he encouraged his audience to become participants in Team BCPS, supporting the system and its students.

“Sixty percent of Baltimore County’s citizens do not have children in our schools,” Dance said. “But it’s important that everyone in our community understands how our schools affect them and their lives.”

The breakfast was part of an ongoing effort to reach out to school system stakeholders and non-stakeholders alike, in part through a new campaign called “Back to School Involves You, Too!” Dr. Dance explained that the outreach includes raising awareness of the school system and the positive ways it touches everyone’s life, from raising property values to offering cultural and sports events and attractions. And when students begin classes on August 27, he noted, it’s everyone’s responsibility to drive more cautiously to ensure that all students have a safe passage to and from school.

Carter was impressed with Dance’s discussion about initiatives to increase equity throughout the school system and with information about the new Parent University resource.

“What I heard today gives me hope that the Baltimore County school system is changing for the better and is moving in a more positive direction,” Carter said. “It makes me feel very hopeful that all (Baltimore County) children will be on a level playing field and moving in a good direction nationally and globally.”

And while she doesn’t have children in county schools, Carter embraced the opportunity to take back information and good news about BCPS to her community and organization.

“I am vested in the neighborhood. (A)fter hearing about Parent University today, I am interested in becoming part of that program,” she said, adding, “After hearing from Dr. Dance, I will encourage the community to back him and his vision, because I believe in it.”

For additional photos of the Community Breakfast, please visit: URL.

Story and photos by Natalie Allen and Charles Herndon, BCPS communications specialists1[1]


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