Calvert Co. Public Schools News Briefs

Calvert High MAC Scholars Host Community Dinner

The Minority Achievement Committee (MAC) Scholars of Calvert High School will host "Bridging the Gap," a community dinner and discussion on closing the African-American male achievement gap from the school, student and parent perspective. The event will take place on Friday, January 30, 2015 in the Calvert High cafeteria. Dinner begins at 6:00 PM. The program-which includes presentations by MAC Scholars, as well as students from Calvert Middle and Calvert, Barstow, Mutual and St. Leonard Elementary Schools-will begin at 7:00 PM. Guffrie Smith, member of the Maryland State Board of Education and former administrator in Calvert County Public Schools will speak, as will Keith Gross, Sr., parent of a MAC Scholar.

MAC Scholars aspire to be models of academic achievement and leadership for younger students. The MAC Scholars program consists of African-American male juniors and seniors who serve as positive role models for 9th and 10th graders, as well as mentors to 5th and 8th graders in the elementary and middle schools that feed into Calvert High. The scholars meet twice per week to plan topics of conversation that are relevant to African-American youth. Their mission is to encourage excellence in the academics through enrollment in honors and AP classes, while striving to demonstrate exemplary behavior with a "no excuses" attitude.

Graduation Rate Increases

More Calvert County Public Schools students are receiving high school diplomas than ever before, according to data released by the Maryland State Department of Education. As the graduation rate hit a new high, the dropout rate declined.

The 2014 four-year cohort graduation rate reached 94.09 percent after hovering at just over 91 percent every year since 2010. The dropout rate declined from 5.95 percent in 2010 to 4.01 percent in 2014.

Dr. Daniel D. Curry, Superintendent of Schools, said, "We are pleased to see the hard work of our staff and students pay off. More graduates and fewer dropouts are just what we need to fuel economic recovery in Calvert County. This is a great place to go to school. "

The principals of the four high schools attribute the increase to the diligent work of staff members who provide interventions and establish relationships with students to create a supportive school culture.

Significantly, the gaps between students in racial and ethnic groups are small. Four-year cohort graduation rates for African-American, Hispanic, and white students all improved between 2010 and 2014. The graduation rate for African-American students is 94.14 percent; for Hispanic students, 94 percent; and for white students, 93.94 percent. Students who identify as two or more races graduated at a rate of 94.37 percent and Asian students at over 95 percent.

While gaps in graduation rates between student groups receiving special services remain, the numbers improved in 2014. The graduation rate for students receiving special education services increased to 75.34 percent from 73.26 percent in 2010. The graduation rate for students receiving free or reduced-price meals increased to 90.65 percent from 83.98 percent in 2010.

In 2010, Maryland moved to the cohort graduation rate, which follows a set group of students from freshman year through senior year, as does the dropout rate.

Calvert County Board of Education Schedules Retreat

The Calvert County Board of Education will hold a retreat on February 6, 2015. The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. in open session. An agenda will be posted on the CCPS website prior to the meeting. A closed session to discuss personnel matters will begin at noon on February 6, 2015. The Board of Education of Calvert County may hold a Closed Session as permitted by the Maryland Open Meetings Act, Section 3-305(b)(1) of the General Provisions Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland and Section 3-103 of the General Provision Articles of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

The meeting will be held at the Career and Technology Academy at 330 Dorsey Road, Prince Frederick.

Calvert County Board of Education Schedules Additional Meeting

The Calvert County Board of Education will hold a joint meeting with the Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. The agenda will be posted on the CCPS website prior to the meeting date.

The meeting will be held at the Brooks Administrative Building at 1305 Dares Beach Road, Prince Frederick, Maryland in the Board Room.

Joint Press Release from Calvert County Public Schools and the Calvert Association of Supervisors and Administrators

The Board of Education of Calvert County Public Schools and the Calvert Association of Supervisors and Administrators (CASA) reached a tentative agreement for the FY 15 employment contract, which was open for negotiation in its entirety.

Under the tentative agreement reached on January 9, 2015, administrators and supervisors will receive a 1% cost of living adjustment to be prorated to an equivalent value of a 0.5% increase that will be distributed over the remaining pays in the 2014-2015 school year. Employees who were at step 11 in FY 13 and were restructured to step 10 in FY 14 will receive a pensionable salary adjustment equivalent to 1.5% of their current annual salary to be incorporated into the base salary and distributed over the remaining pays in the 2014-2015 school year.

Other topics addressed in the tentative agreement include: reduction in force, leave, separation of employment, payroll schedule, professional development and probationary employees.

Upon its ratification, the final document will be signed by both parties at a meeting of the Board of Education.

CCPS Teacher Recruitment and Placement Report

Calvert County Public Schools hired sixty-nine teachers for the 2014-2015 school year, 48% of whom had experience teaching in another state or Maryland school district. In her report to the Board of Education on January 8, 2015, Dr. Victoria Karol, Director of Human Resources, said the system's priority continues to be hiring highly qualified and diverse staff.

Dr. Karol stated that although many factors contribute to a student's academic performance, "research suggests that, among school-related factors, teachers matter most. The Calvert County Public School System has recruited and hired a cadre of highly competent teachers this year. I feel that all of our new hires will make a significant impact on the students they come in contact with on a daily basis."

According to Dr. Karol, the school system's challenge for the 2015-2016 school year will be ensuring that highly qualified, content certified teachers are in every classroom as the system seeks to adjust staffing in light of declining enrollment and fiscal constraints.

Additional information about the teachers hired for the 2014-2015 school year includes:

-- Fifty-one percent of newly hired teachers graduated from a Maryland college or university.

-- Thirty-nine percent of new hires have earned a Master's degree, and three percent have earned a doctorate.

-- Eighty-four percent are female, and sixteen percent are male.

-- Forty-two percent are graduates of Calvert County Public Schools.

Because CCPS traditionally attracts a large number of applicants, recruitment focuses on attracting individuals to teach in critical need areas-including all areas of special education, speech language pathology, middle and high school mathematics, middle and high school sciences, world languages, ESOL, computer science, and career and technology education-and on diverse applicants in all areas. Representatives of the Human Resources Department attend recruitment consortiums in Maryland and Pennsylvania and participate in on-campus recruitment visits and consortium career fairs that focus specifically on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

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