Calvert Co. Public Schools News Briefs

Calvert County Public Schools Students Chosen as Pages for the General Assembly

Two seniors from Calvert County Public Schools have been selected as student pages for the 2016 Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis. Alexya Brown of Patuxent High and Caitlin Keegan of Northern High will represent Calvert County during the legislative session. Brendan Schaefer from Huntingtown High was selected as the alternate.

The students selected for this prestigious, highly competitive program demonstrate a strong knowledge base, as well as superior communication and problem-solving skills.

Student pages serve two nonconsecutive weeks in either the House of Delegates or the Senate during the thirteen week session. Their duties include distributing materials to members on the floor, running errands, answering the phone, assisting visitors and delivering messages to members.

Begun in 1970 by House Speaker Thomas Hunter Lowe and approved by the Maryland State Board of Education, the program is designed to interest youth in state government, foster leadership and provide students with worthwhile experience in state government.

Calvert County Public Schools Recognizes American Education Week

This week, Calvert County Public Schools joins school districts across the country in a celebration of American Education Week. First celebrated in 1921, American Education Week is a time to recognize public education and honor the many individuals who ensure that every child receives a quality education. The 2015 national theme is "Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility."

According to Dr. Daniel Curry, Superintendent, "We must never forget that no country in the world does education like we do. We take all students and offer each the same opportunity to succeed. Your kid and my kid-special needs, low income, non-English speaking-all get to go to school and achieve at high levels. That is what makes America great."

Calvert County schools are celebrating the right to a quality public education in many ways this week. Visitation days give families an opportunity to visit classrooms, meet teachers, and even participate in friendly math competitions with their children. Parents participate by providing meals for staff to thank them for their dedication and hard work. Calvert High will host a financial aid night on November 19 to support families as they plan for future academic endeavors. Mutual Elementary makes reading fun with a Reading Camp Out, and Sunderland reminds students to set goals with "Hats Off to a Bright Future!" day when students sport their favorite crazy hats. Huntingtown Elementary community members visited the school on Harvest Day to teach students about farming, cooking with local products, and working on the water. Dowell and Beach Elementary Schools encourage students to write thank you notes to special staff members. Finally, schools incorporate career day into American Education Week to showcase the many options students have as they look toward the future.

Joint Press Release of the Board of Education of Calvert County and the Calvert Association of Educational Support Staff

On November 19, 2015, the Board of Education of Calvert County and the Calvert Association of Educational Support Staff signed their collective bargaining agreement for 2015-2016.

The new negotiated agreement includes language regarding evaluation, transfers, work schedule when schools and offices are closed due to inclement weather or an emergency, employee leave, and tuition reimbursement.

No salary or step increases were included in the tentative agreement. The parties agreed, however, that further negotiations may occur if additional unrestricted operating funds-in excess of those necessary to support programs and services deemed by the Superintendent as essential to the operation of the system, as well as those funds necessary to eliminate the currently projected deficit-become available to the school system from state or county funding sources during FY16.

Maryland Releases High School PARCC Results

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) recently released local high school data from the 2015 administration of the PARCC assessments. This release follows the public presentation of state-level data on October 27, 2015. The results set a new baseline that will help to determine if students are on track to graduate ready for college or careers.

Dr. Daniel Curry, Superintendent, said, "We are so glad to finally receive the results of the tests that we saw for the first time last spring. Our teachers, principals and subject area specialists are eager to dig in to the details and make adjustments so that we can improve our performance next year."

Students enrolled in English 10, Algebra 1, and Algebra 2 took the PARCC assessments last spring. Students will receive individual scores, but scores will not be used for student or educator accountability this year. In the coming months, the State Board will determine how the data will be used going forward.

The assessment uses a five-point score scale set by Maryland educators and others:

• Level 5 - Exceeded Expectations

• Level 4 - Met Expectations

• Level 3 - Approached Expectations

• Level 2 - Partially Met Expectations

• Level 1 - Did Not Yet Meet Expectations

At this time, MSDE defines scores at Levels 4 and 5 as demonstrating readiness for college or careers.

On the English assessment, over half of Calvert County Public Schools 10th graders-51.5%-scored at a Level 4 and 5 combined, which are the two highest levels on the PARCC five-point score scale, compared to 39.7% in Maryland.

Calvert County Public Schools continues to align its curriculum with the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards. In math, the process began at the elementary level and is progressing through the high school courses. This sequence of alignment was chosen to ensure that students have the prerequisite knowledge prior to beginning a course.

"It's important to note that we did not fall behind in the curricular transition," said Dr. Curry. "Math is a foundational subject, and it was most responsible to build a curriculum with students in mind. We have not yet introduced a revised Algebra 2 curriculum aligned with Common Core, which explains our Algebra 2 results. The new sequence calls for Geometry to follow Algebra I, and that is our focus this year. Our plan, established a few years ago, introduces the revised Algebra II curriculum in the FY17 school year."

On the Algebra 1 assessment, 29.4% of students scored at a Level 4 and 5 combined, compared to 31.2% in Maryland.

On Maryland's first-ever Algebra 2 assessment, 6.5% of students scored at a Level 4 and 5 combined, compared to 20.2% in Maryland.

In future years, PARCC results will be available in early summer. That timeline will provide educators with more opportunities to make instructional adjustments based on the data.

PARCC results cannot be compared with the Maryland School Assessment (MSA), which the State used for a decade, both because this is a new test and a different test. PARCC is the first assessment aligned to Maryland's College and Career Ready Standards, which set a higher bar for student learning.

Results for PARCC assessments in grades 3-8 will be made available by MSDE in December.

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