Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) graduation rate hit 91.4 percent in 2014, its highest rate since 2010, according to data released by the Maryland State Department of Education this week. As student graduation rates increase, the CCPS dropout rate continues to decline.

The CCPS four-year cohort graduation rate jumped from 89.8 percent in 2013 and has improved more than five points since 2010. Additionally, CCPS students also improved across all subgroups. The CCPS average exceeds the state graduation rate of 86.39 by five points.

“I can’t tell you how proud we are of the accomplishments of our students,” Superintendent Kimberly Hill told high school principals. She credited principals, teachers and staff for helping students stay in school and graduate with their class. “None of this would have been possible without your hard work and your commitment to being the difference,” Hill said.

Four of six high schools posted graduation rates greater than 90 percent. Henry E. Lackey High School’s graduation rate jumped from 87.25 in 2013 to 90.51 in 2014. La Plata High School posted a 2014 rate of 92.82, down from 94.64, and North Point High School’s graduation rate remained the highest in the county at 95.94 percent, despite a slight decrease. Westlake High School improved its graduation rate to 91, up from 88.3 percent in 2013. Maurice J. McDonough High School increased its graduation rate from 88.75 to 89.07 in 2014, and Thomas Stone High School increased by nearly 7-points, raising its rate from 80.65 in 2013 to 87.36 in 2014.

Gradation rates for students of all races/ethnicity were above 90 percent. Four-year cohort graduation rates by race/ethnicity are:

  • Asian: greater than 95 percent;
  • African American: 90.06 percent;
  • Hispanic/Latino: greater than 95 percent;
  • White: 91.94 percent; and
  • Two or more races: greater than 95 percent.

While gaps in graduation rates between some student groups remain, the numbers improved across the board in 2014:

  • The graduation rate for students receiving free or reduced-price meals (FARMS) increased more than three percentage points, from 79.06 percent to 82.2 percent.
  • The graduation rate for special education students improved more than 10 percentage points, rising to 75.16 in 2014 from 64 percent in 2013.
  • Both girls and boys improved four-year cohort graduation rates. Females bettered their four-year cohort graduation rate to 94.37, up from 93.27 in 2013. A higher percentage of males graduated in 2014, up 2 points from 86.42 in 2013 to 88.56 in 2014.

Hill said, “Even though we surpassed the state average for FARMS and special education students, we still have work to do to close the achievement gaps for these subgroups.”

The percentage of students dropping out of school also has declined. The CCPS four-year cohort dropout rate has declined from 6.13 percent in 2013 to 4.97 percent in 2014. The State’s dropout rate was 8.35 percent in 2014. Dropout rates provide a cumulative dropout rate across the four years since the cohort first entered grade 9. This rate includes as dropouts those students who did not graduate after four years but did not return for a fifth year. There were 2212 students in the four-year adjusted cohort, with 2,022 earning diplomas in four years.

Maryland five years ago moved to the cohort graduation rate, which follows a set group of students from freshman year through their senior year. The State includes both the four-year cohort and five-year cohort rate in its accountability program. Data released this week is for the four-year cohort graduation rate for the class of 2014 and includes summer graduates. The calculation follows students from the time they first entered grade 9 and includes those who graduate after four years. The five-year cohort rate does not include summer graduates and is released in June.  

Graduation Rate – Four-year Cohort Rates at a Glance

All Students – Charles County Public Schools

 

High School                                       2013 Cohort                                       2014 Cohort

 

Henry E. Lackey                                87.25                                                   90.51

La Plata                                            94.64                                                   92.82

McDonough                                       88.75                                                   89.07

North Point                                        97.67                                                   95.94

Thomas Stone                                   80.65                                                   87.36

Westlake                                           88.3                                                     91.0

Charles County                                  89.8                                                     91.4

Maryland                                           84.97                                                   86.39

 

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

 

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is preparing to administer a new form of testing beginning in March for students in grades 3 through 11. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, also known as PARCC, assessments in reading and mathematics will be administered in two different windows this school year – March 2-27 and April 20-May 15.

Staring with this school year, PARCC assessments replace the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) exams in reading and math, and the High School Assessments (HSA) in English II and Algebra I. Students in grades 5 through 8 will still take the MSA exam in science in April, and high school students will still complete the HSA exams in Biology and Local, State and National (LSN) Government.

The first part of PARCC testing is the performance-based assessment (PBA), which will be given in March. For the English/language arts portion, students will read several passages and be required to write responses, including evidence that can be used to make a persuasive argument. The mathematics PBA requires students to solve problems, express math reasoning and apply concepts to solve real-world problems. The second part of PARCC testing is the end-of-year assessment (EOY), which will be administered in April and May. Students will be required to demonstrate content specific skills and knowledge by answering a series of multiple-choice questions. PARCC assessments also include accommodations for students with disabilities and English Language Learners.

The change in testing for students is a result of the implementation of the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards, which CCPS began last school year. The standards define the skills and knowledge students need to be successful in the workplace and postsecondary education, ensuring that students receive a high quality education. The goal of Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards is to assure that children leave school with the real-world skills and knowledge they need to succeed in college and/or careers. In 2011, the Maryland State Department of Education developed Maryland’s College and Career-Ready Standards from the Common Core State Standards.

CCPS has a resource page on their website, http://www.ccboe.com/academics/parcc/index.php, which features information about the PARCC assessments, as well as materials provided by MSDE.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

 

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is seeing nominations for the school system’s Maryland 2015-16 Teacher of the Year candidate. The nominated teacher must be a classroom, resource or media teacher who spends the majority of his or her time teaching and has a minimum of five years teaching experience. The selected candidate will also be named the 2015 Charles County Teacher of the Year.

There can only be one nominee per school. Nominations are due by Friday, Feb. 27 to Pam Mucciolo in the CCPS office of human resources. Application information is available on the school system website at http://www.ccboe.com/jobs/teacheroftheyear.php. Applications should include the candidate’s educational and professional development history; professional biography; examples of community involvement; a statement on the candidate’s philosophy/style of teaching; three letters of support from a principal, administrator, colleague, student or former student, parent or community leader; and statements on education issues and trends, as well as the teaching profession. For additional information and requirements, visit the CCPS website.

The 2015 Charles County Teacher of the Year will have opportunities to speak to students and staff during events such as New Teacher Orientation, and will also attend the state Teacher of the Year ceremony and gala.

There is a two-tiered process for the selection of the candidate for the Maryland Teacher of Year. The first step is at the county level where applications are received, semi-finalists are selected and interviewed by a panel of school system staff, and one candidate is selected to represent Charles County as its Teacher of the Year. Each Maryland county and Baltimore City forwards one recommendation to the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), which selects the Maryland Teacher of the Year.

For additional information, contact Pam Mucciolo in human resources at 301-934-7242 or pmucciolo@ccboe.com.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

The Harlem Wizards event scheduled for tonight, Jan. 27 at Theodore G. Davis Middle School, has been rescheduled to Thursday, March 19, due to inclement weather. The event starts at 7 p.m. and any tickets already purchased for tonight will be honored at the rescheduled event.

Proceeds from the game will benefit the Davis Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) program. The Harlem Wizards will also perform their aerobatic stunts and basketball tricks. Tickets are still available for two of the three levels of seating: general admission and reserved seating. Courtside tickets are already sold out.

General admission is seating in the bleachers and reserved seating is located in the lower-level bleacher areas. Ticket prices are listed below and are per person:

  • Advanced purchase – general admission, $10 for students and $12 for adults; and reserved seating, $18 for students and adults.
  • Tickets purchased at the door – general admission, $12 for students and $15 for adults.

Advanced purchase tickets can be bought at the school’s main office or online at www.harlemwizards.com. Reserved seating tickets cannot be purchased at the door. Refreshments will also be available for purchase.

Call 301-753-2082 or visit http://www.edline.net/pages/Theodore_G_Davis_Middle_School for more information.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

 

Due to inclement weather conditions, all Charles County public schools are closed on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. There is a code two, which is a two-hour delay, for staff who follow the code system.

Liberal leave is also in effect for staff. Visit the school system website, www.ccboe.com, or call the 24-hour information hotline at 301-934-7410/301-932-6656 for the latest school closing information.

Due to inclement weather forecasts, all Charles County Public Schools activities starting at 3 p.m. or later on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, are canceled.

The Board of Education work session scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26 will now start at 5 p.m., with Public Forum at 6 p.m.

Visit www.ccboe.com or call the 24-hour information line at 301-934-7410/301-932-6656 for the latest weather-related information.

The Board of Education of Charles County is looking for applications from county residents interested in serving on the Charles County Board of Education Ethics Panel.

The Board has one opening on its all-volunteer, five-member panel, which interprets ethics regulations and provides advisory opinions to Board Members and employees subject to the regulations. The panel also reviews complaints concerning any alleged ethics violation and receives and maintains all forms required to be filed under the ethics regulation. Ethics panel members meet at least once annually to review disclosure forms and as necessary to respond to inquiries.

Members of the Charles County Board of Education Ethics Panel must be eligible to vote in Charles County.

Panel members may not be current members of the Board of Education; candidates for the Board; officials, employees, contractors or students of Charles County Public Schools; owners of or persons employed by a business entity doing business with the Board; any person registered with the Board as a lobbyist; or spouses of such persons.

Panel members serve four-year terms and may be reappointed. Anyone interested in serving on the panel should send a letter of interest and resume to Board Chairman Virginia McGraw, Charles County Board of Education, Ethics Panel, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646, by Feb. 6.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kimberly Hill, along with three other Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) staff members, recently participated in a series of interviews for use in a video series about the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. In 2011, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) developed Maryland’s College and Career-Ready Standards (MDCCRS), which were developed from the Common Core Standards. The standards define the skills and knowledge students need to be successful in the workplace and postsecondary education, ensuring that students receive a high quality education. CCPS began implementing the MDCCRS last school year.

The series was produced by the Alliance for Excellent Education, which today released the videos on their website, http://all4ed.org/. Videos in the series also feature comments about the implementation of new learning standards for CCPS from Amy Hollstein, assistant superintendent of instruction. Additionally, John Hanson Middle School Principal Kathy Kiessling, and Erica Williams, an instructional resource teacher at Hanson, talk about the implementation of the standards at the middle-school level.

The videos serve as a resource for other school districts in the process of implementing Common Core. Other educators from Maryland featured in the video include staff from Baltimore City Public Schools, and Dr. Henry Johnson, who is the assistant state superintendent, division of curriculum, assessment and accountability with MSDE.

Maryland is one of five states, along with California, Colorado, Kentucky and Ohio, chosen to be featured in the Alliance’s video series. The Alliance chose CCPS among Maryland school districts to participate in the video series for efforts in improving high school graduation rates and closing achievement gaps. The videos featuring CCPS staff are available for view at http://all4ed.org/commoncoreequity/common-core-and-equity-maryland/. The series of videos is posted at http://all4ed.org/CommonCoreEquity/.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

Theodore G. Davis Middle School is hosting the Harlem Wizards basketball team on Tuesday, Jan. 27 in a staff versus Wizards’ player’s game, beginning at 7 p.m. Proceeds from the game will benefit the Davis Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) program. The Harlem Wizards will also perform their aerobatic stunts and basketball tricks.

The game will feature three levels of seating: general admission, reserved seating and courtside plus. General admission is seating in the bleachers; reserved seating is located in the lower-level bleacher areas; and courtside plus seating is floor seats and includes a meet and greet with the players before the game, and a free souvenir.

Ticket prices are listed below and are per person:

  • Advanced purchase – general admission, $10 for students and $12 for adults; reserved seating, $18 for students and adults; and courtside plus, $25 for students and adults.
  • Tickets purchased at the door – general admission, $12 for students and $15 for adults.

Advanced purchase tickets can be bought at the school’s main office or online at www.harlemwizards.com. Tickets for the reserved seating and courtside plus cannot be purchased at the door. Refreshments will be available for purchase.

Call 301-753-2082 or visit http://www.edline.net/pages/Theodore_G_Davis_Middle_School for more information.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

Larry Johnson, an instructional specialist for Charles County Public Schools (CCPS), was recently named the 2014 Arc of Southern Maryland Charles County Educator of the Year. The award recognizes educators who are dedicated to ensuring that children and young adults with special needs have access to opportunities for success. He was nominated for the award by Amy Hollstein, assistant superintendent of instruction for CCPS, for his passion for working with students with special needs.

“Mr. Johnson is an outstanding educator who is passionate about the education of students with disabilities. He has worked tirelessly with special and general educators to ensure that all students have instruction that meets their unique learning needs. He is a true asset to Charles County Public Schools,” Hollstein said in a nomination statement.

Johnson has worked for CCPS since 2010, where he began working as a special education teacher at General Smallwood Middle School. He took a position in 2011 as an instructional specialist at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, which houses the administrative offices for the school system. He works directly with the special education department and serves as a support for special education teachers and students. He also plans and implements professional development sessions and trainings that focus on improving academics for students with disabilities.

Johnson said he was humbled to receive the award and credits those he works with as aiding to his passion in working with students with disabilities. “I have been blessed with the opportunity to learn from colleagues with many years of experience and practice in ensuring equitable access and opportunity for students with diverse learning needs. I would also like to acknowledge all of the educators in the county for their hard work and dedication in ensuring the success of our students,” Johnson said.

Norma Dallas from the Arc of Southern Maryland presented Johnson with the award at the Board of Education’s Jan. 13 meeting. Prior to joining CCPS, Johnson worked at the High Road Upper School, an alternative school in Washington D.C., and as a teacher with Prince George’s County Public Schools.

Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in government, law and sociology from Lafayette College and a master’s degree in special education from Trinity University. He is working on a doctorate degree in special education from Walden University.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.