Education, Family, Police/Fire, Sci-Tech

Baltimore County Public Schools welcomes more than 111,000 students for 2023-2024 school year

TOWSON, MD—As Superintendent Dr. Myriam Rogers (Yarbrough) begins her first year at the helm of Baltimore County Public Schools, the school system opened the 2023-2024 school year on Monday by welcoming more than 111,000 students into its 176 schools, centers, and programs.

“My team and I spent this summer working intensively to prepare for this school year,” said Dr. Rogers. “We are refreshed and focused, ready to offer excellent instruction, services, and opportunities to our students. Today the real work begins to accelerate academic achievement and student wellbeing.”

“The board is excited to begin this new school year with a new superintendent, who brings to the role both comprehensive knowledge of the school system and community and a fresh approach to its growth and development,” said Jane Lichter, chair of the Board of Education of Baltimore County.

BCPS new hires for the school year include 822 teachers, 30 office professionals, nine bus drivers, five bus attendants, 45 paraeducators, 35 assistant principals, and 15 principals. To improve staff recruitment and retention, the school system has implemented a new salary scale (effective July 1) that includes an increased starting salary for teacher that places BCPS second in the state and that allows teachers to reach the top of the pay scale faster. BCPS is also providing bonuses to new special education teachers and teachers who commit to work at select high needs schools.

New English Language Arts Curriculum

BCPS is implementing the HMH Into Reading English Language Arts curriculum in all elementary schools for the 2023-2024 school year. More than 2,500 teachers have received professional learning on the new curriculum and additional professional learning will be offered throughout the school year.

New Career and Technical Education Program

A new BCPS Career and Technical Education program, Computer and Information Sciences Artificial Intelligence, has launched this school year at George Washington Carver Center for Arts & Technology, Sollers Point Technical High School, and Western School of Technology and Environmental Science.

New Student Meals Program

Through the federal Community Eligibility Provision, beginning this school year, all BCPS students will receive free breakfast and lunch meals, and families will no longer complete free and reduced-price meal applications.

New Safety and Security Program

This year, BCPS will provide students with additional access to mental health resources via the new Team BCPS Focus app.

The safety assistant program, which was implemented last school year in all middle and high schools, will expand to support elementary schools this school year.

In addition, BCPS will employ Omnilert, a weapons detection system that uses existing internal and external cameras to spot firearms. If a firearm is detected by the system, an alert will be sent to designated BCPS and Baltimore County Police Department personnel. Omnilert will be deployed in all schools during the 2023-2024 school year beginning with high schools in September.

New Capital Projects

In January 2024, Red House Run and Summit Park elementary schools will move into new school buildings. The 107,774-square-foot building for Red House Run has a state-rated capacity of 775 students, and the 100,441-square-foot building for Summit Park has a state-rated capacity of 735 students. Both schools are designed to the LEED silver level for environmental design.

New Transportation Boundaries and Transportation App

In alignment with revised Board of Education Policy 3410, “Transportation Services,” new transportation boundaries became effective July 1. For the 2023-2024 school year, transportation services will be provided for high school students who reside more than 1.75 miles from their home school. Changes to middle school transportation zones will not go into effect until the 2024-2025 school year. There are no changes to the elementary school transportation zones. Student transportation information is available in Focus. Questions regarding this change can be directed to the Office of Transportation at 443-809-4321 or [email protected]. Parents may also complete the Office of Transportation Bus Stop Request Form.

BCPS has launched a new parent transportation app, BusWhere! This location-tracking software allows subscribers to see school bus locations in real time on a mobile phone or computer. Subscribers may opt to receive notifications as the bus is approaching a designated bus stop or if there is a significant issue causing a delay. Additional information will be shared with students and families the week of September 25.

New Mobile Welcome Center

A new BCPS Mobile Welcome Center provides services for families with students who are new to BCPS and speak a language other than English. Staffed by members of the Office of English for Speakers of Other Languages, the Mobile Welcome Center will provide direct services and support to schools, multilingual learners, and their families.

Photo via phgators_library on Instagram

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