MSDE Education Bulletin, August 31, 2016

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     August 31, 2016                | MSDE Home | Newsroom | | School Improvement |


Maryland public school systems are poised to set another new record number for student enrollment, as the 2016-17 academic year gets underway.

By the time Worcester County Public School System opens its doors on September 6, more than 880,000 K-12 students are expected to fill classrooms and another 250,000 children will be involved in some form of pre-kindergarten, Head Start, or licensed childcare program. 

Students arrive at Loch Raven High School in Baltimore County on August 24 for the first day of class.

"Maryland schools are some of the best in the nation, and this time of year is an exciting time for both students and teachers," said Governor Larry Hogan. "We wish Maryland's students, educators, and parents a safe, productive, and successful school year."

Schools this fall begin the fourth full year of implementation of the stronger academic standards designed to better prepare students for both college and career. 

“Our goal is to provide students with a foundation for what lies ahead, be it college or career,” said Dr.  Karen B. Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools.  “We need Maryland high school graduates to be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow.”

Enrollment in Maryland public schools appears primed to surpass its record of 879,601 students, set last year.  Maryland school enrollment has been steadily increasing since 2009, when the student population stood at 843,861.

Maryland’s student population also has experienced major demographic changes over the past 20 years.  Maryland has educated a majority-minority student population for a decade.  White students represent nearly 40 percent of the student population, followed by African-American students, who make up 34 percent of the student population.  Both the White and African-American student populations have been in decline as a percentage of the student body in recent years.

Hispanic students represent 15 percent of the student body, while Asian students account for approximately 6 percent.  Percentages of Hispanic and Asian students have been steadily rising.  Also increasing is the percentage of students identifying themselves as two or more races, which is at 4 percent.

MSDE’s round-up of school openings and closings can be found on the MSDE website.


Students in Maryland’s 13 juvenile facilities will soon have new educational tools at their fingertips.

MSDE is bringing 300 tablet devices to Juvenile Services Education (JSE) classrooms, providing enhanced instruction and support to students, as well as increasing student engagement in the learning process. All students enrolled in JSE programs will have access to the new technology.

JSE educators this month spent a week in intensive professional development, getting introduced to the new educational tools at their disposal. Staff from the Talbot County Public Schools facilitated the training, as teachers and administrators learned how to use new educational apps, create differentiated educational programs for students, and develop group lessons.

“By improving student access to state-of-the-art resources, we can accelerate student achievement and prepare students for a successful transition to their community,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools.

The JSE program within MSDE provides educational services for youths detained and committed by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. Students receive core instruction in mathematics, English language arts, social studies, and science.  Career Technology Education courses are also offered, and GED preparation programs are provided.  JSE serves approximately 550 youth on a daily basis.

A Few Words from State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen B. Salmon

State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen B. Salmon


State Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Karen B. Salmon

The first day of school is one of my favorite days of the year. Each year, our teachers and principals return to school, prepared to meet the educational needs of our students.  And, each fall, our students arrive with all that energy.

I had the opportunity to join Superintendent Dallas Dance at the first day of school in Baltimore County last week, and followed that up two days later with a visit to some Caroline County schools with Superintendent John Ewald.  Both systems were well prepared for the opening of the school year, and the student excitement was infectious.

Starting the school year off on the right foot is no accident.  I know the hard work that occurs each summer, preparing for the coming year.  It has really paid off.

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We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Carol Williamson and Dr. Sylvia Lawson to our senior leadership team.  Dr. Williamson will join MSDE next month as Deputy State Superintendent for Teaching and Learning.  Dr. Lawson is already on board, joining the Department in July as Deputy State Superintendent for School Effectiveness.

These dynamic educators are well known to the Maryland education community.  Dr. Williamson has served as the Superintendent of the Queen Anne’s County Public Schools since 2008.  Prior to becoming Superintendent, Dr. Williamson spent eight years as Associate Superintendent and another eight years as Assistant Superintendent in Queen Anne.  She began her career in Dorchester County, starting as a classroom teacher, curriculum specialist, curriculum supervisor, and director of instruction over the course of more than 20 years.  Dr. Williamson holds a bachelor’s degree from Salisbury State College (now Salisbury University), a master’s from George Washington University and a doctorate in education from the University of Maryland-College Park.

Dr. Lawson joined MSDE from Charles County, where she had served as Assistant Superintendent since 2013.  She has spent nearly 30 years in Maryland education, serving as a teacher, vice principal, and principal of schools in Charles and Calvert Counties.  Dr. Lawson began her career as a teacher and coach in South Carolina.  Dr. Lawson holds a bachelor’s degree from Pfeiffer College, a master from East Carolina University, and a doctorate of philosophy from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

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Video Highlights

1st Day of School - Maryland

1st Day of School - Maryland

Maryland Schools Superintendent Karen Salmon visits as schools open in Baltimore County August 24, 2016. She visits Loch Raven HS, Northwest Academy of Health Sciences, and Catonsville ES.

JSE iPAD Initiative

JSE iPAD Initiative

Maryland's Juvenile Services Education hosts a week-long training session for teachers at its 13 schools. Led by educators from Talbot County using iPAD's, the goal is to infuse technology into the curriculum, and re-engage the students in learning.

Maryland Computing Education Summit

Maryland Computing Education Summit

Maryland renews its commitment to Computer Science and STEM coursework at the 6th annual Maryland Computing Education Summit held at UMBC.

Maryland Teacher Leadership Summit

Maryland Teacher Leadership Summit

A group of Maryland teachers gathers at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Annapolis for the Maryland Teacher Leadership Summit. MSDE and USDE host, along with Powered by Teach to Lead.


September 26 - State Board of Education Work Session, Baltimore

September 27 - State Board of Education Meeting, Baltimore

October 20 - ESSA External Stakeholder Committee Meeting, Baltimore

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