Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year! The beginning of the school year is always an exciting time for students and staff. We are pleased to provide you with this Student/Parent Handbook to help you successfully navigate our school system. Research has shown that parents are a critical factor in ensuring students’ success. We recognize parents can’t serve in that capacity if they don’t have up-to-date information about our school system and programs as well as clear and frequent communication. This handbook is designed to provide you with essential information. It includes school system rules and regulations, a calendar of important school dates, school locations, start and ending times, helpful tips about school closings or delays, and available programs and services for students and families.
The Queen Anne’s County Public School System continues to practice its belief of “Everyday Excellence in Every Classroom for Every Student.” This past winter we successfully completed the Middle States Accreditation process. I’m proud to say that our school system is the first in the nation to be fully accredited through the Middle States Bridge to Excellence protocol. The accreditation process required many long hours of self-assessment and analysis of feedback from students, parents, staff, and community members. Although this was a very rigorous and labor-intensive process, the results were worth it. The outcome of that process reflects we have an excellent school system comprised of outstanding staff, high performing students and supportive parents and community!
This past school year we moved into full implementation of the Maryland Common Core State Standards (MCCSS). Our students were exposed to a very rigorous course of study and although there is significant overlap between this new curriculum and the previous Maryland State Curriculum (MSC) in reading, the alignment for language arts and math is not as good. In some cases, skills and processes have been shifted to different grade levels and the rigor or depth of understanding has increased. In other cases, emphasis has been placed on additional knowledge and skills that had not been a priority in our previous curriculum. We continue to work hard to ensure students are exposed to MCCSS prior to the new assessments that are currently under development. These new assessments will be given to students in grades 3 through 11 in 2014-15 and additional information will be shared as it becomes available.
It is critical that parents talk regularly with their children about their work at school, and about the importance of taking advantage of challenging programs. Children should be encouraged to be involved in extra-curricular activities, as well. I hope you will become involved in our schools as volunteers, as members of parent/booster organizations, as members of school improvement teams or county-level committees, and in support of school activities. We need to work together to create a safe environment for all children and to provide programs that meet every child’s needs. Please take time to review this handbook with your child and keep it available for easy reference as you and your child plan for a successful school year. Our handbook is also available at www.qacps.org . I encourage you to access the website frequently for the most up-to-date and accurate information about Queen Anne’s County Public Schools. I value your involvement in our school system and in your child’s education. Best wishes for a successful school year.