St. Mary's Co. Public Schools News Briefs

St. Mary's County Public Schools' Ethics Panel to Meet

The St. Mary's County Public Schools' Ethics Panel will be holding a meeting on Thursday, August 29, 2013, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., in the Assistant Superintendent's Conference Room, 23160 Moakley Street, Leonardtown, Maryland 20650.

For more information, call 301-475-5511, ext. 32172.

Ribbon Cutting - Mechanicsville Elementary School

At their meeting on January 30, 2013, the Board of Education of St. Mary's County approved the contract award for Mechanicsville Elementary School site improvements to Dennis Anderson Construction Corporation. A ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Monday, August 19, at 9:00 a.m. at the school site, located at 28585 Three Notch Road, Mechanicsville, Maryland 20659.

Administrative Appointments Announced

Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael J. Martirano, announces the administrative appointments made by the Board of Education at its meeting of August 14.

The Board appointed Ms. Alissa Bailey Xavier as School Psychologist in the Department of Student Services. Ms. Bailey has most recently served as an hourly para-educator with St. Mary's County Public Schools. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Towson University and a Master's degree in School Psychology from Lewis and Clark College.

The Board also appointed Dr. Nicola Williams as Coordinator of Certificated Staffing and Minority Recruitment in the Department of Human Resources. Dr. Williams is currently a Senior Literacy Associate with the Public Consulting Group in Washington, D.C. She earned both her Bachelor and Master degrees from the University of Virginia and her Doctorate from The University of Michigan.

These appointments become effective immediately.

Maryland State Department of Education (Msde) Releases Maryland School Assessment Results for the 2013 School Year

New Individual Targets Set For Each School and Student Group

For the 2013 school year, 87.6 percent of all elementary students and 82.5 percent of middle school students scored proficient or advanced on the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) for Reading, while 88.9 percent of all elementary students and 80.0 percent of middle school students scored proficient or advanced on the MSA for Mathematics. "Our slight decline in scores is mirrored across the state and is attributable to our aggressive transitioning to the Common Core State Standards," stated Dr. Michael J. Martirano, Superintendent of Schools. "We have predicted that scores on an assessment that is misaligned with our current curriculum will decline."

Elementary school scores dipped 4.5 percent in Reading and 1.5 percent in Mathematics from the previous year, yet remain above the Maryland state average. Middle school scores showed slighter declines; .6 percent in Reading and 3.3 percent in Mathematics from the previous year. The table below reflects the aggregate percentage of St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS) students at the elementary and middle school level scoring proficient or advanced compared to all students in the state of Maryland.

Individual student score reports are currently available at each school. For more detailed information, the MSDE website chronicles all assessment results.

The U.S. Department of Education announced last year that Maryland was one of eight new states granted flexibility from some of the long-standing requirements of No Child Left Behind. Under the flexibility plan, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) set Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) on a trajectory toward 2017, at which time each individual school is expected to reduce its percentage of non-proficient students by half for each subgroup as well as for all students.

At the same time the goals were being reset, Maryland is moving from the Maryland State Curriculum, on which the assessments are based, to the Maryland Common Core State Standards (MCCSS). "With the Annual Measurable Objectives established last year and centered on an assessment aligned to an outgoing curriculum, we will balance our emphasis on this one data point, amongst all the student achievement information we gather throughout the year," stated James Scott Smith, Acting Assistant Superintendent of Instruction for SMCPS. Dr. Jeffrey Maher, Executive Director of Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development commented, "We will closely examine the results of the MSA, as it does give us longitudinal data at the student level, but balance this with the concrete expectation that all our schools are fully transitioned to and implementing the new Common Core Curriculum."

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