Calvert Co. Public Schools News Briefs

Calvert County Public Schools Will Offer Head Start Programs

Beginning September 3, 2013, Calvert County Public Schools will begin offering Head Start programs to approximately 172 at-risk three- and four-year-olds who are Calvert County residents.

Three-year-olds will be offered in-home instruction on a weekly basis with an opportunity for socialization activities at a central location in each of the three geographical locations. Parents will be trained to use the HIPPY curriculum through weekly visits with a home visitor. Home visitors will role-play age appropriate activities with parents, which will empower parents to become their child’s first teacher. Parents will then have an opportunity to work one-on-one with their child during the week.

The Head Start program will provide half-day learning opportunities for four-year-olds with the option of dual placement in prekindergarten for the most at-risk children. These programs will be located at three sites: Sunderland Elementary (in the northern region), Barstow Elementary (in the central region), and Patuxent Elementary (in the southern region). Transportation will be provided for all four-year-old students to one of the three locations.

Calvert County Public Schools will identify “at-risk” students based on income status, special learning needs and other factors.

To apply, parents may contact the Calvert County Public Schools Head Start office at 410-535-1013.

Calvert Schools Make Continuous Progress, MSA Science Scores Remain High

Calvert County elementary and middle schools continue to meet ever increasing student achievement targets, according to data released on Aug. 28 by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).

“We are pleased that our schools are doing so well, especially considering that we are transitioning to the new Common Core State Standards,” said Nancy Highsmith, Interim Superintendent. “The fact that our students did so well on the state assessments despite the misalignment between the new curriculum and the state assessments speaks well of our students and teachers.”

School Progress

Each year, schools must meet their own unique achievement targets - called Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) - in reading and mathematics, which are set incrementally between the base year of 2011 and the target year of 2017. The overall goal is to cut in half by 2017 the percentage of students who are not scoring at the proficient level on the reading and math assessments. AMOs are also set for each racial and special services group in each school. These targets help educators look at specific student needs and tailor instruction to meet those needs.

In Calvert, over 90% of the schools met their AMO targets this year. According to a press release from MSDE, almost 62% of Maryland schools met their AMO targets.

Science MSA

The state also released grade 5 and 8 science Maryland State Assessment (MSA) scores.

While Calvert County’s science MSA scores dipped slightly, they remain among the highest in the state. Calvert’s grade 5 scores dropped from 86.5% proficient in 2012 to 85.2% in 2013, and grade 8 dropped from 87.6% in 2012 to 86.8% in 2013. Maryland state proficiency scores were 67% and 71.4% in grades 5 and 8 respectively.

“We have increased our focus on science in recent years,” said Nancy Highsmith. “We realize how important science education is for our students, our state, and our nation.”

This year, Calvert is departmentalizing academics in grades 3 through 5. This means that instead of teaching all four of the content areas - reading, social studies, math and science – most teachers in grades 3 through 5 will either teach reading and social studies or math and science.

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