Calvert Co. Public Schools News Briefs

The Board of Education of Calvert County Public Schools recently recognized Employees of the Month for the month of November.
The Board of Education of Calvert County Public Schools recently recognized Employees of the Month for the month of November.

BOE Recognizes Employees of the Month

The Board of Education of Calvert County Public Schools recently recognized Employees of the Month for the month of November.

The Employees of the Month, pictured above, are:

Barstow Elementary School: Kristen Johnson, Debbie Reamy

Calvert Elementary School: Tara Brauns, Samantha Ritts

Dowell Elementary School: Nocola Williams, Sarah Draheim

Huntingtown Elementary: Wendy Palensky, Ann van der Heyden

Southern Middle School: Matt Klapper, Brandon Bryant

Calvert High School: Demetri Bedel, Valerie Redden

School system employees are recognized monthly at Board of Education meetings in accordance with Policy #6620. During the school year, the Board recognizes one support staff member and one professional staff member from designated schools, with each school scheduled for recognition one time per year. Central office support staff and teacher specialists are recognized in June. School and central office administrators are recognized in August.

MSDE Releases New School Report Card Website

The Maryland State Department of Education has released the new Maryland Report Card website, which provides performance data for every school in the state.

Schools receive points based on their results on the performance indicators. Educators and parents will be able to view a brief summary of performance by looking at a school's star rating, which tallies the school's total earned points percent and issues a rating from 1 to 5 stars; the percentile rank, which is how a school performed in comparison to other schools in the category; and the total earned points percent, which is the total number of points earned by the school across the measures, divided by the total possible points.

For elementary and middle schools, the system includes academic achievement, academic progress, progress in achieving English language proficiency, and measures of school quality and student success. For high schools, the system includes academic achievement, graduation rate, progress in English language proficiency, readiness for postsecondary success, and measures of school quality and student success.

Calvert County Public Schools has two schools that earned three stars, eleven that earned four stars, and nine that earned five stars. Statewide, 70% of schools earned three or four stars.

Dr. Daniel D. Curry, Superintendent, said, "Calvert County can feel proud of all of its schools' performance. This new report card covers a ton of good data and will shine light on some things that each school can improve upon."

Maryland introduced the new School Report Cards so students, parents, educators and community members could better understand how their schools are performing, just as report cards help parents understand how their children are doing. The goal of the school report card is to provide a starting point and to offer easy-to-understand and concise information for each school.

School Report Cards are available at

Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools, said that the simplified format of the Maryland Report Card is a major improvement.

"Our goal is to improve every school throughout our state and prepare every student for a bright future," said Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools. "The new Maryland Report Card will help parents, educators, policymakers and the general public gain a better understanding about how each school is doing based on our accountability measures. Together, we are working toward making sure our schools are the best they can be."

Cousins Elected to MABE Board of Directors

Board of Education member Pamela L. Cousins has been elected to serve on the board of directors for the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE).

Tracy H. McGuire, President of the Board of Education, said, "I believe Ms. Cousins will bring to the MABE Board of Directors the same exemplary qualities she demonstrates on our Board: professionalism, commitment to student achievement and equity, and an unerring capacity to identify what matters for public education."

Ms. Cousins was elected to the Calvert County Board of Education in 2015 and stepped into the role of Vice President. She served as President from 2016-2017. Her dedication to the work of the Board is driven by her passion for equity and community service and is enhanced by her leadership experience in her career in cybersecurity. She is involved in numerous community organizations, including the National Society of Black Engineers Jr. and the Concerned Black Women of Calvert County. Ms. Cousins was named the 2015 Citizen of the Year for Calvert County by the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.—Tau Lambda Lambda Chapter and presented the 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award for Advocacy by the Calvert County Commission for Women.

Founded in 1957, MABE is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to serving and supporting boards of education in Maryland. MABE is a leading advocate for public education in the state. All twenty-four Maryland boards of education are members of MABE.

Casie Reynolds Named Outstanding Mathematics Educator

Calvert High School teacher Casie Reynolds is the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Mathematics Educator award by the Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM). Reynolds, who is the winning high school teacher, was honored last night along with the winners in five other categories at the MCTM Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet.

Dr. Steve Lucas, principal of Calvert High School, said, "She is an exemplary professional who not only sets the standard for instruction, but models the highest levels of emotional intelligence. She is one of the hardest working members of the staff, is mission oriented, and sets the standard for solving problems and accomplishing objectives. Ms. Reynolds is always someone who can figure out how to get something done rather than be denied by obstacles. She takes initiative, responsibility, and ownership 100% of the time."

Reynolds is currently in her fourteenth year of teaching in Calvert County Public Schools. She spent the first ten years of her career at Patuxent High before moving to Calvert High. In addition to teaching Algebra 1 and Advanced Placement Calculus BC, she serves as the core lead for the math department. A leader at both the school and district levels, she establishes and shares effective classroom practices and remains focused on educating and supporting students. Although she loves math, her favorite aspect of teaching is creating a rapport and lasting connections with her students. "She has a natural talent for building strong, authentic relationships with her students," said Joe Sutton, Supervisor of Secondary Math, "and is a selfless teacher and leader who puts others before herself as she works for the benefit of her department."

The Outstanding Mathematics Educator Award is given to mathematics teachers across the state who exemplify excellence in mathematics education by implementing research-informed practices in their daily work.

The Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics is a public voice of mathematics education, inspiring vision, providing leadership, offering professional development, and supporting equitable mathematics learning of the highest quality for all students.

Calvert County Public Schools Students Chosen as Pages for the General Assembly

Two seniors from Calvert County Public Schools have been selected as student pages for the 2019 Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis. Thomas Ridenour of Northern High School and Jillian Gray of Northern High School will represent Calvert County during the legislative session. Sean Hale of Northern High School was selected as the alternate.

Dr. Daniel D. Curry, Superintendent, said, "We have so many outstanding students that we wish we could send more. Thomas and Jillian are among the best and we know they will be outstanding representatives of Calvert County."

The students selected for this prestigious, highly competitive program demonstrate a strong knowledge base, as well as superior communication and problem-solving skills.

Student pages serve two nonconsecutive weeks in either the House of Delegates or the Senate during the thirteen-week session. Their duties include distributing materials to members on the floor, running errands, answering the phone, assisting visitors and delivering messages to members.

Begun in 1970 by House Speaker Thomas Hunter Lowe and approved by the Maryland State Board of Education, the program is designed to interest youth in state government, foster leadership and provide students with worthwhile experience in state government.

Maryland Launches School Safety Tip Line

Governor Larry Hogan recently launched "Safe Schools Maryland," a tip line and mobile app designed to streamline reporting of possible threats to students and school facilities. The school safety tip line is coordinated by the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) in partnership with the Maryland Center for School Safety.

Dr. Daniel D. Curry, Superintendent, said, "This adds another way for students and staff to say something if they see something."

According to a press release from MEMA, Governor Hogan said, "Incidents of targeted violence at our schools are rarely sudden impulsive acts; instead, in the majority of these incidents, another person was aware of what the student was thinking or planning to do. We must remain ever vigilant when it comes to protecting our kids, and we are counting on our local school communities, our students, teachers, and parents to work together with us in these important efforts."

In many recent school violence incidents or threats, assailants have exhibited behavior that signaled a potential for violent activity or discussed such activity on social media. Some potential incidents around the country have been thwarted because alert students, parents, school staff, or others reported suspicious behaviors to appropriate authorities.

Students, family members, parents, teachers, administrators, and other community members can anonymously report information to Safe Schools Maryland via a mobile app available for download through the Apple App Store or Google Play, online at, or by calling 1-833-MD-B-SAFE (1-833-632-7233). Trained technicians will respond to reports 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

MEMA has trained existing staff and is hiring new staff to ensure that tip line calls and reports are answered 24/7.

The tip line staff will share incoming information with appropriate school system officials and staff; law enforcement personnel; fire, emergency, behavioral health, and medical staff; and other partners to help prevent violent or dangerous incidents at schools around the state and provide assistance to students in crisis. Students, parents, teachers, administrative staff, and others should be vigilant and report any activity that makes them feel uncomfortable, nervous, or frightened about the safety of their school, themselves, or others.

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