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Baltimore County Public Schools: Ensuring Every Student Graduates a Globally Competitive Learner

Baltimore County Public Schools
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Program: All means all: Ensuring every student graduates a globally competitive learner

Although Baltimore County Public Schools had the second-highest graduation rate among large school districts in 2013, there were some disparities between schools across the district when it came to graduation and dropout rates. Baltimore County, the 25th largest school system in the country, developed a formalized dropout prevention plan and a system for accountability among principals and individual schools in 2012.

At-risk students received additional opportunities to succeed through credit recovery programs, such as the vendor-operated AdvancePath Academy. The program matches students with personalized learning plans and places them in small-group learning environments. Online programs allowed students to access materials during non-school hours to accommodate their situations. Teachers were encouraged to build stronger relationships with at-risk students.

The 2013 graduation rate was 86 percent, compared to 81 percent in 2010. Twenty-one of Baltimore County’s 24 high schools saw increases in their graduation rates from 2012 to 2013.

“We know that graduating from high school is a critical stepping stone toward future success for each of our students. I am proud of the hard work of our teachers, leaders and families to target students’ needs with individualized supports. Making graduation a priority for each student is how we are ensuring that our mantra of ‘All Means All’ is a reality in Baltimore County Public Schools,” says Superintendent S. Dallas Dance.

In recognition of the innovation and success of this initiative, Baltimore County Public Schools has been named a District of Distinction by District Administration. The district was among 49 districts that were honored in the inaugural round of Districts of Distinction, the magazine’s new national recognition program.

“We are pleased to honor Baltimore County Public Schools as a District of Distinction,” says JD Solomon, editorial director at District Administration magazine. “Like all our honorees, the district serves as a model for school leaders across the country.”

For more information about Districts of Distinction, including how to apply and a list of all current honorees, visit

Apply for the July round of Districts of Distinction

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Application deadline: 11 pm ET, March 1, 2017