Education Executive - Summer 2012 - (Page 128)
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Achieving its Goals
Superintendent Kevin Maxwell ensures Anne Arundel County Public Schools of Maryland remains on the path to success.
s the fifth-largest school district in Maryland and one of the 50 largest in the United States, Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) has found success through a simple and straightforward philosophy. The core tenent of this is that every child can achieve, says Dr. Kevin Maxwell, AACPS superintendent.
The Annapolis-based school district consists of 77 elementary schools, 19 middle schools and 12 high schools, five evening high school, three special education centers, two centers for applied technology, one alternative high school, one alternative middle school, one special education regional program, two early education centers and two public charter schools. Eleven of these schools are National Blue Ribbon Schools; 14 are Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence. AACPS educates 76,300 K-12 students. More than 80 percent of seniors who graduated in 2011 pursued postsecondary education at a two-year or four-year institution, and they were offered nearly $100 million in scholarships. The district employs 10,000 individuals; approximately half of them are teachers. It ranks second in the state with 314 National Board Educated teachers. Maxwell attributes much of the district’s success to its talented work force. “We have an abundance of really good, hardworking employees,” he states. “Everybody who works for us is focused on our strategic plan and pulling in the same direction. Our executive team works collaboratively together to properly supervise people and provide the resources we need in this tight [economic] environment to make sure we have what we need to accomplish our goals.”
ing hard to provide training for our teachers so we can provide kids with opportunities to be scheduled in more rigorous courses.” For instance, AACPS had all of its middle school teachers attend the National Middle Association Annual Education Conference and Exhibit held in Baltimore in November 2010. “We took an extraordinary step to close down our middle schools and have 100 percent of the staff attend that national conference,” Maxwell recalls. “A number of teachers hadn’t been to a national conference and felt it was a really good experience. It gave them an opportunity to see what curriculum materials are being used in different school systems around the country.” AACPS has worked to create additional project-based learning opportunities for its students through its magnet and signature programs. The district recently opened the BioMedical Allied Health magnet program at Glen Burnie High School and the performing and visual arts magnet programs at Bates and Brooklyn Park middle schools. Each high school in the district selects a “signature” or theme and works with its surrounding community to connect classroom instruction with real-world situations. Meade High School, for instance, focuses on homeland security, and Broadneck High School has an environmental literacy focus. “No school system can be great by itself, and AACPS is fortunate to continue to develop partnerships with business,
Aligning its Goals
AACPS’s Bridge to Excellence Master Plan empowers the district to “focus on what will help us improve as an organization,” according to Maxwell. “Like a lot of districts, we have gaps in achievement between different groups of children, particularly African Americans and Latinos. Those gaps are persistent and need to be addressed. We are work128 | Education-Executive.com SUMMER 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Executive - Summer 2012
Education Executive - Summer 2012
Can't Live Without It
Broadening the Student Experience
Upgrading Facilities on Tight Budgets
Haylor, Freyer & Coon ◆ N.Y.
Anne Arundel Community College ◆ MD
Humber College ◆ Ont.
Grove City College ◆ PA
Broome Community College ◆ N.Y.
Coastal Carolina University ◆ S.C.
Cuyahoga Community College ◆ Ohio
Ottawa University ◆ Kan.
Brazosport College ◆ Texas
Idaho State University ◆ Idaho
Hillsborough Community College ◆ Fla.
Post University ◆ Conn.
Union College ◆ N.Y.
University of New Mexico ◆ N.M.
Naperville School District 203 ◆ Ill.
Santa Barbara Unified School District ◆ Calif.
Acadia Parish School Board ◆ LA
Mounds View Public Schools ◆ Minn.
Central Community School District ◆ LA
Chelmsford Public Schools ◆ Mass.
Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District ◆ Mass.
86elmira City Schools ◆ N.Y.
Glendora Usd ◆ Calif.
Harnett County Schools ◆ N.C.
Holmes County School District ◆ Miss.
Jefferson Parish Public School System ◆ LA
Harlandale Independent School District ◆ Texas
Kyrene School District ◆ Ariz.
Fort Huachuca Accommodation Schools #00 ◆ Ariz.
Kenosha Unified School District ◆ Wis.
Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District ◆ Texas
Maryland School for the Deaf ◆ MD
Mclean County District Unit No. 5 ◆ Ill.
Williamson County Schools ◆ Tenn.
Mesa Public Schools ◆ Ariz.
Palmdale School District ◆ Calif.
Plain Local School District ◆ Ohio
St. Martin Parish Schools ◆ LA
Oak Harbor School District ◆ Wash.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools ◆ MD
Vancouver Island University ◆ B.C.
Brandon School Division ◆ MB
Dalhousie University ◆ N.S.
Peace River School Division ◆ AB
University of Sudbury ◆ Ont.
Sandy Spring Friends School
The Pomfret School ◆ Conn.
Riverside Military Academy ◆ GA
The Thacher School ◆ Calif.
Education Executive - Summer 2012