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A letter from the superintendent

Providing quality education remains schools' top priority

Providing quality education remains schools' top priority

August 20, 2006|by Elizabeth M. Morgan

Dear Readers:

With the beginning of the 2006-07 school year arriving quickly, the Board of Education and staff of Washington County Public Schools are ready to continue the important work of providing world-class educational opportunities for the 21,000 plus students of the County. Improved student achievement, as reflected in the most recent results of state assessments, remains the top priority in WCPS.

As an important stakeholder, we want you to know that the results of the Maryland School Assessments (MSA) from 2006 indicate a fourth consecutive year of improvement for the Washington County Public Schools. The MSA testing program began in 2003 under mandates set forth in the "No Child Left Behind" legislation by the federal government. The 2006 systemwide results demonstrate improvement in almost every grade and category, including an increase of 7 percentage points in sixth- grade math, and increases in third- and fourth-grade math. Almost 90 percent of WCPS' fourth-grade students and more than 85 percent of third-grade students scored at or above proficiency levels in math. Nearly 85 percent of the county's fourth-grade students were also at or above proficiency levels in reading. In addition, more than 81 percent of WCPS' third- and fifth-grade students, and nearly 80 percent of sixth-grade students were at or above proficiency levels in reading.

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For detailed information about the school system's performance or the performance of any school in Washington County, please visit the Maryland Report Card Web site at www.mdreportcard.org. We look forward to continued high achievement for our students this year!

The board and staff are continuing to promote improved conduct at school and at all school-sponsored events, including athletic competitions and other school activities. We ask that anyone who attends a school event or activity review the Code of Conduct for Respect, Responsibility, and Civil Behavior and be sure to adhere to these standards whenever on school property or attending school events. The code is available in the WCPS-Herald Mail 2006-07 Academic Calendar, in the Handbook and Guide to WCPS, and on our Web site.

With growth in the county's development and population, the system is experiencing an increased number of students at most of our schools. For school year 2008-09, the system anticipates the completion and opening of three new elementary schools: replacement schools at Maugansville and Pangborn Elementary Schools, and a new elementary school in the Westfields development. In addition, plans are well under way for the opening of the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in downtown Hagerstown for September 2008.

Thank you for your support of public education in Washington County! If you need additional information or assistance, please contact your child's school or call our Public Information Office at 301-766-2809.

Sincerely,
Elizabeth M. Morgan

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