BCPS Kicks Off Academic Year With New Leadership, Salary Changes, And Curriculum Updates


A student heads to class on the first day of the 2022 school year at Villa Cresta Elementary School in Parkville. (Photo Credit: Baltimore County Government)

BALTIMORE COUNTY – Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) kicked off the 2023-2024 academic year on Monday, welcoming more than 111,000 students across its 176 campuses.

"My team and I spent this summer working intensively to prepare for this school year," Superintendent Myriam Yarbrough said. "We are refreshed and focused, ready to offer excellent instruction, services, and opportunities to our students. Today, the real work begins to accelerate academic achievement and student wellbeing."

As students across sharpen their pencils and put on their backpacks, BCPS started its school year by highlighting significant new hires, curriculum updates, expanded meal programs, and enhanced safety measures.

The school system announced a wave of new hires, adding 822 teachers, 30 office staff, nine bus drivers, five bus attendants, 45 paraeducators, 35 assistant principals, and 15 principals. The district also revised its salary structure to attract and retain top talent, offering competitive starting salaries that rank second in the state and allowing for faster salary progression.

Significant curriculum updates are also on the horizon for BCPS. All elementary schools will introduce the HMH Into Reading English Language Arts program, with over 2,500 teachers already trained in the new system. Additionally, several high schools will launch a new Career and Technical Education program focused on Computer and Information Sciences Artificial Intelligence.

In a move to streamline meal access, all students will receive free breakfast and lunch, thanks to the federal Community Eligibility Provision. This eliminates the need for families to fill out applications for free or reduced-price meals.

In response to concerns about school safety last year, BCPS has expanded its safety measures. The safety assistant program, previously available only in middle and high schools, will now be introduced in elementary schools. Omnilert, a firearm detection system, will also be deployed in high schools beginning this September.

Finally, two major construction projects are set to wrap up this academic year. Students at Red House Run and Summit Park Elementary Schools will transition into new, eco-friendly buildings in January 2024.

"We are excited to begin this new school year under the leadership of a new superintendent who brings both a deep understanding of our school system and community and a fresh perspective on its future growth," said Jane Lichter, chair of the Board of Education of Baltimore County,

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