Aiming High

Evidence + Practice = Success

The goal of MDS3 is to support student learning by improving the school climate, particularly in the areas of safety, student engagement, and the school environment. The evidence is proving that we are well on our way to drastically impacting Maryland schools in a positive way.

C-SDHS College Exposure Tours

Being College and Career Ready is the Viking Way

The staff at Cambridge-South Dorchester High School, through a cooperative relationship with MSD3, has embarked on an initiative to assist Dorchester County students in gaining college exposure and knowledge. During the fourth exposure, freshmen students were able to visit the campus of Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.

As the first college chartered in the newly independent United States, Washington College is still defined by their close connection to America’s founding era, along with an appreciation for the beautiful Chesapeake Bay environment and a culture that fosters good writing.

About 1,450 undergraduates from 33 states and 22 nations share a 112-acre campus.  A 12-to-1 ratio of students to faculty encourages conversation in and out of class. Beyond academics, there are countless ways to define yourself, develop your interests, and connect with others: 62 clubs, 17 varsity sports, 17 club sports, a half-dozen intramural activities and a packed schedule of student-organized events.

The fourth visit allowed more than 35 freshmen students from Cambridge-South Dorchester High School to expand their opportunities to view a campus and possible career choices. Each student received information regarding scholarships, entrance requirements, student life and activities, as well as additional information about the college’s specific academic offerings. Important information for students, such as student demographics, possible majors and concentrations, SAT scores, cumulative GPAs, class rankings, potential extra-curricular activities, and other basic information was explained in detail.

The series of college exposure trips has been extremely successful with 100% of students reporting they acquired new information and a new perspective of college expectations and 100% of students reporting that the Viking Way tenets are directly connected to becoming college and career ready and they see a new focus on their current academic responsibilities. Additional opportunities are planned in the spring to encourage the expanding of the horizons and educational opportunities for our students in Dorchester County Public Schools.

Positive Behavior Presentations

Worcester Hosts Community Partners Luncheon

Worcester County Public Schools (WCPS) hosted a Community Partner Luncheon on February 22 in an effort to share positive behavioral strategies with agencies, churches, and businesses that interact with youth, while not in school.  Lynda Koehler, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) District Coach, organized the luncheon for the purpose of sending a clear, consistent message to our youth about rules of respect and bullying.  Forty-five participants were actively involved in presentations that included:

  1. Andrea Alexander, Maryland State Department of Education, who explained the state’s perspective and financial support of WCPS efforts
  2. Lynda Koehler, who explained the evidence-based practice of PBIS framework, implemented in WCPS in 1999 and the positive impact upon reducing office referrals, suspension and increasing academic achievement
  3. Jennifer LaMade, Director Core Services/Local Management Board, who gave an overview of the evidence-based program, “Mental Health First Aid”
  4. Dr. Wayne Hickman, Sheppard Pratt Health Systems, who presented an overview of the evidence-based program, “Olweus Bullying Prevention Program”
  5. Stephen Decatur High School presenters, Karen White, Jessica Patterson, Mary Berquist, Tom Hinkle, and Marie O’Malley-Stephenson, who shared their implementation of PBIS and the Olweus Bullying  Prevention Program and the positive impact both interventions have had upon their school
  6. Snow Hill Middle School presenters, Christina Welch and Dawn Stanley, and Pocomoke Middle School presenter, Stephanie Covington, who shared their implementation of PBIS, their planning stages of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and ideas for implementing in agencies such as Worcester Parks and Recreation and churches

Community response was positive and plans for trainings in positive behavior strategies are in the future.

The Westlake Wolverine Spring Update

The MDS3 Committee, through the Maryland Safe and Supportive School Initiative, implemented the Power of the Ps (POP Star) award, which is presented to a staff member consistently demonstrating the five Ps in January 2013.  The nominations for the POP Star Award winner for January were determined amongst the MDS3 Committee members.  In January, the Committee turned the nominations over to the staff with great results.  In the last three months, participation from staff members has tripled in their nominations.  Once the next month’s winner is chosen, staff members who have received nominations will see what others have written about them.  MDS3 Committee members have received wonderful comments from staff regarding this recognition.  Many of these staff members feel as though people notice the job they are doing and have begun to feel appreciated for their efforts.  Morale in our school is noticeably higher.

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