School infrastructure, academic options and nutritious meals are some of the issues on the minds of Baltimore County Public Schools students, Superintendent Dallas Dance learned Wednesday.
Dance hosted the first of two Student Town Halls scheduled for the 2012-2013 school year during the lunch hour at Chesapeake High School in Essex. The second one is scheduled for spring 2013.
"The good thing was [the students] were asking a lot of the same questions we've been hearing from around the community," Dance said following the meeting. "It shows we're all on the same page."
Approximately 60 students from Chesapeake, Dundalk, Eastern Technical, Kenwood, Loch Raven, Overlea, Parkville, Patapsco, Perry Hall, Crossroads Center, Rosedale Center, Sparrows Point and Towson high schools were chosen by their principals to participate in the inaugural town hall. Additionally, Dance took questions from county students not in attendance via Twitter.
Jada Powell, an Overlea High School senior, asked the superintendent to share his thoughts on expanding the Advancement Via Individual Determination program. Dance responded that there are elements of the college readiness system, such as increased tutoring options, that can benefit all students.
"[Dance] was very nice," Powell said. "He answered questions thoroughly to help us understand it. Hopefully whatever he said, he's going to make happen."
Kacie Malloy, a senior at Patapsco High & Center For Arts in Dundalk, intended to ask Dance about magnet school programs, but wasn't able to ask her question as a result of time constraints. Malloy said she still appreciated the opportunity to hear from the superintendent.
"He definitely seems a lot more involved than we're used to—which is good," she said.
Dance shared Malloy's regret about the limited hour. He invited the students to email him with additional questions.
"It should have been longer," he said. "Maybe two hours."