BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)—The new school year is just a few days away for many Maryland students, but for some teachers, it’s already begun. In Baltimore County, that means it’s time to rally the teachers.

Gigi Barnett explains how.

For many Baltimore County students, the beach and Ocean City boardwalk still beckon.

For their teachers, this is the unofficial start of the new year and a chance for Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Dr. Joe Hairston to lay out the plan for the academic success.

Hairston says one of the biggest challenges for the district and students: Money.

“The new normal is finances are tight,” said Hairston. “We all know that. Students are eager to prepare for careers and get to paid employment more quickly.”

Last year, Education Week magazine ranked Baltimore County fourth in the nation when it comes to high graduation rates.

The Washington Post found that the system’s high schools are in the top 7 percent nationwide. Students who take advanced placement exams jumped by 11 percent.

Hairston told teachers it’s a trend he wants to continue.

“We think ahead and we move forward. We stay ahead of the curb as we have done over the last 11 years,” he said.

But much of the achievement the superintendent wants won’t happen without highly qualified teachers in the classroom.

Hairston says this year more teacher development programs are on the way.

More than 700 teachers and principals attended the back to school address.


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