Blueprint for Maryland’s Future

The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future is a landmark legislation passed in 2021, which includes comprehensive changes to nearly every aspect of Maryland’s public education system. Increasing annual education funding by over $3.8 billion over the next 10 years, the Blueprint will enrich student experiences, accelerate improvements to student outcomes, and improve the quality of education in Maryland.  To accomplish the work of the Blueprint, each pillar is devoted to targeted areas which leads to improved student achievement. The areas are noted below:


To meet the requirements of Blueprint, DCPS consistently engages in strategic planning to provide equitable opportunities for all students. As such, DCPS engages with all individuals who have a vested interest in improving the outcomes of students. This process assists us in organizing our work by pillar. 

Pillar I:  Early Childhood Education Requirements

  • Expand full-day Pre-K at no cost for four-year-olds and three-year-olds from families with incomes up to 300% of the federal poverty level (FPL) and for four-year-olds from families between 300% and 600% FPL using a sliding scale.

  • Build capacity for new and current programs through supporting providers with tuition assistance, training, support of peer networks, and integration with the career ladder.

  • Expand Judy Centers, Patty Centers, and the Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program to provide and coordinate access to education and support services for at-risk children ages 0-5 and their families.

DCPS Pillar I Work

DCPS continues to serve all Tier I and priority group 4-year-old students that apply to PK4. In addition, DCPS expanded PK3 slots from 30 slots for the FY23 school year to 60 slots for the FY24 school year. These slots are reserved for Tier I and priority group students. DCPS will utilize the PreK Expansion Grant for FY25 to expand PK3 slots from 60 slots to 90 slots. The current school infrastructure to allow room for additional PK3 slots is a challenge for DCPS, since all elementary schools were built prior to full-day kindergarten and the expansion of PreK.

DCPS and the Dorchester Early Childhood Advisory Council (DECAC) continue to promote PreK and Kindergarten enrollment for the 2024-25 school year through bulk mailers and community advertising. Enrollment bulk mailers were sent to all Dorchester County residents promoting enrollment with a QR code to the online registration portal the week of April 1, 2024, in preparation for April 25th enrollment opening. In addition, yard signs will be placed throughout the community promoting enrollment and PK3 programs in April 2024, along with community billboard advertising that will be utilized throughout the summer to promote enrollment. 

students with arms linked

Pillar II: Highly-Qualified Diverse Workforce Requirements

  • Raise teacher pay to make it equitable with other highly trained professionals with the same amount of education.

  • Make teacher preparation much more rigorous and integrate induction with teacher preparation more systematically.

  • Develop career ladders for teachers and school leaders with standards for advancement and compensation.

  • Create a career ladder framework that encourages teachers to pursue National Board Certification, allows for salary increases when acquiring specified knowledge and skills, and incentivizes them to stay in the classroom.

DCPS Pillar II Work

We were able to have a fully staffed SPED department except for 2 speech pathologists. Our "Grow Your Own" initiatives with a focus on students of color, Career Pathways for para-teachers and our Teachers of Color Scholarship Program have started to gain traction in our district. We have established a year-round New Teacher Mentor position and an enhanced new teacher mentoring program which includes a 2-week induction at the beginning of the year, Buddy Teachers, and New Teacher Mentors throughout the year. We did have a 1.17% increase in our school Leader group from the previous school year. Currently we have 24 out of our 73 Administrator and Supervisory Unit are non-white. Our plan to recruit a diverse leadership core is like our recruitment for a more diverse teacher workforce. We ensure we provide opportunities for our diverse teaching staff to become leaders in our school district. We partner with HBCU’s to have direct billing and online classes to assist with removing any types of barriers that our minority staff may face in their pursuit of leadership. To date, we have seen an increase in the number of applicants, especially minorities, for our Leadership positions. Progress has been made in implementation related to both planned activities and anticipated outcomes for DCPS. DCPS continues to develop an advertising campaign, targeting internally and externally qualified teachers, to pursue NBC. The DCPS NBC Coordinator meets with all qualified NBC candidates who wish to pursue NBC. The DCPS NBC Coordinator also meets annually with NBC teachers who are continuing in their pursuit of NBC. DCPS is developing formal information sessions at each school, targeting DCPS low-performing school(s) as a priority. For FY2022, DCPS had two (2) new initial NBC candidates. For FY2023 DCPS increased new initial candidates to seven (7) and added another seven (7) new initial candidates in FY2024. For FY2024, DCPS also has two (2) continuing NBC candidates and one (1) retake candidate. Our success includes one (1) NBC candidate who passed all four components on the first attempt and annually increasing our NBCT initial candidates. 

teachers helping each other

Pillar III: College and Career Readiness Requirements

  • All students are College and Career Ready by the end of their 10th grade year.

  • New curriculum standards and expanded access to Career and Technical Education opportunities are implemented to ensure a world-class education system.

  • A new College and Career Ready standard that will be based on empirical review of high school curriculum and post-secondary expectations.

DCPS Pillar III Work


Over the last year, DCPS has revised and expanded upon the district’s literacy plan. The comprehensive literacy plan was submitted in January 2024. Please refer to the DCPS Comprehensive Literacy Plan for details. MSDE, in collaboration with the Maryland Initiative for Literacy and Equity (MILE), provided additional feedback and guidance in March. Please refer to the Interim Feedback Dorchester K- 5 Literacy Plan Review Rubric. This feedback is being used to make necessary revisions to a final plan that will be submitted in June 2024. 

To further our alignment with the Science of Reading (SOR), professional development with Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) continued this school year. LETRS for Admin PD was completed in August 2023 by the district’s K-12 RELA supervisor and 12 of our 15 school-based elementary administrators (2 new APs hired after August 2023 not yet trained and 1 retiring person not trained). LETRS volume 1 and 2 training is ongoing. Most staff completed units 1-4 last year and are doing units 5-8 this year. New K-3 teachers began training on units 1-8 this year. Ninety-three (93) people were enrolled in LETRS in 22-23. Of the 93 enrolled, 8 staff left the district however 6 had completed units 1-4 before leaving in the 23- 24 school year, and 82/85 of the remaining staff have completed units 1-4. Eleven additional people began training in the fall of 23-24 of which five have finished units 1-4 as of April 2024. All 96 people currently enrolled are expected to complete units 1-8 by July 31, 2024. 


Over the last year, DCPS has been developing a comprehensive math plan. Please refer to the working draft of our DCPS Comprehensive Math Plan for details. DCPS will be revising the plan based on feedback received from MSDE and will submit the final plan September 2024. Actionable items throughout 2023-2024 include but are not limited to unpacking the Illustrative Mathematics unit structures and content, enhancing implementation practices for assessments in grades 3 through 5, creating a new course for grade 6 mathematics, strengthening enrollment procedures for grades 6-8, including Algebra I for grade 8, equipping teachers with i-Ready instructional tools for personalized instruction, partnering with PLACE, LLC to support the instructional elementary coach team with improving implementation efforts of tiered mathematics instruction, defining structures for a new instructional middle school coach model, participating in workshop opportunities provided by MSDE including the Ongoing Assessment Project, UnboundED.

Support Pathways

To help students become more proficient readers and writers, two CCR support classes (Corrective Reading and MCAP ELA Prep) were developed and adopted and will be implemented in the 24-25 school year for those 9th and 10th graders not on track for CCR. Scopes and sequences are being built for new CCR support courses by the RELA supervisor and high school literacy coach. Multiple learning sessions were held for staff to understand the new RELA CCR support courses being offered and the rationale. The RELA supervisor also presented information to each 8th grade RELA class and at parent registration information nights on the new CCR pathways with details about the support courses and identification process. The RELA supervisor individually identified suggested RELA courses for students in grades 8-11 for next year based on reading data including reading level, historical MCAP scores, English class performance, district assessments, and MTSS screeners. We are still in the process of receiving current MCAP scores, so once those are available, the RELA supervisor will check for proper course alignment and update the recommended courses as needed for each student. In the area of math, a high school course, called Algebra I MCAP prep has also been designed to capture students not presenting CCR readiness by the end of their ninth-grade year. This course was created during the revision period of the high school program of study. Coursework will focus on two conceptual categories: Algebra and Functions. A unit of study will be piloted with one select Algebra I class proceeding the Algebra I MCAP administration for the 2023-2024 school year. The rationale for piloting one unit of instruction is to clearly define which structures from the curriculum both teachers and students would like to see kept as is or changed. It is anticipated that the course will have an elevated approach to using assessment and student results to design small group instruction daily. A challenge will be providing weekly support for the teacher to ensure students are making progress at a pace efficient enough to obtain CCR status by the conclusion of the school year. 

student mixing the ingredients for a cake

Pillar IV: Equitable Requirements

  • Establish or enhance Community Schools in areas of concentrated poverty.

  • Increases in funding for special education and multilingual learner students.

  • Additional funding and services to be provided for struggling learners.

DCPS Pillar  IV Work

DCPS’S highest priority in the March 2023 submission was to improve communication with families who have limited proficiency in English. The activities we planned are progressing as expected for the most part. Schools are expanding the use of School Messenger to send announcements in families’ home language. We continue to use Language Line both in school when parents come for meetings or to enroll new students. We continue to use Language Line as a translation service to assist families and staff to communicate effectively with each other and is also used by our Pupil Personnel Workers and Community School Liaisons when making home visits. Event organizers at schools are remembering to request interpreters so families can fully participate in school functions. Providing translated handouts for events has been a challenge. The organizers do not always remember to request handouts, programs, etc. to be translated in advance. We received feedback from parents sharing that this is an area they would like to see improved. We are under contract with Crawford Technology and are purchasing 10 multilingual devices to place at 6 of our schools to help narrow the language gap. These devices have 150 different languages built in and the capability to preprogram routine information within them. 

The data from the 2023 ACCESS for ELs Assessment indicated that overall, more of our EL students' showed growth than regression. This indicates that our constant attention to staffing and EL teacher caseload is paying off with equitable services across our EL population. We have had many newcomers enroll over the last few years resulting in 78% of our EL students scoring at a proficiency level 3 or lower.

 Though DCPS exceeds the State Target for student LRE being 80% or more in general education (DCPS – 81%, State Target, 71%), we continue to address inclusive practices by ensuring students who are placed in general education for 80% or more of the day are receiving high quality specially designed instruction by addressing the capacity of general and special educators to collaboratively develop, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of SDI in the general education setting. With that priority, we have continued our originally stated commitment to increase professional development and coaching related to inclusive practices through our partnership with the Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education (MCIE).

Pillar V: Governance and Accountability Requirements

  • Creates an Accountability & Implementation Board to develop a comprehensive 10-year plan.

  • Expert Review Teams of educators and administrators to (1) conduct interviews, observe classes, and use other data to analyze Blueprint implementation (2) collaborate with school–based faculty and staff and local school system staff to: determine reasons why student progress is insufficient; and develop recommendations, measures, and strategies.

  • Beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, local school systems must implement a “9th grade tracker system” to measure each student’s progress toward graduating on time, including credit accumulation and report outcomes to MSDE which must report to the AIB and Longitudinal Data System Center.

DCPS Pillar V Work

Dorchester County Public Schools is intentional in its level of inclusivity from all entities which have a personal stake in the lives of students. Without this level of involvement and inclusion, the work to impact student achievement is hollow and lacks sustainable change. Since the submission of the Blueprint 2023, the school district has engaged the community on several levels ensuring their voices are heard in the creation of this document. For example, focus interview groups were held with students and faculty during the school year capturing information about the Blueprint and its impact on their experience(s) in DCPS (Dorchester County Public Schools). In several meetings, the understanding of the Blueprint was limited, which raised some concerns. While teachers and students were knowledgeable of the Blueprint, some were uncertain about the “how” or its methodology. This communicated to the Supervisor of Strategic Initiatives a gap in understanding, particularly in how the Blueprint has been implemented. Also, this showed the need for the Blueprint Coordinator to have more conversations about the Blueprint's work. As this is the case, focus group interviews did provide invaluable information on systems and structures which need improvement. The Supervisor of Strategic Initiatives and the Strategic Partner asked questions in hopes of feedback. 

student posing for picture