State of the schools address: Safety top priority for Wicomico public schools
SALISBURY, Md. – “You find a strategy that works and you stay with it. And you don’t give up because you expect quick changes,” said Wicomico County Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Donna Hanlin.
After a year full of ups and downs, that’s the mantra Hanlin is taking, stating that she’s in it for the long haul to create a brighter future for students and educators.
“We’re not just touching the surface, we’re really getting down into the details,” said Hanlin.
Throughout her state of the schools address, Hanlin shined a light on the efforts they’ve made to increase kindergarten readiness and improve graduation rates and teacher retention.
“We are raising teacher salaries and communicating regularly with our beginning teachers to support them in ways that they identify,” said Hanlin.
But this year Hanlin added another priority to focus on following recent safety incidents that have occurred throughout the public schools. And has announced that she’s working with both the sheriff and state’s attorney’s office to improve school safety.
“I fully anticipate that everyone at the table is committed to solving some of the long term issues that we’ve identified in our meetings,” said Wicomico County State’s Attorney, Jamie Dykes.
Improvements that include hiring campus patrol to monitor hallways – and establishing a youth safety task force.
“The task force has resulted in a detective from the sheriff’s office being assigned as a liaison when violence happens in our schools,” said Dykes.
And as state legislators discuss the future of the Kirwan recommendations, Hanlin says that funding will play a critical role in the school being able to achieve and maintain these goals.
“What happens with these recommendations in full I know have a lot of people concerned and worried about what this is going to mean for taxpayers but as superintendent, I need to advocate for what is important in the school system,” said Hanlin.