March 14, 2023 - An Open Letter to Our Community

March 14, 2023 - An Open Letter to Our Community
Posted on 03/15/2023
There is much speculation across our communities about what is considered an “appropriate” education for the young people of Worcester County. While it is unfortunate that misinformation has been given a platform to grow, I feel it is my responsibility as Superintendent of Schools to ensure our community is presented with accurate, factual information on these topics. 

First, in relation to health education – in particular House Bill 119, it is important to note that health education, including age-appropriate information on sexual health, has been a hallmark of education for decades. This information is, again, presented in an age-appropriate timeline with the focus on ensuring our young people are educated in order to keep themselves safe and healthy. This means ensuring that they understand not only anatomy, but consent and other factors that can empower them to make responsible decisions regarding their bodies. The need of this information is clear; simply rewatch the livestreamed presentation made at the February 21, 2023, Board of Education meeting to hear the startling statistics shared about youth on the shore. 

Another point of debate is the prioritization of equity and inclusion within schools across the country. As an educator of nearly 40 years, I have to wonder why anyone would advocate against teaching empathy for others and fostering a school environment that encourages kindness and actively works to ensure every single student in our care feels welcomed, encouraged, and loved. Of course, research consistently affirms that providing safety - both physically and psychologically – is a critical component in a child’s ability to engage with their learning. 

Research also advocates for the make-up of a school system’s workforce to be a reflection of the students it serves. This accomplishes dual purposes: to ensure that students have the opportunity to learn from those who look like them and to expose students to perspectives that differ from their own. This does not mean a sacrifice in educator quality; Worcester County Public Schools (WCPS) prides itself in recruiting and retaining the best educators available. Simultaneously, we are also committed to building capacity within our students to embrace and celebrate the diversity in the world around us. We know that this can only enrich our communities and encourage the ability to hold productive civil discourse in our future citizens. 

There has also been some discussion around student performance. Recently, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) released both standardized assessment data and its state school report card. WCPS consistently outperformed the majority of other Maryland school systems, and while we certainly celebrate that fact, we are not oblivious of the work ahead of us. I am, however, confident that our teachers, staff, and students are more than capable to achieve continued progress. In addition, we recognize that state assessments are just a single data point, and data from other sources like the SAT and i-Ready are indicating that progress towards curriculum standards is happening. 

Lastly, I want to encourage our school system community to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. The best way to get accurate information as to what’s happening in our schools is going straight to the source. Our school system website, which is a hub for all of our schools and Board of Education information, is available 24/7 at If you can’t find the information you’re seeking, again, please don’t hesitate to reach out, we are here for you. 

Thank you for your continued partnership and support,
Louis H. Taylor
Superintendent of Schools