BaltCo school chief meets with students in freewheeling town hall

ESSEX, Md - A part of education is trying to figure out what you want.

And Baltimore County students want a lot from the schools.

"Due to the growth of veganism and vegetarianism in schools how can school lunches been improved to provide us with the nutritional value to guide us through the rest of our school day." A student asked.

 "What are you going to do with the kids that have dyslexia or other learning disabilities to try to help them?"  A student asked.

And one by one County School Superintendent Dallas Dance tried answer them; diplomatically.

So what about those vegetarians?

 "As you come into HS you're becoming more mature and make more decisions for yourself as opposed to family and friends we need to make sure we adapt to those themselves. " Dance says.

What about helping students who are having a hard time academically and are in danger of failing?

 "If we intervene with you right now we can change it so that by the end of the first semester or third and fourth quarter we're changing that. " Dance says.

What about making my school safer?

"How do we create these environments where students can share information with us without feeling like I can't remain anonymous there are so many incidents that happen every day that we actually intervened because someone shared the information with us." Dance says.

There is a common theme here in all the answers.

Students need to take ownership of their own school and they're own education.

Because it truly is theirs.

"We want to give you the opportunity to say this is my life what do I need to do to accomplish this goal but if that plan is not in place nothing's going to happen so I think it's a little late when kids get into high school but this is the audience I had we're still having those conversations with middle school students and high school students it's about drafting that plan for your life." Dance says.

Students like the idea of taking control of their own education.

Many say making that plan and getting involved is what everyone should try to do.

"Asking us what we need and everything and takes that programing initiative to other schools I think it will be a better schools system." Eastern Tech Senior Elaina Owens says.

"I really think about to take ownership as a student to learn on your own as opposed to learning from a teacher. " Dundalk High Senior James Gonzales says.

Dance says he wants to keep the dialog and doors open to students.

Another town hall is planned for later in the year and he has a Twitter account and promises answers to questions as quickly as possible.

If you would like to send him a tweet or follow the superintendent he's at @ddance_bcps

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