Education in the First State
March 31, 2021
I Love DE Schools highlights educators, school staff 
This year more than ever families are aware of the incredible work happening in Delaware schools. Help us show appreciation for these great schools by submitting shoutouts to schools.
The I Love DE Schools campaign aims to celebrate the good in our schools and offer the public the opportunity to share their stories about why Delaware public schools are great. Submit stories at

Shoutouts will be shared using the hashtag #IloveDEschools on Facebook (@DEDeptEducation), Twitter (DEDeptofEd) and Instagram (@DEDeptEducation). Check out current shoutouts so far!
Student-centered instruction creates life-long learners
Editor's note: The following guest piece was written by Judson Wagner, a physics and engineering teacher at Brandywine High School and Brandywine School District’s 2021 Teacher of the Year.

When I was in high school, I found physics to be fascinating, but learning it was never easy for me. Physical concepts tend to be abstract, elusive, and frustrating to comprehend. But I found that I could persevere when the learning conditions provided the time and space for me to sort through my messy thoughts and to share my ideas with others.

If your memories of learning experiences, like many of mine, are dominated by a teacher at the front of the room, try to imagine a space where speaking with peers in small groups is encouraged, using whiteboards to display your thinking process is natural, and raising your hand results in your teacher making every effort to rush to your side. Such a space, that is purposefully designed to allow students to stay with problems longer and continually improve their ability to think through challenging material, has become my mission. Today, creating student-centered environments has driven my pedagogical practice and has become the mode through which I approach teaching and learning.
DDOE vaccination clinics winding down
Employees of Delaware schools receive COVID19 vaccinations at one of the first school-staff clinics held in January at the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles in Dover. 

The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) is winding down its vaccination clinics for educators and school staff. To date, everyone who pre-registered for a DDOE clinic during Phase 1b of the Delaware COVID-19 vaccination plan has received at least one invite to a DDOE vaccination clinic.

DDOE hosted more than 17 first- and second-dose vaccination clinics throughout the state for all Delaware public and private school employees as well as licensed child care staff. Clinics for K-12 staff started at the end of January. Separate vaccination events for child care providers started in early February. 

On March 27, DDOE held its final first-dose vaccination event at Lake Forest Central Elementary in Felton. The final DDOE second-dose vaccination clinic will be held in April.

Educators and school staff also continue to have the opportunity to be vaccinated at Walgreens. New appointments are posted on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Those interested may schedule through the Walgreens site or call 1-800-WALGREENS.

Next week, the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) will open vaccination appointments to anyone age 16 or over. Beginning at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 6, Delawareans who are 16+ may register on the State of Delaware’s COVID-19 vaccination waiting list at Invitations to state vaccination events will be contingent on supply and prioritized based on age and other risk factors, including pre-existing medical conditions. 

Thank you to everyone involved in the DDOE vaccination events, including the school nurses who helped disperse vaccines as well as the numerous volunteers who kept each school-based event running smoothly. Only with the help of Delaware schools were we able to get so many vaccinated so quickly. 
Digital DE offers one location for current DDOE resources
Delaware educators and school staff have only one place to look now for the best in-class instructional, professional development, and family-oriented resources to support students. DDOE's new Digital DE website provides a variety of high-quality resources and materials that can be used to benefit all learning environments. The site includes resources focused on in-class and remote learning as well as those centered around Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS), social and emotional learning (SEL), summer acceleration and more. Family resources are also available.
Check out the new site at

State Board, DDOE co-host discussion on accelerated learning
Without doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted students’ experiences this school year. Even so, teachers, school leaders, and school support staff continue to provide students with opportunities to learn while also caring for students’ physical, social, and emotional needs. The state also is planning how to accelerate student learning this summer and beyond.
The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) and Delaware State Board of Education recently co-hosted a discussion on supporting accelerated learning. The session aimed to help attendees: understand and articulate the use of accelerated learning as a strategy to address unfinished learning; summarize and utilize information on state-level work underway in Delaware to support accelerated learning; and discuss questions related to addressing accelerated learning during the Summer 2021 in preparation for a successful launch to the 2021-22 school year. In addition to an overview of DDOE’s Strategy to Accelerate Learning, David Steiner, director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy, presented. Watch the session here.

Other Good News to Share
Delaware Department of Education |