Education in the First State
June 3, 2020

Delaware celebrates its Class of 2020 graduates
Delaware Education Secretary Susan Bunting addresses 2020 seniors
Delaware Education Secretary Susan Bunting addresses 2020 seniors as part of the Graduate Together broadcast, website
In May the Delaware Department of Education partnered with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and XQ Institute in support of
Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020, a one-hour, commercial-free prime time graduation special broadcasted across the country. During the broadcast, viewers were directed to XQ's new Rethink Together online forum, which featured specific content for each state, including a congratulatory message from Secretary of Education Susan Bunting and the following stories highlighting the resiliency and strength of students, teachers and schools amid the pandemic:
  • William Loat-Emory, Christina School District Christiana High School senior  
  • John Muller, director of theatre and reading specialist at Caesar Rodney School District's Caesar Rodney High School
"The Class of 2020 will be remembered not for what it couldn't have but for what it overcame. Your leadership, creativity and resilience will be remembered," Bunting said. "You have adapted to new ways to learn remotely. As school buildings closed, you continued to learn from your kitchen tables or home desks. This has forced you to think differently, often work more independently and manage your time in new ways. All of these are skills that will serve you well in college, the military or your chosen career."

Seniors honored for their outstanding achievements

Secretary of Education Susan Bunting congratulates 91 public school students from the Class of 2020 for being named Secretary of Education Scholars.
While the annual banquet to honor the scholars was cancelled, the Delaware Department of Education has developed a website to recognize the students and share their outstanding achievements.
"I regret that the COVID-19 crisis prevented us from honoring these soon-to-be graduates in person as scheduled. They deserve recognition for their outstanding achievements and leadership in and out of the classroom," Bunting said. "Their success is the result of their hard work and the support of their families and educators. Graduation is the start of a new chapter in their lives, and I can't wait to see how they will continue to excel in college, military service and their chosen careers."
The state has named Secretary of Education Scholars every year since 1984.

Attend School Reopening Working Groups meetings
Health and Wellness Co-Chair Meghan Walls, a pediatric psychologist at Nemours, starts of one of the virtual School Reopening Working Groups meetings held earlier this week. 
On Monday, May 18, 2020, Governor John Carney and Secretary of Education Susan Bunting announced a public strategy to plan for the safe reopening of Delaware school buildings. Three COVID-19 School Reopening working groups have been formed to advise the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE), Delaware school districts and charter schools on ways to safely and effectively reopen Delaware school buildings: health and wellness, academics and equity, and operations and services. In April, Governor Carney closed Delaware public school buildings for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year due to the threat of COVID-19.

The purpose of the School Reopening Working Groups is to develop recommendations for the Secretary of Education, superintendents and charter leaders to consider as they create by July 15 a comprehensive, actionable plan for re-opening school buildings once that decision has been made by the Governor's Office. Three working groups - Health and Wellness, Academics and Equity, and Operations and Services - will develop recommendations for each of the following public health scenarios in relation to their assigned focus:
  • If minimal community spread exists in Delaware (and school buildings re-open)
  • If minimal-to-moderate community spread exists in Delaware (situation dependent)
  • If significant community spread exists in Delaware (and school buildings remain closed)
The public is encouraged to participate in the virtual School Reopening Working Group meetings. All meetings will be livestreamed on the Delaware Department of Education YouTube channel . Additional meeting information, including agendas, will be posted on the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar . Comments and ideas will be accepted via email at or voicemail at 302-735-4244. All comments are forwarded to the working group committees for review.

More information about the group, including upcoming meeting dates, comittee members, recorded livestreams and more, is available online at
Delaware's 2020 TOY cohort shares inspiring video

Delaware's district and charter school 2020 Teachers of the Year released a special message for First State educators as part of Teacher Appreciation Week in May. Each Delaware Teacher of the Year (TOY) shares a special message for educators going above an beyond to support all students through remote learning. 
Families, colleagues celebrate outstanding educators

Allen Frear Elementary School Teacher Sarah Hanson gets a shout-out from a student during this year's Teacher Appreciation Week.

Delaware students, families, schools and the community recognized educators in early child care facilities, pre-K settings and K-12 schools throughout the state during this year's Teacher Appreciation Week in early May. New this year, the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) developed a form to accept submissions thanking our incredible Delaware teachers. During the week, DDOE received over 425 shout-outs from students, families and colleagues. People also posted their own messages using the hashtag #IloveDEteachers

Posts celebrating teachers were shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Check out this roundup of social media posts to see how Delaware schools and communities showed appreciation for our great educators. Thank you all for your support of our amazing teachers!  

Other Delaware COVID-19 Resources