Education in the First State
February 1, 2018

Delaware Stars celebrates 10-year anniversary
This video highlights the importance of Delaware Stars, the state's high quality rating system for early childhood education programs that is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018.
In 2008, Delaware had a number of early learning programs volunteer to join a system that would greatly improve quality early care and education. Thus, Delaware Stars was born. 

Delaware Stars has gone from 41 programs 10 years ago to just shy of 500. These 500 programs have made a commitment to ensure that children and families receive the highest level early care and education through continuous quality improvement, curriculum development, ongoing assessment and personalized technical assistance. 

In celebration of the 10th year anniversary of Delaware Stars, the State of Delaware is proud and excited to recognize these programs who have led the way and inspired others to improve outcomes for children. 
19 schools honored for their students' achievement
Cape Henlopen School District's H.O. Brittingham Elementary was one of 19 schools honored this month because of their students' academic achievements (more photos).
The Delaware Department of Education has named 15 schools 2017 Recognition Schools, two of which also were designated as National Title I Distinguished Schools. Each school will receive an $8,000 award. Funding for the awards comes from the state's School Improvement funds. Additionally, there are four Schools of Continued Excellence that were honored as Recognition Schools last year and had outstanding performance again this year. These schools are not eligible for a financial award again until 2018.

"I congratulate the students, educators and families whose hard work and support led to these achievements," Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said. "These school communities have provided educational programs and created school cultures that allow students to thrive. We must learn from what is working well in these buildings and replicate these successes across our state."
Operation Warm partners with state to give kids coats
Operation Warm is donating up to 10,000 coats to Delaware students statewide. Governor John Carney and Secretary of Education Susan Bunting joined school and Operation Warm representatives at Seaford School District's West Seaford Elementary last month to distribute some of the coats.

More than 470 West Seaford Elementary School students went home for winter break a little warmer because of the gift of a new winter coat.
The coats are among thousands being provided to Delaware students thanks to a partnership between Governor John Carney's office, the Delaware Department of Education and nonprofit Operation Warm.
"Preparing our students for success in school and life often means we need to meet more than their academic needs," Carney said . "This is another way to support our children and their families so they can arrive in our classrooms ready to learn. I am thankful for partners such as Operation Warm that help us meet these important needs."
Indian River tailors unique STEM programs to schools
Students at Indian River School District's Lord Baltimore Elementary build robots as part of the school's competitive robotics program.

Editor's Note: The following was written by Michael League and Melissa Bleile, instructional technology specialists for Indian River School District.  
Collaborate as a team to build a robot for the robotics competition? Write code for the autopilot of a robot?  Use a 3D-printer to make an iPhone case?  Build a bluetooth music system for the school librarian?  These are just a few of the projects underway as part of the rapidly growing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) movement in the Indian River School District. 
What started five years ago as a small project at a few schools to bring more STEM-related opportunities to students, has blossomed into a multitude of opportunities across the district. 
"My favorite part is the coding part.  That's the whole reason I've done it during the school year because I wanted to be able to code my robot," Lord Baltimore Elementary fourth-grader Ruby DiSabatino said. "I'm going to be able to start to drive more. I'm actually getting really good at it."

Delaware announces cybersecurity partnership
Young women in Delaware high schools can explore careers in cybersecurity by registering with Girls Go Cyberstart before Friday, Feb. 16.

Governor John Carney and Delaware's Chief Information Officer (CIO) James Collins announced on Monday an innovative cybersecurity training partnership between the SANS Institute and the State of Delaware that provides young women in high school interested in a cybersecurity career the opportunity to discover their aptitude and learn basic cybersecurity skills through a no-cost online game of discovery called Girls Go Cyberstart.
"The importance of cybersecurity cannot be understated and I encourage young women in Delaware high schools to take advantage of this opportunity to explore career options in this vital field," said Governor Carney. "Delaware needs a pipeline of talent and a strong workforce to remain competitive in the innovation economy. We are excited to continue our partnership with the SANS Institute."
Last summer, Delaware was one of seven states to partner with the SANS Institute to pilot CyberStart, a program designed to inspire the next generation of cybersecurity professionals while identifying talented youth. The program enabled 3,300 students in seven states to discover and demonstrate their aptitude for cybersecurity. However, only five percent of the students who participated in CyberStart's first round were young women. In Delaware, 359 students enrolled in the practice round.

Other Good News in Delaware's Public Schools