Education in the First State
August 28, 2019
Delaware Stars seeks feedback on proposed revisions
Delaware Stars for Early Success supports quality improvements in Delaware's early care and education programs.

The revision of Delaware Stars, the state's quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) for early care and education programs, is in full swing. Like other QRIS systems across the country, Delaware Stars has been shown to improve children's executive functioning and moderately increase growth in other domains. But there remains room for improvement.

Learn more about proposed structural recommendations and share your perspectives online and at one of the following meetings. All voices count in helping Delaware develop the best early care and education system for children in our state.
  • New Castle County: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 12:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. - Delaware State Police Troop 2 in Newark
  • Sussex County: Thursday, Aug. 29, 12:30 p.m. & 6 p.m. - Georgetown Public Library in Georgetown
  • Kent County: Wednesday, Sept. 4, 12:30 p.m. & 6 p.m. - Collette Educational Resource Buiding in Dover 
Attend annual Construction Career Expo on Sept. 23
Governor's Construction Career Expo  
Video: The second annual Governor's Construction Career Expo - a family-friendly career fair for adults and youth to explore careers in construction - will take place at Wilmington's Chase Center on the Riverfront.

The construction industry has added almost 2,000 jobs in the past two years, and further growth for the industry is projected. That's why Governor John Carney is hosting a Construction Career Expo for those interested in a future in the construction industry. The career fair is open to the public and will provide hands-on learning opportunities and interactive experiences. 

"We're working hard to make sure that all Delawareans have the opportunity to succeed and share in our state's economic progress," Carney said. "This year's Construction Career Expo will help connect Delawareans with meaningful career opportunities in construction fields, which have historically provided paths into the middle class for thousands of Delaware workers and their families. It's also a chance to expose Delaware students and adults to good-paying, skilled construction careers that are in demand and can help strengthen Delaware's workforce."

The expo will introduce training and career paths to roughly 2,000 middle school students in the morning and feature a career fair for students, families, and community members from 3 to 6 p.m. This initiative will connect employers and career-seekers, and continue to train and develop a strong, skilled Delaware workforce. 

Learn about great careers and apprenticeship opportunities in the construction trades. This event is free to attend.

Some districts, schools make 2019 assessment gains

The Delaware Department of Education  released the 2019 statewide student assessment results earlier this month.

Statewide, 53 percent of students in grades 3 to 8 scored at the proficient level or higher this year in the Smarter English language arts (ELA) assessment, compared to 54 percent in 2018. For mathematics, 44 percent of students in grades 3 to 8 scored at the proficient level or higher, no change from the 2018 results. At the high school level, students took the SAT with the results relatively unchanged.

Because Delaware transitioned this year to new science and social studies assessments, state officials will spend the fall setting cut scores to determine which scores are proficient on the new tests. Results will be released this winter. Results for the state's alternate assessment, administered to those students with significant cognitive disabilities, were released today as well. Those results also were relatively unchanged.

Educators previously received their students' scores -- Smarter results, for example, are available to teachers three weeks after their students complete the test. Families will receive score reports with their children's results via U.S. mail beginning next week. Family guides and other resources also are available online.

To see local assessment results, visit the Delaware Report Card site and see the 2019 assessment presentation. Read the full story for spotlights of other schools that have shown strong growth for subgroups and students overall.

State awards $2.6 million in grants to 85 schools

Educators at East Millsboro Elementary School develop a plan for classroom instruction that incorporates high-quality instructional materials and collaborative lesson studies.  

Students in 85 schools across the state will benefit from $2.6 million in grants awarded today by the Delaware Department of Education.
This is the fourth year the department has awarded Reimagining Professional Learning grants to support the work of schools committed to improving the quality and efficacy of professional learning for teachers in Delaware and thus increase learning opportunities and outcomes for students.
The schools represent 16 districts, four charter schools, and two Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families schools.
"These grants have the potential to enhance learning outcomes for more than 54,000 students," Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said.
To date, the Reimagining Professional Learning Grants have provided more than $1.1 million to fund initiatives in 74 schools. In the 2018-19 school year, the $541,500 in grants to 32 schools impacted more than 750 teachers and more than 22,000 students. This year, the number of schools receiving grants more than doubled, as did the number of students who will be impacted by that funding.

Delaware educators receive free year of Headspace

All employees of Delaware school districts and charter schools are invited to sign up for a free, one-year subscription to the Headspace meditation app. This app provides participants with simple ways to achieve mindfulness throughout the day. The practice of meditation has been shown to reduce stress, foster compassion and increase overall happiness.

To get started, register online at with a district or charter school email address. (Personal email addresses will not be accepted.) Check out the Headspace 30 days of mindfulness challenge for additional ways to practice mindfulness throughout the month. 

Other Good News in Delaware's Public Schools