Education in the First State
July 26, 2017
State assessment results to be released Thursday

2017 state, district and school level assessment results will be released at tomorrow's State Board of Education meeting.
Delaware's 2017 state, district and school level assessment results will be released at Thursday's State Board of Education meeting.

The release will include English language arts and mathematics results from the Smarter assessment administered statewide in grades 3 to 8 as well as high school SAT results. Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS) results for science in grades 5, 8 and 11, and scores from the DCAS-Alt assessment, the alternative assessment administered to students with significant cognitive disabilities, also will be released. Delaware did not administer a social studies test in the 2016-17 academic year. A new social studies assessment will debut in 2018.

While educators already have received their students' scores -- Smarter results, for example, are available to teachers three weeks after their students take the test -- and were able to use them to plan instruction for the remainder of the school year, the statewide release provides the public with data about how schools are performing as a whole and informs state, district and school policy decisions.

Families will receive score reports with their children's results via U.S. mail beginning next week. Find family guides and other resources on the DelExcels site.

The State Board of Education meeting begins at 5 p.m. in the Cabinet Room of the Townsend Building, 401 Federal St., in Dover. The results will be posted on the department's website as well.

Red Clay students solve real-world STEM problems

Editor's Note: The following item was written by Pati Nash, Director of Communications for the Red Clay Consolidated School District. 
The Red Clay STEM Summer Enrichment Program has more than quadrupled in size since its inception, and is meeting its goal of enrolling more girls and special education students.  
Currently, 367 students have enrolled for at least one of the three weeklong sessions that began on July 10 at Conrad Schools of Science.  In 2011, 60 students were enrolled.
"Every year the program has grown," said Red Clay Science Coordinator Eddie McGrath, who manages the program. "And we have increased the program's availability."
Launched in the summer of 2011, the STEM program was created to provide participating students the experience of applying the principles of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to solve real-world problems in a carefully structured environment. 


Governor Carney hosts Teachers of Year at Woodburn

Governor John Carney invited the 2017 District Teachers of the Year to a Woodburn luncheon to hear their thoughts on education in the state (more photos).

Governor John Carney hosted the 2017 District Teachers of the Year for lunch at Woodburn today to hear their thoughts about education in Delaware, including what they would ask him to do as Governor to support our schools.

The teachers' answers included these priorities:

-Funding for mental health services in schools

-Funding for the arts, in schools and the community nonprofits that provide students opportunities outside of class

-Continued support for state collaborations that are helping educators across districts and charter schools, such as BRINC and Schoology

-Funding for family crisis therapists in every Title I school

-Statewide professional learning for educators on trauma-informed instruction and how to support students' emotional, social and behavioral needs

-Statewide professional learning for educators on how to use technology in the classroom

-Program that allows state employees time to mentor in schools

-Support for afterschool activities

-Recognition for the sometimes differing needs of downstate districts

-Keeping in mind the perspective of teachers when making policy or funding decisions   
Language opportunities guide student back to China

Caesar Rodney High School graduate Jared York, an alumnus of the Delaware Chinese Lincs program, now is enrolled in a university in China, where he also teachers English to children.

Editor's Note: This month 28 Delaware public high school students are studying in China as part of the Delaware Chinese Lincs program, a four-week summer language, culture and STEM immersion initiative held in Hangzhou. While in China, these students will engage in Chinese language lessons, STEM-related field experiences, presentations on Chinese clean energy solution, and cultural presentations, along with excursions to Beijing and Shanghai. This guest piece is by Jared York, a 2016 graduate of Caesar Rodney High School in the Caesar Rodney School District, who participated in the program while he was in high school. Today, Jared is the only American in a regular, four-year program in his university in China. 

If I were to describe my connection to China in only one word, I would use "
." This Chinese word lacks an adequate English translation but describes a situation similar to "fate." My connection to China began when I was given the opportunity to take part in a Chinese language course at Caesar Rodney School District's Dover Air Force Base Middle School. I am from a military family that moved quite often, and most-recently was stationed in Germany. The middle school I attended in Germany offered a German language elective, and I loved it. Needless to say I was devastated when I learned after the abrupt move to Delaware that foreign language classes were not yet offered in many middle schools here.

Then in 8th grade I was chosen to be a "guinea pig" for an online Middlebury language course offered in Chinese. I jumped at the chance; languages have always been a passion of mine. The course went well, and I continued to self-study during the summer before my freshman year. I entered high school in Chinese II and was in Advanced Placement Chinese by sophomore year, receiving a score of 5 on the AP examination.

But the real test of my Chinese language skills came during the summer of my junior year when I received notice that I was accepted into the Chinese Summer LInCS program. I was beyond ecstatic at the prospect of being able to visit China, the country whose language and culture I had only read about and studied in textbooks. The trip was free and my two best friends were also accepted into the program. The time that we spent together made us closer and gave me some of my most unforgettable memories. 

Bayard teacher ensures class gets college experience

Twenty-two sixth-graders from Christina School District's Bayard Middle School visited University of Delaware's campus after teacher Shaquona Meyers found financial support to help the children, who had never been to the Newark campus, go on the trip (more photos).

The  Bayard Middle School students in Shaquona Meyers' sixth grade class lived 20 minutes north of University of Delaware's campus, but not one had ever stepped foot on it.
Meyers teaches an Advanced Via Individual Determination (AVID) class, a program that aims to close the achievement gap by helping prepare students, especially those traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, for college. Despite the short distance between their Wilmington homes and school and the university, the children had never been exposed to the Newark college campus.
"If they are not hearing about college from anyone other than me in the AVID course, how are they going to have this grand epiphany about colleges?" Meyers asked. "There are certain social norms that exist in certain social spaces, but if I am never exposed to them, how am I going to unlock those social norms?
"I thought it was imperative that they have an experience, even if it is an introductive one," she said.
Other Good News in Delaware's Public Schools