December 2017 Newsletter

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As 2017 draws to a close, we are encouraged by the progress made this year. There are nearly 9,000 local students engaged in meaningful career preparation through Delaware Pathways and we are observing a growing emphasis on more holistic approaches to student development. Our Annual Report: In This Together captures more of the progress made throughout the year.

2017 was a bumpy year—between sweeping changes in local and national leadership and a challenging financial picture. Throughout it all, we appreciate your support and dedication to ensuring every Delaware student is prepared for a lifetime of success. We look forward to working with you again in the New Year!





Delaware eyes improved literacy rates in low-income areas
The Department of Education and the United Way of Delaware launched the Delaware Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, which aims to improve students’ ability to read and write to grade-level standards before the end of the third grade. The campaign will attempt to bring state leaders, nonprofits, educators, and community groups together in an effort to address barriers many students face in education.



Delaware a national leader in career pathways, case study finds
When it comes to career and technical education and preparing young people for life after high school, Delaware is emerging as a national and international leader, according to “Propelling College and Career Success: The Role of Strategic Partnerships in Scaling Delaware Pathways,” a case study just released by Jobs for the Future.


Nearly 9,000 Delaware students on path toward a good job
In less than four years, the state program that prepares students for the future, Delaware Pathways, has grown from 27 students to 9,000, prompting experts to call the First State a national leader in career and technical education. Launched in 2014, Pathways is designed to prepare students for the workforce across a wide range of industry sectors, including finance, healthcare, hospitality management, computer science, manufacturing, biomedical science and engineering.


Delaware sees increases in AP participation, performance
More Delaware public school students are taking and excelling in Advanced Placement courses. New data from the College Board, which administers the tests for the courses that can earn students college credits while in high school, shows that in the past decade Delaware has steadily increased both student participation and performance. The total number of Delaware public school test takers increased by 4.7 percent between 2016 and 2017.


Grants to prepare youth in key industries
Secretary of Education Susan Bunting announced more than $400,000 in public grants to support new high school pathway programs. The effort expands on the statewide Delaware Pathways initiative to prepare all students to excel in key fields that offer good job opportunities in the new economy. The 40 competitive grants, awarded from federal Perkins funds, will benefit 16 districts or charter schools for the 2018-19 school year.



Free alternative program trains principals to serve in high-needs schools
Organizers say an innovative program that trains its participants to serve as principals in high-needs schools could help Delaware educators deal with the effects of poverty and trauma. The program, called Lead for Delaware, works with educators who are well-suited to serving at-risk students. Though run by Teach for America, Lead for Delaware takes candidates from all backgrounds and requires only that they have a master’s degree and three years of full-time, highly effective teaching experience.


Enhanced assessments to elevate science instruction
For more than a year, Delaware educators have been working collaboratively across districts and charter schools to create a system of assessments that measures students’ true science mastery. Phase I of the assessment planning began in 2016. Phase II of the plan began this fall with Delaware educators helping to design an assessment system that aligns to existing technology. Phase II also includes a Spring 2018 field test in grades 5 and 8 and in high school biology.



DPH Launches Middle School Pilot Program to Prevent Addiction and Violence
The Division of Public Health (DPH) announced the launch of a life-skills pilot program at eight middle schools across Delaware to teach students the skills they need to prevent addiction, promote positive decision-making and reduce violence. DPH is partnering with the Department of Education to bring the Botvin LifeSkills curriculum to the classroom.









We are leaving year two and entering year three of our 10-year roadmap, Student Success 2025. The Student Success 2025 plan contains 47 recommendations to help all students succeed as we reimagine learning for the future.Throughout 2018, we will highlight a recommendation from the plan in each newsletter. In the meantime, feel free to check out the full plan on our website.