20 Delaware Schools Celebrate Achievement and Progress

November 21st, 2014

Category: News

Earlier this week, the Delaware Department of Education announced that 20 Delaware public schools were honored for achieving excellent test scores, demonstrating outstanding student growth or making major progress in closing the achievement gap for at-risk kids.

  • These schools represent 9 districts and 3 public charter schools across the state, including elementary, middle, and high schools.
  • 19 schools exceeded average state proficiency on DCAS, in math and ELA (English language arts).
  • 9 schools both exceeded average state proficiency on DCAS and serve greater low income populations than the state average.

Formerly called the state’s Academic Achievement Awards, this tradition of celebrating great performance among Delaware schools began in 2009 when the Delaware General Assembly passed legislation recognizing up to five public schools annually, with a $150,000 award each. Leveraging an opportunity to redefine reward/recognition schools under ESEA Waiver flexibility, and continuing the initiative with the assistance of Race to the Top grant funding, Delaware now recognizes up to fifteen schools annually, with a $50,000 award each.

There are three types of awards and honors:

  • Reward/Recognition Schools ($50k award) – Title I (federal classification based on high percentage of low income populations) schools identified for being either highest performing or high progress
  • Recognition Schools ($50k award) – Chosen for exceptional performance and/or closing the achievement gap. Both Title I and non-Title I schools can qualify
  • Continued Excellence Schools – Schools which have received state awards during 2013, and continue to qualify, but are not be eligible for another award until 2015

These awards celebrate more than student learning and achievement. They celebrate the work of educators and local communities, including: strong leadership, countless hours of lesson planning, collaboration and teamwork, strong school culture, high expectations for students, and community partnerships and engagement. Moving forward, this is an opportunity to look at what schools are doing well, figure out what works, and scale it. Success for these schools, and the state as a whole, will require that we find a way to deliver on the promise that all students receive an excellent education and realize their full potential.

Liz Hoyt




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