February 4, 2014
Snow days could extend Delaware’s school year
Students are starting the week with another snow day as weather forecasts call for several inches of snow in parts of the First State. Most school districts have already taken several days off school this year due to inclement weather, which could mean adding days at the end of the school year. Under the Delaware public education code, students and teachers must complete a minimum number of hours per school year. Kindergarten through 11th grade students must complete a minimum of 1,060 hours while high school seniors must complete a minimum of 1,032 hours.
Grant to help expand Delaware’s education dashboard to pre-K students
Delaware is poised to expand use of its K-12 Education Data Warehouse and web-based student information dashboards. A $1.5 million dollar grant from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation will allow the state’s Department of Education and Office of Early Learning to add birth through pre-kindergarten data to the system. It will also help make the system available to preschool educators. The Office of Early Learning’s executive director Harriet Dichter says in its initial stages the goal is to make it easier for teacher’s to track development in key areas such as academics and social skills.
The News Journal
Student data effort raises privacy questions
Delaware education officials are expanding their data collection system to include day care students and pre-kindergartners, a move officials say will allow them to better serve students, but one that privacy advocates warn needs to be handled carefully.
Freeman Foundation grant strengthens arts impact on Sussex Co. students
In a continued push to place more emphasis on arts in education, a Delaware senator and representatives from the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation announced last week that a federal grant will allow local fifth graders to perform this summer with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra.
Reading becomes shared experience with One School, One Book program
Over the course of a week, new items mysteriously began showing up in Brick Mill Elementary School’s lobby showcase. First it was pitchers and cups. The next day it was lemons, followed by coins, photographs of siblings and lemonade mix. Finally, students were asked to wear yellow to school on Monday for the official unveiling of Brick Mill’s 2014 One School, One Book selection.
What does our diploma mean? Not much, employers say
There is little argument about the facts: Fewer than half of all graduating high school seniors in Washington meet basic requirements for admission to public universities, and hundreds of employers say our high school graduates do not have adequate skills in reading, writing or math — even for low-level jobs.
Is kindergarten the new first grade? Researchers say yes
From 1998 to 2006, kindergarten teachers reported devoting 25% more time to teaching early literacy, from five-and-a-half hours to seven hours per week, according to a new study. Though the overall time for kindergarten has increased since the late 1990s, kindergartners now spend as much time on reading and language arts as they do on math, science, social studies, music and art combined.
New York Times
Preschool push moving ahead in many states
Preschool is having its moment, as a favored cause for politicians and interest groups who ordinarily have trouble agreeing on the time of day. President Obama devoted part of his State of the Union address to it, while the deeply red states of Oklahoma and Georgia are being hailed as national models of preschool access and quality, with other states and cities also forging ahead on their own.