New High School Charter Options in Kent and Wilmington

June 21st, 2013

Category: News, Policy and Practice

At the June meeting on June 20th, the Delaware State Board of Education approved three new charter high schools—one in Kent County (First State Military Academy) and two in the city of Wilmington (The Delaware Met and Design-Lab High School). All three schools aim to fill a gap in existing choice options and two will replicate deeper learning models, school designs that focus on deepening content knowledge and understanding, providing real-world learning experiences, and helping students develop 21st century skills.

First State Military Academy will be a charter high school in Kent County, a region that has few existing charter school options. Modeled after the Delaware Military Academy, it will center its school culture on the Junior ROTC program while utilizing the New Tech school model for curriculum and instruction, a design whose implementation as an academy at Seaford High has been much lauded. The school will open with 200 students in 9th and 10th grade in the fall of 2014, expanding to 500 students by 2017.

The Delaware Met will be a charter high school in the city of Wilmington, a region full of charter schools but with few high school options. Modeled after the internationally acclaimed school in Rhode Island, The Delaware Met will be replicating the Big Picture Learning school model, an instructional design that makes heavy use of internship and experiential learning. The school will open with 264 students in 9th and 10th grade in the fall of 2014, expanding to 528 student by 2016.

Design-Lab High School will be a charter high school in the city of Wilmington. Modeled after similar schools in Philadelphia, the school will have an emphasis on STEMD (Science, Technology, Engineering, Media and Design) and will focus on developing students into innovators by encouraging their creativity, using project-based learning instruction and performance tasks for assessment. The school will open with 240 students in 9th and 10th grade in the fall of 2014, expanding to 560 students by 2018.

A fourth charter school, Pike Creek Charter Middle School, was denied approval. At the same meeting, the State Board approved several expansions—MOT Academy to grades 9-12, Academy of Dover to grade 5, and Kuumba Academy to grades 6-8. More information on the schools can be found in the applications online.




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Author:
Brian Yin

byin@rodelfoundationde.org

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