Educators, in partnership with invested parents and community members, are working hard across our state to close achievement gaps and ensure every child is succeeding. Some of that work recently led to national honors.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized three Delaware schools, among about 300 nationwide, this month as 2011 National Blue Ribbon Schools. The award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools whose students achieve at very high levels or have made significant progress and helped close gaps in achievement, especially among disadvantaged and minority students.
Long Neck Elementary School in the Indian River School District, Nellie Hughes Stokes Elementary School in the Caesar Rodney School District, and West Park Place Elementary School in the Christina School District are among the public and private schools that will be honored at a November awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Long Neck Principal David C. Hudson, Stokes Principal Corey Miklus and West Park Place Principal Ledonnis A. Hernandez — each accompanied by a teacher representative — will represent the state at the ceremony.
Each year since 1982, the Blue Ribbon Schools Program has honored public and private schools based on one of two criteria:
1) Schools whose students, regardless of backgrounds, are high performing. These are schools ranked among the state’s highest performing schools as measured by their performance on state assessments or in the case of private schools, that score at the highest performance level on tests referenced by national norms in at least the most recent year tested; and
2) Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that improve student performance to high levels as measured by the school’s performance on state assessments or nationally-normed tests.
You can learn more about the Delaware winning schools, their student bodies and how their children are succeeding on state exams by visiting the schools’ profiles on the state’s website.
The Delaware Department of Education’s vision is that every single student in our system will graduate college and career ready, with the freedom to choose his or her life’s course. Key in that statement is the phrase “every single student.” Until every achievement gap is closed and every student — regardless of race, economic background or any other factor — is excelling and leaving our classrooms ready to compete with global peers in the college classroom or marketplace, our work is not complete.
While not taking our eyes off the work ahead, we also must celebrate the progress being made and the milestones achieved by these outstanding schools and their dedicated educators, students and parents.
A list of previous Delaware winners is here.