The Public High School Special: A Real Education
With millions in federal funds given to Delaware based on its potential to improve public schools, there’s a lot on the line. Is this another case of the government throwing money at a problem? Here’s a look at the schools’ performance now, and a survey of how they intend to reform education. Plus, find out how your school rates in our High School Ranking chart.
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Delmar School District
The middle school, high school and district office are all under one roof, so this district is a close community. Though small, the high school is mighty. “We thrive and succeed despite our size,” says Shawn Larrimore, principal of Delmar High. “We’re the epitome of teamwork.” This year, the school started an extended-honors program, and seniors who previously may have qualified for early dismissal now may leave only if they are pursuing their career pathway with an internship or job. With R2T, Delmar High would like to expand free tutoring for students.
Last school year, the district—which has two high schools, Indian River and Sussex Central—participated in Focus on Results professional training and expanded twilight programs to boost graduation rates. Reading coaches at both schools represent an effort to boost standard test scores. Sussex Central for the past two years has continued to do well in Delaware’s Adequate Yearly Progress ratings. The progress is notable considering that more than 55 percent of the student body enrolled in the Free and Reduced Meal Program. The schools have overhauled many programs and added medical and biotechnology pathways to their curricula. “We’ve made significant growth in technology,” says principal Timothy Capone, who’s been on board for two years. Smart Boards should be in all classrooms within a year.
Lake Forest School District
Proud of its football team, Lake Forest High is also tackling academics. “We, like most high schools, have our work cut out for us in improving math and language arts scores,” says Glenn Davidson, the district’s administrative assistant for curriculum. The district will use R2T funds to implement Learning-Focused Strategies, a school improvement model. Each school is sending two teachers to the Learning-Focused Strategies training camp to become program trainers.
Laurel School District
Career pathways at Laurel High include criminal justice, marketing, early childhood education and plant and soil science. (There are two large greenhouses on the property.) With R2T funds, Laurel High would like to improve graduation rates and prepare students for college and careers.
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