As we welcome students back to school, I am optimistic about the year ahead. Educators and school leaders across the state are working hard to ensure our students learn the skills they need and have the opportunities they deserve in and outside of the classroom. That means implementing higher standards that prepare our children for college, careers, and life; giving more young people access to college-level classes and workplace experiences before they graduate; and working together to find out which teaching techniques and lessons are working the best. Their efforts are paying off as more students graduate on time and enroll in college. And, much more often than in the past, they leave our schools with a head start on earning a degree or securing a job. Our young people are making great progress. But our mission to ensure all students receive the best possible education never ends, so I am excited about the new opportunities available in the coming year. More than 15 high schools will launch hands-on Pathways to Prosperity programs that prepare students to excel in expanding industries, like manufacturing and computer science. We’re increasing assistance filling out college applications and securing financial aid, because no one should be denied the chance to continue their education because of an inability to pay. And we’re expanding our world language immersion initiative to 16 programs, giving more than 2100 students the chance to take half of their classes in Chinese or Spanish and become proficient by fourth grade. Our children are our future and the prosperity of our state relies on helping them realize their potential. By expanding educational opportunities to best serve all of our students’ talents, we’ll keep Delaware moving forward.