Lt. Governor Visits Evelyn I. Morris Early Childhood Center

DOVER, Del., (February 6, 2013) – Today, Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn will visit Evelyn I. Morris Early Childhood Center in the Milford School District to present them with their banner for being a 2012 winner of the state’s Reward, Recognition and Distinguished Title I Schools and Schools of Continued Excellence Awards. Morris ECC is a Recognition School and a Title I Distinguished school awardee.

Evelyn I. Morris Early Childhood Center, along with John M. Clayton Elementary School in Frankford, were been selected as 2012 National Title I Distinguished Schools. Both schools were honored during the 2013 National Title I Conference in Nashville, TN, which was held January 21 -24, 2013. The conference attracted more than 3,000 Title I professionals from across the country who gathered to honor these schools as well as to share best practices and learn about innovative education programs.

Evelyn I. Morris Early Childhood Center was selected for its outstanding performance in closing the achievement gap between student groups. Lt. Governor Denn will be joined by Principal Elizabeth Conaway and representatives from the Delaware Department of Education.

These awards, created by legislation spearheaded by the Lt. Governor and passed by the Delaware General Assembly in 2009, formerly were called Academic Achievement Awards and annually gave five public schools $150,000 each for significantly closing the achievement gap and/or exceeding adequate yearly progress on state tests for two or more consecutive years.

This year, because of the state’s federal Race to the Top funding and the U.S. Department of Education’s approval of a new state school accountability system for Delaware, the Delaware Department of Education was able to expand the number of schools recognized from five to 19, in four categories.  A majority of the program is aligned with the former Academic Achievement Award program. The continuation of that program as provided by the RTTT grant funding.  The RTTT grant provides funding for this through 2014.

Morris ECC, along with most of the other schools, received $50,000.  As in years past, each school will appoint a committee (with administration, teacher, support staff and parent representation) to determine how the award will be used. Winners were selected based on 2011-12 data.

Background: Based on a combination of academic achievement of their students and the creative and innovative programs that contribute to their success, sixty-seven schools nationwide have been selected by their individual states as National Title I Distinguished Schools this year. They join hundreds of other distinguished schools making a difference for our nation’s Title I children. These schools demonstrate a wide array of strengths, including team approaches to teaching and learning, focused professional development opportunities for staff, individualized programs for student success and strong partnerships between the school, parents and the community. What makes National Title I Distinguished Schools’ stories especially powerful are the documented student achievement gains that have resulted from their innovations.

Title I is the largest federally funded, pre-collegiate education program in the country, providing more than $17 billion in federal aid to schools and districts serving students in poverty. The goal of Title I is to ensure that all children, especially those living in economically disadvantaged conditions, have the opportunity to receive a high quality education. Schools selected for national recognition must have a poverty rate of at least 35 percent for the selected year and have met or exceeded state standards for making adequate yearly progress for two or more consecutive years.

The National Title I Association has been selecting examples of superior Title I school programs for national recognition through the National Title I Distinguished Schools program since 1996. It is sponsored by the National Title I Association. To learn more about all National Title I Distinguished Schools and the other programs of the National Title I Association visit

2:15 – 3:15pm    Evelyn I. Morris Early Childhood Center
8609 Third Street
Lincoln, DE 19960