Lt. Governor Unveils Website for Teachers

Professional Development Videos Provide Information on Working with Children with Special Needs

WILMINGTON, Del. – Today, Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn unveiled a new website – – full of videos created by teachers, for teachers, that focus on educating children with special needs.

Watch Lt. Governor Denn share his idea for this project here:

Some of the organizations that will promote the website and share with their members are the Delaware Autism Program, Delaware Parent Teacher Association, Delaware State Board of Education, Delaware State Education Association, and the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens.

A full list of acknowledgements for all of those that generously volunteered their time for this project in on the website, but the Lt. Governor wants to extend special thanks to Dr. Vince Winterling and the Delaware Autism Program, Dr. Laura Dewey of Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital, Dom Squittiere and Corey Bowen of Red Clay Consolidated School District, The Centreville Layton School and The Pilot School. Additionally, thanks to Catherine Miller and Ann Calamia of HNH Multimedia Productions for their work in bringing this year-long project to life.

Lt. Governor & Advocates Announce New Rights for Kids with Disabilities

WILMINGTON, Del. – Today, Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn was joined by disabilities advocates, legislative leaders, and educators to address the rights to reading interventions that students with disabilities gained under a new law passed in June. The new law requires that schools provide young students with dyslexia and decoding disabilities and other disabilities with early, intensive, evidence-based assistance in order to better help those students learn to read.

Senate Bill 229 requires that IEPs for any child with a disability – who is not beginning to read by the age of seven – document the evidence-based interventions the school is using to build the child’s ability to read or document why such interventions are inappropriate. The law also requires the school to provide the interventions through extended school year or summer services, regardless of whether the child would otherwise qualify for those services.

For children who have struggled to read – and their families – this new law presents an opportunity to ensure those students are receiving the instruction most likely to make them readers who are able to access many more opportunities for learning and growth. Because any intervention may deem itself “evidence-based,” the Lt. Governor has a guidance document, included at the end of this post, for parents on how they can determine that their child is receiving interventions in compliance with the law.

The purpose of today’s announcement was to inform parents of eligible children that their children are entitled to this assistance, so they can specifically ask their schools for it.

“Reading is the foundation of education,” said Lieutenant Governor Denn. “When children are exposed to best practices in reading instruction, learning becomes a more positive experience. These practices have the potential to improve lives by giving these kids paths to information and imagination.”

Lieutenant Governor Denn was joined at today’s press conference at the Bear Library by Sen. Nicole Poore, House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, and parent Kim Hamstead.

Sen. Poore noted that when children have difficulty reading, they may also develop social and emotional problems that can affect their learning and peer relationships. “A child who sees they are not meeting expectations – their own, their teacher’s, their family’s – are known to be more at risk for anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, and they don’t always have the language to relieve those feelings through appropriate self-expression.”

“The fact that support will be available throughout the year is a major step forward for these students,” Rep. Longhurst said. “A lot of kids lose some ground over the summer and if you’re already falling behind, it’s even harder to get caught up with everyone else without that extra time for learning and practice.”

“With help from my son’s school, I found a reading specialist that used a specific curriculum and teaching methods that had proven effective for children with reading challenges,” said Ms. Hamstead. “My son followed this program for over 2 years and now he is a very confident reader and likes to volunteer to read in front of his class. The key to his success was early intervention and following an evidence-based reading program.”

Reading Interventions FAQ for Parents

Lt. Governor Denn’s Schedule for Friday, September 12, 2014

WILMINGTON, Del. – On Friday, September 12th, Lt. Governor Matt Denn has events in New Castle and Kent Counties.

He starts his day helping CHIMES celebrate their 20th anniversary with opening remarks. Chimes Delaware is one of the largest providers in Delaware of community services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and co-occurring disabilities. With services and supports provided throughout the State of Delaware, they tailor their services to the unique and changing needs and preferences of the person. CHIMES offers an array of services emphasizing choice and diversity of opportunities that span every stage of adult life, enabling participants to fulfill their goals and dreams and maximize their independence.

He then joins Governor Markell to highlight progress being made to support first-time Delaware mothers through home visitations by nurses. They will hold a discussion with nurses and staff of Children and Families First about the nurse-family partnership program with which the organization has been involved using federal funding. Through the national Nurse Family Partnership program, nurses visit first-time low-income mothers, and teach them how to care for their newborns. Attendees will discuss the success of the program and ways to address the ongoing challenges of the women served by it.

The Lt. Governor will bring greetings on behalf of the State at the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association Annual Luncheon.

Finally, the Lt. Governor is honored to emcee the AmeriCorps 20th Anniversary Celebration. On September 12th, AmeriCorps across the country will be swearing in the next cadre of volunteers, while celebrating the rich history of this wonderful organization. Lt. Governor Denn will be joined by the State Office of Volunteerism, as well as U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons.


Lt. Governor Denn’s Schedule Friday, September 12, 2014

10:00am – 10:15am CHIMES 20th Anniversary
514 Interchange Blvd.

10:45am – 11:15am Nurse Family Partnership Meeting
Children and Families First
2005 Baynard Blvd.

12:00pm – 2:00pm Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association Annual Luncheon
Dover Downs

6:00pm – 9:00pm AmeriCorps 20th Anniversary Celebration
University of Delaware
Clayton Hall Conference Center
100 David Hollowell Dr.

Lt. Governor in Dover on Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WILMINGTON, Del. – On Wednesday, September 10th, Lt. Governor Matt Denn will be in Dover.

He will visit join the staff of BayHealth and others to help them launch a collaborative partnership with Project SEARCH, an international school-to-work program that prepares people with disabilities for full-time employment. Bayhealth’s partners in Project SEARCH are the Capital School District, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Community of Integrated Services, POW&R (Autism Delaware), and the Department of Education.

Project SEARCH was developed in 1996 for young adults, 18 years of age and eligible for the last year of public education, who have significant cognitive disabilities and would benefit from a workforce development program. The Project SEARCH High School Transition Program is a unique, business-led, one year school-to-work program that takes place entirely at the workplace. Total workplace immersion facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training through worksite rotations. Students in the Project SEARCH program at BayHealth will attend classes focused on teaching employability skills and rotate through 17 departments at the hospital. The interns have completed their first two weeks of school and have been very busy orienting themselves around the BayHealth campus.

The Lt. Governor will then visit William Henry Middle School in the Capital School District to see the work they are doing with funding they received through the Accelerated Academic Grant program, the new state program that made funds available for programs targeted at academically advanced students. Local school districts and schools applied for start-up grants for programs targeted at students who are at least a half year ahead of grade level based upon current state standards.

The $16,740 they received in funding will permit William Henry Middle School to implement Making Math Matter to identify 5th and 6th grade students from underrepresented groups with the potential for success in advanced math classes and prepare them to qualify for and pass Algebra I in 7th grade.

The program, created through legislation proposed last year by Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn and the chairs of the General Assembly’s education committees, allows school districts to design programs targeted at students who are ahead of grade level in reading, writing, math, science, arts and humanities. $300,000 was allocated to 10 schools/districts for the 2013-14/2014-15 school years.

The program was funded again this year and applications for State Regulation 917 – Accelerated Academic Programs – were shared with schools and are due to the Department of Education by October 1, 2014. Total funding to be allocated for all selected programs is $300,000.00 and is for the 2014-15/2015-16 school years.

This regulation, like last year, directs the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) to seek applications from Delaware school districts, and charter schools that are willing to plan and implement new programs to offer specialized educational services to students who are capable of performing accelerated academic work, or renewing existing programs of the same description whose funding sources are expiring. The Delaware schools selected will be those that can demonstrate through the application process their readiness to implement innovative programs for specifically identified highly able learners. The Delaware Department of Education anticipates selecting elementary, middle and high schools from all counties in the state. These schools will develop programs as exemplary models of gifted education and will be expected to share their challenges and successes with other schools in the state.

Finally, he joins Delaware State EMS Association for their Annual Awards Banquet and Installation of Officers. He will make general remarks before the installation of officers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

9:00am – 9:45am Project SEARCH Kickoff
Bayhealth Kent General
640 S. State Street
Pavilion Conference Center; 2nd floor Main Lobby

11:00am – 12:00pm Accelerated Academic Funding School Visit
William Henry Middle School
65 Carver Road

5:30pm – 7:30pm Delaware State EMS Association Annual Awards Banquet
Dover Downs

Lt. Governor’s Schedule for Monday, August 25, 2014

Greets Students for First Day of School at Wilmington Manor Elementary School
Delivers Remarks at American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators Conference
Attends Workers’ Compensation Oversight Panel

DOVER, Del.– On Monday, Lt. Governor Matt Denn greets Wilmington Manor Elementary School students for their first day of the 2014-15 school year. He will be joined by Principal Stacie Ruiz and Colonial School District Superintendent Dr. Dusty Blakey.

He will then offer welcoming remarks at the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators Annual Conference. The event will be attended by more than 700 chief motor vehicle and law enforcement administrators from over 60 jurisdictions in the United States and Canada.

The Lt. Governor will then join Governor Markell in greeting the members of the Workers’ Compensation Oversight Panel, chaired by Rich Heffron. The Lt. Governor will address the members of committee, formed by consolidating the Data Collection Committee and the Health Care Advisory Panel. The committee creation was a result of work done by the Workers’ Compensation Task Force, chaired by the Lt. Governor, as part of the effort to address the significant increases in workers compensation costs for Delaware businesses. The panel is tasked with implementing statutory changes that are expected to result in a rate reduction for employers purchasing workers compensation insurance.

Monday, August 25, 2014
8:00am – 8:20am Welcomes Students at Wilmington Manor Elementary School
200 East Roosevelt Avenue
New Castle

9:15am – 10:00am Remarks at AAMVA Conference
Dover Downs

4:00pm – 4:15pm Workers’ Compensation Oversight Panel Meeting
Department of Labor
Fox Valley Annex
19 W. Lea Blvd