First Lady, Delaware Readiness Teams to Kick Off Kindergarten Registration Campaign

Kindergarten Registration Month launched last year in partnership with First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney

DOVER, Del. – First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney and the Delaware Readiness Teams will kick off Delaware’s second statewide kindergarten registration campaign at a special event on October 18 at the Dover Public Library.

In the weeks that follow, the Delaware Readiness Teams will host over 20 events at local libraries, schools, and childcare centers around the state to encourage families and caregivers to register students for kindergarten and help guide them through the process. The events – a mix of information sessions and resources fairs – will feature the Delaware Readiness Teams’ signature Kindergarten Registration folders, family activities, and free books.

Kindergarten Registration Month launched last year in partnership with First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney.

Click here for a full list of resources and 2019 event details.

“I am proud to be a partner in Kindergarten Registration Month,” said First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney. “Parents everywhere – myself included – know that navigating the registration process can be complicated, but we’re here to help. Registering as early as possible is one way that parents can set their young ones up for success.”

“We know that starting kindergarten on time is important in helping children get off on the right track,” said Diane Frentzel, program manager for Delaware Readiness Teams. “That’s why the Delaware Readiness Teams are working diligently in communities getting the right information in the hands of families and providers.”

All three counties will host family engagement events throughout Kindergarten Registration Month this November. Families and caregivers of children who will be five years old by August 31 are encouraged to register their student for kindergarten as soon as possible.

ABOUT THE DELAWARE READINESS TEAMS

The Delaware Readiness Teams are a statewide grassroots initiative aimed at helping children from birth through age eight get ready for school and life. The teams focus on early learning, healthy children, and successful transitions, hoping every child will enter school ready and eager to learn.

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State Auditor R. Thomas Wagner, Jr. releases the Providence Creek Academy Charter School Inspection report.

January 27, 2016

Dover, Del. – State Auditor R. Thomas Wagner, Jr.’s Office performed an inspection of the Providence Creek Academy Charter School (PCA) regarding allegations of fiscal improprieties. Several months after AOA received its first tip on the fraud hotline, representatives from PCA met with AOA staff to share their concerns regarding inappropriate handling of school funds by Shanna Simmens, the former Finance and Human Resource Manager. AOA found PCA’s deficient fiscal operations and close network of personnel led to a misuse of school funds.

“Our inspection identified over $247,000 in various personal purchases, unsupported transactions, and non-compliance from July 1, 2011 through December 31, 2014,” said Wagner.

There was no mention of any issues by the PCA’s audit firm, SB & Company, LLC, that issued unqualified opinions with no findings on internal control or compliance over financial reporting for fiscal years 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Additional information about the report can be found at: Providence Creek Academy Charter School Inspection report.

For more information, please contact Kathleen A. Davies, CPA-PA, CISA, CGFM, CGAP, CFE, Chief Administrative Auditor/Deputy, at 302-857-3919 or kathleen.davies@delaware.gov.


State Auditor R. Thomas Wagner, Jr. releases the Family Foundations Academy Inspection report.

December 9, 2015

State Auditor R. Thomas Wagner, Jr. releases the Family Foundations Academy Inspection report.

Dover, Del. – State Auditor, R. Thomas Wagner, Jr., releases another report on a Delaware Charter School.   In January of 2015, Family Foundations Academy replaced its entire school board and worked with the Delaware Department of Education to address problems already reported by the press.

Auditor Wagner stated, “My office was tasked with performing a painstaking reconstruction of books and records that were never maintained by the prior school administration to determine if there were any improprieties.   It is my hope that, by performing such reviews for entities who purposefully avoid proper record keeping to hide inappropriate conduct, we will demonstrate that they are still at risk of being found out and held accountable.  Our work looked back to July 1, 2011, and covered three complete audit periods in which the CPA firm reported nothing to indicate the magnitude of the issues.

The new Administration indicated they have worked closely with staff and DOE to make the appropriate changes.  It has been my experience as State Auditor that organizations that suffer such public scrutiny can make significant improvement and even become the model for others.”

For details on the inspection, please refer to the complete report at: The Family Foundations Academy Charter School Inspection

For more information, please contact Kathleen A. Davies, CPA-PA, CISA, CGFM, CGAP, CFE, Chief Administrative Auditor, at 302-857-3919 or kathleen.davies@delaware.gov.


State Auditor R. Thomas Wagner releases inspection report on Delaware Department of Education Travel Expenses

December 7, 2015

State Auditor R. Thomas Wagner, Jr. releases the Department of Education Travel Expenses Inspection report.

Dover, Del. – State Auditor R. Thomas Wagner, Jr. is pleased to issue a clean inspection report regarding the Department of Education’s (DOE) travel expenses. During our review, we covered various aspects of travel and found their internal controls to be in good condition.

Auditor Wagner commends DOE on their prompt attention to our requests and sound internal controls. They consistently got it right with maintaining support to demonstrate fiscal accountability.

For details on the inspection, please refer to the complete report at: Department of Education Travel Expenses Inspection

For more information, please contact Kathleen A. Davies, CPA-PA, CISA, CGFM, CGAP, CFE, Chief Administrative Auditor, at 302-857-3919 or kathleen.davies@delaware.gov.


Partnership Gives Teacher Prep Students Year-Long Classroom Residency

Dover, DE – Aspiring teachers are spending an entire school year working side-by-side with veteran teachers as part of a new partnership between Wilmington University and the Capital, Indian River and Red Clay Consolidated school districts. This year-long clinical residency approach is rare amongst teacher preparation programs nationwide.

Traditional teacher preparation programs generally place candidates in classrooms for a few months for student teaching experiences, and the model is generally not a co-teaching model. This pilot initiative, a direct result of a Race to the Top (RTTT) teacher preparation grant and 2013’s Senate Bill 51 designed to strengthen the state’s teacher preparation programs, provides aspiring educators the chance to spend an entire school year co-teaching with an experienced educator.  For this and other innovations to its teacher preparation programs, Wilmington University has been awarded $230,000 in competitive grant funding via RTTT over the last two years.

Dr. John Gray, dean of Wilmington University’s College of Education, cited the importance of deep partnerships in innovations like these:  “An effort of this magnitude requires partnerships across the spectrum–with our districts, our students, our university leaders and the state. Our team and partners have shown tremendous dexterity in pulling this off, and it’s a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit at WilmU that allows us to adjust to the evolving needs of our teachers and students.”

Governor Jack Markell joined Secretary of Education Mark Murphy to visit participating teachers at North Dover Elementary today.NorthDoverElem

“This initiative directly answers a need identified by our teachers,” Markell said. “So many teachers told us just how challenging their first year in the classroom was and how they would have benefited from having a longer clinical residency, and the Department of Education and Wilmington University responded to their call-to-action.”

Three schools – Capital’s North Dover, Indian River’s East Millsboro and Red Clay’s Richey elementary schools – joined Wilmington University’s efforts as “lab schools” this year.  Similar to the way other professions utilize a clinical residency experience, Wilmington University selected and placed a dozen of its seniors in these schools, pairing them with host teachers who agreed to embark upon the year-long co-teaching model.

Wilmington University plans to expand the program over the next 18 months with additional teachers in these schools as well as the development of additional school partnerships.

East Millsboro Principal Kelly Dorman said this is an invaluable learning experience for the aspiring educators, allowing them to become part of a school culture.

“It allows them to learn what it looks like to begin a school year, and it also provides a window through which to see the growth that students make by the end of the school year,” Dorman said. “It is a hands- on experience that lets the intern learn and grow in a nurturing environment with the support of both the teachers and administrators.”

Senate Bill 51 requires deeper clinical residency experiences to be offered by the state’s teacher preparation programs, but only Wilmington University has taken dramatic and immediate action, adjusting its coursework and model to make this happen.

Photos from North Dover Elementary School Visit