U.S. Department of Labor Official To Attend State Workforce Investment Board Meeting

DOVER, DE – Eric Seleznow, the Acting Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training/Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), will attend the April 8th meeting of Delaware’s Workforce Investment Board. This is an opportunity for Secretary Seleznow to share opportunities and information about new programs with federal workforce training funds. Joining him will be Regional Administrator, Lenita Jacobs-Simmons.

Most of the discussion will focus on how Delaware could make better use of federal workforce training dollars. Sec. Seleznow will be available for interviews immediately following the meeting.

At the invitation of new Board Member Lt. Governor Matt Denn, Secretary Seleznow will share successes from other states and ideas for offering programs and using federal funds here in Delaware. As the Executive Director of Governor O’Malley’s Workforce Investment Board in neighboring Maryland, Seleznow focused on increasing services to disadvantaged populations, introducing universal design principles to the state’s one stop career system, and led the cross agency effort to implement Skills2Compete Maryland, an innovative approach to measuring Marylanders’ degree, credential and basic skills attainment across a broad array of public programs. He will also share some of those successes with Delaware’s WIB.

In his current role, Secretary Seleznow focuses on two key outcomes – a properly prepared workforce to meet the current and future demands of the nation’s employers, and providing opportunities for all Americans to succeed in the 21st-century workforce. Prior to this assignment, he served as the State Policy Director with the National Skills Coalition, where he worked with many states and diverse stakeholders to strengthen state workforce policies. His official CV may be found here: http://www.doleta.gov/etainfo/Eric_Seleznow.cfm

The Delaware Workforce Investment Board, chaired by Gary Stockbridge, ensures the citizens of Delaware are provided with occupational training and employment service opportunities to help them achieve employment sustaining them and their families. They also seek to communicate with their business industry partners to provide them with qualified workers to meet their employment needs. The DWIB also has a very active Youth Council that has oversight for programs designed specifically to help Delaware’s at-risk and neediest youth prepare for the workforce.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
9:00am – 11:00am

Delaware Workforce Investment Board
Goodwill of Delaware – Community Room
300 East Lea Boulevard

Lt. Governor to Visit Rehoboth and Milton Elementary Schools

DOVER, Del. – On Wednesday, April 2, Lt. Governor Denn will celebrate wonderful achievements at Rehoboth and Milton Elementary Schools. Cape Henlopen School District received $57,623.20 through the Accelerated Academic Education Grants that were given late last year, and the Lt. Governor will visit two of the schools that are already using the funding on programs.
The Accelerated Academic Grant program, a new state program that made funds available for programs targeted at academically advanced students, was created through legislation proposed by Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn and the chairs of the General Assembly’s education committees, allowing school districts to design programs targeted at students who are ahead of grade level in reading, writing, math, or science.

Cape Henlopen School District is implementing a progressive, rigorous approach in accelerated education through STEAM enriched instruction. The program will include 60 identified 5th grade students from four elementary schools and will inspire creativity, innovation and integrative problem solving above and beyond the curriculum. The Lt. Governor, in visiting Rehoboth and Milton Elementary Schools, will see those children and programs in action. Shields and H.O. Brittingham will also fully participate beginning this fall.

At Rehoboth Elementary, the Lt. Governor will actually start his visit celebrating with Principal Trish Mumford, staff, students, and parents that RES is a School of Continued Excellence, as recognized by the Lt. Governor and Sec. Murphy in October 2013. Lt. Governor Denn will hand out awards to staff and students, celebrating their continued success. Additionally, Rehoboth has invited all of the fourth and fifth grade students whose scores and progress as third and fourth graders earned RES the designation. The staff will each receive a small etched crystal award with “Rehoboth Elementary, DOE School of Continued Excellence 2013.” The students will each get a metal for “Academic Excellence.”

After the award ceremony, Lt. Governor Denn will visit the fifth grade STEAM groups at Rehoboth and then again at Milton Elementary School to see them in action. They use time set aside for Response to Intervention (RTI) so that they do not miss any of the core curricular instruction. At RES, the Lt. Governor will see the students discussing and creating hypothesis around pollution, paper recycling, and water filtration.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

10:30am – 12:00pm Visit to Rehoboth Elementary School
500 Stockley Street
Rehoboth Beach
Award Ceremony 10:30 – 11:15
STEAM Visit 11:15 – 12:00

1:00pm – 2:00pm Visit to Milton Elementary School
512 Federal Street

Early Teacher Hiring Now Permanent

Pilot Program Dramatically Reduced Late Hiring of Teachers and Improved Schools’ Ability to Compete With Surrounding States for Quality New Teachers

DOVER, DE– This afternoon, Governor Jack A. Markell signed H.B. 259 into law, which passed both the House and the Senate unanimously this week.

House Bill 259 makes permanent the pilot program originally created in 2011, which required the state’s Department of Education to estimate each school district’s enrollment for the following school year in May, and guarantee state funds to each district sufficient to cover 98% of the state’s share of hiring the teachers justified by that enrollment estimate.

The pilot program, created through legislation implementing the recommendations of a task force chaired by Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn and State Senator David Sokola, demonstrated extraordinary success in allowing Delaware school districts to better compete with surrounding states for new teachers and adequately train those new teachers before the start of the school year. Before this legislation, school districts were losing teaching candidates to other states that were making firm offers earlier in the year because districts couldn’t risk getting less state money than they expected and the state didn’t guarantee any funds until September 30th, when final student counts were done.

Under the pilot program, the state started estimating districts’ student population in May and guaranteeing the districts 98% of the state funds for the upcoming school year that would be generated by that estimated number of students. The change was dramatic – a 44% increase in the proportion of teachers hired before August.

“This bill improves our public schools,” said Lt. Governor Denn. “We are always trying to hire the best and brightest to teach our children and now we will hopefully be able to do more of that in a timely fashion. This is a win for students and teachers alike.”

Governor Markell said, “I’d like to thank Lt. Governor Denn, Senator Sokola, and Representative Scott for their work on getting this important piece of legislation passed. This will allow us to offer attractive jobs to new teachers on par with our surrounding states and supports our ongoing effort to recruit and retain talented educators.”

The University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration, in its ninth annual Delaware Teacher and Administrator Supply and Demand Survey Analysis Report, quantified the change in early teacher hiring caused by the pilot program: the percentage of school district teachers who were hired after July 31st dropped from 64.3% in the 2010-2011 school year, to 48.6% in 2011-2012 and 46.5% in 2012-2013 (Delaware Teacher and Administrator Supply and Demand Survey Analysis Report, June 2013, at p. 12). The report can be found online at http://www.ipa.udel.edu/publications/teacher_supply13.pdf

This significant drop in the percentage of late-hired teachers was directly attributed by the University of Delaware to the pilot early teacher hiring program:

What has led to the reduction in later teacher hiring in Delaware? The most obvious answer is Senate Bill 164 with House Amendment 1, the extension of SB 16. SB 16 requires that projections of enrollment be made by April 15 and that the State will guarantee that school districts receive funds equivalent to 98 percent of these projections. This bill was aimed at decreasing late teacher hiring, and it appears to have had the desired effect. (Delaware Teacher and Administrator Supply and Demand Survey Analysis Report at p. 50).

State Representative Darryl Scott, prime sponsor of House Bill 259 and one of the original sponsors of the 2011 pilot program, said, “We want to hire the very best teachers and make sure they’re ready to start strong on the first day of school. We’ve seen conclusive evidence that tells us early unit counts are helping our districts achieve that goal, and I am glad we have now made that policy permanent.”

Senator Sokola, the Senate sponsor of House Bill 259 and the original sponsor Senate Bill 16, added, “In my work, I understand the importance of testing and validating data. I’m pleased that the data have validated this experiment in giving our schools more flexibility in hiring top-quality teachers and that it is permanent.”

Other original sponsors of Senate Bill 16 who co-sponsored the legislation making it permanent are Representative Debra Heffernan and Representative Earl Jaques.

Children’s Dept. Makes $1.9M Available for After School and Summer Prevention Programs

Wilmington, DE – The Delaware Children’s Department is making $1.9 Million dollars in grant funding available to community and faith based organizations, schools, non-profit and for profit agencies and governmental agencies to implement after school and summer youth prevention programming. The Department (DSCYF) through its Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services (PBHS) is accepting applications for the funding through September 19th. An informational bidder’s conference will be held September 3rd.

Programs must include evidence based practices or programs related to preventing youth violence and/or youth suicide. They must also include positive opportunities for youth by using curriculums that are academic, cultural, artistic, agricultural or recreational in nature, and include information on how children will access the program. Successful applicants must also agree to receive training in suicide and violence prevention strategies.

In his State of the State in January, Governor Jack Markell proposed providing more opportunities for “after-school and summer activities that get kids off the streets and give them exposure to the arts, nature, and physical activity.” The General Assembly supported his budget request with $2.2 million in funding.

“Children all across our state will benefit from enhanced educational and recreational activities as well as access to additional emotional supports,” said Markell. “These programs improve academic performance, reduce drop-out rates and depression, improve self-control and self-esteem, and prevent risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol use. They are a vital part of our larger goal to give all of Delaware’s young people a quality education.”

This initiative is an outgrowth of the initial recommendations by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the 2012 Adolescent Suicides in Kent County which pointed to a lack of after-school activities for youth in Kent and Sussex Counties.

“These programs will help enhance the overall well-being of Delaware’s children,” said Lt. Governor Matt Denn, who has championed expanding access to children’s mental health services. “For instance, tutoring programs will keep children on track academically, and arts programs will engage them creatively, both of which we need to help build a stronger future for Delaware.”

This is the second announcement of funding allocated toward after school and summer prevention programming. In July, the Department announced the availability of $200,000.00 worth of prevention mini grants to put some of the funds to use immediately. Children’s Department Cabinet Secretary Jennifer Ranji said each initiative builds on the next.

“We are building on and expanding our network of community service providers to create a safety net of resources for children,” said Secretary Ranji. “Our goal is to build on their strengths in order to develop stronger, more resilient children who are empowered to envision a hopeful and successful future.

The RFP for “After School and Summer Youth Prevention Programming” can be found on the Children’s Department website at www.kids.delaware.gov and the state bid website at www.bids.delaware.gov under the title “Community Prevention Services”. Questions about the RFP should be directed to H. Ryan Bolles, DSCYF Procurement Administrator, at Herbert.Bolles@delaware.gov or (302) 633-2701.

The Children’s Department provides services to children who have been abused, neglected, are dependent, have mental health or substance problems, have been adjudicated delinquent by the Courts, as well as prevention services targeted toward all youth.

Lt. Governor Denn Participates in Deployment Ceremony

Del. National Guard troops depart for Afghanistan 

WILMINGTON, Del., (Friday, August 9, 2013) – On Sunday, August 11th, the Delaware National Guard will host a departure ceremony for approximately 45 members of Detachment 1-150th Engineer Company deploying to Afghanistan.

Lt. Governor Matt Denn will join U.S. Senator Tom Carper and Attorney General Beau Biden in offering remarks to the soldiers and their families.

The 150th, headquartered in Newark, is scheduled for a 12 month active-duty tour. After the departure ceremony, they will report to Camp Shelby, in Mississippi, to train on objectives specific to the Afghan theater. The company will be there for four to six weeks, before heading to Afghanistan.

The 150th provides command and control of engineer effects platoons that are necessary to conduct missions such as repair, maintain or construct air/ground lines of communication; emplace culverts; hauling; force protection and limited clearing operations.  While deployed to Afghanistan the primary mission of the 150th is to prepare forward operating bases (FOBs) for closure or transfer.  The unit will also be responsible for deconstructing FOBs, conducting inventories, sorting materials and hauling materials and debris to designated areas; all while complying with environmental considerations.

Over 1,000 friends, family and well-wishers are expected to fill the facility. The ceremony is open to the public and media are welcome to attend.

For more information please contact Sgt. Wendy McDougall at 302-270-0720 or Lt. Col. Len Gratteri at 302-540-0134.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

11:00am                      Deployment Ceremony for 150th Engineering Company

Army Aviation Support Facility
41 Corporate Circle
New Castle