School Behavioral Health Professionals Honored

School employees who support the mental health of Delaware students are being recognized for their work.

 

The state will name its first Delaware Behavioral Health Professional of the Year later this month. Seventeen* school districts and the Delaware Charter School Network named local Behavioral Health Professionals of the Year for 2022. Following an application and interview process, one of those 18 will be named the state honoree.

 

“I am grateful that through this new recognition program we now have a way to spotlight the critical support these employees provide to our students and families,” Secretary of Education Mark Holodick said. “Due to the nature of their work, these professionals build close, trust-dependent relationships. They help students and families navigate challenges and find the supports they need so they can be healthy and successful in school and life. The trauma and challenges our students and families experienced through COVID-19 has only grown our state’s already great need for this work. Behavioral health professionals are critical to the success of our schools and communities.”

The Delaware State Behavioral Health Professional of the Year (BHPY) program is administered by the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE). The program recognizes outstanding service by school employees who are health care practitioners or human service providers who offer services for the purpose of improving an individual’s mental health. The Delaware Charter School Network also is invited to participate. Employees considered for the award include:

  • School counselors
  • School social workers
  • Licensed clinical social workers
  • School psychologists
  • School nurses

From those nominated at a local level, one behavioral health professional of the year moves forward to represent each district or the charter school community in the state program. Each district/charter network winner receives a $2,000 personal award from the winner’s district or charter school. The state program then chooses one person annually to serve as Delaware’s Behavioral Health Professional of the Year. State winners receive an additional $3,000 personal award from DDOE as well as $5,000 to be used for the educational benefit of his or her students.

The 2022 District/Charter Behavioral Health Professionals of the Year are:

 

  • Brandywine School District: Sheila Pickering, school nurse, Forwood Elementary School
  • Caesar Rodney School District: Maria Romanko, school psychologist, Caesar Rodney High School
  • Cape Henlopen School District: Felicia Kaas, school psychologist, Shields Elementary School
  • Capital School District: Andrew Royer, school psychologist, Capital Early Childhood Program
  • Charter School Network: Debbie Holstein, school nurse, ASPIRA Academy
  • Christina School District: Michelle Cain, school psychologist, Christiana High School
  • Colonial School District: Devon D. Stockton, school therapist, George Read Middle School
  • Delmar School District: Ilah Preston, school counselor, Delmar Middle School
  • Indian River School District: Amy Goodhue, clinical counselor, Long Neck Elementary School
  • Lake Forest School District: Jana Jarrell, school nurse, North Elementary School
  • Laurel School District: Catina Goff, school counselor, Laurel High School
  • Milford School District: Rosa DiPiazza, school psychologist, Mispillion Elementary School
  • New Castle County Vo-Tech School District: Tenika Jean-Paul, school psychologist, St. Georges Technical High School
  • POLYTECH School District: Peggy McKibbin, school nurse, POLYTECH High School
  • Red Clay Consolidated School District: Eric Pizzini, school psychologist, Cab Calloway School of the Arts
  • Seaford School District: Jordan Forston, school counselor, West Seaford Elementary School
  • Sussex Technical School District: Michael Firch, school counselor, Sussex Technical High School
  • Woodbridge School District: Dawn Ellis, school nurse, Woodbridge High School

 

Find photos of the nominees here.

 

*Appoquinimink did not participate in the 2022 program. Smyrna has recognized school counselor Toni Hendricks of John Bassett Moore Intermediate School as its 2022 District Behavioral Health Professional of the Year. The district selection was made after the state application and interview process so Smyrna was not included in the state program this year.

 

Media contact: Alison May, alison.may@doe.k12.de.us, 302-735-4006


Welch Elementary Named Delaware’s First Purple Star School

Major George S. Welch Elementary School in the Caesar Rodney School District is Delaware’s first Purple Star School, recognized for its commitment to supporting the unique educational and social-emotional needs of military-connected children.

 

“Military-connected children often face challenges, from parent and caregiver deployment to frequent school transitions as their families’ military stations change,” Governor John Carney said. “The Welch school community has prioritized providing the extra supports these students need and should be proud to be named Delaware’s first Purple Star School.”

 

April is Month of the Military Child, a national recognition of the sacrifices military-connected children make so their families can serve our country.

“Taking care of military children is integral to caring for the Dover family,” said Col. Matt Husemann, 436th Airlift Wing commander. “Welch Elementary and the Caesar Rodney School District are awesome, and we are thankful for all they do for the Dover AFB family. Being named a Purple Star School further demonstrates the dedication of the amazing faculty and staff as they provide an outstanding education in harmony with supporting military families’ unique situations.”

 

Last year the Delaware General Assembly passed Senate Bill 117 to create the Purple Star School recognition, joining the National Purple Star Schools Program.  To be designated a Purple Star School, a district or charter school must designate a staff member as a military liaison to: identify military-connected youth, serve as a contact between the school and their families, determine appropriate school services for the children and help coordinate school programs relevant to military-connected youth. In addition to participating in training on how to support the military-connected families with the specific challenges they face, the liaison also must conduct school-wide professional development to inform all staff of the unique needs of military-connected students and available resources.

 

Delaware Purple Star Schools also must have designated web pages with resources and information relevant to military-connected families and establish a transition program for youth. The school also must show support for military-connected children and their families through a recognition event or support programs.

 

“Military-connected children often move every two to three years, which can cause disruptions to their education as well as their social and emotional well-being. Our goal is to make Delaware as supportive a home as possible for these children and their families while they are in the First State,” Secretary of Education Mark Holodick said. “Welch is our first Purple Star School, but I hope every school in our state will follow its example and provide such strong supports to their own military-connected families.”

  

Delaware’s Purple Star designation is valid for three years.

 

“The Caesar Rodney School District is proud to have so many military-connected children in our community,” Superintendent Christine Alois said. “These students and their families sacrifice much for our nation, and we are honored to serve them.”

Media contact: Alison May, alison.may@doe.k12.de.us, 302-735-4006


State Seeks Sponsors For Child and Adult Care Food Program

The Delaware Department of Education is seeking sponsors for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the program, which is managed locally by the Delaware Department of Education.   Sponsors in CACFP can receive reimbursement for meals served in compliance with program regulations at qualifying child care centers, adult day care centers, emergency shelters, family day care homes and afterschool programs.  Sponsors may be reimbursed for up to two meals and one snack, or two snacks and one meal, per participant each day.  Participant eligibility is tied to income eligibility guidelines that are adjusted annually by the USDA.  The current eligibility guidelines are as follows:

FOR USE BY CHILD AND ADULT CARE FOOD PROGRAM

INCOME ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES FOR REDUCED PRICE MEALS

Effective Date:  July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022

These are the income scales used by Child Nutrition Programs to determine eligibility for free and reduced price meals.

 

FREE MEALS – 130% REDUCED MEALS – 185%
 

Household

Size

 

Yearly

 

Monthly

Twice

per

Month

 

Every  two weeks

 

Weekly

 

Yearly

 

Monthly

Twice

per

Month

 

Every  two weeks

 

Weekly

1 $16,744 $1,396 $698 $644 $322 $23,828 $1,986 $993 $917 $459
2 $22,646 $1,888 $944 $871 $436 $32,227 $2,686 $1,343 $1,240 $620
3 $28,548 $2,379 $1,190 $1,098 $549 $40,626 $3,386 $1,693 $1,563 $782
4 $34,450 $2,871 $1,436 $1,325 $663 $49,025 $4,086 $2,043 $1,886 $943
5 $40,352 $3,363 $1,682 $1,552 $776 $57,424 $4,786 $2,393 $2,209 $1,105
6 $46,254 $3,855 $1,928 $1,779 $890 $65,823 $5,486 $2,743 $2,532 $1,266
7 $52,156 $4,347 $2,174 $2,006 $1,003 $74,222 $6,186 $3,093 $2,855 $1,428
8 $58,058 $4,839 $2,420 $2,233 $1,117 $82,621 $6,886 $3,443 $3,178 $1,589
For each additional household member, add:  

 

$5,902

 

 

$492

 

 

$246

 

 

$227

 

 

$114

 

 

$8,399

 

 

$700

 

 

$350

 

 

$324

 

 

$162

 

Conversion Factors: Conversion is required if there are multiple income sources with more than one frequency (Example: a ‘monthly’ Social Security check and a ‘weekly’ wage stub), the participating agency must annualize all income by multiplying: Weekly income by 52; Bi-weekly income (received every two weeks) by 26; Semi-monthly income (received twice a month) by 24; Monthly income by 12

For more information please call the Delaware Department of Education Nutrition Office at (302) 857-3356.

                                                                                                                                                                       

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)   mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)   fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)   email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

 


Schools Recognized for Outstanding Language Proficiency Growth of English Learner Students

Fourteen schools across the state are being recognized for their English learner students’ proficiency growth.

 

“In a school year when our schools faced extraordinary challenges, including remote and hybrid learning, these students still made extraordinary progress. I am so proud of these school communities for how they rallied to support student needs. This recognition is well deserved,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said.

 

Seaford School District’s Blades Elementary School is among a host of U.S. schools that have been named a 2021 National ESEA Distinguished School for the extraordinary success of their students. The National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators (NAESPA), formerly the National Title I Association, has been selecting examples of superior, federally funded school programs for national recognition through the National ESEA Distinguished Schools program (formerly the National Title I Distinguished Schools program) since 1996.

 

Blades is being recognized as a Recognition School for Excellence in Serving Special Populations for the growth and progress toward English language proficiency that the school’s English learners made during the 2020-2021 school year.  Kirsten Jennette is Blades Elementary School’s principal.

 

The honor comes with a $10,500 award.

 

The 2021 National ESEA Distinguished Schools will be honored February 16-19, 2022, at the 2022 National ESEA Hybrid Conference both online and in person in New Orleans, Louisiana.

 

Bunting also is pleased to commend and recognize 13 other schools from across the state for their growth and progress towards English language proficiency.  The English learners showed exceptional growth toward meeting proficiency on ACCESS tests.

 

Each of the 12 schools named a 2021 Recognition School will receive an $8,000 award, a certificate and a banner to hang at the building.  One school is also recognized as a School of Continued Excellence and will receive a certificate and a banner. This school, which continued to show impressive growth, was honored last year as a Recognition School; the award cannot be won in consecutive years.

 

2021 Recognition School Award Winners:

  • Academia Antonia Alonso Charter School (Charter)
    • School Leader – Mercedes Alonso
  • Eisenberg Elementary School (Colonial School District)
    • Principal – David Distler
  • Forest Oak Elementary School (Red Clay Consolidated School District)
    • Principal – Ann Marie Swift
  • Las Americas Aspira Academy (Charter)
    • School Leader – Margie Lopez-Waite
  • Long Neck Elementary School (Indian River School District)
    • Principal – Kathleen Wilson
  • Mispillion Elementary School (Milford School District)
    • Principal – Teresa Wallace
  • Anna P. Mote Elementary School (Red Clay Consolidated School District)
    • Principal – Lauren Young
  • North Georgetown Elementary School (Indian River School District)
    • Principal – Samantha Lougheed
  • Phillis Wheatley Elementary School (Woodbridge School District)
    • Principal – Brandon Snyder
  • Lulu Ross Elementary School (Milford School District)
    • Principal – Cynthia McKenzie
  • West Seaford Elementary School (Seaford School District)
    • Principal – Laura Schneider
  • Woodbridge Early Childhood Education Center (Woodbridge School District)
    • Principal – Kim Benton

 

2021 School of Continued Excellence:

  • Frederick Douglass Elementary School (Seaford School District)
    • Principal – Carol Leveillee

 

More information about all National ESEA Distinguished Schools is available on the NAESPA website: www.ESEAnetwork.org

 

Media contact: Alison May, alison.may@doe.k12.de.us, 302-735-4006


Free school meals to continue in upcoming academic year

Delaware K-12 schools will have the option to continue offering free nutritious school meals during the 2021-2022 school year, the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) announced today.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food & Nutrition Services (FNS) released a group of waivers and eligibility guidelines allowing schools to offer meals without determining eligibility based on the student’s household income.

 

Participating schools can operate under the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) and will receive a higher federal reimbursement rate per meal.

 

Schools that elect not to serve free meals through the SSO will determine eligibility for free and reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) using federal income guidelines. The annually updated income eligibility guidelines for the 2021-22 school year have been released by the USDA.

 

The new eligibility guidelines went into effect July 1, 2021 and allow schools and other institutions and facilities to determine eligibility for the NSLP, the School Breakfast Program, the Special Milk Program for Children, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, and the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer.

 

To apply, households already receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) need only include the SNAP or TANF case number on their application if not notified of their automatic eligibility by the school. Households enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) may qualify for free or reduced-price school meals and should complete a Household Meal Benefit Application. Households should contact the school nutrition program of the district or school where their child(ren) attends school for further information.

 

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

 

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

 

(1)     mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

                  Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

                  1400 Independence Avenue, SW

                  Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)     fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)     email: program.intake@usda.gov.

 

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

 

Media contact: Alison May, alison.may@doe.k12.de.us, 302-735-4006