Governor Carney Announces Mask Requirement in K-12 Schools, Child Care, State Facilities

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Tuesday announced that everyone kindergarten-age and older in K-12 schools and child care homes and centers must wear face coverings indoors effective on Monday, August 16 – regardless of vaccination status. The requirement covers both public and private schools in Delaware. Child care centers and homes are strongly encouraged to require masks for children 2 years old to kindergarten inside their facilities to prevent spread of COVID-19. Children younger than 2 years old should not wear masks due to risk of suffocation.

The statewide mask requirement in schools, which will be formalized later this week, is consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and will help all Delaware students safely return to classrooms full-time this fall for the 2021-2022 school year. Children younger than 12 remain ineligible for COVID-19 vaccination at this time. ​

As of Monday, August 9, 73.7 percent of Delaware adults, and 71.6 percent of those 12 and older, have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. Visit de.gov/getmyvaccine to find a free COVID-19 vaccination provider near you.

“There’s no higher priority than getting all Delaware children back in their classrooms full-time this fall,” said Governor Carney. “This consistent, statewide approach will help students, educators and staff return to school safely and without disruption. Vaccination remains the best way to finally put an end to this pandemic. These COVID-19 vaccines are free, safe, and highly effective against COVID-19 infection and serious illness. If you haven’t gotten your vaccine, consider it. Talk to your doctor and your friends who have received their shot. That’s how we’ll keep students in classrooms and keep moving forward.”

Additionally, Governor Carney announced Tuesday that state employees and visitors to Delaware state facilities must wear masks indoors, consistent with CDC guidance, starting Monday, August 16. This applies to all individuals, regardless of their vaccination status. Additional requirements around vaccination and testing for state employees and others are expected to be announced in the coming days.

Governor Carney on Tuesday also formally extended the Public Health Emergency order in place to allow the State of Delaware and medical providers to continue COVID-19 vaccination and testing programs. Under Delaware law, Public Health Emergency declarations must be renewed every 30 days.

Click here for Governor Carney’s Public Health Emergency extension.

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Delaware Division of the Arts Announces First Round of Grants in Support of Arts Projects for Fiscal Year 2022

This year the Division will invest nearly $3 million
in more than 100 arts and community organizations

Wilmington, Del. (July 8, 2021) – The Delaware Division of the Arts is investing nearly $3 million in more than 100 arts and community organizations that will serve Delawareans statewide with arts programming and services, arts education, and arts marketing and promotion. This first round of funding for FY2022 includes: General Operating Support, Project Support, Arts Stabilization, StartUp and Education Resource grants.

“As Delaware rebounds from the past 18 months, the arts community continues to generate an abundance of creative activity in our communities—from Claymont to Selbyville. This investment in the arts sector—artists and organizations alike—enhances education, stimulates local economies, and enriches our communities,” said Paul Weagraff, director of the Delaware Division of the Arts.

Grant review panels made up of Delaware artists, arts educators, arts and nonprofit organization administrators, corporate and fundraising managers, and interested community members, provided an impartial peer review of these grant applications based on established evaluation criteria, reflecting the importance of having diverse public and expert participation in the grant-making process.

The awards include:

  • General Operating Support for sixty-one (61) arts organizations.
  • Project Support for twenty-three (23) community-based organizations that provide arts programming for children and adults with physical or intellectual disabilities; students whose schools are under-resourced and face multiple barriers, individuals and family members dealing with cancer; and young children and community members from across Delaware.
  • Six (6) Arts Stabilization projects that support capital improvements and repairs to facilities owned by arts organizations.
  • StartUp Support for one emerging arts organization, providing a combination of technical assistance and financial support for this new organization.
  • Fourteen (14) education-based partnerships between Delaware’s schools, arts organizations and artists that provide teacher training and standards-based arts learning experiences for pre K-12 students statewide, in alignment with the Delaware Standards for Learning in the Visual and Performing Arts.

Grants for Fiscal Year 2022

Grant Program # Grants Amount Awarded
General Operating Support 61 $2,467,700
Project Support 23 $271,400
Arts Stablization 6 $90,000
StartUp 1 $2,000
Education Resource 14 $130,700
TOTAL 105 $2,961,800

 

Funding for the Delaware Division of the Arts comes from the Delaware General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, an independent federal agency. In addition, the funds for capital improvements grants—provided by the Arts Stabilization Fund—are drawn from the Arts Consortium of Delaware, Inc. (ArtCo) endowment. A complete list of grants for the first round of FY2022 can be found here.

The Division also awards grants on an on-going basis throughout the year, including Arts Access grants, Artist Residencies, Individual Artist Fellowships, and Individual Artist Opportunity grants. Full grant descriptions are available on the Division’s website and at the end of the release.

Interested members of the public, artists, arts organizations, and community leaders are encouraged to visit the Division’s website to learn more about these programs. Notification of grant deadlines, guidelines and applications, as well as technical assistance opportunities are published in the monthly e-newsletter, Arts E-News. Please visit our website at arts.delaware.gov for more details.


GRANT PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS

Arts Organizations: Non-profit Delaware organizations whose primary mission is the promotion, production, presentation, or teaching of the arts

General Operating Support – support of annual operating expenses to ensure that year-round participation in the arts is available to the people of Delaware. This grant category utilizes a three-year application cycle. Full applications are due every three years, with Interim applications due in the “off” years. Annual March 1 deadline.

Arts Stabilization – supports improvements to facilities owned (or under long-term lease) and operated by the organization. Arts Stabilization grants are funded through the Division’s participation in the Arts Consortium of Delaware, Inc. (ArtCo) endowment. Annual March 1 deadline.

StartUp – a comprehensive program of financial support, training, and consultation to develop and strengthen the management capacity of emerging arts organizations so that they can operate in a sustainable manner. Completion of the StartUp program is a prerequisite for emerging organizations seeking General Operating Support. Annual March 1 deadline.

Arts Access – supports small budget projects that include the presentation of performing, visual, literary, media, or folk arts in communities throughout the state. Applications must be submitted at least six weeks prior to the project start date, and are reviewed as they are received, beginning on July 1 of each year. Organizations that receive General Operating or Project Support from the Division are not eligible to apply. Rolling deadline.

 

Community-Based Organizations: Non-profit Delaware organizations, colleges, universities, and government entities that do not have the arts as their primary mission

Project Support – supports arts programs provided by CBOs that assist in the growth of a vibrant cultural environment by encouraging the continued development of arts activities in communities throughout the state. College and university projects must be non-credit and serve the general community.  Annual March 1 deadline.

Arts Access – supports small budget projects that include the presentation of performing, visual, literary, media, or folk arts in communities throughout the state. Applications must be submitted at least six weeks prior to the project start date, and are reviewed as they are received, beginning on July 1 of each year. Organizations that receive General Operating or Project Support from the Division are not eligible to apply. Rolling deadline.

 

Schools: Delaware pre-K through 12 public, charter, private, and parochial schools

Artist Residency – grants for residencies with visual, literary, performing, or media artists working with students in the classroom or in professional development workshops with teachers. Rolling deadline.

TranspARTation – grants that support transportation costs for schools to travel to Delaware arts and cultural institutions and venues in order for students to attend arts performances, events and exhibits. The FY2022 TranspARTation application will not be available for the 2021-2022 school year.

 

Arts Organizations and Schools:

Education Resource – grants to strengthen standards-based arts education projects, programs, and activities that utilize the arts education resources of the Delaware arts community or strengthen arts organizations’ capacity to serve as professional development resources for teaching artists and educators.  Annual March 1 deadline.

 

Individual Artists: Delaware residents, 18 years of age or older, not enrolled in a degree-granting program

Artist Fellowships – supports individual artists in their work as visual, performing, media, folk, and/or literary artists. Applications are received and processed by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. FY2022 Masters categories are Literary and Media Arts. Annual August 1 deadline (August 2 in 2021).

Artist Opportunity Grants – provides up to $750 to support individual artists with unique professional and artistic development or presentation opportunities. Quarterly deadlines, January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1.

 

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Contact: Kaitlin Ammon, Program Officer, Marketing and Communications
302-577-8280, kaitlin.ammon@delaware.gov


The Delaware Division of the Arts, a branch of the Delaware Department of State, is dedicated to cultivating and supporting the arts to enhance the quality of life for all Delawareans. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit arts.delaware.gov or call 302-577-8278.


Governor Carney Updates COVID-19 Order, Eliminates Capacity Restrictions Effective May 21

School bus restrictions updated; Masks still required indoors; Delawareans should follow CDC mask guidance outdoors; larger events still require plan approval from DPH

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Wednesday signed a new COVID-19 omnibus order, the Twenty-Eighth modification to the original state of emergency order, updating school bus distancing requirements, eliminating most business capacity restrictions effective May 21, and formalizing additional changes announced last week.

The text of the order will be accessible here later today.

Beginning with summer programming, schools should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on school buses when transporting students. The CDC advises schools to create distance between children on school buses when possible, and to follow masking and other COVID-19 safety precautions.

​This marks a change from the current restriction that requires schools to maintain a minimum of 3 feet of distance between students on a bus, which has resulted in a 23-person cap on school buses. The change should allow more students to return to in-person instruction starting this summer. Click here for details.

Additionally, Governor Carney’s order formalizes the following, effective at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, May 21:

  • All capacity restrictions inside restaurants, retail, gyms, other business establishments and houses of worship will be lifted. Facilities can use as much capacity as social distancing requirements will allow.
  • Masks will still be required indoors to prevent spread of COVID-19. 
  • Outdoors, Delawareans should follow masking guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Risk for COVID-19 spread increases in large crowds that include unvaccinated people. In those cases, the CDC recommends that everyone continue to wear a mask. 
  • Social distancing requirements will move from 6 feet to 3 feet.
  • Customers must continue to remain seated indoors and outdoors at bars and restaurants unless a plan for dance floors and other areas is approved by DPH. 
  • Events over 250 people indoors and outdoors will still require plan approval from DPH to ensure compliance with basic precautions to prevent spread of COVID-19.

“Delawareans have worked together to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, and we still have more work to do. But we have the tools to prevent severe illness and hospitalization,” said Governor Carney. “Get vaccinated. Visit de.gov/getmyvaccine to find options near you. Ask your friends and family if they’ve gotten their shot. That’s the best thing you can do to protect yourself and those you love.” 

As of Monday, May 11, Delaware providers had administered 816,090 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 55 percent of Delawareans 16 and older have received at least one shot. 

Visit de.gov/covidvaccine for information on Delaware’s COVID-19 vaccination program, which is now open to all Delawareans 12 or older.

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

Visit de.gov/coronavirus to get the latest on Delaware’s response to COVID-19.

Visit de.gov/gettested to learn more about free COVID-19 testing.

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Delaware Envirothon Results Announced

Wilmington Charter School Team C members are, top row: Darren Wu and Shriya Boyapati; middle row: Joanna Tan and Meghna Raj Annasagaram, and bottom: Amogh Baradwaj.

Wilmington Charter School Team C Finishes First

Charter School of Wilmington Team C is the winner of the 2021 Delaware Envirothon, an annual environmental and natural resources education competition for high school students sponsored by the Delaware Association of Conservation Districts in partnership with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Charter School of Wilmington Team A finished second and Charter School of Wilmington Team B placed third out of a total of 10 teams participating in this year’s competition. In addition to the three Charter School of Wilmington teams, other teams represented Calvary Christian Academy in Dover, Middletown High School FFA, Newark Charter School, Odessa High School FFA, and the Peach Blossom 4-H team from Kent County.

Instead of an in-person competition, students competed virtually over the course of four days. Each team answered questions on topics dealing with aquatic ecology, soils/land-use, wildlife, forestry, air quality, and the current environmental issue, “Water Resources Management: Local Control and Local Solutions.” Charter School of Wilmington Team C will now represent Delaware in the virtual 2021 National Conservation Foundation Envirothon out of Lincoln, Neb., at the end of July.

Each member of the winning team earned a $500 college scholarship from the Delaware Envirothon. The winning team will also receive an award plaque for their school. The second through seventh place teams received more than $1,300 in special team awards and cash prizes. Special cash awards totaling $450 were provided to the top three Forestry teams by the Delaware Forestry Association.

Prizes in the form of gift cards and ribbons were awarded to the top seven teams. The official results are as follows:

First place: Charter School of Wilmington Team C
Second place: Charter School of Wilmington Team A
Third place: Charter School of Wilmington Team B
Fourth place: Peach Blossom 4-H Club
Fifth place: Middletown High School FFA
Sixth place: Odessa Ducks FFA
Seventh place: Newark Charter School Dino Nuggets

Since its inception, the Delaware Envirothon has awarded $6,500 in scholarships to 125 students. The competition is hosted by the Delaware Association of Conservation Districts, a voluntary, non-profit association that coordinates conservation efforts statewide to focus on natural resource issues identified by Delaware’s three local conservation districts. For more information, visit delawareenvirothon.org/.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship develops and implements innovative watershed assessment, monitoring and implementation activities. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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Governor Carney, Secretary Bunting Announce Accelerated Learning Plan

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney and Secretary of Education Susan Bunting on Tuesday announced their plans for helping schools support students and address unfinished learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Using federal funding from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, Delaware will focus on key areas to support districts and charter schools in helping students make up for unfinished learning.  The state received roughly $21 million for K-12 education and districts and charter schools received more than $164 million from this bill.

The Delaware Strategy to Accelerate Learning focuses on four core actions:

  • Support the Use of High-Quality Instructional Materials: Provide statewide licenses for access to high quality instructional materials such as Zearn Math for every rising 1st through 8th grader and Summer Booster Literacy for every rising 1st through 5th grader.
  • Support Training and Professional Learning: Provide initial and ongoing professional learning to support learning acceleration, which will also be open to those working in nonprofit programs and other summer and after-school programs.
  • Support Leveraging Data to Diagnose Unfinished Learning: Support schools to implement a balanced assessment system and leverage data that supports educators in diagnosing unfinished learning and providing the necessary scaffolds to ensure all students have access to grade level instruction.
  • Support Structures to Accelerate Learning: Provide high-dosage tutoring beginning this summer, with a focus on students who need the most support.

The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) will also provide access for every student to an online text repository of roughly 3 million e-books and the Delaware public library collection. Schools will have the ability to track how many texts students have read and how much time is spent reading. These resources and trainings are also available to community organizations, other entities serving students over the summer and after school, and to families at home, to ensure no matter where children are, they are getting high-quality educational services.

Additional expenditures from this federal funding include supports for non-English speaking families and family engagement around these resources, support for Delaware’s school-based wellness centers, targeted professional learning packages for high-need schools, behavioral health supports, and more.

In addition, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), passed by Congress last month, will provide DDOE more than $40 million and districts and charters nearly $370 million. DDOE will be engaging stakeholders to solicit input on key areas the state can invest its portion of funding, with a particular focus on how to support students who were most affected by the pandemic. Districts and charter schools will be crafting plans on how they will spend their funds with stakeholder engagement at the local level.

DDOE will hold a Facebook Live in early May to give families and community members an overview of the state’s accelerated learning plan, take questions, and share how families can help their students using these resources.

Questions or feedback on this plan can be sent to stakeholder.feedback@doe.k12.de.us.

“I want to thank our federal delegation for their work to secure these critical funds for Delaware’s schools and communities,” said Governor John Carney. “Helping our schools make up for the unfinished learning that occurred over the past year is going to be one of the most important things we as a state do. I want to also thank our educators, district and charter leaders, principals, school nurses, and everyone who works in our schools for the work they are doing. These resources are here to help you maximize your impact.”

“Both our educators and our families are focused on preparing students for grade-level instruction at the beginning of the upcoming school year. Through our accelerated learning plan, we will be able to supplement instructional time that may have been impacted by COVID-19 closures,” said Dr. Susan Bunting, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education. “The Delaware Department of Education is a support agency. We look forward to working with our district and charter leaders, as well as our educators and non-profit partners, to maximize academic growth during the summer.”

“We are thankful for this federal funding because it will help students and educators to recover from this public health crisis,” said Stephanie Ingram, President of the Delaware State Education Association. “It will provide those who need additional support the most with an opportunity to access this support anywhere, at any time. We are particularly encouraged by the professional development and training being provided as well as the additional mental health supports for students and educators. Such supports have become even more of a necessity over the last year.”

“As we debated economic relief packages in Congress, I would not back down when it came to prioritizing funding to states and school districts to help our students catch up on the learning they might have missed due to the pandemic,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “Our children, particularly our most vulnerable students, deserve access to high-quality accelerated learning and summer school programs, and our educators will need the resources and tools to help our students clear the learning hurdles brought on by the past year. I’m proud of Delaware’s announcement, and commend Governor Carney and Secretary Bunting for their ongoing focus on community engagement and helping all students, especially those challenged the most by this pandemic.”

“The past year has posed dramatic new challenges for students, educators, and families,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons. “I am grateful for the leadership of Delaware’s teachers and district leaders, Governor Carney, and Secretary Bunting in seeking out new ways to support our students. These critical investments will help identify areas where additional support is needed, provide instructional tools, and give students more one-on-one time for extra support.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every part of Delawareans’ lives, including our children’s ability to learn and thrive. That’s why, as the federal delegation worked on COVID relief legislation, one of the top priorities for Senators Carper, Coons, and I was ensuring that we obtained funding to help compensate for learning loss experienced over this past school year,” said U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester. “I want to thank Governor Carney and Secretary Bunting for their efforts in ensuring that these federal resources make it to the students and educators who need them most.”

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our students has been truly monumental, upending the learning process in almost every way imaginable. We know that many students have fallen behind, and it’s our duty to get each and every child in our schools back on track,” said State Representative Kim Williams, Chair of the House Education Committee. “I am pleased to see that significant resources have been dedicated to this vitally important task, and am confident that educators, administrators and education professionals across Delaware will put them to good use in the months ahead.”

“I’m thrilled Governor Carney is investing federal dollars in professional development opportunities for educators in our high-needs schools — a key provision in the interim recommendations issued by the Redding Consortium for Educational Equity earlier this year,” said State Senate Majority Whip Elizabeth “Tizzy” LockmanVice Chair of the Senate Education Committee. “This is an important first step toward providing the sustained and consistent support our educators, our students and our families deserve. I look forward to working with him to make this a permanent component of our efforts to improve outcomes for students at the greatest risk of falling behind.”

“The pandemic has meant less direct instruction time for many of our students as we have worked to open schools with many mitigation strategies in place,” said Dr. Dan Shelton, Superintendent of the Christina School District. “In Christina, we are utilizing an expanded school year to ensure that we have opportunities for learning to extend beyond the traditional school year. We are also partnering with Adult Ed. so that we have multiple avenues for our High School Students to gain Credit Recovery. Partnering with the Delaware Department of Education, we will also be offering individual tutoring and online math support through the Zearn platform. We are planning to develop lessons around the resources available in SORA, in addition to the curriculum mapping our specialists have developed.”

“The Delaware Hispanic Commission has been advocating for a Language Access Plan that provides equal access to services to all non-English speaking Delawareans,” said Javier Torrijos, Chairman of the Delaware Hispanic Commission. “The Governor and the Department of Education has moved one step closer toward meeting this critical need by providing a language line where parents can call the school in their native tongue and always have an interpreter available. Many Spanish speaking parents have been unable to communicate with their children’s teacher due to the language barrier. They now can engage in a full conversation to better understand their students’ progress and find out what is going on at their school. They can be directly involved whereas previously this was not possible due to the language barrier. We congratulate Governor Carney and Secretary Bunting in taking this crucial step in providing this long overdue service.”

“As President of the Delaware School-Based Health Alliance and Director of Behavioral Health for the Colonial School District, I am very grateful for the Governor’s support of High School Wellness Centers in Delaware, which are playing a key role in supporting adolescent health both in the response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jon CooperDirector of Behavioral Health at the Colonial School District. “Now more than ever, our adolescents need access to the medical and behavioral health services that School Based Wellness Centers provide.”

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