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
Milton


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.


Lt. Governor, Seaford School District Announce New District-Wide Elementary School Breakfast Program

Lt. Governor, Seaford School District Announce New District-Wide Elementary School Breakfast Program

 DOVER, DE – Yesterday, Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn was joined by Seaford School District officials to announce that the Seaford School District is the first Delaware school district to join his campaign to allow students to eat breakfast in the classroom in all of its elementary schools.

National research has demonstrated that eating breakfast has a significant impact on students’ academic performance and overall well-being, and that allowing students to eat breakfast in the classroom dramatically increases the number of students who eat a nutritious breakfast.  Delaware ranks 22nd in the country with respect to the percentage of income-eligible students who eat breakfast at school.  Prior to Seaford accepting the Lieutenant Governor’s challenge, the Colonial School District was the only other school district in Delaware that offered breakfast to all of its elementary school students.

“Offering breakfast in the classroom is something that we know will help our kids, and something that we can do today,” Lieutenant Governor Denn said.   “I applaud Seaford for its effort, and I hope other districts will follow suit.  When I leave Seaford today, I’ll be driving to yet another elementary school in a nearby district to talk to its principal about following Seaford’s example.”

Lieutenant Governor Denn was joined at today’s press conference at West Seaford Elementary School by Seaford’s Interim Superintendent Kevin Carson, Nutrition Services Supervisor Patricia Cunningham, and the principals of all four Seaford elementary schools.

“At West Seaford Elementary, now that every student can eat breakfast for free, an average of 87 more students a day are eating breakfast,” said West Seaford Principal Julie Giangiulio, whose student breakfast participation has jumped from 55% to 80% in the three months since in-classroom breakfast began.  “That is 87 students that were likely going hungry before. When students are hungry they can struggle concentrating, get frequent headaches, and they can even struggle with behavior problems. Bringing free breakfast to West Seaford means our students have one less obstacle in their path toward a bright and healthy future.”

Since beginning the classroom breakfast program in January, Blades Elementary has increased its breakfast participation by 12%.  Central Elementary’s first day of offering breakfast in the classroom is today, March 19th and Frederick Douglass will follow on March 31st.

On average, Central serves 180 students a day for breakfast.  Today, the first day of their classroom breakfast program, they served 301 students, which is a jump from 38% to 64% of their students.

“There has always been tremendous disparity between the Seaford School District lunch participation and the breakfast participation,” said Nutrition Services Supervisor Patricia Cunningham.   “Obstacles, like busing and class scheduling, which were beyond the Nutrition Services Department control, prompted the department to look at alternate methods to reach the students for breakfast service.  It was also our mission to reach our students, given the fact that 74% of our students qualify for free or reduced-priced meals.”

 


Proposal to Make Early Teacher Hiring Permanent

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR AND STATE LEGISLATORS PROPOSE TO MAKE EARLY TEACHER HIRING PROGRAM PERMANENT

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

The original sponsors of Delaware’s pilot program to allow school districts to make earlier hiring offers to new teachers have introduced legislation to make the pilot program a permanent one. The pilot program has 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.

House Bill 259 will make 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 was created through legislation implementing the recommendations of a task force chaired by Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn and State Senator David Sokola.

“Our task force findings were very straightforward,” said Lieutenant Governor Denn. “The school districts told us that they were holding back on early hiring because they couldn’t risk getting less state money than they expected. And the consequence was that they were losing teaching candidates to other states that were making firm offers earlier in the year. Our solution was to guarantee the districts the vast majority of their money in May, and the results have been striking.”

The University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration, in its ninth annual Delaware Teacher and Administrator Supply and Demand Survey Analysis Report[1], 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. 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, “Our goal is to hire the very best teachers and have them prepared to start the first day of school. Early unit counts have proven to be an effective tool for our school districts in accomplishing this goal and removing the sunset provision keeps this tool available to our school districts.”

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 we’re making it permanent.”

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

[1] The report can be found on-line at http://www.ipa.udel.edu/publications/teacher_supply13.pdf.


New District-Wide Elementary School Breakfast Program Announcement

Lt. Governor Denn’s Announcement of New District-Wide Elementary School Breakfast Program

WHO: Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn
Julie Giangiulio – Principal, West Seaford Elementary School
Denise Jacono – Principal, Frederick Douglass Elementary School
Jeff Forjan – Principal, Seaford Central Elementary School
Heather Bethurum – Principal,Blades Elementary School
Patricia Cunningham – Nutrition Services Supervisor , Seaford School District
Dr. Kevin Carson – Interim Superintendent, Seaford School District
Students

WHAT: Announcement of New District-Wide Elementary School Breakfast Program

WHEN: Wednesday, March 19, 2014
11:15 a.m.

WHERE: West Seaford Elementary School
511 Sussex Avenue
Seaford, Delaware 19973

DETAILS: Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn will announce Seaford School District as the first district he has recruited to allow students to eat breakfast in the classroom in all of its elementary schools.

The Seaford School District joins Colonial School District in having all elementary schools allow students to eat breakfast in the classroom. Eating breakfast in the classroom has been a proven way to increase participation which increases grades, test scores, and positive behavior throughout the day. Across the country, eating breakfast in the classroom has also reduced tardiness, absenteeism, childhood obesity, and disciplinary issues.

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