Sites across Delaware offer free summer meals to children

Districts, charter schools and community partners across the state are providing free meals to children in their communities so they don’t go hungry while school is out.

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), a federally funded program operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and managed locally by the Delaware Department of Education, targets children in low-income areas so they have healthy meals during the summer. Meals are provided in communities in areas where children gather. No registration or proof of eligibility is required at open meal sites. Any child 18 and under who comes is fed.

In Summer 2018, 760,029 meals and snacks were served at 329 sites throughout the state.

“We know many children rely on the meals they receive in school and still have those food needs during summer break,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said. “With the partnership of our districts, charter schools and community organizations, this program gives children access to nutritious food during the summer in their own communities.”

To find a Summer Food Service Program location in your community and its dates of operation, call 211 or visit

If you are interested in being a summer meal site, contact the Delaware Department of Education Nutrition Programs Office at (302) 857-3356.

Note to the media: You are invited to cover any of the following kickoff events:

• 11 a.m., Friday, June 14, Seaford Library, 600 N. Market St. Extension, Seaford
• 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, June 19, Eisenberg Elementary School, 27 Landers Lane, New Castle
• 10:30 a.m., Thursday, June 20, Greater Dover Boys & Girls Club, 1683 New Burton Road, Dover


Media Contact: Alison May,, 302-735-4006

State seeks sponsors, meal sites for 2019 Summer Food Service Program

A program that targets children in low-income areas so they have meals during the summer is seeking sponsors and meal sites. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), a federally funded program operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and managed locally by the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE), needs sponsors and meal sites for locations throughout Delaware to increase the number of children 18 years of age or younger who receive nutritious and healthy meals during the summer months. Organizations that participate are eligible to receive reimbursements for meals served and administrative expenses.

Who Can Participate?

• Sponsors – Units of local government, camps, schools, and private nonprofit organizations are eligible to operate a SFSP as sponsors.

• Meal sites – Individual sites, such as camps, housing complexes, community centers, parks and homes are eligible to operate a SFSP as a site under a sponsor. The sponsor would prepare and deliver the meals to the site (some locations may be served by a food truck, depending on availability). An adult at the site would be required to be the site supervisor to oversee the meals being served.

• Children – Children 18 and under may receive free meals and snacks through the SFSP.
(Meals and snacks also are available to persons with disabilities, 21 and under, who participate in school programs.)

Sponsors and sites will receive training to help them operate a successful program and will have continued support from the Delaware Department of Education throughout the course of the program. All sponsors and sites must agree to serve meals per the USDA Nondiscrimination Statement.

Eligibility for SFSP is based on free and reduced lunch data for a school for a particular area or census data. To qualify as an open site that can feed all children, the site must be in an area where 50 percent or more of the children qualify for free or reduced lunch. In addition, camps and enrolled programs may qualify based on individual income eligibility. The income scale is available here.

For information on becoming a SFSP sponsor or site or to locate a sponsored site in your area, call (302) 857-3356 or visit: and search “Summer Food Service Program.”

Media Contact: Alison May,, 302-735-4006

16 schools to be honored for students’ academic achievement

Secretary of Education Susan Bunting will recognize 16 schools from across the state for their students’ academic achievement on Monday, Dec. 10.


The students showed exceptional performance on state tests or made remarkable progress in closing the achievement gaps between student groups, including those from low-income families, racial minority groups and students with disabilities.


Each building named a 2018 Recognition School will receive an $8,000 award. Funding for the awards comes from the state’s School Improvement funds. One building was named a School of Continued Excellence because it earned Recognition School honors last year and had outstanding performance again this year. It is not eligible for a financial award again until 2019. Two buildings also will be recognized as National ESEA Distinguished Schools.


The Recognition School awards were created by legislation passed by the Delaware General Assembly in 2009.

Representatives from all of the honored schools will gather at 1 p.m. Dec. 10 at Clayton Intermediate School for the award ceremony. The event is open to the media. The school is located at 86 Sorrento Drive in Clayton.


2018 winners:


  • Campus Community Charter School, Dover, Recognition School
    • Heidi Green, Head of School       
  • Clayton Elementary School, Smyrna School District, Recognition School
    • Katherine Wood, Principal         
  • Clayton Intermediate School, Smyrna School District, Recognition School
    • David Paltrineri, Principal 
  • Robert S. Gallaher Elementary School, Christina School District, Recognition School
    • Erin Cassel, Principal
  • Albert H. Jones Elementary School, Christina School District, Recognition School
    • Shevena Cale, Principal
  • Long Neck Elementary School, Indian River School District, Recognition School
    • Clara Conn, Principal
  • Marbrook Elementary School, Red Clay School District, Recognition School
    • Melissa Phillips, Principal
  • Millsboro Middle School, Indian River School District, Recognition School
    • Jessica Jackson, Principal
  • Mispillion Elementary School, Milford School District, Recognition School
    • Teresa Wallace, Principal
  • Nellie Hughes Stokes Elementary School, Caesar Rodney School District, Recognition School
    • Darisa Everett, Principal
  • North Smyrna Elementary School, Smyrna School District, School of Continued Excellence
    • Stephanie Smeltzer, Principal
  • Seaford Central Elementary School, Seaford School District, Recognition School
    • Becky Neubert, Principal
  • Silver Lake Elementary School, Appoquinimink School District, Recognition School
    • Christy Boyd, Principal
  • Sunnyside Elementary School, Smyrna School District, Recognition School
    • Michael Grant, Principal
  • West Park Place Elementary School, Christina School District, National ESEA Distinguished and Recognition School
    • Ledonnis Hernandez and Tracy Novack, Principals
  • Etta J. Wilson Elementary School, Christina School District, National ESEA Distinguished and Recognition School
    • Natalie Birch, Principal



Delaware wins $10.4 million federal grant to strengthen charter school system

Delaware has won a $10.4 million federal grant to strengthen the state’s charter school system, including improved collaboration with other public schools.

Funds from the U.S. Department of Education’s Charter School Program will be distributed over four years to support:

  • Sharing best practices between charter schools and other public schools;
  • Evaluating and enhancing the impact of charter schools on student achievement, families and communities;
  • Strengthening the charter school authorization process; and
  • Providing subgrants for the planning, program design and initial implementation of new charter schools and expansion and replication of highly effective existing charter schools.

Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said the state always is looking for effective practices that can be used in schools across the state. The state’s role is to help share what is working across district and charter lines.

“Delaware designed charter schools with the legislative intent to improve education. This grant will assist the Delaware Department of Education in leveraging best practices and innovative ideas to help all Delaware students, regardless of zip code or socioeconomic status, to have access to a high-quality education,” she said.

The grant also will help the Delaware Department of Education to improve its charter authorization process by enhancing reporting to include additional measures, providing technical assistance to charter school stakeholders and addressing policy to strengthen authorization practices.

Delaware charter schools applying for subgrants from the state must show how they will use the funds to:

  • Increase academic achievement for all students in the school as well as educationally disadvantaged students;
  • Collaborate to share best practices with district and charter schools;
  • Engage the families of educationally disadvantaged children on school choice opportunities with a focus on Delaware’s rural and urban areas;
  • Leverage partnerships with local agencies (i.e. social services, behavioral health, mental health, educational support, job placement, before/after care) to enhance school services and ensure sustainability.

“Schools seeking subgrants must demonstrate that they have a proven track record of success in providing a quality education to all students and supporting the achievement of educationally disadvantaged students,” Bunting said.

Kendall Massett, executive director of the Delaware Charter Schools Network, said Delaware’s charter school community is excited for the opportunities this federal grant will provide.

“I have been advocating for an increase in the U.S. Department of Education Charter School Program Fund for the past six years,” Massett said. “I saw how previous grants from this fund positively impacted the lives of children in Delaware, and when the federal funding ran out, I knew we needed to get it back. Charter schools are an incredible choice for our children, but the funding challenges to open, expand, or replicate highly effective charter schools can sometimes be too much. The Delaware Charter Schools Network is excited to partner with the Delaware Department of Education on this grant that will open opportunities and provide more choice for students throughout the state.”


Media Contact: Alison May,, (302) 735-4006

Three Delaware schools receive National Blue Ribbon honors

Three Delaware schools are among the schools that U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recognized today as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2018. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

Cedar Lane Elementary School in the Appoquinimink School District, Lake Forest South Elementary School in the Lake Forest School District, and Selbyville Middle School in the Indian River School District are among the schools that will be honored at an awards ceremony November 7 and 9 in Washington, D.C. The school leaders: Melisa Stilwell (Cedar Lane Elementary School), Clifford S. Owens (Lake Forest South Elementary School), and Jason M. Macrides (Selbyville Middle School) will be invited to attend the national awards ceremony with a teacher representative from each of their schools.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.

This coveted award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Now in its 36th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 8,800 schools.

All schools are honored in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by The Council for American Private Education (CAPE).


A listing of all National Blue Ribbon Schools in Delaware:

Cedar Lane Elementary School                 Middletown     2018

Lake Forest South Elementary School      Harrington      2018

Selbyville Middle School                           Selbyville         2018

East Millsboro Elementary School            Millsboro         2017

Olive B. Loss Elementary School               Bear                2017

Seaford Central Elementary School          Seaford            2017

Christ the Teacher Catholic School           Newark            2016

Dover Air Force Base Middle School         Dover              2016

Newark Charter School                             Newark            2016

St John the Beloved School                       Wilmington     2016

Sussex Academy                                       Georgetown    2016

Cape Henlopen High School                      Lewes              2015

Lake Forest East Elementary School         Frederica         2015

W. B. Simpson Elementary School Wyoming 2015

The Academy of Dover                             Dover              2014

John M. Clayton Elementary School         Frankford        2014

Lake Forest North Elementary School      Felton              2014

The Charter School of Wilmington           Wilmington     2013

Richard A. Shields Elementary School      Lewes              2013

Allen Frear Elementary School                 Dover              2013

Linden Hill Elementary School                  Wilmington     2012

Harry O. Eisenberg Elementary School     New Castle      2012

Star Hill Elementary School                      Dover              2012

West Park Place Elementary School         Newark            2011

Long Neck Elementary School                  Millsboro         2011

Nellie Hughes Stokes Elementary School Dover              2011

Christ the Teacher Catholic School           Newark            2010

Newark Charter School                             Newark            2010

Robert S. Gallaher Elementary School      Newark            2010

Woodbridge Elementary School               Greenwood     2010

Marbrook Elementary School                   Wilmington     2009

East Millsboro Elementary School            Millsboro         2008

Sussex Technical High School                   Georgetown    2008

Lancashire Elementary School                  Wilmington     2007

Etta J. Wilson Elementary School             Newark            2007

Joseph M. McVey Elementary School       Newark            2007

North Georgetown Elementary School    Georgetown    2006

Lake Forest East Elementary School         Frederica         2006

Fairview Elementary School                      Dover              2006

Long Neck Elementary School                  Millsboro         2005

Booker T. Washington Elementary School Dover            2005

Lulu M. Ross Elementary School               Milford            2004

Frankford Elementary School                   Frankford        2004

Phillip C. Showell Elementary School        Selbyville         2003

Corpus Christi Elementary School             Wilmington     2001

Lord Baltimore Elementary School           Ocean View     2001

Padua Academy                                        Wilmington     1996

Seaford Middle School                              Seaford            1996

Sussex Technical High School                   Georgetown    1996

St. Matthew School                                   Wilmington     1992

Corpus Christi School                                Wilmington     1990

Dover High School                                     Dover              1987

Skyline Middle School                               Wilmington     1985

Christiana High School                              Newark            1984

Caesar Rodney Senior High School           Camden           1984

Brandywine High School                           Wilmington     1983

Shue Middle School                                  Newark            1983


NOTE TO MEDIA: Photographs and brief descriptions of the 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools are available at


Contact: Alison May,, 302-735-4006.