VIDEO: Stellar education programs recognized at DSCC's Superstars in Education Awards
The spotlight shines on three upstate and four downstate schools that have received the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce's 2013 Superstars in Education awards.
WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.
The transition between middle school and high school is one of the toughest times in a kid's life. That's why John Dickinson High School in Red Clay created the Ninth Grade Transition Academy.
The academy's assistant principal Chris Kohan says they found out the transition is hard in ways they never expected.
"We found students came in afraid of getting lost and not being able to open their lockers. So we devote a day at the beginning of the year towards all those little things that make ninth graders feel comfortable," he says.
The program is one of seven recognized by the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and state dignitaries annually at the Chase Center on the Riverfront.
Warner Elementary School's Preschool FRIENDS program was also honored.
Teacher Dawn Alexander tells WDEL parental involvement is key to the program's success.
"We have them come in as mystery readers, and they surprise their children and read to their children; they actually read to the whole class, and we work hard to make sure that every single child has at least one parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling come in to read," says Alexander.
State Education Secretary Mark Murphy tells WDEL there's no blanket approach to winning a Superstars award because the programs are tailored to a school's needs, but that doesn't mean certain programs can't be duplicated in other schools and districts.
"I will charge the group with sharing these practices, sharing their results beyond their own school walls. So I do hope that some of these practices catch fire," says Sec. Murphy.
This year's other winners include: the 21st Century Senator Success After School Program at Dover High School; Central Middle School's Master the Schedule for Academic success program; the Curriculum Support/Enrichment Time at Chipman Middle School in Harrington; the Fluency Station at Star Hill Elementary School; and the Gallaher Positive Action Program at Gallaher Elementary School in the Christina School District.
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