17 Delaware schools recognized for their efforts to help students succeed

Schools from up and down Delaware were honored Monday for their special efforts to keep their students excelling at state tests, or for closing achievement gaps.

The Recognition School Awards were presented at North Dover Elementary School to representatives from 17 schools. The awards were created through state legislation ten years ago. They  include a financial award to the school of $8,000 from the state's school improvement funds.

"This recognition award first of all is a great confidence booster for the teachers and the students here," North Dover Elementary School Principal Shani Benson said. "It's all about goal-setting with them and for them to understand what they're actually working towards."

While each school goes about addressing students' needs and trying to meet them in their own way, Delaware Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said they all collaborate and rely heavily on data.

"They also frequently comment about the school community as a whole - staff members collectively, but they're also working in collaboration and partnership with parents, with community organizations so there's a lot of support for the students as well," Bunting said. "They work as a whole because they know that's how they're going to make the biggest difference for students."

Two schools received School of Continued Excellence recognition for having outstanding performance in the year following their receiving of Recognition School honors. Those particular schools are not eligible for the financial award again until 2020.

One of those schools is West Park Place Elementary in the Christina School District, which has just about 340 students according to Principal Tracy Novack.

Part of their approach, Novack said, is to present opportunities for students to take risks and discover their strengths.

"We're teaching our students to be leaders, and we're hoping it gives us that bump to keep going," Novack said.

Schools that were honored Monday were:

  • Beacon Middle School, Cape Henlopen School District, Recognition School
  • Christiana High School and Middle School Honors Academy, Christina School District, National ESEA Distinguished and Recognition School
  • John M. Clayton Elementary School, Indian River School District, Recognition School
  • Frederick Douglass Elementary School, Seaford School District, Recognition School
  • Forest Oak Elementary School, Red Clay School District, Recognition School
  • Allen Frear Elementary School, Caesar Rodney School District, Recognition School
  • Georgetown Middle School, Indian River School District, Recognition School
  • -Love Creek Elementary School, Cape Henlopen School District, Recognition School
  • R. Elisabeth Maclary Elementary School, Christina School District, Recognition School
  • Joseph M. McVey Elementary School, Christina School District, Recognition School
  • Milton Elementary School, Cape Henlopen School District, Recognition School
  • North Dover Elementary School, Capital School District, Recognition School
  • Rehoboth Elementary School, Cape Henlopen School District, National ESEA Distinguished and Recognition School
  • Lulu M. Ross Elementary School, Milford School District, Recognition School
  • Star Hill Elementary School, Caesar Rodney School District, Recognition School
  • West Park Place Elementary School, Christina School District, School of Continued Excellence
  • Etta J. Wilson Elementary School, Christina School District, School of Continued Excellence