UPDATE: Earlier this month, Former Secretary of Education Lillian Lowery approved the final Partnership Zone plan in the state’s second cohort of schools. Laurel School District’s Laurel Middle School was on a delayed scheduled because the state identified it as a PZ school late. Its plan, along with the other five, now is available online here.
Laurel’s designated Race to the Top portion of the Partnership Zone allocation is about $181,311 per year. To secure additional funding, Laurel may apply for the Title I 1003(g) School Improvement Grant.
Secretary of Education Dr. Lillian M. Lowery has approved six schools’ Partnership Zone plans. The plans – drafted locally with state support – are designed to turn around underperforming schools with the help of an influx of resources and assistance.
“District leaders worked closely with parents, teachers and other school community members to design a plan that will meet their building and students’ individual needs,” Lowery said. “We now know what we need to do, but the work has just begun. We must continue to partner as we implement these plans in the 2012-13 school year.”
In September, Lowery named the five schools to the state’s second Partnership Zone cohort. They are: Capital School District’s Dover High; Christina School District’s Bancroft Elementary; and Red Clay Consolidated School District’s Lewis Dual Language Elementary, Marbrook Elementary and Stanton Middle.
A sixth school – Laurel School District’s Laurel Middle – was identified in October because of a state calculation error and thus is about a month behind the other five schools in the process. All six schools join the state’s first cohort of PZ schools selected in 2010: Christina’s Glasgow High and Stubbs Elementary, New Castle County Vo-Tech School District’s Howard High School of Technology and Positive Outcomes charter school. The state’s School Turnaround Unit supports and monitors the PZ schools.
The Partnership Zone was a key component of the state’s top-ranked Race to the Top plan. In 2010, Delaware was one of two states to win first-round funding in the federal competitive grant program, earning $119 million to support efforts to improve the quality of education in the state. The state’s plan included the support of every school district, superintendent, charter school and charter school director.
Partnership Zone schools will benefit from RTTT funds and school improvement grants to carry out one of four models for significantly improving student performance at the school:
Closure – District closes the school and enrolls the students who attended that school into other schools.
Restart – District converts a school into a public charter school pursuant to the requirements of Chapter 5 of Title 14 of the Delaware Code, or closes and reopens a school under a charter school operator, a charter management organization or an education management organization that has been selected through a rigorous review process.
Transformation – School makes significant changes in its governance and operation, including making changes to teacher evaluation consequences and modifying instructional time.
Turnaround – School makes significant changes in governance, staffing and operation including removing at least 50% of the current staff.
Like the first four schools, each of the six plans approved in the second round uses the transformation model.
Capital’s designated Race to the Top portion of the Partnership Zone allocation for Dover High School is $ 271,276 per year. Christina’s designated RTTT portion of the Partnership Zone allocation for Bancroft is $202,206 per year. Red Clay’s designated RTTT portions of the Partnership Zone allocation are $167,818 (Lewis), $176,423 (Marbrook) and $205,157 (Stanton), respectively, per school per year. To secure additional funding, each district may apply for the Title I 1003(g) School Improvement Grant.
Additional information about the Partnership Zone is available online at http://www.deturnaround.org/ .
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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