Return to Headlines

Five districts, charter win state communications grants




CONTACT:  Alison May (302) 735-4000




The Delaware Department of Education has awarded six grants to five districts and a charter school to support communication with families about the transition to the state’s new assessment.


Each submitted a proposal of how it would use funds to better inform parents and guardians about the state’s Smarter English Language Arts and Smarter Mathematics assessments, which students will take for the first time this spring.


To ensure all students are prepared for success after graduation, Delaware adopted the Common Core State Standards to establish a set of clear, consistent guidelines for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level in math and English Language Arts. The Common Core challenges students to develop a deeper understanding of subject matter, learn how to think critically and apply what they are learning to the real world.


The Smarter assessments, aligned to the new standards, will set a realistic baseline that shows how students are progressing along their academic pathways. The assessments, which replace the Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS) reading and math exams, will provide an academic checkup by measuring real-world skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. Unlike DCAS, which was administered up to three times a year, the Smarter assessments are taken once, in the spring. In addition, Smarter offers educators a digital library of resources and interim exams to use during the year to give teachers and parents a better picture of where students are performing well and where they need help.


Last year, the department partnered with the Delaware State Education Association, Delaware Parent Teacher Association and Rodel Foundation of Delaware to launch, which includes information for parents, educators and the public on the state’s new standards and assessments including a Principal’s Toolkit to aid schools in their outreach to families. The state also provided local funding in Fiscal year 2014 that districts and charter schools could spend as locally determined to assist in the transition to the new assessments. This grant program was added this fall to offer additional support to those districts and charters continuing their outreach to families in preparation for the spring assessment.


Most of the grant money will be used by the districts and charter to support school-based family information sessions and/or community meetings throughout the rest of the school year as well as other supports, such as training modules and family information packets.


The following grants have been awarded:


·         Appoquinimink School District: $6,703

·         Caesar Rodney School District: $10,000

·         Capital School District: $10,000

·         Campus Community Charter School: $1,000

·         Indian River School District: $1,000

·         Seaford School District: $6,000

Alison May
(302) 735-4000