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Red Clay board approves Priority Schools MOU


The Red Clay Consolidated School Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Delaware Department of Education tonight that allows the district and state to move forward together to support students in the district’s three Priority Schools.

“We have worked closely with Red Clay leaders over the past few months on a path forward that can deliver more services and resources to the children in Red Clay’s three priority schools.  Red Clay has worked tirelessly with teachers, parents and other stakeholders to develop an MOU that is tailored to their needs and represents a compromise that has the potential to deliver for their students.  It provides for the selection of a great school leader who will have the flexibility to modify the school day, extend the school year or change the curriculum to best meet students’ needs.  While the plans for each school are still being developed, we are excited about the prospect of providing additional support services and resources to the children in these schools,” Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said.

In September, the state announced significant resources and support for Delaware’s six lowest-performing district schools, providing the opportunity for substantial changes that address the specific needs of students from their communities. These Priority Schools, all located within the City of Wilmington and split between the Christina and Red Clay districts, would share almost $6 million over four years to implement locally-developed, state-approved plans.

Tonight’s vote comes after months of collaboration between the state and Red Clay, which also has been moving forward with its school plans for Highlands Elementary, Shortlidge Academy, and Warner Elementary.  Red Clay officials submitted a first draft of plans to the state for feedback on December 12 and have committed to submitting high-quality plans that meet the expectations outlined in the state's turnaround guide by January 7.

Recognizing that Red Clay schools are in session only five days between now and January 7 and the importance of families having the opportunity to engage in the development of the plan as well as provide feedback on the final plans, state and district leaders agreed school board members would consider the final plans at their January 21 meeting. Red Clay leaders have committed to submitting their board-approved plans to the state by noon on January 22.

Alison May
(302) 735-4000