Red Clay News
Three Red Clay schools named to Partnership Zones
- William C. Lewis Dual Language Elementary School Partnership Zone Plan
- Marbrook Elementary School Partnership Zone Plan
- Stanton Middle School Partnership Zone Plan
Statement from Delaware Secretary of Education
Secretary of Education Lillian M. Lowery today named six new schools to the state’s Partnership Zone, bringing an influx of resources and assistance to these underperforming schools.
The new schools --- Capital School District’s Dover High; Christina School District’s Bayard Middle and Bancroft Elementary; and Red Clay Consolidated School District’s Lewis Dual Language Elementary, Marbrook Elementary and Stanton Middle– join the four inaugural schools named to the Partnership Zone last year: 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.
“This is an exciting opportunity for these schools and for the communities they serve,” Lowery said. “With this designation, they will receive significant financial and technical assistance.
“Like the educators already working hard in these buildings each day, the state is committed to seeing these schools and their students succeed,” Lowery said. “The Partnership Zone brings additional resources and tools that will allow us to make that happen together.”
The Delaware Department of Education launched the Partnership Zone (PZ) in 2010 to dramatically improve the lowest-achieving schools in the state. Schools were selected by a two-step process that included a quantitative analysis to determine the persistently lowest achieving schools on the state’s reading and math tests and a qualitative analysis by Lowery that considered input from stakeholder groups. 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. Last year, 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.
Over the next three months, each school will engage parents, students, educators and other school community members to develop a plan to improve student achievement. The plans may include strategies such as: increased instructional time inclusive of enrichment, intervention and cultural enhancement opportunities, embedded collaboration time for instructional staff, reflection and possible alterations of school leadership staff; and meaningful family engagement activities.
Positive Outcomes Executive Director Edward J. Emmett Jr. said he and his school community were upset when they were named a Partnership Zone last year but since have realized it was an unforeseen blessing.
“While one year ago our school community was in shock, today, our entire school community is energized and focused on improving the lives of our students,” Emmett said. “We have developed a new focus and are all pushing to fulfill this focus with integrity and unity.”
Charlie Hoard, president of the New Castle County Vo-Tech Education Association, said his district also is excited for the changes possible because of Howard’s PZ participation.
"We've looked at this as an opportunity to do things differently, organize the school day differently, provide more targeted help to students at Howard,” Hoard said. This past year has certainly had its ups and downs, because cooperation and collaboration are not always easy. We're hopeful that as the school implements what has been planned over the past year, we'll all keep trusting that respectful collaboration will result in what's best for the students."
All PZ schools’ plans must include data from 2008-on and targets through 2014 for the following metrics:
- Reading Proficiency: overall and by subgroup
- Math Proficiency: overall and by subgroup
- Disciplinary action/suspensions
- Teacher retention
- Enrollment trends
- PZ high school plans also address:
- Promotion of first-time 9th graders to 10th grade
- SAT participation
- Graduation rate
- Dropout rate
- Post-secondary success
- AP enrollment and AP course grades of C or better
Lowery must approve the plans. Each of the inaugural PZ schools used the transformation model to create unique plans that address each school’s needs. The following is a summary of those plans. Full plans and additional information about the PZ are available online at http://www.deturnaround.org/ .
Information on this page maintained by Pati Nash