A calculation error means the state has to make a substitution in its Partnership Zone school improvement plan. That means another school will be added to the list of under-performing schools.
Six schools were named last month to join four schools that were part of the inaugural Zone schools last year. Schools receive special attention as well as funding for programs aimed at improving performance. The Partnership Zone initiative was a key part of Delaware’s successful Race to the Top application approved by the federal government to receive $119-million.
Bayard Middle School in the Christina School District was on the list released in September, but Delaware Education Secretary Lillian Lowery said it is being replaced by Laurel Middle School in Sussex County. Lowery said Bayard was granted “new school status” in 2008-09 under federal accountability rules due to changes in its grade configuration. That code change was not part of the formula used by the state, resulting in Bayard incorrectly being included.
Lowery said the state regrets the inclusion of Bayard in the PZ plan. “I know this will be a disappointment to some who were excited about the great work they envisioned as part of the Partnership Zone,” Lowery said.
Meanwhile, Laurel Superintendent Dorothy Nave called it “a great opportunity for our community.”
“We will have the chance to work with our community to design a plan to implement reforms we otherwise wouldn’t have the money or technical support to enact,” Nave added.
This year’s Partnership Zone schools also include Dover High School, Bancroft Elementary School, Marbrook Elementary School, Stanton Middle School and Red Clay’s Lewis Dual Language Elementary. The original schools were Glasgow High School, Howard High School of Technology, Stubbs Elementary School and Positive Outcomes Charter School.