New resources allocated to low-performing schools in Wilmington

 Red Clay Superintendent Merv Daugherty speaks during funding announcement (Shana O'Malley/for NewsWorks)

Red Clay Superintendent Merv Daugherty speaks during funding announcement (Shana O'Malley/for NewsWorks)

Some of Wilmington’s most needy schools will share nearly $6 million in federal and state money to improve academic performance among students.

The schools include Bancroft Elementary, Bayard Middle and Stubbs Elementary schools in the Christina School District as well as Warner Elementary, Shortlidge Academy and Highlands Elementary in the Red Clay Consolidated School District.

The low-performing schools have large populations of low-income students.

In some schools, Delaware Governor Jack Markell said fewer than 30 percent of students are reading and doing math at grade level.

“Despite our shared commitment to provide all our children with a great education, we’ve made the least progress in improving a group of schools that serve our highest-need kids,” said Markell during the funding announcement Thursday morning at Warner Elementary School.

The funding comes from several sources including a federal school improvement grant and remaining Race to the Top resources. It will be used to allow school leaders to develop and implement new programs that they think will work best in their classrooms.

“We’re dedicating almost $6 million over five years, including a full time planner for each building, to support these schools and help them do the work that’s necessary to improve,” Markell said.

The initiative was met with support from school leaders.   

“There’s one way of getting out of poverty and that’s education,” said Merv Daugherty, superintendent of the Red Clay Consolidated School District. “The nice thing about this initiative is that we have the opportunity to get the funding that’s needed to get the ball rolling.”  

Christina School District Superintendent Freeman Williams said the funding will help the schools better meet the needs of students.

“I think it provides us with a forum to really put at the forefront the goals and the aspirations of our young people,” he said.

School leaders will need to develop their plans by Dec. 31 and the initiatives will be implemented during the 2015-2016 school year. 

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