DDOE Staff update from October 2014. They “know” the DSEA will mis-read the DPAS report. DSEA MUST READ


All Staff Monthly Update

October, 2014

Education Supports & Innovative Practices – Susan Haberstroh

Community Education Building  – National School Lunch Program

  • School Nutrition Programs has approved the Community Education Building (CEB) as a School Food Authority. As such, CEB will provide meals for the charters in its building. CEB had received “conditional approval” last spring pending completion of the procurement process and submittal of appropriate documentation.

Community Eligibility Program – School Nutrition

  • On July 1, 2014 the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) was made available to all qualifying schools that participate in the United States Department of Agriculture’s School Nutrition Programs.    In order to qualify for this Provision, a school must have at least 40% enrolled students directly certified to receive free meals in the School Nutrition Programs.  In Delaware, we have 91 schools electing to implement CEP for SY 14-15.  This means that in these 91 schools all enrolled students will be able to eat breakfast and lunch for free!

Annual Bullying Report for School Year 2013-2014

  • The DDOE will be publishing the required annual report on bullying in districts and charter schools within Delaware.  The report is a summary of district/charter data on reports of alleged and substantiated bullying incidents, and the number of bullying offenses within substantiated incidents which occurred during the 2013-14 school year.  It also includes a summary of reasons for bullying, as well as the results of the audit of random schools for compliance with certain aspects of Delaware’s bullying prevention law.  Compared to the previous year, the number of alleged bullying reports declined 33%.  Substantiated bullying reports and the number of students involved in those reports both declined 11% from the previous year.  The top three reasons for bullying, as reported by school administration, were: 1) Peer Attention; 2) Other; 3) Physical Appearance.  The bully audit data in the report is presented in a summary format for the selected schools.  Individual reports will be emailed to the respective district superintendents and school principals.  Questions regarding this report should be directed to John Sadowski, DDOE Education Associate for School Climate & Discipline, at john.sadowski@doe.k12.de.us or 302-735-4060.

Adult Education & Family Literacy Week – Student Leadership Institute

  • This year, Adult Education and Family Literacy (AEFL) Week will be celebrated from September 22 to 26th.  The purpose of this national event is to raise public awareness of adult education and family literacy, assist adult learners in need of literacy services, leveragelocal resources, and support increasedaccess to adult education and family literacy programs.  To celebrate adult education, Delaware is holding a Student Leadership Institute on September 20 at the Polytech Adult Education Building in Woodside. The event will focus on helping students develop strategies for making their “dreams” into reality.  The keynote speaker, “Coach D”, will conduct an interactive seminar with adult learners providing methods to identify goals, surmount obstacles, and triumph over challenges.  Participants will brainstorm a “game plan” that will make their “dreams work!” While having fun, adult students will learn about personal development and empowerment which is critical to success in further education and the workplace.  There is no charge to students, alumni, or programs that register with OAASIS, the adult education student support organization.

Free to See GED® Event

  • From September 22 to October 3, GED Testing Service will be offering free administrations of the GED® Ready Test (normally $8 a subtest) at all adult education programs and GED® community testing centers.  Passing GED® Ready subtests have resulted in a 94 to 96% pass rate on the GED® subtests.  In fact, anyone who does not pass the GED® subtest after passing the GED Ready ® will be able to retake the GED® subtest again for free (normally $30 per subtest). Adult learners that don’t possess a high school diploma or secondary credential can test their skills and attain a GED® credential for free!  The importance of education in attaining a good job, entering specific skills training, or college is a recognized fact.  This event will motivate those learners with financial barriers to test their skills and open doors to new and better educational and employment opportunities.

Delaware Health Alert #337:

  • On 9/15/13, the Division of Public Health released Delaware Health Alert #337 -Severe Respiratory Illness Associated with Enterovirus. The Alert has been distributed to school nurses.  Key information, from the Alert, on the “Current Situation in Delaware”:
  • In the past week, Delaware has seen an increase in hospitalizations for respiratory illness among children.  These hospitalizations were due to illness caused by an as yet unidentified virus.  Some of these children have required ICU care.  Public Health has worked with local hospitals and has sent samples to the CDC for testing to determine if these respiratory illnesses were caused by EV-D68.  Results of the testing are expected in the next 5-7 days Delaware Division of Public Health urges providers to remind their patients to take the following steps to prevent illness due to respiratory viruses:
    – Wash hands with soap and water frequently for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.
    – Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, especially after coughing or sneezing.
    – Practice respiratory etiquette by covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or coughing or sneezing into inner elbow.
    – Stay home from work or school when sick and do not return until 24 hours after a fever is gone.
    – Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
    – Contact their health care provider if they have any concerns.
    – Get their annual influenza vaccine to protect themselves from influenza, which is the most common virus causing severe respiratory illness.  At this time, there is no vaccine against EV-D68 infection)
  • Thank you for submitting your monitoring plans for the 14-15 school year. The information was compiled into a master calendar (attached) and then individual calendars were prepared for each district (see attached sample). The individual calendars were distributed to the districts at the Chiefs meeting on Thursday, September 25th. Please note that the master calendar is an internal document because district Levels of Support have not been made public at this point. Please also note that some submitted items were not included as it was determined that it would be more appropriate to list the items on the Department’s Data Acquisition Calendar.
  • Karen Field-Rogers distributed a copy of the Data Acquisition Calendar to the Leadership Team on Monday, September 22nd. She is requesting that changes to the calendar be submitted to Lisa Spence-Russ no later than Friday, October 3rd.
Accountability and Performance Management – Penny Schwinn
Office of Assessment – Brian M. Touchette

  • SAT – Rita Fry is collecting the necessary information from districts and charters for the College Board SAT.
    • SAT Online Course Access Codes to be released to schools.
    • Approximately 2-3 week turnaround for schools to receive their student access codes for the SAT Online Course.
  • Released DCAS-ALT 1 Tasks -Released tasks for DCAS-ALT 1 will be published during the first week of October.
    • A companion guide to the tasks will also be published, providing the grade band, content area, standard/extension, and other information about each released task.
    • Documents will be posted on the DCAS–ALT 1 portal.
  • DCAS-ALT 1 Training for New Test Administrators – Training webinar will be available in late October.
  • DeSSA Accessibility Guidelines Training – six, 2.5-hour, face-to-face sessions on September 25, 26, and 29.
    • Sessions cover supports for students with disabilities, English language learners, and general education students taking DCAS, DCAS-ALT 1, and Smarter assessments.
    • Three online training sessions will also be offered-one focused on students with disabilities, one English language learners, and one general education students with supports.
  • DeSSA Accessibility Guidelines Revision for 2014-2015 – A revision of the DeSSA Accessibility Guidelines for 2014-2015 will be posted on the DeSSA portal during the week of September 3, 2014.
  • Digital Library Workshop – Katia Foret recently travelled with curriculum department representatives to participate in a Digital Library workshop.
    • State Leadership Team (SLT) members from Delaware collaborated and received additional training along with other state SLTs.
  • NAEP – Rita Fry has been focusing efforts on preparations for this year’s administration of NAEP. Activities include:
    • State coordinator training and Open Lab
    • Preview of the Delaware District Site and NAEP webinar
    • A visit from the NAEP Ambassador
    • Participated in sessions addressing the NAEP 2015 Students with Disabilities and English Language Learner Inclusion Guidelines
  • Videotaping DCAS-Alt 1 Tasks – On October 20 and 21, the Office of Assessment will be videotaping selected Delaware DCAS-Alt 1 teachers administering released tasks to Delaware students.
    • Videos will be posted on the DCAS-Alt 1 portal
    • Videos will be used for training new test administrators
  • Technical Report Review – As a member of the Smarter Validation and Psychometric Work Group, Liru Zhang has reviewed chapters of the Technical Report prepared by CTB on the Smarter design, pilot study, and field test.
  • Assessment Security Regulations – Carolyn Lazar, Helen Dennis, Lisa Alexander, and Rita Fry have been working together to review regulations related to assessment security in preparation for test administration during the 2014-2015 school year.
  • DeSSA E-Newsletter – Office of Assessment published the first edition of the DeSSA E-Newsletter with important information regarding aspects of our state assessment system.
  • Survey on States’ Assessment Changes- Liru Zhang, Katia Foret, and Carolyn Lazar recently reviewed and completed the Survey on States’ Assessment Changes.
    • Information gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) will be utilized to complete a report describing state assessment changes and results of the NAEP.
  • Brainstorming for Assessment Transitions – Lisa Alexander and Carolyn Lazar met with AIR representatives to brainstorm key topics related to assessment transitions.
  • Additional Analysis – Liru Zhang conducted additional analyses of the 2014 EOC, Algebra II and Integrated Mathematics III, for a better understanding of student performance and potential issues in administration.
  • Vertical Scaling – Liru Zhang participated in a conference call for Psychometric Leads regarding vertical scaling for Smarter.
  • Collaborative Efforts on Regulations – Helen Dennis and Carolyn Lazar have been gathering feedback and collaborating with other workgroups to review regulations in support of recent legislation.
  • DeSSA Updates Underway- Lisa Alexander, Helen Dennis, Rita Fry, and Carolyn Lazar continue to review, revise, and develop assessment materials necessary for the DeSSA transition.
  • Multistate Science Assessment Webinar- April McCrae is presenting information about current science assessment activities in Delaware via online webinar with state assessment supervisors.
    • Stimulate ideas and conversation around item types and summative assessment formats that may serve well under the NGSS format.
    • Scheduled on September 25, 2014.
  • Smarter Psychometric Discussions – Liru Zhang continues to collaborate with Smarter consortium staff and state representatives in preparation for the summative assessment via Smarter Psychometric conference calls.
  • Office of Assessment Planning – Quarterly meeting was held between the Office of Assessment and the state assessment vendor, AIR.
    • Primary topic was transition to the new DeSSA system.
  • State Leads Call – Carolyn Lazar, Helen Dennis, and Brian Touchette participated in a question and answer session with Smarter assessment staff, vendors, and other Smarter state representatives.
    • Implementation questions were discussed, feedback was shared, and planning forward occurred.
  • DeSSA 101 Session Planning – The Office of Assessment team began planning for the District Test Coordinators’ meetings and E-Newsletter topics scheduled for this year.
    • An overview was developed
    • In-depth planning for the October face-to-face session
  • Smarter Digital Library User Accounts – Lisa Alexander will be sending out notification about the set-up for Smarter Digital Library User Accounts.
  • Smarter Digital Library User Accounts – Lisa Alexander and Carolyn Lazar met with Renee Parsley, Theresa Bennett, and James Dick to plan and prepare for the transition from the Smarter Digital Library preview to the full release in October.

Office of Accountability – Penny Schwinn

  • State Accountability SurveyThe Office of Accountability will be kicking off the State Accountability Survey over the next three weeks. We are currently looking for 20-25 people who would be willing to serve as regional survey representatives. This role would be to give and collect surveys of the representative population within assigned areas. Each representative would be responsible for:

*          Giving and collecting surveys with a set goal

*          Inputting survey data (if collected by paper and not online)

*         Working with local districts, community organizations, and events to target

representative populations

*          Use weekly analytic results to drive strategic survey collectionThese representatives will be paid for each survey collected and this information will be used to inform a portion of the State Accountability System. If you have names or recommendations for these State Survey Representatives, please send them to Chantel Janiszewski at chantel.janiszewski@doe.k12.de.us.

Focus Schools


  • The Turnaround Department celebrates the exit of 4 Focus Schools who met their exit criteria in advance of the goal date:
    • Banneker Elementary School
    • Booker T. Washington Elementary School
    • Fairview Elementary School
    • Newark High School.

Performance Management – Kate Villari

USED/ Race to the Top

  • APR is open! You should have been contacted already if your input is needed.
  • Amendment from last month: there ARE monthly calls from October through at least January of 15.
    • Calls are 90 minutes each (up from the usual 60) and will be Thursday afternoons.
    • Calls will cover both No Cost Extension sub-criteria and RTTT Closeout procedures.

Consolidated Grantsà processing well underway, progressing as anticipated.

  • Status:
  • 8 grants are approved & scheduled for payment in September (4 district, 4 charter)
  • 3 grants are approved & scheduled for payment in October (2 districts, 1 charter)
  • 28 grants still in processing

SEA Routines

  • Upcoming Stocktakes:
  • TLEU – 9/30
  • Communications – TBD, November
  • Upcoming Memos
  • November = first memo: CCR1
  • December = CCR2
  • New work plans under development
  • Communications – complete date TBD
  • Accountability & Assessment plan complete by 11/30
  • LEA Routines
  • SY13/14 Routines: All LEA Root Cause analyses have been submitted to DDOE, with the exception of Christina who only recently received their EOY memo and has additional time to complete.
  • SY14/15 Routines
  • District classifications & notifications provided.
  • Note: these are not made public, and some districts were upset about their classifications changing.
  • Breakdown as follows:
  • Minimal: Sussex Tech, Appo, Cape, Lake, NCCVT, Poly, C. Rodney
  • Moderate: Smyrna, I. River, Brandywine, Red Clay, Capital
  • Intense: Delmar, Milford, Christina, Colonial, Laurel, Woodbridge, Seaford
  • Scheduling of all LEA routines has commenced, and meetings will not begin until November.
  • Additional detail aboutSY14/15 routines will be provided at your branch prep meeting.
Financial Reform & Resource Management – Karen Field Rogers


Human Resources

  • If you have positions in your workgroup supported in full or in part by federal funds, please make sure that you are going into the Time Management System and completing the Time & Effort process.  This needs to be done bi-weekly, after pay day.
  • If you currently have staff on Improvement Plans, please forward the plans and your regular updates to the HRO.  The Human Resource Officer is available to assist in this process if support is needed.
  • Please be aware that OMB is now requiring that all positions go through the Hiring Review Process, including casual/seasonal, internal postings, temps, and professional contracts.  In addition, positions requested that are not yet vacated will most likely not be approved unless we can identify extenuating circumstances to post an anticipated vacancy.
  • When providing justifications for filling positions and/or contract information, please remember that our requests have to be to OMB at least 3 business days prior to the 1st and 15th of each month.  OMB will not consider late submissions.


  • Positions in Hiring Process
    • FA, ELC, Exceptional Children, Re-Posted, closes 10/10
    • Financial Secretary, Finance, Posted, closes 10/3
    • Secretary, EDLR, Posted, closes 10/10
    • EA, Performance Management, closes 10/10
    • EA, CTE, Business, Re-posted, closes 10/10
  • New Hires
    • Michael Grossman, EA, Prison Education, effective 10/5
    • Ryan Reyna, Director, Office of Accountability, effective 10/6
    • Atnre Alleyne, Director, Talent Management, effective 10/6
  • Promotions
    • Kristi King, Teacher/Supervisor, SCI, effective 10/5
  • Resignations
    • John Goodwin, Technician, IT, effective 10/1 (wants no public announcement)
    • Kelley Tetrick, Teacher/Supervisor, JTVCC, effective 10/8
  • Retirements
    • Hilda Davis, Secretary, CTE, Effective 10/1
  • Vacant Positions with OMB Approval to Fill
    • EA, Office of Accountability
    • EA, Curriculum Instruction & Professional Development
  • Vacant Positions included on 10/1 OMB Hiring Review Request
    • FA, CNP, SSS
    • Secretary, Curriculum Instruction & Professional Development
    • Technician (FA), IT
    • Teacher/Supervisor, JTVCC
  • Vacant Positions to be included on 10/15 OMB Hiring Review Request
    • ED, Prison Education, SCI
  • Vacant Positions w/o OMB Approval to Fill
    • Secretary, Exceptional Children Resources
    • Secretary, CTE


  • New Hires
  • Dwight BoNey, Teacher/Supervisor, BWCI, effective date TBD
    • Retirements
    • Steve Ballard, DCET, effective 1/5/15


  • Attached please find the Delaware Associate of Educational Office Professionals newsletter, which includes information on professional development days and information on their annual Fall Banquet.  Please feel free to distribute to your administrative staff as appropriate.
  • New federal funding opportunities – All new federal funding must be processed through State requirements; workgroups should build those processes into submission timelines.  Additional points to remember include:
    • Once a new funding opportunity has been identified as a viable option to pursue, fill out the Approval for New Grants, Federal Contracts and Private or Foundation Funding form and submit to Karen Field Rogers.  Agency review from finance and human resources is mandatory especially if positions, funding match or maintenance of effort are required.  Additionally, by notifying Finance of the new funding opportunities, technical assistance can be provided for completing mandatory state requirements.
    • All grants that require submittal through Grants.gov need to be arranged with Eulinda DiPietro.  Please contact Eulinda at least 2 weeks before the due date to review the budget section, and to schedule an appointment to upload the grant at least 2 days prior to the due date.
    • While working on the funding application, submit a completed Director’s Overview via email to the appropriate federal funds manager (Cathy Wolfe or Eulinda DiPietro) at least four months prior to the start date of funding.  All funds must be approved by the Office and Management Budget and Delaware State Clearinghouse Committee (DSCC).  To have a grant scheduled for review, Cathy or Eulinda must enter application information into FSF and then the grant will be scheduled two months later for review.  Once the grant is reviewed by the Clearinghouse Committee, the processing in FSF can be finalized.
  • Continuous funding – grants that we receive ever year, such as IDEA, Title I, Title II, etc. have to be reviewed by DSCC.
    • Four months prior to the start date of your new award, submit a Director’s Overview electronically to Eulinda or Cathy (Child Nutrition grants have a slightly different process).
    • If you receive the grant award notice, please forward a copy to Cathy or Eulinda.  The grant award notice is required to complete the process of loading grants in FSF.
    • Funding cannot be spent until approved by Clearinghouse and processed in FSF.

Technology Resources and Data Development

*           Education Insight Dashboard – We released version 4.0 of the Ed-Insight performance dashboard this month.  This new school year release integrates data structures for Ed-Fi 1.2 and early learning extensibility as well as reporting functionality from within the interface.   The dashboard now contains over 100 different performance metrics to help our educators make informed data decisions for their students.   Administratively, we also finalized and executed appropriate contracts with vendors to maintain support structures for the coming year.

*           We are in final testing of our second joint Sungard development opportunity with NHDOE surrounding RTI functionality within the Performance Plus individualized learning plan module.  We expect to release this new functionality as soon as this completes.  This is the second joint state development opportunity chartered on this project.   Additionally, new test item styles have been released within the Performance Plus suite this month increasing functionality.

*           We continue to facilitate coordinated discussions between LEA’s, Charters, GSS, and vendors to begin the statewide hardware replacement process for DCAS/SBAC test hardware.  Most districts have received their second year hardware allocations this month.

*           Early Learning ELI Dashboards – This project has is currently in development and on schedule.  We continue to work on data loads and verification of test data for the dashboards.  We also worked on development tasks, stakeholder interviews, and are actively working on inter-agency MOU’s to establish our data relationships.

*           Website Redesign Project – We are in final QA and edits of the site functionality.  Most content has been migrated into the new system and it is fully operational in our test environment.  We hope to release the product within the coming weeks.

*           Parent Choice Portal – Work continues in earnest on the project and we are quickly approaching a public launch.  Final enhancements and quality assurance work is underway in the Great Schools Interface.  We also signed and will execute state-wide online choice processing for LEA’s and Charters through the Data Service Center.  This important administrative function is provided free of charge to all the districts and charters.

*           Microsoft Office 365 Implementation – This project is nearing completion as we continue to work with individuals to migrate and merge mailbox resources.  We’ll be continuing with configuration and training surrounding use of SharePoint on the web within our environment.

*           DSC Absence/Personnel/FTE Reporting Migration – This project is fully implemented within the DOE environment and operational..

*           Regular top level management discussions continue between our SIS, LMS, and Special Education vendor (SunGard) related to Delaware strategic direction and product integration/planning/direction.  We are actively looking at new enhancement work in two areas: one related to RTI functionality within Performance Plus and eSchool Plus as well as some needed enhancements to SDE electronic transcript functionality.

*           Statewide LMS Evaluation – A cross-departmental and district resource team have been evaluating vendor offerings in the learning management system space.  We are nearing the end of the evaluation period and will be making a recommendation to senior management on a statewide offering we can make available to all LEA’s and Charters for use in personalized learning environments.

Teaching & Learning Branch – Michael Watson
Career and Technical Education – Luke Rhine


Delaware’s Culinary ProStart:

  • There are thirteen schools that currently participate in ProStart, which is a national high school program that unites the classroom and industry to develop the best and brightest talent in the restaurant and foodservice industry. These programs work cooperatively with the National Restaurant Association, the Delaware Restaurant Association, and the University of Delaware (UD) to develop curriculum, instructional supports for students, plan internships, and work-based learning experiences. Additionally, the UD Hospitality and Restaurant Institutional Management College provides professional development to teachers to further develop their career skills. This work represents the foundation to transition locally developed programs to a state-led model for Career and Technical Education (CTE).

Computer Science Program-of-Study:

  • The Career and Technical Education (CTE) office is working with the Delaware Technical Community College to develop a computer science program-of-study for high school students that articulates to both two- and four-year institutions of higher education. The program begins with an inquiry approach to computational thinking and problem solving (Exploring Computer Science-ECS) and pushes students to then complete two Advanced Placement (AP) courses (Computer Science Principles-CSP and AP Computer Science A) developed and sponsored by the College Board.  The suggested curriculum is offered through code.org, and is currently being used in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), Utah, Maryland, and many other states and districts across the country.
  • This effort is designed to enhance CTE and STEM education programs at comprehensive high schools and to increase the number of nontraditional students who are interested in exploring STEM careers.  For example, of the ~4,000 students taking the ECS course in the LAUSD last year, nearly 50% were female and more than 25% of the population was students of color.  The curriculum is developed to entice all students, including special population students, to pursue STEM careers.

National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE):

  • The CTE and STEM Office has partnered with the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) to support staff in the Lake Forest School District and the Polytech School District to improve nontraditional student participation and completion in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. School teams from each district will participate in an on-going professional development model to:
  • Analyze district and school gender gaps in CTE programs by reviewing student performance and participation among schools, student populations, and programs over time;
  • Determine root causes of performance gaps to inform improvement strategies and specific solutions; and
  • Explore practical and rigorous methods and tools for evaluating solutions before full implementation and develop plans to implement research-based interventions for program improvement.
  • This work is part of a long-term effort to ensure that all students have access to rigorous academic and technical courses so that they are career and college ready. NAPE is a consortium of state and local agencies, corporations, and national organizations committed to access, equity, and diversity in education and careers.

Curriculum, Instruction & Professional Development – Shelley Rouser


  • A key activity in the 3-year NGSS Implementation Plan is the NextGen Teacher Leader project.  The focus of the project is to ensure that teacher leaders drive implementation by providing NGSS professional development early and on an ongoing basis and that NGSS aligned instructional resources get in the hands of all science teachers for the 2015-2016 school year.
  • 100 teachers from across the state were selected by their districts to work on aligning professional development, curricular materials and assessment to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  This is a two part orientation that began this spring and continuedthis summer at the NextGen Teacher Academy.
  • On September 16, the NextGen Teacher Leader Program will be held at Delaware State Trooper’s Association from 4:00 – 8:00 pm. The focus of this meeting will be the sharing of each district’s NGSS implementation plan on how they will communicate and implement the new standards to all stakeholders. Teachers will share, critique and give feedback on each other’s grade level unit templates that are aligned to the performance expectations of NGSS. Teachers will focus on missing performance expectations and will be assigned to write lessons and assessments to fill in those gaps.
  • DE ArtsLab Conference, a collaboration among the Delaware Arts Alliance, The Delaware Art Education Association, Delaware State University and the University of Delaware, is slated for Friday, October 3, 2014 at DSU. The focus of the event will highlight the need for meaningful interaction among artists, arts advocates, funders and educators. Participants will identify barriers and propose possible solutions for increasing arts audiences in Delaware. Delaware Teachers of Art will be included to underscore the value of arts education to cultural and economic sustainability. This event is open to the public. Registration is available at www.delawareartsalliance.org
  • Response to Intervention (RtI) training for Reading and Math Cadre – RtI Training will be offered for both elementary and secondary schools in September. Training for secondary schools will be delivered by Paul Farmer on September 16, 2014 at the Delaware Fire School, and will focus on structures and systems of implementing RtI. Laurie Robinson-Sammons will present to elementary Cadre members at Del Tech Terry Campus on September 26, 2014. Her focus will be on refining the RtI process and improving the data driven cycle for student results.

Registration for both courses is on PDMS:

Secondary – Course #23341, Section #38033

Elementary – Course #23294, Section #37928

For more information contact Theresa Bennett theresa.bennett@doe.k12.de.us or Michelle Duke michelle.duke@doe.k12.de.us

·          Common Ground for the Common Core 2.0 begins September 23; convening sessions will run from September 23-25th. All Common Ground participants have received a Blackboard communication with the first newsletter, to include registration information, and the catalog, to include outcomes for all three convenings and bios on each Solution Tree facilitator.

·          There are 550 participants from 15 districts, 10 charters, and 12 partner organizations currently registered for Common Ground.

The Districts include:

  • Capital School District
  • Woodbridge School District
  • Lake Forest School District
  • Appoquinimink School District
  • Brandywine School District
  • Milford School District
  • Laurel School District
  • Colonial School District
  • Polytech School District
  • Seaford
  • Sussex Tech
  • Cape Henlopen
  • Red Clay
  • Smyrna School District

The Charters include:

  • First State Montessori
  • Positive Outcomes Charter
  • MOT Charter
  • Newark Charter
  • Odyssey Charter
  • Reach Academy
  • Family Foundations
  • Early College High School
  • Sussex Academy of the Arts and Sciences
  • Campus Community
  • The Partner Organizations include:   DASL, Literacy Coalition, Social Studies Coalition, Science Coalition, Math Coalition, Science Coalition, DSEA, Southern Delaware Professional Development Center, Reading Assist, UD Professional Development Center for Educators, DE Council of School Libraries, Teach for America and DE Teacher Center.

Delaware Higher Education Office  – Shana Payne

  • Financial Aid: Last year, 76% of college-ready students completed the FAFSA. Our state’s goal is for every family that requires financial aid and is eligible for federal aid will complete the FAFSA application. This form opens access to both state and federal scholarships, grants and loans for students and families to reduce the overall cost of college. This year, the state’s goal is to reach 80%. To support this goal, the Higher Education Office has solidified a partnership with StandByMe to provide extensive supports to schools, families and students in the financial aid process. The partnership includes: development of financial aid marketing strategies for each high school, financial coaches for college ready students to develop a personalized financial aid plan, state-wide marketing campaign including social media, press and collateral materials about paying for college, and train the trainer sessions for school staff to build capacity at all schools in advising students in the process of paying for college. This partnership will help ensure students and families understand how they can afford college and more families complete the FAFSA application in time to receive essential financial aid to pay for college. Most importantly this partnership will equip schools to provide stronger supports to students and families regarding financial aid.
  • College Application Month will be held from October 13-November 21st this year. The extension into October provides schools with greater flexibility in how to structure the event to meet student needs. We now have College Application Month dates for 33 high schools. Schools are taking greater ownership of the process this year and identifying the best way to integrate this into their college advisement process. This includes spreading their event over multiple days and scheduling make up dates for students who make their decisions to apply later in the month. In addition, our college access partners have formed a committee to support the volunteer recruitment process this year. Department of Education is once again partnering with College Board to send packets with information about college applications and fee vouchers (for income-eligible students) to the state’s college-ready students. There will be two types of packets: High Achieving Low-Income students (HALI) and the On Track Students. HALI packets will be sent to 49 students and On Track packets will go to 671 across the state.
  • College Application Month Promotion Tour: Starting, in all high schools, September 2nd, the Governor’s Office and DOE will visit senior classes across the state to promote awareness about the importance of applying to college and resources available to support students as they finalize their post-secondary education plans. The first school to host College Application Month this year will be Glasgow on October 6-9th.
  • Continuing our efforts in Getting to Zero, FAFSA completion is a core element to ensure students can afford college. Last year, 76% of college-ready students completed a FAFSA by April 15th. Through a newly formed partnership with DOE and StandByMe, all high schools will have access to supports from financial aid coaches in developing strategies to educate families on financial aid, increase FAFSA completion, and help students and families develop financial aid action plans. All college ready students will be expected to complete a Financial Aid plan by Jan 1st. A template will be included with the email including the list of college-ready students in mid-September.
  • Leveraging the college access fund created this year, DOE will allocate $300,000 to increase access to dual enrollment courses for students from low-income households. Districts with courses meeting DOE’s established criteria will receive notification about the amount for allocation in mid-September to help off-set the costs of increasing access for these college-level courses.

Early Development Learning Resources – Kelly Hunter

  • New Federal Preschool Development Grant Opportunity: The U.S. Department of Education has unveiled a new grant opportunity to partner with states and local communities to expand the reach of high-quality preschool. The $250 million grant competition will provide thousands of additional 4-year-old children across the country with a high-quality preschool education. The Preschool Development Grants competition supports States to (1) build or enhance a preschool program infrastructure that would enable the delivery of high-quality preschool services to children, and (2) expand high-quality preschool programs in targeted communities that would serve as models for expanding preschool to all 4-year-olds from low- and moderate-income families. These grants would lay the groundwork to ensure that more States are ready to participate in the Preschool for All formula grant initiative proposed by the Administration. The EDLR and OEL workgroups will be reviewing this opportunity for Delaware which, if funded, will add approximately $10M/year to preschool funds.

Exceptional Children Resources  – Mary Ann Mieczkowski


State Systemic Improvement Plan:

  • Exceptional Children Resources is actively engaged in developing a State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) which focuses specifically on improving results for students with disabilities.
  • In order to accomplish this work, an SSIP Phase 1 Advisory Council has been established including representatives from stakeholder groups such as the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens, Developmental Disability Council, parents, Special Education Directors, school psychologists, ELL teachers, State Board of Education and the Lt. Governor’s Office.   The purpose of this council is to provide guidance and feedback throughout the development of the SSIP. During council meetings the group engages in analyzing data, identifying a focused area for improvement, analyzing the infrastructure of the state system, conducting a root cause analysis, developing a Theory of Action, and creating an improvement plan.
  • On September 15th the council conducted an Infrastructure Analysis. Council members worked in “job-alike” groups providing feedback on the following components: governance, quality standards, monitoring/accountability, professional development/technical assistance, data, fiscal, and cultural responsiveness.

Information regarding these meetings including the agenda, handouts, and minutes, can be found at the following link:


TASK FORCE: SCR 63 – IEP Task Force Update:

·          The IEP Task Force held their kick-off meeting on Thursday, September 4th; over 40 legislators, parents, districts, DOE and disability related organizations were represented.  Lt. Gov. Denn is the Chairman of this task force.

·          The major outcome of this task force is to improve the IEP process for parents, students and districts. Some major areas of focus in this work include: allowing parents the opportunity to provide input during all stages of the process, flexible scheduling for parents, developing an IEP FAQ document and giving all teachers access to student IEPs.

·          The next meeting is scheduled for September 23rd.

TASK FORCE:  HR 24–Statewide Services for Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf-Blind Students Task Force:

·          This Task Force was established to study and make recommendations regarding implementing an independent entity to coordinate and provide statewide services and professional development for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind.

The Task force will:

  • Use the report and recommendations from HR 20 to further study and make new recommendations regarding:
    • Possible administrative structure and authority of entity.
    • How the entity would be funded.
    • Entity staffing (transition from current positions, compensation and benefits, and development of high-qualified standards for teachers and related professionals.

·         Update: All members of the task force have been appointed. We are in the process of scheduling a kick-off meeting.

Statewide Personnel Development Grant (SPDG)-Behavior/Social Emotional Initiative:

·         The Delaware Positive Behavior Support Project, in collaboration with Delaware Department of Education under the State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG), hosted Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson. Dr. Laugeson, from UCLA, presented the PEERS Curriculum for School-Based Professionals. A total of 56 people from eight school districts were in attendance. In addition, outside agency personnel attended from Autism Delaware and the Center for Disabilities Studies. Participants are now fully trained and certified to implement the curriculum.

·         PEERS is an evidence-based curriculum developed for higher functioning adolescents that focuses on skills related to making and keeping friends, including managing peer conflict and rejection. Lessons include topics such as having two-way conversations, electronic forms of communication, choosing appropriate friends, managing arguments with friends, and handling teasing and bullying. PEERS teaches social skills using concrete rules and systematic steps of social behavior utilizing the Socratic method, role-play demonstrations, coaching with feedback, and homework assignments.

·         There are currently seven schools participating (listed below) in the PEERS pilot program which involve group facilitators receiving ongoing coaching and professional development provided by the DE-PBS Instructional Coach, Susan Veenema over the next two years. Memorandums of Agreement are being executed with each pilot school.

Pilot Schools:

  • Appoquinmink School District (Louis. B. Redding Middle School)
  • Brandywine School District (Mt. Pleasant High School, PS DuPont Middle  School)
  • Capital School District (Dover High School)
  • Seaford School District (Seaford High School, Seaford Middle School)
  • Gateway Lab Charter School

Title I, C Migrant Education Program

  • A Comprehensive Needs Assessment was conducted for the migrant program in August by Dr. Robert Fanning, an independent Migrant Education consultant, and will be used to develop a State Service Delivery Plan to improve services to migrant students and families.

·         The migrant re-interviews were completed for quality control purposes related to the identification and recruitment of migrant students. This is a federal requirement that must be completed every three years by an outside agency. The results are used to verify migrant student eligibility which impacts federal funding.

Title III, English Language Acquisition Program

  • On September 5th, The Mexican Consulate of Philadelphia, PA, in conjunction with the Title III office, introduced the use of the Binational Transfer Document, including an overview of Mexico’s educational system. Secretaries, registrars and counselors statewide were invited to attend for information on placement and scheduling of incoming students from Mexico. This document is similar to a transcript which explains the courses the students have taken and the grades received.

·         A calendar of professional development and technical assistance opportunities, designed and delivered by WIDA, has been created for 2014-15. These SEA-sponsored events are a part of Delaware’s continuing corrective action in response to the 2011 USED Monitoring report which cited the SEA’s failure to provide professional development and technical assistance to districts/charters.
Delaware Center for Educational Technology Wayne Hartschuh

eLearning Delaware – Online Professional Development

The eLearning Delaware (eLDE) Summer 2014 session concluded with 118 educators successfully completing online courses. This is an 81% completion rate. Each of these educators will receive 30 clock hours of professional development credit for the six-week course.

  • “Examining the Common Core: Math Content Standards” was offered for the first time and 26 educators successfully completed the course.
  • “Implementing ELA-Literacy Common Core: Focus on Reading” was offered for the second time and 20 educators successfully completed the course.

“Introduction to Personalized Learning” was offered for the first time with 20 educators successfully completing the course.

ParTech -The News Journal: Article on Sunday, August 17, 2014

·          The article, “‘Computer graveyard’ a gold mine for schools: State warehouse for donated gear helps schools keep pace,” appeared in The News Journal on Sunday, August 17. Reporter Matthew Albright from The News Journal visited the Collette Center on Wednesday, August 6 and interviewed Wayne Hartschuh and Tom Black for an article on ParTech. On Friday, August 15, a photographer visited Collette and photographed Steve Ballard as he worked in the warehouse.

·          The article highlighted that ParTech placed 2,655 computers in K-12 schools over the past year and the total value of equipment placed in our schools was almost $1 million. The only thing he “missed” in the article was that he stated “along with things like mice, keyboards, and monitors.” I wish he would have also included printers, servers, server racks, memory, and hard drives in that list because those also were included in the total value number. All in all, a very good article.

Article can be found online at http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/education/2014/08/16/computer-graveyard-gold-mine-schools/14181537/

TLEU – Christopher Ruszkowswki
JDG: Licensure/Certification Status in 2014-15

JDG has been notified since 2004 to get their school-based participants credentialed as educators as required by state law.  A June 2009 letter from Dr. Lowery indicated to Dr. Lee that DDOE would allow for a one-year extension of certification requirements. The TLEU now plans to take action against those not eligible for licensure/certification (we previously reported doing this in 2014, but then extended another six months).  20+ “members” will no longer be allowed to serve schools.  The first letter went out last week.

DPAS-II Advisory Committee: 9/25 (First of Four this year)

Under revised state law, the DPAS-II Advisory Committee is now required to meet four times per year, select a Chair/Co-Chair, and advise on regulations, federal policy, TLEU implementation, etc.  This is a significant change in tone and oversight.

The TLEU convened the meeting and prepped materials for the first meeting, which took last Thursday.  Under code, there is a representative from the Governor’s Office on the committee in addition to the Chair of the House & Senate Education Committees.  Both DSEA and DASA have selected three representatives each for this year.  Final committee membership will be public.

As you know, the public release of DPAS-II was at last month’s State Board meeting (8/21).  51% of educators were rated “Effective” and 48% “Highly-Effective” this year (of the approximately 5,500 who received full evaluations).  The TLEU also recently published a two page data-set on educator perceptions/feelings about the system.  It’s posted here:


DSEA will focus heavily on the results from the survey, and not the outcomes of the system itself, over the next several months.

Credentialing Assessment Update: For 100+ Principals/APs who DID NOT PASS

This past summer, the TLEU delivered ten (10) Summer “Base-Camp” trainings for all of the state’s 500+ APs & Principals.  At the end of each training, all APs/Principals completed a “Credentialing Assessment” that measures their ability to execute, calibrate, and critically think their way through the DPAS-II system.

There was a 76% passing rate.  Those who didn’t pass were required to return in September for a second opportunity.  Of the 106 individuals who need to return in September, only 50 have signed-up.  The TLEU will also offer a third-and-final opportunity if necessary in October.

DASA has started a “boycott” effort and sent letters to the Department, informing the TLEU that these 100+ people are not required to be re-credentialed under state regulation.  Further, both DASA and the Chiefs told APs/Principals that did not pass the assessment to not return in September.  Based upon turnout and passing rate, the TLEU will chart a path forward in response to this on 10/15.

Relay Graduate School of Education–OPENING

Relay GSE is opening its Delaware campus in October.  Dean Christine Rowland has begun building a team and meeting with LEA leaders regarding programming.

The White House recently cited Relay in a press release on innovation in Teacher Prep:


To learn more about Relay, there’s a four-minute video on “The Relay GSE Approach” that can be found here (the video also features current Delaware Leadership Project candidate, Rachel Valentin, who will be in-residency at Harlan Elementary this year):


This launch will mark the first significant pressure point since the passage of SB 51, and will raise the ire of every Delaware higher-education institution.  Ultimately, Teach For America will likely partner with Relay GSE rather than Wilmington University, for instance.  And Relay’s “practice-based” model will challenge the foundation of UD’s “theory-based” model.

Professional Learning Community (PLC) Support System–w/ Amplify

The TLEU is continuing to work with Amplify to offer the “PLC Support System” to LEAs across the State.  Currently, the bulk of the work is around the review of the “Benchmark Assessments” being developed by Amplify.  Through the PLC Support System initiative, participating LEAs will have access to two benchmark assessments in both Math and ELA in grades 3-12.  Four of the participating LEAs are included in the review process (Brandywine, Milford, Campus Community, and Woodbridge), and all LEAs submitted “scope & sequence” materials as part of the assessment development process.

These assessments are being designed to provide standards-level feedback to educators so they can discuss student progress in PLCs and make necessary modifications to their instructional practices to better meet the needs of their students.  38 schools are currently signed-up to participate in this year’s system, which includes “PLC Coaches” working directly with Principals & Teacher-Leaders.

Other TLEU Headlines

  • Over the past four months, the TLEU (alongside co-funder Rodel) has embarked upon a deep-dive review/analysis of the Delaware Leadership Project.  Cohort 5 recruitment is scheduled to begin in October/November.  The TLEU is gathering all contract/metric data on performance-to-date and developing a path forward to ensure that this leadership pathway is sustained.  DLP graduates currently serve at Howard, Harlan, Glasgow, Central, and other high-need schools across the state.
  • “The Charter Collaborative” (Edison, Eastside, Kuumba, Prestige) was approved to utilize an alternative teacher evaluation system in 2014-2015.  Dr. Browne presented to the State Board on the Teaching Excellence Framework (which includes a different rubric) last month.  Here is link to that presentation and rubric:



  • Delaware’s partnership with national talent recruitment leader Education Pioneers (www.educationpioneers.org) has officially kicked-off .  Nine Fellows from around the country will start next week, and partners include the Rodel Foundation, Colonial School District, Teach For America, Innovative Schools and the Office of Early Learning.  A welcome event was held the evening of 9/29 with Secretary Murphy.  Here is the list of placements:

DOE (Accountability), Penny Schwinn, Christopher Tate, cscotttate@gmail.com, Penny.schwinn@doe.k12.de.us

DOE (Higher Ed), Shana Payne, Nicole Klues, Nklues@gmail.com, Shana.payne@doe.k12.de.us

Office of Early Learning, Nancy Widdoes, Eldrin Deas, edeas1@gmail.com, Nancy.widdoes@state.de.us

TFA DE, Laurisa Schutt, Allison Smith, smith.allisonm@gmail.com, Laurisa.Schutt@teachforamerica.org

Colonial School District, Lori Duerr, Hope Moffett, hope.moffett@gmail.com, Lori.Duerr@colonial.k12.de.us

Innovative Schools, Teresa Gerchman, Keina Hodge, keina.hodge@gmail.com, TGerchman@innovativeschool

DECharter School Network, Kendall Massett, Al Dunn, dunn.alfred@gmail.com, kendallm@decharternetwork.org

Rodel Foundation, Rex Varner, Sivitri Boodram, boodram.savitri@gmail.com, rvarner@rodelfoundationde.org

Rodel Foundation, Rex Varner, Lida Zlatic, zlaticdbk@gmail.com, rvarner@rodelfoundationde.org

  • The TLEU is launching working groups focused on Superintendent Evaluation (DPAS-II for Chiefs) and District Leadership Evaluation (DPAS-II for LEA Leaders) in October/November.  If you would like to participate in this effort, please contact Shannon Holston.
  • PSB continues to wrestle with requirements of Special Education Certification (1571).  They will again take up the matter at their 10/2 evening meeting.
  • The state’s recruitment website, www.joindelawareschools.org has now received nearly 400,000 visits.  By 2015, the TLEU will also be tracking advanced analytics on number of hires, type of hires, etc.  Meanwhile, the campaign to cultivate aspiring educators continues…
  • The TLEU’s partnership with the Harvard Strategic Data Project continues, with two new Data Fellows joining the TLEU on 10/1 to focus on advanced human capital analytics work.  Doug Gagnon & Shanna Ricketts both come to the Department with extensive background in quantitative and qualitative research, and both have recently re-located to Delaware.  The Rodel Foundation continues to support this work.  Delaware is consistently featured on the SDP website: http://cepr.harvard.edu/sdp
  • The Delaware Talent Cooperative will hold its 3rd annual event the evening of November 12th.  The event will recognize 100+ educators making substantial contributions to 18 high-need schools across the state.  This past summer, the TLEU conducted monitoring visits in all eighteen participating schools.  Educators earning a rating of “Highly-Effective” in those building qualify for membership, which includes financial rewards, recognition, policy voice opportunities, and Teacher-Leadership professional development.  Ten “Highly-Effective” educators also transferred into Co-Op schools this year, falling far short of the Department’s goal for “talent attraction”/”equitable distribution”.
Charter Schools – Jennifer Nagourney


2014-15 Renewal Process

  • Seven charter schools will have terms that expire in June 2015, making them eligible to apply for renewal this fall.
  • The renewing schools are: DAPSS, East Side, Family Foundations, Gateway Lab, Las Americas ASPIRA, Odyssey, and Reach.
  • On April 28-30, the Charter School Office team members visited each of the renewal schools to deliver and discuss the Charter School Renewal Reports and the Renewal Application & Renewal Application Guidance.
  • On September 30 the Renewal Application & 2013-14 Annual Report are due to CSO.

Charter School Compliance Calendar & Meeting Calendar

  • The Charter School Office is very grateful to all the individuals and workgroups that added dates and meetings to the calendars.
  • We ask all the workgroups to continue updating the calendars to ensure that they are up-to-date.
  • On behalf of the charters, we also ask that before your workgroup adds any items to the compliance calendar, or requires any additional items from the charter schools, that you contact Jennifer Carlson in the Charter School Office before emailing the schools. The Charter Office wants to understand the full scope of the request, help message the request to the charters, and help get the information as quickly as possible.

Moyer Formal Review

  • On July 17, 2014, with the assent of the State Board of Education, the Department of Education placed the Maurice J. Moyer Academic Institute charter school on Formal Review, pursuant to Title 14 Delaware Code § 515(b), to determine whether the charter holder is violating the terms of its charter and, if so, whether to order remedial measures.
  • Last month, the Charter School Accountability Committee recommended the revocation of Maurice J. Moyer Academic Institute’s charter at the end of this academic year.
  •  On October 9, the Secretary will announce his decision with respect to the charter at the State Board of Education meeting.
 Regulation Review – Tina Shockley 
  • The Regulation Review Schedule is attached.
  • The  Legislative Calendar for 2015 is attached.

3 thoughts on “DDOE Staff update from October 2014. They “know” the DSEA will mis-read the DPAS report. DSEA MUST READ

  1. “Ten “Highly-Effective” educators also transferred into Co-Op schools this year, falling far short of the Department’s goal for “talent attraction”/”equitable distribution”.”

    Hmm. Perhaps because the program is hogwash based on no data?

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