Superior Rating for Four Milford Schools

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On Tuesday, July 26 the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) preliminary rankings for Delaware Schools were released showing four out of the six Milford schools with “superior” ratings. Under the federal policy of No Child Left Behind, all public schools are evaluated by AYP rankings in the subjects of Mathematics, Reading and attendance and graduation rates.

The preliminary rankings for the Milford schools were : Morris Early Childhood Center– Superior, Lulu M.Ross-Superior, Benjamin Banneker – Academic Watch, Milford Middle School – Commendable, Milford Central Academy- superior and Milford Senior High School-superior. Although these scores are only preliminary they will closely reflect the official scores that will be released in the following weeks. During that time the Milford School District Administration will be reviewing the lists to make sure that the data is correct and that children that are part of the AYP ranking equation reflect the children who are in each school. Since Milford School District has been keeping a close eye on those lists throughout the year there should be minimal change.

Dr. Nicole Durkin, Director of Teaching and Learning, attributes the superior ratings of the four schools and the overall progress to a continued approach to making sure that learning in each school and throughout the district is consistent both horizontally and vertically. The curriculum for any one given student will be applicable to their curriculum in other classes that year and across their education career from kindergarten to twelfth grade.

“I am beyond excited to see the superior rating for the schools,” stated Dr. Durkin. “The administration and staff have all done a lot of work over the past couple of years to change the culture of the schools to focus on instructional leadership.”

Being a teacher for nine years, Dr. Durkin explains that the culture of the classroom has seen some major changes. “When I was in the classroom teachers worked in silos and did not have a lot of opportunities to work with other teachers,” commented Dr. Durkin. “Now we are trying to be more consistent with what the children learn in each classroom as it relates to other teachers in that grade level and throughout the district.”

Starting this year, Professional Learning Community (PLC) time will allow teachers to have conversations and make assessments on what the school needs collectively to serve each student individually. Time is fixed into the schedule each Wednesday afternoon for teachers to collaborate about student performance, assessment measures and the curriculum. According to Dr. Durkin, PLC time will not only allow teachers to collaborate but also permit principals to focus on instructional teaching and managing horizontal and vertical consistency among classrooms.

Lulu M. Ross Elementary School received a superior ranking after being on academic review last year. Under the direction of Dr. Sylvia Henderson, Delaware’s 2011 National Distinguished Principal of the Year, Lulu Ross was able to go from the lowest ranking to the top in just one school year.

Milford High School received a superior ranking for the first time ever which says a lot for Principal Tamara Cooper who was new to the High School and the Milford School District this year.

Morris Early Childhood Center and the new Milford Central Academy also received superior ranking for the year. The Milford Middle School received a commendable ranking and Benjamin Banneker Elementary School will be under academic review this upcoming year. Benjamin Banneker hopes to have a successful year like Lulu Ross and bring that ranking back to where it should be.

The official ranking will be released in the following weeks to the public and set the tone for each school for this upcoming year. An increased focus on collaborative teaching is said to continue the success of the school district and the students. The first day of school for students this year will be Wednesday, August 31. Enrollment Night for the each school will be held on August, 10 from 5pm -8pm. Required information for each child to be enrolled includes birth certificate, immunization records, photo I.D., proof of residence in the district and custody information if needed. For more information call the Milford School District at 302-422-1600.

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