On Wednesday, February 6, Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn visited Morris Early Childhood Center in the Milford School District to present the staff with their banner for being named a 2012 winner of the state’s Recognition School and Title I Distinguished School Award. Morris Early Childhood Center was selected as 2012 National Title I Distinguished Schools and was honored during the 2013 National Title I Conference in Nashville, TN, held in January earlier this year.
“There are not a lot of early childhood centers that receive this award because it can be difficult to show significant results at this age group,” commented Lieutenant Governor Denn. “Congratulations and thank you for the fantastic work you all have done.”
Lieutenant Governor Denn joined Principal Elizabeth Conaway and representatives from the Delaware Department of Education in highlighting the school’s achievements. These awards, created by legislation spearheaded by the Lt. Governor and passed by the Delaware General Assembly in 2009, formerly were called Academic Achievement Awards and annually give public schools recognition for “significantly closing the achievement gap and/or exceeding adequate yearly progress on state tests for two or more consecutive years.”
“We were able to close the achievement gap because of the small group differentiated reading and math instruction that occurs daily in each classroom,” stated Principal Conaway. “also the hard work that is occurring at each of the three district elementary schools supports the students tremendously so that they can continue to progress.”
Morris Early Childhood Center, along with nineteen other schools in Delaware, received $50,000 as a 2012 National Distinguished Title I School and a 2012 Delaware Recognition School. A committee of parents, the Morris faculty and Morris administration met to determine how the award would be spent. It was decided that the bulk of the award would be used to improve technology in the school as almost half of the award will provide for wireless Internet in each part of the building.
In addition, all teaching and administrative staff will receive a Dell latitude 10 tablet which will be used to collect data during Professional Learning Centers for planning and data discussions. Teachers will also be able to connect wirelessly to their Smart boards to allow the teacher to interact with the boards from anywhere in the classroom.The remaining funds will be allocated to each classroom teacher to spend on classroom instructional materials.