Superintendent Kohel Discusses 2013-2014 School Year

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With the 2012-2013 school year in the books, officials at the Milford School District (MSD) are preparing for another year that will see changes for students, parents and teachers including start times for secondary schools, classes offered at the Milford High and state testing policies.

The most notable changes is the closing of the Milford Middle School which took place at the end of this last school year. With the building out of commission, grade levels at Milford Central Academy (MCA) and Milford High School (MHS) will change and student populations will increase. The decision was made by the Milford School Board that 6th through 8th grade students will attend MCA while 9th through12th grade students will attend MHS next year. Start and end times for the school days will be affected with the Central Academy beginning at 7:55am and ending at 2:55 and the High School starting at 8:15 and ending at 3:20.

“We tried to keep the start times of these two schools as close as possible,” stated MSD Superintendent Phyllis Kohel. The twenty minute difference is the least amount of time we could expect buses and parents to drop off at one campus. We also wanted to keep the times close so that parents with students at both schools could make one trip.” Dr. Kohel also commented that both secondary schools will have late start times on Wednesdays during the 2013-2014 school year.

Next school year students at the Milford High School will also have the opportunity for Dual Enrollment Courses, where they can take college courses on the Milford High School campus that will be accepted as college credit. Superintendent Kohel hopes that this will give students the ability to get a head start on their higher education career.

“These courses will target what some refer to as the “middle group of students” that are not already enrolled in Advanced Placement courses at MHS,” stated Dr. Kohel. “A lot more of those kids could be going to college and these courses will give them an opportunity to build confidence and take a look at pursuing higher education.” Dual Enrollment classes will include Introduction to English and Mathematics and be enrolled through Delaware Technical & Community College.

At the last meeting of the Milford School District Board of Education, Dr. Kohel also presented several ideas for new curriculum projects that could help the student population enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) classes. One idea looked at the possibility of online AP courses where students would work with a mentor to take additional AP courses throughout the year.

“Due to small class sizes some of the AP courses have been cancelled over the years,” commented Kohel. “There will be no minimum class sizes for the online courses so students can take additional courses that are not offered in a classroom setting at Milford High School.” The courses, which are at this time merely an idea that is being evaluated, would have an instructor that teaches the course through online resources.

Student testing will continue next year as major changes are being made throughout the State of Delaware and on the federal levels to accommodate the new Common Core State Standards. Moving from the last year of the Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS) in the 2013-2014 school year into the premier of the Common Core Standards in the 2014-2015 school year will take some adjusting. Under these these new evaluation systems, student progress will be assessed on national standards set forth by Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium guidelines. Superintendent Kohel states that the Milford School District will guide students, parents and teachers through the transition to the new testing.

With two months of summer vacation left, Milford School District officials encourage families with questions regarding the upcoming school year to contact the district office at 302-422-1600.

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