We have reached the schools that have a Grade A for special education population. These are the schools in Delaware with the highest percentage of special ed populations. The percentages for the A grades are 12.6% to 14.5% special education students compared to the general population of the school. This is not a grade based on the quality of the special education at Delaware schools, but rather a special education department’s ability to have IEPs at a school. Some schools have been accused of giving out IEPs like they are candy but not all of the students may qualify for it. But I would need much more evidence to see if that was the case. I think most of these schools are getting it right, especially in light of some of the other schools in the area that have a very low percentage. After my list of the A schools, I will give a list of the A+ schools, those with 14.6% to 25%, and then the Super A++ schools that most likely cater to a special education population for the vast majority of their student enrollment. Once again, I am not including early learning schools that only cover pre-school and kindergarten because the vast majority of these pre-school students already have IEP’s and it would impact numbers too much. As well, I didn’t include schools that are 100% special education, because those are schools specifically designed for certain disabilities (i.e. deaf students) and by law those types of students would have an IEP.
The A Schools
Beacon Middle School: 14.5%
Central Middle School: 12.6%
Dover High School: 13.2%
Georgetown Elementary School: 13.7%
Indian River High School: 14.1%
Lake Forest Central Elementary School: 13.5%
Lake Forest High School: 13.4%
McCollough Middle School: 12.6%
Mount Pleasant High School: 12.6%
Seaford Central Elementary School: 13.0%
Seaford Middle School: 17.7%
Seaford High School: 13.3%
St. Georges Technical High School: 12.7%
Shortlidge Academy: 14.0%
Shue-Medill Middle School: 12.6%
Smyrna Middle School: 14.3%
Springer Middle School: 14.2%
Sussex Central High School: 14.2%
Talley Middle School: 14.0%
William Penn High School: 12.9%
The A+ Schools
A.I. Dupont Middle School: 17.1%
Bancroft Elementary School: 14.7%
Bayard Middle School: 19.0%
Brown Elementary School: 24.9%
Cape Henlopen High School: 15.0%
Chipman Middle School: 16.5%
Claymont Elementary School: 15.3%
Dickinson High School: 17.5%
East Side Charter: 15.1%
Gauger-Cobbs Elementary School: 13.5%
Harlan Elementary School: 15.0%
John M. Clayton Elementary School: 16.2%
Laurel High School: 17.1%
Mariner Middle School: 18.2%
McKean High School: 20.2%
Millsboro Middle School: 16.6%
Moore (John Bassett) School (Middle): 19.9%
North Smyrna Elementary School: 18.0%
P.S. Dupont Middle School: 14.8%
Prestige Academy (Charter): 19.5%
Read Middle School: 19.9%
Selbyville Middle School: 14.8%
Showell Elementary School: 15.1%
Smyrna High School: 14.8%
Southern Elementary School: 16.1%
Stanton Middle School: 17.3%
Warner Elementary School: 15.4%
William Henry Middle School: 14.8%
The Super A++ Schools:
Gateway Lab School (Charter): 58.7%
Moyer Academy (Charter): 31.3%
Positive Outcomes Charter School: 63.3%
Wallace Wallin School: 54.7%
And that is all the schools in Delaware (public, charter, vocational, alternate) and their special education populations. I think the Super A++ schools deserve a round of applause. These schools sole creation was to help kids with disabilities, and from what I have heard about many of these schools, they do an excellent job.
I will be putting all of the schools into one post for easy reference very soon. But before I do that, I will be doing a post that goes over certain trends and why some schools may be low and why others may be very high. As well, I will go over which school districts need to focus more on special ed, and which ones seem to be doing very well. One important thing to remembers is the state average is 13.5%, but it has been predicted by some that as high as 22% of Delaware’s students should have an IEP. I have already factored in the 100% schools into that average. What isn’t included is the pre-school/kindergarten schools that are at nearly 100%.
Sussex Academy, the only Delaware charter school in Sussex County, was one of the best Smarter Balanced scoring schools in the entire county. This is not an accident, nor is it an indication they are the “best” school in the county. Like the Charter School of Wilmington, Sussex Academy was named in the ACLU lawsuit against the State of Delaware last December for discrimination against minority and special needs students. Or what the blogosphere collectively calls “cherry-picking”. The school is smack dab in the middle of Sussex County.
On the Delaware Department of Education school profiles part of their website, it shows the school’s demographics. Sussex County has a very large population of Hispanics. Western Sussex County is considered one of the poorest sections of the state and that trend is expected to increase over time.
In previous articles, this blog and Delaware Liberal have focused on New Castle County, Capital School District, and all the Delaware charters. Our graphs have shown the effect low-income and poverty has on Smarter Balanced performance. Unfortunately, this trend continues in Sussex County as seen below. Since Sussex Academy is primarily a middle school (although their high school is increasing, with 9th grade added two years ago, 10th grade last year, and 11th grade this year), I ran the graph with just the middle schools surrounding the school. Sussex Academy appears to be siphoning away the “better” students from their surrounding districts.
To put this in perspective, Laurel Intermediate School is currently a Priority School in Delaware, which slipped under the radar of most bloggers until recently. Meanwhile, Sussex Academy is praised by Governor Markell and the Delaware DOE as a great success. All schools would be considered awesome if they were allowed to do what Sussex Academy does with their application process and mythical “lottery”. Like Charter School of Wilmington and Newark Charter School to some extent, the veil has been lifted and these schools are not superior schools. They have merely placed themselves on that stage by picking who they want, and more importantly, who they don’t want.
While their Hispanic population seems high, 9.6%, compared to many of the other schools, it is very low. Sussex Academy is in Georgetown, the same as Georgetown Middle School. Watch what happens…
In theory then, does the same hold true for the percentage of English Language Learners in Sussex County? Not exactly. Even though a few schools have less Hispanic students, Sussex Academy has the lowest percentage of English Language Learners.
How does Sussex Academy compare to the other schools with special education? I’m sure you know the answer already, but there is a very wide margin between the school and the others.
In fact, they are in the low single-digits compared to the schools surrounding them. When I see this, it always reminds me of the scene in Forrest Gump, when young Forrest tries to find a seat on the bus and the one kids says to him “Can’t sit here.” This is what Sussex Academy does with their blatant discrimination against low-income students, Hispanics, and students with disabilities. But I’m sure they will be recognized as a “reward” or “recognition” school for their exemplary performance…