Final Accelerated Academic Grants will allow public schools to offer advanced coursework to students

For immediate release

Contact Alison May (302) 735-4000


The Delaware Department of Education is pleased to announce the final two award recipients for the Accelerated Academic Grant program, the new state program that made funds available for programs targeted at academically advanced students.

Christina School District received $18,963 for teaching identified fifth to eighth grade students the fundamentals of debate in preparation for future intra-district debates.  Debate will enhance the ability of students to read and understand complex material and then present, defend, and refute the opposition. Debate also promotes a high level of teamwork and planning.

Colonial School District received $34,501 to increase preparation for advanced coursework by adopting the College Board’s SpringBoard program for English language arts students in sixth to eighth grades. The program promotes rigorous extension of current material to emphasize working beyond a middle school setting.

In November, the department announced eight awardees with awards totaling $246,536. Overall, 10 awards were given for a total of $300,000.

“Local educators designed these programs to meet the needs of their advanced students,” Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said. “I am glad the state can support such programs that will push our students, offering the opportunity for those already exceling to expand their learning and challenge themselves in new ways.”

Local school districts and schools applied for start-up grants for programs targeted at students who are at least a half year ahead of grade level based upon state standards. Most of the programs are expected to be offered beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.

The program, created through legislation proposed last year by Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn and the chairs of the General Assembly’s education committees, allows school districts to design programs targeted at students who are ahead of grade level in reading, writing, math, or science.

“I am looking forward to visiting these schools to talk with students and hear about how much they are learning,” Denn said.  “These programs are going to give many students the chance to excel in ways they weren’t being given before.”

House Education Committee Chair Darryl Scott, D-Dover, agreed: “By offering programs like these to middle school students, we will be challenging them to reach beyond their current levels and excel. I view programs like these as opportunities for students to take another step forward in their learning and become better equipped with the tools they need to be successful in today’s world.”