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Sussex Beat, July 29, 2002

NOTE: Sussex Beat is a log of news briefs and commentary by Kerin Magill, editor of Sussex County Online, with contributions from Sussex County Online users.

CURRENT SUSSEX BEAT:

Kerin Magill, Sussex County Online

By KERIN MAGILL
SC Online
Editor

IRSD Students Excel in State Tests

Scores in the spring 2002 Delaware Student Testing Program for students in the Indian River School District were among the highest in the state.

Third and fifth grade reading scores topped the list of standouts at Indian River, with 91 percent of third graders and 92 percent of fifth graders meeting or exceeding the state standards.

Students in middle school and high school also fared well, with 86 percent of eighth graders and 77 percent of 10th graders scoring at or above the state standards.

At the Southern Delaware School of the Arts, a Selbyville magnet school, every eighth grader tested at above the state benchmark. SDSA eighth graders, in fact, scored first in the state in reading, mathematics and writing. Their peers at Selbyville Middle School placed 13th out of 36 schools in math, 12th in reading and 17th in writing.

Third and fifth graders at the school fared well, too. Fifth graders placed third statewide in reading, fourth in writing and fifth in math. Third graders' results were mixed, however. While they ranked 11th in math and 12th in reading, third graders at SDSA placed 44th out of 87 schools in reading.

Indian River success stories include East Millsboro Elementary, Frankford Elementary, Lord Baltimore Elementary and Showell Elementary, where students in at least one grade scored in the top ten schools statewide.

At East Millsboro, third grade students placed third statewide in writing, fifth in math and sixth in reading, while fifth graders ranked fifth in the state in writing, ninth in math and 10th in reading.

At Frankford Elementary, third graders placed 15th out of 87 schools state-wide in reading as 97 percent met or exceeded the state standards and fifth graders placed 13th out of 57 schools in reading with 87 percent meeting the standards.

Interestingly, Frankford has one of the highest percentages of low income students in the state with 69 percent classified as such.

At Philip C. Showell in Selbyville, third graders placed third in reading while fifth graders placed third in math, eighth in reading and sixth in writing.

At Lord Baltimore in Ocean View, third graders placed ninth in math statewide. Fifth graders placed among the top five schools in all three subjects: fourth in both math and reading and second statewide in writing.

Middle schools in the Indian River School District, meanwhile, had mixed results. In addition to its 13th place in math, Selbyville Middle School eighth graders placed 12th in reading and 17th in writing out of 36 schools statewide. Sussex Middle eighth graders, meanwhile, placed 24th in math, 23rd in reading and 21st in writing.

At the high school level, the scores were also mixed. While 10th graders at Indian River High School placed fifth out of 31 schools in math, they placed 13th in reading and 16th in writing. Sussex Central 10th graders, meanwhile, placed 18th in math, 12th in reading and 16th in writing.

Here is a look at how each of the grade levels performed in spring 2002 testing:

    READING:
  • Third Graders -- Ninety-one percent met or exceeded state standards. At Frankford Elementary, 97 percent met or exceeded the standard -- the best results among third grade readers in the district. The school with the lowest number of students meeting the mark was North Georgetown, where 79 percent met the standards. Frankford's closest competitor in third grade reading scores was the Southern Delaware School of the Arts, with 95 percent meeting the standard.

  • Fifth Graders -- Districtwide, 92 percent met standards. Lord Baltimore's fifth graders led the pack, with 99 percent meeting the standards. Fifth graders at both East Millsboro and SDSA weren't far behind, with 97 percent meeting the standards. Again, North Georgetown had the lowest number of students -- 79 percent -- meeting the mark.

  • Eighth Graders -- It would be hard to beat SDSA's eighth graders, every one of whom met or exceeded the standards in spring 2002. Eight of every 10 Selbyville Middle students met the standards, while at Sussex Central Middle in Millsboro, 68 percent met the standards.

  • Tenth Graders -- At both Indian River and Sussex Central high schools, 69 percent met the standards. Both schools improved their percentage since 2001; Indian River by 5 percent and Sussex Central by 10 percent.
    MATH:
  • Third Graders -- Districtwide, 89 percent met or exceeded the standards. At Lord Baltimore, 96 percent met or exceeded the standards, followed closely by Philip C. Showell with 95 percent.

  • Fifth Graders -- Across the district, 87 percent of fifth graders met or surpassed state standards. Again, Lord Baltimore with 93 percent and Showell with 95 percent were the stars in the math department.

  • Eighth Graders -- Middle schoolers in general didn't fare as well as their younger counterparts. At Sussex Central Middle, 59 percent of eighth graders didn't meet the standards; at Selbyville, 45 percent tested below the standard. SDSA students fared the best, with only 17 percent failing to meet the standards.

  • 10th Graders -- At Sussex Central High, only 40 percent met or surpassed the standards, while at Indian River, just over half the students met the mark.
    WRITING:

    This is the subject in which many Indian River schools show lots of room for improvement. Even though many schools improved, it is the subject in which the district's schools scored lowest as a group.

  • Third Grade -- Districtwide, 42 percent exceeded state standards. At SDSA and Lord Baltimore, which did so well in other categories, 58 percent of third graders missed the state's mark. Five of the eight elementary schools posted a rate of more than 50 percent failing to meet state standards.

  • Fifth Grade -- Sixty-seven percent met or exceeded standards. Two schools, however, reported that more than half didn't meet the standard North Georgetown and Long Neck.

  • Eighth Grade -- Middle Schoolers did better than the younger students, with 83 percent districtwide meeting or exceeding standards. Students at SDSA, in fact, topped the state, with 91 percent exceeding the standards.

  • Tenth Grade -- At Indian River, 51 percent failed to meet state standards. At Sussex Central, 44 percent of 10th graders didn't meet the mark.
Ward, West Switch Roles ...

When Charlie West announced his retirement as the 41st District's state representative last month, the 81-year-old, 13-term legislator said he wouldn't be getting out of politics entirely.

"I'm liable to show up anywhere," he said then.

On Monday, July 29, 2002, West announced that the 41st Representative District Democrat Committee would be endorsing Donald Ward as the district's Democratic nominee for the seat West was vacating.

And in an ironic twist, West made the announcement as chairperson of the 41st District Democrats -- a position previously held by Ward.

In the shakeup allowing Ward to concentrate on his own campaign against fellow Democrats Lynn R. Bullock -- the former mayor of Millsboro -- and Ronald Chorman, Ward resigned his chairmanship.

The 41st Representative District Committee then announced that West would be the new chairperson, that Clarence Truitt would be vice chairperson, that Vanessa Deloach would be secretary, and that Yunein Bowen would be treasurer.

As he did a month ago, West praised Ward on Monday.

"Don Ward is an ideal candidate for representative," West said. "Growing up in the farm community with a background in education and business, he will do a great job for us all."

Tourism Award Nominees Sought ...

The Delaware Tourism Office is seeking nominees for the 2002 Governor's Tourism Awards, which honor individuals, businesses and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the state's tourism industry.

Awards will be presented in the following categories:

  • Travel and Tourism Person of the Year;
  • Hall of Fame: Annual Event;
  • Hall of Fame: Individual Achievement;
  • Best Itinerary;
  • Best Time-Targeted Campaign;
  • Best Targeted Demographic Campaign;
  • Best Partnership;
  • Most Improved Tourism Product;
  • Tourism Awareness Award;
  • Tourism Advocate Award;
  • Volunteer of the Year

Winners are chosen by a panel of tourism industry professionals from surrounding states and the governor's office.

To receive a nomination form, call 866-2-VISIT-DE or 302-672-6842. The deadline for entries is Friday, Aug. 23, 2002. Winners will be recognized at the Governor's Tourism Conference and Awards ceremony, to be held at the Dover Downs Hotel and Conference Center on Oct. 30, 2002.

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