Delmar Events
Thursday, August 14, 2003
Delmar Public Library
Delmar Public Library will be having their end of the summer party to end the 2003 summer reading program on Thursday, Aug. 14, starting at 6:30 p.m. All children (and any guests they would like to bring) who have registered at least one book on their log sheet are invited to this fun party. Miss Pam reports that the turnout for delmar Library’s special children’s programs this summer has been very good. Everyone including the parents had a great time. The staff certainly appreciates and thanks the public for the loyal support.

Bi-Staters’ Coffee Talk
Sharon Cordrey

In spite of the rain on Wednesday night, the AARP officers and directors enjoyed a covered dish dinner and picnic at the home of Betty and Lou Daudt in Seaford.

Norman Carr returned Sunday evening from a weekend trip to West Virginia, where he attended his high school reunion. Good food and camaraderie were enjoyed by about 200 attendees. The school was so small that anyone who ever graduated was invited.

Many happy birthday wishes to Norman Sullivan who will celebrate his 80th birthday, Wednesday, Aug. 13. He had an early celebration with his family at Waterman’s Cove. Norman, we wish you a very happy birthday.

We send our get-well wishes and prayers to Catherine Keller, George Scott, Charlene Hill, Barbara Hitch and Jane Oliphant.

We continue to send our prayers and get-well wishes to Kevin Morris who has just gone through quadruple bypass surgery on Aug. 7. He is in the Peninsula Regional Medical Center, 100 E. Carroll Street, Salisbury, MD 21801. Also to Samuel Mills, who is a patient at the Salisbury Rehab and Nursing Center, 200 Civic Avenue, Salisbury, MD 21804 (room 516B).

Many happy birthday wishes to: Irene Hastings, Aug. 6; David King and Chet Russell Williams Jr., Aug. 10; Donna Wilkosz and Jill DeFelice, Aug 11; Donnie Trader and Ronnie Trader, Aug. 12; Paul Collins, Taylor Dawn Price and Belva Pusey, Aug. 13; Kelli Morris, Sydney Niblett and Jennifer Miller, Aug. 14; Jackie Hearn, Mary Nelson, Nelda Harris, Donna Figgs and Wayne Holloway, Aug. 15; and Louise Bastian Cloninger, Aug. 16.

Thought for the week: “The truth is more important than the facts.” — Frank Lloyd Wright
Delmar school may be expanded
By Lynn R. Parks

The new Delmar Middle and High School building was just completed in 2000. But already, school administrators are planning for its expansion. The district has requested permission from the state to add on to the school building, said superintendent George Stone. Once that permission is received, it will take about two years for the $1.2 million project to get under way. The renovation will include the addition of six classrooms, Stone said. It will also include the expansion of the cafeteria. If the state approves the project, something which Stone expects will happen soon, it will agree to pay 80 percent of the cost, about $944,000. The district will be responsible for the other 20 percent, about $236,000. Stone anticipates that the district will be able to cover the cost with its current debt service tax rate. That means no tax increase for the project. “We have been lowering out debt service rate every year since we built the new school,” Stone said. “This year, we just held it steady.” Stone said that the new construction will ease overcrowding in the school. The building was designed to accommodate 940 students; this year, there will be about 1,100 students, he said. About 70 of those enter the school through the state’s choice program. “We have had to cut off choice in the middle school,” Stone said. The increasing student population allows the school to hire more teachers. But often, those teachers have no place to go. “We have had to be creative in using our space,” Stone said. That has meant using common areas for classrooms and sharing classrooms. The district decided not to use modular classrooms this year. But Stone anticipates that they will become necessary in the next school year. Unfortunately, he said, the state only allows a district to build a school to satisfy its current need. It does not make any allowance for anticipated growth, Stone said. Despite projected growth in the district, particularly in the Wicomico County, Md., side of the bi-state district, the new school was built to accommodate the number of students in the district at that time. Stone said that the district was “very pleased” with the state reading, writing and math scores recently released. The school’s eighth-graders performed well, he said, with 82.78 percent scoring at or above the standard in reading and 88.96 scoring at or above the standard in writing. In math, 56.33 percent of the eighth graders scored at or above the standard, compared to 47.18 eighth graders state-wide. About a third of the school’s tenth graders, 67.39 percent, met or exceeded the reading standard. Fewer of them, 41.55 percent met or exceeded the standard in math but more, 71.13 percent, met or exceeded the standard in writing. The district is expanding its language instruction, Stone said. This year, it will offer Spanish to eighth-graders, next year to seventh graders and the following year to sixth graders. Eventually, Stone said that the school hopes to offer an “origins of English” class to middle school students, which will look at the many different languages that shaped the English language. A patch of woods recently acquired by the district is lending itself to nature studies and outdoor classrooms, Stone said. Already, storm water retention ponds on the school property have been declared protected wetland sites by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. Students have planted rare and native species along the ponds. The school is adding a cross-country team this year. The team will practice on a newly-cut trail through the woods behind the school. Next year, it hopes to be able to host meets on that course. The school is planning to install lights over its soccer field this year. It is also making plans to add track and field to its repertoire in a couple of years. Stone said that his school has a “very peaceful environment.” Thanks to a “whole team of behavior specialists who make a huge difference,” fights are a rarity in the school, he said. “Education has become a competitive business,” he said. “We are planning to give the best education that we can by attracting high-quality staff and, through choice, high-quality students. It is a big responsibility, but we continue to meet the demand as best we can.”