Schools in Delmar to offer college classes

By Rebecca J. Davis

The Delmar School District is partnering with Wilmington University in order to offer early college initiatives and dual enrollment classes to Delmar students. According to Delmar Superintendent David Ring, Delmar students will be able to enroll for selected Wilmington University classes and remain at the high school to take those classes.

"The students will take classes with their peers and a Wilmington [University] certified teacher in a nurturing environment," Ring said. "I'm ecstatic about the partnership. What's most important is what's best for the students in the building. We know that our top five percent [of our students] will jump at dual enrollment."

Ring also went on to say that Wilmington University and the Delmar School District are a good match because they are both small schools and want what's best for their students. The press conference was held on April 23, and was attended by an enthusiastic group of dignitaries from the Delmar School District, Wilmington University and the community, including Representative Tim Dukes and Michael Watson, chief academic officer of the Delaware Department of Education.

The press conference consisted of speeches from Ring; Delmar Director of Curriculum Shawn Larrimore; Delmar President Shawn Brittingham; Jim Wilson, Wilmington University's Vice President for Academic Affairs; Delmar High school Principal Ashley Giska, and Wilmington University's Vice President for External Affairs, Peter Bailey.

"The cost of high education is rising," Larrimore said during his speech. "And the value of the diploma is lowering.

Delmar will fight academic inflation with this partnership. We believe that college is for anyone who has the will to succeed. Our graduates will have a high school diploma in one hand and a college transcript in the other."

Brittingham added that the partnership "is a unique educational opportunity for our students." Wilson stated, "It's our honor to partner with Delmar. I'm pleased to be here. We want the students to be successful." Giska also thanked the community for its support.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by Ring, Bailey, Giska, Larrimore, and Wilson. According to Ring, the memorandum of understanding defines what Wilmington University will offer the Delmar School District, the relationship between the Delmar School District and Wilmington University and the financial responsibility which includes money for classes and textbooks. The agreement is good for three years.

"The partnership is a phenomenal opportunity for the students," Representative Tim Dukes said. "It's a launching pad for Delmar. We're raising education to a whole new level."

The credited classes that will be offered to Delmar students starting in Fall 2013-2014 are WU English 101, WU Math 310 and WU Science 232. Future classes that will be introduced in 2014-2015 are WU Psychology 101, WU English 360 (Creative Writing) and WU Politics 300.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to grow," Delmar student Zoe Sonnier, an assistant at the event, said. Other Delmar students that gave assistance during the press conference are Natalie Smith, Kara Hughes and Tessa Jarvis.

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