Small Town News


Fresh thinking needed for Cape's HOB

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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For many years, Cape Henlopen School District, which educates the great majority of students in our region, has had a mission statement that professes a belief in every child's ability to learn-the most advantaged, the most disadvantaged and all in between. And we all want the same solid education that our dedicated teachers can provide for our children. But all of the children in our schools don't bring the same circumstances and backgrounds to their learning experiences.

Teachers have been voicing this lament for decades, and it's still just as true. Yet the Cape district continues to bring a one-size-fits-all approach to its elementary schools despite knowing that the student bodies it serves in our diverse district vary widely.

Although test scores can't be the only indicator of educational problems, they are certainly an important indicator. At H.O. Brittingham Elementary in Milton, the community knows its teachers are deeply dedicated to helping students succeed. Still, students at HOB lag far behind their peers at other schools on statewide tests. Many students there start and continue their educations behind students in other district schools bolstered by more favorable economic factors.

Challenges are greater for teachers at HOB.

Cape Henlopen School District has a supportive community, enviable resources and a strong system.

It could be even stronger if it were to accept that in some circumstances, like at HOB, it has to find different approaches to providing a secure environment. It has to continue to work to ensure students feel they are in a secure place where they belong, where they feel valued, where they sense they have a chance to succeed and above all, where they can feel the deep satisfaction that comes with competence and accomplishment. That, with solid teaching, will bring success.

With fresh thinking, HOB could be a magnet school that attracts a diverse student body. Cape has met many challenges in the past. Now it's HOB's turn.

Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Trish Vernon, editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor; Laura Ritter, news editor; and Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor.

Copyright 2016 Cape Gazette, Lewes, Delaware. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: June 10, 2016

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