Cape Henlopen Board To Vote On Very Controversial District Enrollment Reorganization

The Cape Henlopen School District Board of Education will hold a board meeting tonight to vote on proposals that will change the enrollment patterns of their elementary and middle schools in the fall of 2017.  A new elementary school called Love Creek will be built by then and the board recognized this will change the boundaries for which students go to which schools.

At issue with many parents is what happens with Richard Shields Elementary School if they go with one of the proposals.  After six proposals have been presented, the Superintendent is leaning towards Proposal F, but the board prefers the newer Proposals G, shown in the below document.  The Board feels the greatest priority should be having a balance of low-income children in each of their schools.  Currently, Shields has a population of 27% low-income students, but with the proposed changes that could increase that level to 42%.  Love Creek, the new school, would have a 26% low-income population.  Many parents felt the priorities should be students attending schools closest to their homes and how the changes would affect families in the district.  Parents are concerned about changes in school climate, similar to what happened at Skyline Middle School in the Red Clay Consolidated School District this year.  They also feel that forced busing is not the way to go.  Other parents I spoke with were okay with the changes and feel there should be more equity between the schools in the district.  While not official, the students who have been choiced to a school already will be allowed to stay, but if a student is moved through the reorganization they will not be allowed to move back to their original school through choice.

As per the Delaware Dept. of Education website, Cape Henlopen as a whole had 5,170 students as of their September 30th count.

The board meeting tonight will be held at Beacon Middle School at 6pm which could decide the schools 2,600 students go to in the Cape Henlopen School District.  185 students have been choiced by their parents within the district while 273 students from other districts were choiced into Cape Henlopen.  For their race and ethnicity profiles, 66.7% of Cape students are white, 14.3% are Hispanic/Latino, 13.7% are African-American, and the other almost 6% are either a multi-racial, Asian or American Indian.  For the 2014-2015 school year, the average district expenditure per pupil was $15,254.

For their elementary schools, the DOE profiles (which are based on the September 30th counts) look like this currently:

Brittingham: 41.1% white, 31.7% Hispanic/Latino, 21.1% African-American, 57.4% low-income, 15.4% English Language learners, and 12.5% special education

Milton: 72.6% white, 11.4% Hispanic/Latino, 11.7% African-American, 30.2% low-income, 5.1% English Language learners, and 14.7% special education

Rehoboth: 75.5% white, 10.3% Hispanic/Latino, 9.3% African-American, 34.7% low-income, 5.3% English Language learners, and 9.5% special education

Shields: 71% white, 10.2% Hispanic/Latino, 8.5% African-American, 23.7% low-income, 3% English Language learners, and 8.7% special education

 

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