Education in Delaware

With hundreds of quality public schools, as well as specialized charter schools, vocational and technical schools, and small private schools, great choices abound for families.

 




Great schools, great choices for your family

Home to multiple award-winning National Blue Ribbon Schools and nationally acclaimed academic curriculums, Delaware boasts high-quality educational institutions for all kinds of learners and gives parents the opportunity to choose what’s best for their child. Delaware’s innovative Choice Program allows families to apply to enroll their child in a public school or charter school outside of their feeder zone.

Across the First State, there are 19 school districts with hundreds of quality public schools, as well as specialized charter schools, vocational and technical schools, and small private schools. Transportation is provided for students at all public and charter schools, but availability is affected if you are choosing your child attend outside of your feeder zone.

Schools all over the state educate students in immersive environments with unique teaching methods. There are more than 220 traditional public schools statewide, and nine out of ten Delaware children attend public schools. Delaware currently offers 23 public-charter schools with a new charter to be opened soon. For a tight-knit, smaller-classroom experience, there are 146 private schools statewide. Six vocational technical schools serve more than 7,000 students statewide in programs including auto technology, biotechnology and nursing. The state also provides individualized education experiences, such as the Delaware Autism program and Delaware School for the Deaf.

Delaware K-12 students are also some of the most college-prepared in the nation. The state ranked #8 among U.S. states for college readiness — measuring the percentage of high school graduates that passed the ACT and/or SAT — according to the U.S. News & World Report.


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Education and Prosperity

Delaware takes education and employment opportunities seriously and strives to give high school students a jump-start on high-demand careers in the state, such as healthcare, hospitality, advanced manufacturing and biomedical science, through its Delaware Pathways program.

Northern Delaware

Residents of New Castle County will find dozens of notable high-quality public schools, some with specialized programs including Mount Pleasant High School’s International Baccalaureate Program and the Lewis Dual Language Elementary School, which offers an immersion program for young learners to attain high levels of second language proficiency.

In 2019, three Northern Delaware schools were recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools by the vWest Park Place Elementary School. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

The Charter School of Wilmington also ranked fifteenth on Newsweek’s America’s Top High Schools list, and the Newark Charter School received the highest ranking of “superior school” from the Delaware Department of Education. Nationally, it is recognized as a Blue Ribbon School for Academic Excellence. Several private schools are National Blue Ribbon schools, as well, including Christ the Teacher Catholic School in Newark and St. John the Beloved School in Wilmington.

Northern Delaware is the tech hub of the state and preparing children — and adults — for this industry is a prime goal. The Code Differently 1000 Kids Coding program is a fun and innovative program designed to expose New Castle County students to computing and programming, and Zip Code Wilmington coaches motivated adults from diverse backgrounds into skilled, professional developers in only 12 weeks.

Central Delaware

In Kent County, educational opportunities are also strong and varied. Caesar Rodney is the top-ranked high school in Kent County and ranks among the top 16% of high schools in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report.

During the past five years, Lake Forest South Elementary School, Dover Air Force Base Middle School, Lake Forest East Elementary School, and W. B. Simpson Elementary School have all received recognition as National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education.

Each county in Delaware features a vocational-technical high school, and Polytech in Kent County is particularly known for its continuing education and adult education programs.

Southern Delaware

Sussex County boasts the Sussex Academy of Arts and Sciences as a top-ranked high school according to the U.S. News and World Report. Sussex Academy is a public charter school that serves grades 6-12 and just recently announced its expansion into an elementary school for the 2020-2021 school year.

During the past five years in Sussex County, Selbyville Middle School, East Millsboro Elementary School, Seaford Central Elementary School, Sussex Academy, and Cape Henlopen High School have all been recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools.

Education and Prosperity

Delaware takes education and employment opportunities seriously and strives to give high school students a jump-start on high-demand careers in the state, such as healthcare, hospitality, advanced manufacturing and biomedical science, through its Delaware Pathways program. Part of the national Pathways to Prosperity Network, this innovative program provides training and on-the-job experience for in-demand careers and was created to help fulfill the Delaware Promise: by 2025, 65% of Delaware’s workforce will have two- or four-year degrees or professional certificates to match the percentage of Delaware jobs that require them. Specific pathways can be followed, like advance manufacturing or allied health, and can require upwards of 600 hours of training and education. Immersive work experience is a vital part of Pathways, and the majority of employers providing work experience in the state end up employing their students.

Delaware STEM

Delaware’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Council was created with a three-fold mission in mind: expand the number of Delaware students who ultimately pursue advanced degrees and careers in STEM fields and broaden the participation of women and minorities in these fields; expand the STEM capable workforce to create, grow and attract STEM-related businesses to Delaware; increase STEM literacy for all Delaware students including those who pursue non-STEM related careers, but need STEM skills. Encouraging STEM education is crucial to the state’s economy and demonstrates Delaware’s commitment to cutting-edge industries and innovation.

Higher Education

There are eight colleges and universities in Delaware, including two research universities, one master’s university, one baccalaureate college, two associate’s colleges, and two special-focus institutions. Five of Delaware’s post-secondary institutions are private and three are public.

Delaware’s oldest post-secondary institution, and the largest with over 23,000 students, is the University of Delaware, which was chartered by the Delaware General Assembly as a degree-granting college in 1833. Wilmington University is the state’s largest private post-secondary institution, with an enrollment of over 15,000. Delaware State University is the only historically black university in the state, and it is a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Delaware Technical Community College offers associate degrees at four campuses around the state.

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