The Charter School of Wilmington is one of three Delaware schools to be a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School. It's also one of 286 schools across the nation that will be honored at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Nov. 18 and 19.
"We're very honored to have been selected as a Blue Ribbon School because it's a unique award and doesn't happen to all schools in the area," said Charter School Principal Samuel D. Paoli, Ed. D. "Everyone had a hand in this—students, faculty, staff, parents, our Board of Directors, and alumni—all stakeholders."
The school's previous principal and president, Chuck Baldwin, received news from the Delaware Department of Education that it was nominated as a Blue Ribbon School. But it wasn't until the school completed a "rigorous and lengthy" application process, which required much research and data collection as well as reporting on the history of the school, that The Charter School of Wilmington found out recently that it won the honor.
As a Blue Ribbon School, a school has to either be Exemplary High Performing, which means that a school is among the state's highest performing schools on state assessments or national exams, or Exemplary Improving, which means that at least 40 percent of a school's students from disadvantaged backgrounds show the most progress in improving student achievement levels as measured by state and national exams.
The Charter School of Wilmington is an Exemplary High Performing School.
"Our students perform very well [on AP, SATs, and all assessments]," Paoli said. "They are annually at the top of the state and have been for a long while."
He continued: "Our teachers are a dedicated group, and they take pride in the instruction they give to students. And our students come prepared for the academic challenges here and are motivated."
Each principal will be invited to attend the awards ceremony, where they get a picture with President Obama, with a teacher from each of their schools.