With nearly a half a million dollars in federal funding coming to Delaware public school districts, the state’s aim to have 20,000 of its approximately 41,000 enrolled high school students in Delaware Pathways programs is looking pretty viable.
Currently, Delaware Pathways serves over 16,000 students enrolled in 26 career pathways programs across 16 comprehensive school districts, three technical school districts, 11 charter schools, and the Cleveland White School and Ferris School for Boys for adjudicated youth.
Delaware Pathways is the reason we see things like engineering labs, farms, state-of-the-art media studios and restaurant kitchens in Delaware public high schools: It’s become a vital part of education in Delaware, providing students a jumpstart on a career path, a supplement to a college prep track or, in some cases, certifications that add value to a high school degree.
The new $458 million grant will be applied as 51 grant awards to schools in all 16 school districts and one charter.
With this grant, we are seeing an expansion of computer science (which includes programming and IT) offerings — something notably lacking in the past — as well as digital marketing and communications, and agricultural pathways such as animal science and plant science. Some districts are using funding for programs aimed at students with disabilities or gender equality. There will also be an increase of work-based learning opportunities in several districts.
Appoquinimink School District, which serves the Middletown and Odessa areas of Southern New Castle County, will receive the most new grants, with 10. They will include PIPEline to Career Success Project for students with disabilities, Work-Based Learning Opportunities for Youth, computer science pathways at each of its three high schools, two natural resource management pathways, animal science, and digital communications.
Brandywine School District, serving North Wilmington, will use part of its grant for the National Alliance for Partners in Equity — Gender Equity Project.
The Capital School District, serving the Dover area, and the Laurel School District, serving the Eastern Shore region, will each use its full grant toward the PIPEline to Career Success Project for students with disabilities.
The Woodbridge School District, serving western Kent and Sussex Counties, will use its grant for a plant science pathway.
Cape Henlopen School District, which serves the Cape region, will use its part of the grant for a fashion and apparel pathway at Cape Henlopen High.
Two votech high schools in New Castle County, Delcastle and St. Georges, will get expanded computer science pathways; Sussex Tech will use its part of the grant for Work-Based Learning Opportunities for Youth.
Nine high schools, including Brandywine, Concord, Mount Pleasant (Brandywine School District), Caesar Rodney (Caesar Rodney School District), Christiana (Christiana School District), William Penn (Colonial School District), Smyrna (Smyrna School District) and AI DuPont (Red Clay School District) will use grants for a Marketing Today pathway, which focuses on the evolution of marketing in the digital age.
To see the complete list of grant awards and how they will be applied, click here.-30-