April 19, 2018

Delaware School District Gets Flexible

By Walter Minkel

Superintendent Tony Marchio recently read a summary of Lance’s groundbreaking research proving that quality media centers lead to higher standardized test scores. Marchio then met with district media specialists and the Delaware Department of Education and was “convinced that to improve student achievement across the board, a well-managed media center was a priority.”

Although Delaware doesn’t require certified media specialists, Marchio and the Appoquinimink school board submitted a budget referendum last summer that not only called for $110,000 in school library collections and supplies funding, but also mandated certified, full-time librarians in all eight schools. It passed in November with a majority vote.

As a result of the schedule shift, “The library’s busy all the time,” says Christine Kutcher, a library media specialist at Olive Loss Elementary School. “We have kids in here all day.” With 5,700 students, Appoquinimink is the fastest-growing district in Delaware, and now has the state’s highest average test scores in the Delaware Student Testing Program.