Finding the right schools and educational opportunities for each family member is an important part of any move. This chapter outlines Kent County’s public schools system, private schools, charter schools and home schooling criteria, as well as local libraries and higher education institutions. To be enrolled in a Delaware school, a child must be at least 5 years old by Aug. 31 of the school year. Those wishing to register their child in school should bring the following to the school office: a birth certificate or other proof of the child’s age, the child’s previous school records and immunizations records. Check with the school for additional requirements. For information about Delaware’s minimum vaccine requirements for students in grades K-12, visit the Delaware Department of Education’s website at www.doe.k12.de.us.
In 2010, Delaware, along with the majority of other states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Department of Defense Education Activity adopted Common Core State Standards that provide a consistent set of educational expectations for students, regardless of ZIP code. When a family moves, a student’s education is often disrupted because the student may be forced to repeat material or learn at a different level at the new school. With common standards across states, this disruption will be reduced — of particular interest to military families. At present, national Common Core State Standards exist only for English language arts and mathematics, with science and social studies in development, though Delaware has state standards across the full curriculum. For more information, visit www.corestandards.org.
Choosing a School
Choosing the right school is very important, so be sure to research each one before deciding. Contact the school by phone or by visiting its website, which is a valuable source to learn about a school district’s statistics and curriculum. Talk to people in the area, especially friends and colleagues who already live there.
If the school shows promise, schedule a visit and bring a list of written questions about student-teacher ratios, computer availability, extracurricular activities, sports programs, music programs, gifted programs and grading standards.
Discuss the potential school with your child: what they liked and what they didn’t like. Your family’s ability to readily adapt to a move and to find happiness in your new home may depend, in part, on how happy your children are in their new school.
Charter schools are public schools of choice that are tuition-free, serve all students and have open enrollment. For more information or a listing of charter schools in Delaware, visit the Delaware Charter Schools Network at www.decharternetwork.org or the Delaware Department of Education at www.doe.k12.de.us/Page/2267.
In Delaware, all nonpublic schools (including home schools) are required to register with the Department of Education. Enrollment information is collected as of Sept. 30 of the school year, and attendance information is collected at the end of the school year. After registering with the department, a school code is issued, and the school’s information is put on the department’s database. Enrollment and attendance are recorded online.
Additional information on home schooling in Delaware is available at http://dedoe.schoolwires.net/domain/191.
For information on the legal requirements of home schooling in Delaware, visit www.hslda.org/hs/state/DE.
To search for local private schools in Delaware, visit the National Center for Education Statistics website and use the private school search tool at https://tinyurl.com/ybhpwoyt. Users may search by location, religious affiliation, school type and more.
Caesar Rodney School District
7 Front St.
Wyoming, DE 19934
The Caesar Rodney School District serves nearly 7,800 students. The district is in the middle of Kent County, with schools in Camden, Dover, Magnolia and Wyoming. The district has an early childhood center, six elementary schools, three middle schools, one high school and a school designed for students with special needs.
Capital School District
198 Commerce Way
Dover, DE 19904
The Capital School District has an enrollment of approximately 6,700 students. The district is north of Caesar Rodney School District, with schools in Dover and Hartly. The district has seven elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, a community school and an alternative program.
Lake Forest School District
5423 Killens Pond Road
Felton, DE 19943
The Lake Forest School District has an enrollment of approximately 3,800 students. The district is south of Caesar Rodney School District, with schools in Felton, Frederica and Harrington. The district has four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school, and an early childhood center.
Milford School District
906 Lakeview Ave.
Milford, DE 19963
The Milford School District, which serves approximately 4,100 students, is east of the Lake Forest School District, with schools in Lincoln and Milford. The district has an early childhood center, three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school, and an early childhood center.
POLYTECH School District
823 Walnut Shade Road
Woodside, DE 19980
The POLYTECH School District serves approximately 1,200 students in a high school and an extensive adult education program, both in Woodside.
Smyrna School District
82 Monrovia Ave.
Smyrna, DE 19977
The Smyrna School District has an enrollment of more than 5,200 students. The district is north of the Capital School District, with schools in Smyrna and Clayton. The district has four elementary schools, two intermediate schools, one middle school and one high school.