Friday, August 31, 2007

Academy of Dover is 2015 today

Why wait until 2015? The state of Delaware has yet another educational vision. 2015 promises significant reform and results within 10 years. 8 years from now we should see great results. My daughter will be graduating by then. I want to see significant results now. That is why I am privileged to have my children in the Academy of Dover.

There are a few schools who already meet much of what is being proposed by the experts. The Academy of Dover is one. It offers more instructional time. It has more computers for the children than any district by far. It is accredited which is a rare feat for an elementary school. It is contracted with Innovative schools, which is supported by the same people who proposed 2015.

The Academy of Dover is one of the first schools to have much of its curriculum mapped to the state standards ahead of state mandates. It also is implementing individualized learning plan strategy. Each student will have their own learning program and be taught to compensate for any weaknesses which are discovered during the school year. It was an ambitious plan and it has come to pass. We didn't have to wait. At this school we are in the future.

Under the leadership of New board President; Mrs. Mary Scott who was an administrator for a local school district, the school is rising to level of professionalism and accountability. She is not the only jewel on the new school board. The vice president Dr. Watson is a college professor who teaches biology. The board has people with a diversity of skills including a treasurer who is an expert in state finances. The school also has an attorney who works with an educational institution on the board. In addition, the board has another sharp former public school administrator and to fulfill the state board's "suggestions" a person with a marketing/public relations background. We also have people knowledgeable about buildings and grounds and personnel procedures. The crucible of criticism was unfair, but out of it a stronger school has emerged.

Despite dire predictions of the school running out of money last year, it ended the year in a surplus and will be sound financially again this year. The final tally on student achievement is going to show the school advanced students significantly over their old school. The school is a well ordered and disciplined environment but not a stifling one. The leadership of Mr. Litzi as CAO has been praiseworthy. He showed a smart, steady leadership style befitting his 30 plus years experience in school administration and education. Now we are seeing innovation. The school is freed from the shackles of the previous management firm and is working with the same organization which aids the best charter schools in Delaware.

I would encourage everyone to rediscover the Academy Dover. You may find out that you don't have to wait for 2015 for your children to obtain that quality education.

David Anderson

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