Sussex County Delaware
Delmar Students
Improve on DSTP
Sussex Beat, July 17, 2002

NOTE: Sussex Beat is a log of news briefs and commentary by Kerin Magill, editor of Sussex County Online, with contributions from Sussex County Online users.


Kerin Magill, Sussex County Online

SC Online

Delmar Students Improve on DSTP ...

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of reports on Delaware Student Testing Program results for Sussex County school districts and schools.

Delmar Junior and Senior high school students recorded improvements in all but Writing in the Spring 2002 Delaware Student Testing Program.

While 10th graders at Delmar Senior High performed worse on the Writing test than last year's 10th graders, students in both the junior and senior highs recorded major improvements in all other areas from Spring 2001 to Spring 2002.

The 10th graders posted the fifth best performance out of 31 schools state-wide on the Reading test and the seventh best performance on the Writing test. The 8th graders, meanwhile, finished 7th out of 36 schools in the state on the Writing test.

Only 60.45 percent of 10th graders met or exceeded the state standards for writing this year compared to 76.15 percent a year ago, but the percentage of 10th graders at Performance Level 4 (on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best) increased dramatically, from .77 percent last year to 5.97 percent this year.

In other testing results:

  • Reading -- 78.32 percent met or exceeded standards, compared to 70.14 percent last year.

  • Mathematics -- 52.45 percent met standards, compared to 45.14 percent last year. This year's results were still well below the 60.31 percent who met the standards in 1999.

  • Writing -- 81.25 percent met standards, up from 76.39 percent in 2001.
  • Reading -- 74.81 percent met standards this year compared to 64.62 percent last year.

  • Mathematics -- Although only 49.24 percent met the standards this year, that represented a dramatic improvement over 2001, when only 28.23 percent of 10th graders met the standards.

  • Writing -- Only 60.45 percent met the Writing standard compared to 76.15 percent last year. This year's results were also below the 69.31 percent who met the standards in 2000.
AG Brady Responds to BBLA ...

Delaware Attorney General M. Jane Brady responded late last month to a request for help from a Bethany Beach homeowners' group with an assessment they probably didn't want to hear.

On June 4, 2002, Bethany Beach Landowners Association president Calvin B. Baldwin Jr. wrote to Brady alleging that private oceanfront homeowners are violating the Public Trust Doctrine by prohibiting public access to the beach in front of their homes.

Baldwin said the tensions over the efforts of some communities, such as Sussex Shores just north of Bethany Beach town limits, have mounted.

"We should not wait for arrests or confrontations that are bound to occur if present conditions persist," he said.

In Brady's June 27 letter to Baldwin, she said, "while I sympathize with your desire to keep Delaware's beautiful beaches available to all," Delaware courts have ruled that beachfront property owners in fact own the beach down to the mean low tide line.

Brady said that while the Public Trust Doctrine does ensure the public's right to "certain limited rights superior to those of the private owners," in Delaware those rights have been limited to navigation, fishing and police power.

She added that the BBLA could try to get lawmakers behind their cause and attempt to have legislation drafted to change the way the law is interpreted in Delaware.

The town council is scheduled to discuss backing the BBLA's efforts at its Friday, July 19 meeting.

Also on the agenda is a discussion of adding non-binding referenda questions to the town's September election ballot.

This comes at the suggestion of council member Lois Lipsett, who believes subjects such as the town's recent changes in permit parking and its experimental shuttle bus service would be appropriate issues to put to the voters in referendum form.

The council is also scheduled to vote on two ordinances, one regarding fees for shuttle buses and another deleting the commercial loading zone from the town code. An ordinance will be introduced regarding the removal of trees on private property.

Americorps for State Parks ...

The Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation has been accepted for an Americorps program for its state parks system.

Funded through the Corporation for National Service, the program will allow Delaware's state parks to bring 14 volunteers on board to work both in the parks and the administrative offices as volunteer coordinators. They will be responsible for:

  • Researching and engaging community members as volunteers;

  • Identify, place, train and supervise individual and group volunteers to protect, promote, and provide education on the environmental, historical, cultural and recreational resources in Delaware's 14 state parks;

  • Increase visitor education of parks resources.

In exchange for a commitment of 11 months to 2 years, each of these 14 people will receive a living allowance of $9,600, health insurance, $4,725 toward future educational needs or current student loans, possible student loan deferments, day care, and uniforms.

This makes this a great opportunity for someone to serve their community as well as build an impressive resume and get valuable field experience.

Minimum Requirements for the program are a high school diploma or equivalent, an 11-month service commitment, 1,700 hours of service within the service year, and the ability to work some weekends and occasional evenings.

Each Americorps volunteer in the program will also become fully trained as an Emergency Response Technician, and will be on call in the event that they are needed to respond to a threat or attack within the state.

Applications are now being accepted by calling Glen Stubbalo at 739-3197 or on the state parks website.

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