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Several districts and charter schools join forces to 'boost' rising seniors in Wilmington

Delaware Public Media

A group of New Castle County school districts and charter schools are banding together to help some high school seniors reach the finish line. 

Several districts and charter schools announced the creation of Boost’22—a commitment to work together to help rising seniors from the City of Wilmington graduate and achieve their post-high school goals.  

Wilmington does not have its own school district, and residents are split among several school districts and charter schools. 

Jeffrey Menzer is superintendent of the Colonial School District, which is part of the collaborative. He says the goal is to coordinate resources and share data, so these seniors all have access to the same opportunities. 

“We’re going to look at a group of students differently than we’ve ever looked at them before,” he said. “They're not 600 students divided seven ways, and we’re going to take care of our own piece. They’re 600 students collectively together that we’re all going to work with.”

State Sen. Tizzy Lockman (D-Wilmington) is co-chair of the Redding Consortium, which recommends policies around educational equity for students in the City. She says the consortium is excited to study the outcomes of Boost’22.

“‘Cause we have these imagined but somehow very firm boundaries between our districts, and as we’ve always said in the efforts like Redding and before that, the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission, what a challenge that creates in being able to better serve the students in the City of Wilmington,” she said.

Menzer says Brandywine, Christina, Colonial, New Castle County Vocational Technical and Red Clay school districts, as well as Freire and Great Oaks charter schools, will participate. 

They plan to share data, programs and resources across schools. Leaders of the Boost’22 effort say one aim is to identify each student’s post-graduation goals—such as college or career-based certification—and help them get there, while pushing them to maximize their potential. The districts also plan to partner with research-based dropout prevention programs. 

The specific elements of Boost’22 programming have yet to be determined.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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