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Three Delaware schools receive funding to boost wraparound services

Bayard School web
Christina School District
The Bayard School

The Delaware Department of Education is giving a total of $4.5 million in Delaware Wraparound Services Initiative grants to the Bancroft School, the Bayard School, and Kuumba Academy Charter School .

The schools split the funding, with Bancroft receiving $958,000, Bayard receiving $1,238,000, and Kuumba receiving 1,416,855.

The funding comes from a competitive, one-time grant recommended by the Redding Consortium for Educational Equity to go to schools with at least 55% percent of students attending classified as low income.

In their grant application, the Christina School District, for which both Bancroft and Bayard belong, expressed a need for help to expand programs necessary for their students’ well-being.

“In recent years, our schools have learned about and implemented trauma-informed practices and protocols so that our scholars could engage in content-rich instruction in order to be successful citizens,” they wrote. “We cannot do this in isolation. It is imperative that we partner with community and wellness organizations to assist with this key endeavor. This Wraparound Grant will be a valuable resource to support our work.”

The grants are designed to help implement or expand after school programming and in-school health centers.

John Hulse is an Education Associate for 21st Community Learning Centers and Homeless Education at the DDOE. He says the infusion of money is to help boost varying levels of existing infrastructure.

“They realize that there might have to be some brick and mortar construction, or modifications to either existing classrooms or whatever space they’re now going to designate for a school based health and wellness center," Hulse explained. "So a good portion of immediate funding went to helping the schools to do that. And then the other funds are to provide for staffing for both the wellness center and the out of school time program.”

He adds that DOE assured the programs being put in place were high quality, based on scientific research.

And representatives from the Delaware Health and Social Services are overseeing the implementation of the school-based health centers.

Kuumba Academy Head of School, Sally Maldonado, says that an in-school health center has been a longtime goal.

“We have been working toward adding a school-based health center for several years,” said Maldonado. “We are so grateful for this grant opportunity to bring this dream to fruition for our students and families.”

Hulse notes these schools have been hard at work to get these initiatives up and running.

“We get monthly updates on where they are," said Hulse. "Of course, people would like to go faster than they are, but everyone is chipping away on getting these programs underway.”

While this was established as a one-time grant, the state hopes to award more schools funding in the future to meet similar needs elsewhere in the First State.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and a graduated of the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021