While Delaware may be known for its rich U.S. history and its high economic stature despite its small land size, did you also know that this state is home to several large school districts?
Known as “The First State,” Delaware was the first of the 13 colonies to enter the Union of the United States in 1776. While this state is only 96 miles long and the second-smallest state in the nation, Delaware is still home to more than a million people. With only 16 school districts throughout the state, some of the top-rated schools in Delaware still provide an opportunity for quality education.
Let's dive in to learn more about seven of the largest school districts in Delaware.
Red Clay Consolidated School District
1502 Spruce Ave, Wilmington, DE 19805
Total Number of Schools: 28
Total Number of Students Enrolled: 14,837
Ranked as the third-best school district by Niche and coming in as the largest school district in Delaware overall is the Red Clay Consolidated School District. This district has high rankings in other categories on Niche including the second-best district with the best teachers in the state, the second-most diverse school district, and the third-best place to teach.
Red Clay is located just 45 minutes south of Philadelphia in New Castle County. It's also home to one of the state's largest employers with about 3,000 full-time staff members. This makes the student-to-teacher ratio low at 14:1. This district also has a 93% graduation rate, one of the highest in the state. Additionally, it's home to 30 award-winning programs and schools.
Christina School District
1899 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19702
Total Number of Schools: 28
Total Number of Students Enrolled: About 14,000
Christina School District is ranked as the third-most diverse district in Delaware. This district serves the City of Wilmington, along with the city of Newark and the surrounding areas. Of its 28 schools, 3 are early education centers, 14 are elementary schools, 2 are a mix of elementary and middle schools, 3 are middle schools, and 3 are high schools. The district also has the Brennen School, which is home to the Delaware Autism Program, as well as other programs and facilities.
As a culturally diverse school district, 14% of Christina's students are English Language Learners and about 41% come from low-income homes. However, the district employs about 3,300 people, making the student-to-teacher ratio very low at 12:1. This gives students the individualized help they need. 45% of teachers in this district hold a master's degree or higher, as well.
Appoquinimink School District
118 S. Sixth Street, Odessa, DE 19730
Total Number of Schools: 20
Total Number of Students Enrolled: More than 12,000
Ranked as the best school district in Delaware by Niche is the Appoquinimink School District in Odessa. This district is also ranked as the best place to teach and the district with the best teachers in the state. ASD is also one of the fastest-growing districts, opening 14 new schools and completing additions to 8 other schools since the year 2000.
As a forth-coming and up-to-date district, ASD is the state's only public school system to offer college credit, 6 different languages, and a Seal of Multiliteracy. The student-to-teacher ratio here is 16:1 and the district has one of the highest-paying teacher salaries in the state. Additionally, ASD is known for its language immersion experience, offering students to learn English and a second language starting in kindergarten, all the way through 12th grade.
Indian River School District
31 Hosier St., Selbyville, DE 19975
Total Number of Schools: 16
Total Number of Students Enrolled: 10,799
Located in Southeastern Sussex County and serving 11 different communities is the Indian River School District. This district was formed in 1969 as several smaller districts felt the need to consolidate together to share resources. IRSD is also the largest non-technical school district geographically in the state covering 360 square miles.
Of its 16 schools, 7 are elementary schools, 3 are middle schools, 2 are high schools, and one is an early learning center. The district is also home to an arts magnet school and an outdoor education center. With more than 900 teachers on staff and 200 paraprofessionals, the student-to-teacher ratio in this district is 14:1. Additionally, 12 of the schools in IRSD have received National Blue Ribbon School awards, along with several other accolades.
Brandywine School District
1311 Brandywine Boulevard, Wilmington, DE 19809
Total Number of Schools: 16
Total Number of Students Enrolled: 10,401
Rounding out the top-five best districts in the state is the Brandywine School District in Wilmington. This district is situated in the northernmost area of Delaware and covers 33 square miles of New Castle County. It serves 5 different communities including a portion of Wilmington, Claymont, Brandywine Hundred, Bellefonte, and Arden.
BSD has a student-to-teacher ratio of 13:1 which is well below the national average. Its mission is to “embrace, inspire, and challenge every student every day.” The district accomplishes this mission by offering numerous programs for its students and by remaining a popular option for families who take advantage of Delaware's School Choice program.
Colonial School District
318 East Basin Road, New Castle, DE 19720
Total Number of Schools: 14
Total Number of Students Enrolled: 9,132 as of September 30, 2022
The Colonial School District is ranked as the fifth-best district in the state and serves a large part of the communities west of the Delaware River. Of the 14 schools in the district, 8 are elementary schools, 3 are middle schools, and one is a traditional high school. The district is also home to an early education program at the Colwyck Center and a specialty school: the John G. Leach School.
The student-to-teacher ratio in this district is 14:1 and the graduation rate is above the national average at about 85%. The district offers a virtual program for students as well. Additionally, about 6 years ago, the district began a new movement called the “Power of We.” This initiative focuses on open, flat leadership with a passion-driven team approach instead of the traditional hierarchical system.
Caesar Rodney School District
7 Front St., Wyoming, DE 19934
Total Number of Schools: 15
Total Number of Students Enrolled: 8,201
When it comes to school districts in Kent County, the Ceasar Rodney School District is number one. This district is also ranked as the fourth-best in the state according to Niche. The district received its name from the well-known Delaware public figure Ceasar Rodney, who is known for his work of declaring independence in 1776. He went on to be a General in charge of the Delaware forces in 1778 and also served as a state legislator after the war.
The student-to-teacher ratio in the Caesar Rodney School District is 14:1. The district also focuses on “the four A's”: Academics, arts, athletics, and atmosphere. Additionally, the district is home to many awards and recognitions including 6 National Blue Ribbon Awards. The CR district is also rich in history as the first official school district in the state, founded in 1915.
While Delaware may be known for far more than its educational options, it's clear that these large school districts have a lot to offer their students. From educational opportunities to athletics, fine arts, and specialized programs, every student is sure to find their fit in one of the massive school districts in this state.
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