A Redding Consortium work group agreed to explore services for middle and high schools. (Unsplash)

Redding Consortium: Need to add middle, high school services

Jarek Rutz Headlines, Education

A Redding Consortium work group agreed to explore services for middle and high schools. (Unsplash)

A Redding Consortium work group agreed to explore services for middle and high schools. (Unsplash)

The Redding Consortium for Educational Equity wants to add the same kind of support and wraparound services that elementary schools get to middle and high schools that need them.

Those services include before- and after- school programs, summer programs, interventions, tutoring, wellness centers, child care and other social services.

The topic took up about a half-hour of the consortium’s Social Determinants Work Group meeting Monday night. The 19-person committee agreed to recommend the additional investments at the regular meeting next month. 

Essentially, the services fill in a student’s academic and behavioral gaps they have during a school day.

Last year, the consortium implemented wellness centers and wraparound services at the Bancroft School, the Bayard School and Kuumba Academy Charter School.

RELATED: Kuumba’s $2.4M grant will expand wellness, after school programs

It also helped fund full-day preschool at the Kingswood Community Center, the Latin American Community Center, A Leap of Faith Child Development Center and St. Michael’s School and Nursery.

The services were paid for by the state, which granted $12.8 million to the organization for fiscal year 2023. Gov. John Carney has recommended $10.2 million in funding for the group for fiscal year 2024. 

The consortium was created to recommend policies and practices to the governor and General Assembly to improve educational outcomes such as test scores for all pre-k to 12th grade students in the city of Wilmington and northern New Castle County.

Dorrell Green, who also is superintendent of the Red Clay Consolidated School District, said there is a disconnect in policies since the consortium hasn’t provided the services to middle and high schools. 

“That’s an area where there’s a gap, and we have to look at the alignment and where those programs are being offered, and ultimately how we’re defining wraparound services relative to what we see in elementary school versus what we see in middle and high school,” he said.

Green pointed out that many of the middle schools are in suburban areas, which causes transportation issues that the elementary schools – all in the city – don’t necessarily experience.

Member Teri Lawler, who works at the Department of Education, said it was a good idea to start with elementary schools, but reminded the group what the goals of the consortium are. 

“We are charged with looking at the needs for services that support students during and after school from early learning through high school,” Lawler said. “Now we really want to start to dig into an exploration and an assessment for the needs of middle and high schools.”

Member Jeff Menzer, who also is superintendent of Colonial School District, said it’s a good idea for the group to start transitioning to middle and high school after spending the majority of the past few years heavily focused on early education. 

Watch the Redding Consortium’s next full meeting here

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