Charter School of Wilmington
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2008)|
|Charter School of Wilmington|
|100 N. DuPont Road
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
|Motto||Expect the Best!|
|School district||Red Clay Consolidated School District|
|Number of students||970|
|School color(s)||blue & white|
|Athletics||Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association|
|Athletics conference||Blue Hen Conference|
|Mascot||The Force Calculator or Lightning Bolt|
|Newspaper||'The Blue Streak Tangent'|
The Charter School of Wilmington is a high school in Wilmington, Delaware, one of the first public/private (self-governed, state funded) charter schools in the United States, opening in 1996. It shares the former Wilmington High School building with Cab Calloway School of the Arts and occupies the third floor and a wing of the second floor of the building. There were 970 students enrolled in the fall for the 2012-2013 school year. It is also ranked as the 5th best STEM (Science,Technology, Engineering, Math) high school in the United States.
- 1 History
- 2 Novel approach to education
- 3 Academics
- 4 Students
- 5 Faculty
- 6 Extra-curricular activities
- 7 Standardized exam achievement
- 8 Media Appearances
- 9 Notable Alumni
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Charter schools in Delaware were authorized by Delaware Code, Title 14, Chapter five, enacted in 1995. The school is operated by a consortium of six companies: AstraZeneca, Verizon, Delmarva Power, DuPont, Hercules Incorporated, and Christiana Care Health System.
The Charter School of Wilmington was chartered by the Red Clay Consolidated School District, and was directly descended from the 'Academy of Mathematics and Science', an earlier (now defunct) math and science magnet school run by the district. The school is a college preparatory academy that focuses on mathematics and science. Also occupying building that formerly housed Wilmington High School are the Cab Calloway School of the Arts and the James H. Groves Adult High School.
The Charter School of Wilmington is a member of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science and Technology.
The Charter School of Wilmington placed 127th in 2006, 75th in 2007, and 100th in 2008 in Newsweek's Top High Schools. Furthermore, Charter placed 41st in 2007 and 42nd in 2008 as well as 2009 in U.S. News' America's Best High Schools, earning the Gold Medal.
Novel approach to education
Modified Block Scheduling
Charter uses a modified block system. With three rotating classes and one fixed class of 80 minutes each (a mandatory study hall included) along with an "Activity Period" slot, the schedule allowed elongated class periods and eliminated the need for many lengthy, after-school extracurricular club meetings. Students have eight class periods total, and four classes per day thereby meeting with a class every other day.
Students may elect to take Cab classes focused on visual arts, drama, and the musical arts, UD classes, or any other Charter classes during these periods. Cab Calloway classes are still limited in the fact that time slots must match the two schools' schedules and thus certain courses can only be taken during certain class periods.
During the junior year, all students complete a Science Fair project as a necessary requirement to graduate. The Science Fair requirement used to take place during the sophomore year, but restructuring of the research curriculum to better improve research skills beforehand required pushing back the Science Fair requirement. Starting in the 2010-2011 school year, freshmen are required to take Introduction to Scientific Research (instead of Geosystems, a now defunct class) to prepared them for Science Fair.
General graduation requirements
Delaware state standards mandate semester-long health education and a full year of physical education, split into semester-long sophomore and junior gym classes. The Introductory to Computer Science class satisfies the Delaware state standard for computer literacy, and three years of history and four years of math, science and English meet the state requirements for the respective subjects. A total of 24.5 credits are needed to graduate.
The school offers many advanced placement classes which allow students to earn college credit while still attending high school. Advanced placement courses include calculus (AB & BC), statistics, biology, chemistry, physics (C), environmental science, computer science (A), English literature, English language, Latin (Vergil), Latin literature, Spanish language, French language, U.S. history, U.S. government and politics, psychology, and economics. Many students choose to independently study for other AP exams or elect to take AP courses through the Cab Calloway School of the Arts. Sometimes, academically motivated students prefer to self-study the material covered in an advanced placement class instead of attending the class. For students who choose APs as a part of their formal curriculum, taking the end-of-year national AP examination is required in order to pass the course.
While not unique to Charter, there are some course offerings that are not seen at a majority of American high schools:
- Software Engineering
- Data Structures
- Differential Equations
- Digital Electronics Design
- Introduction to Engineering, Robotics, and Data
- Calculus 3
- Advertising and Marketing
- Critical and Creative Thinking
- Research and Publication in Human & Computer Interaction (Students published in international, blind-reviewed conferences.)
A challenge test administered to incoming freshmen allows prospective students to bypass mathematics classes up to AP Calculus AB, the Introductory Science courses, or the introductory foreign language courses. (Additional courses can be bypassed through other exams, such as the AP examinations or a French II final). Phases range from 3-6, with non-academic classes (i.e. Driver Education and Gym) at phase 4, phase 5 being considered as honors, and AP and post-AP classes (Calculus 3 and Differential Equations) designated as phase 6.
The student body is made up of 960 students as of 2007-2008, including 68% of students coming from area public school districts, and 32% of the students coming from Catholic and other private schools. However, the freshman class for the 2012-2013 school year consists nearly entirely of Red Clay Consolidated School District students. For the first time since the school's inception, a lottery with out-of-district siblings and children of the founding companies had to be performed. Additionally, the school had to accept less students than before, due to district constraints. 99% of students attend college upon graduation. Individual students have won many state and national awards in mathematics, general science, biology, physics, journalism, French, Spanish, Latin and forensics competitions. In addition, students have also gained recognition in sports and other extracurricular activities.
The student to teacher ratio is 18:1, with an average class size of 24 students.
Members of Charter's faculty were Delaware's English Teacher of the Year in 1997, Conservation Teacher of the Year in 1999, recipients of the Science/Math Excellence in Teaching Award from the Science Alliance in 1999, and Delaware's History Day Teacher of the Year in 2002.
The clubs at Charter include:
- A Capella club
- Association for Computing Machinery - High school chapter
- Art Club
- Academic Bowl- National winner.
- Bible Club
- Chess Club
- Drama Club
- TEAMS Engineering Competition- Three time state champion and two time national champion for Division 4 Varsity
- Envirothon - Perennial state champion, most recently 2008 champion of the North American Canon Envirothon competition, from among 45 states and nine Canadian provinces
- Gay-Straight Alliance
- Humanitarian League of Delaware - Service Club
- Key Club
- Literary Magazine- Tangents
- Math League - Perennial state champion since 1999 (except in 2010, where they only captured 2nd and 3rd places), national champion of Math League Press in 2005, 2008
- Mock Trial - 3rd Place National Mock Trial 2008, 26th Place National Mock Trial 2009, 17th Place National Mock Trial 2010 - State Champions 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 17th in Nationals
- Newspaper - The Blue Streak
- National History Bowl and Bee- National Champion
- Physics Olympiad - Twenty-four semifinalists, nine finalists, and three traveling team members representing the USA at the International Physics Olympiad since the school's inception
- USA Biology Olympiad - Two finalists and two traveling team member since the school's inception.
- Science Olympiad - State Champion since school's inception
- Ski Club
- Support our Soldiers
- VEX Robotics - Top 10 nationally in 2006
- Academic World Quest - Perrenial state champions, usually top 15 nationally
- Yearbook - Expectations, A potential candidate for the National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker Award and Columbia Scholastic Press Association Crown Award.
- Young Republicans
- Young Democrats
- Model United Nations
- Helping the Underprivileged Globally (HUG) Club
- URM (Under represented Minority) Cultural Awareness Club
- Show Choir
- Concert Band and a more selective audition only Wind Ensemble at Cab Calloway School of the Arts
- Jazz Band at Cab Calloway School of the Arts
- Jazz Chords at Cab Calloway School of the Arts
- Marching Band at Cab Calloway School of the Arts
- Kymera Indoor Colorguard right after marching band, through Cab
- Red Clay Secondary & Select Orchestra
- Red Clay String Quartet
As both Charter School of Wilmington and Cab Calloway School of the Arts share the same building, students from both schools compete on teams representing Charter.
- Cross Country 2008 State Runner-up
- Golf 2011 State Runner-up
- Soccer- held a national ranking of 12th in the 2010 season.
- Swimming 2007, 2008, 2011 State Runner-up
- Track- Indoor & Outdoor 2010 State Runner-up
- Volleyball 2005, 2008 State Champions
- Cheerleading-2006 State Champions; Runner-up, 2007 State Championships (Small Varsity)
- Cross Country-2009 State Champions; 2009 County Champions, 2010 State Champions
- Field Hockey
- Soccer- 2005 State Champion
- Swimming 2006-2007 State Runner-up, 2007–2008, 2008–2009, 2009–2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 State Champions
- Track- Indoor & Outdoor
- Table Tennis
- Ultimate Frisbee
The school newspaper, The Blue Streak, was originally a small newsletter, written by students and printed on 8.5x11 inch paper. In 2002, Journalism was offered as a class and the paper received more funding. Now standard newspaper size, The Blue Streak has dozens of reporters and editors, and is published approximately eight times annually. The paper won 20 awards in the 2008 The First State High School Press Contest including 2 first place awards. It currently is published online as of the 2012-2013 school year.
Standardized exam achievement
Test scores at The Charter School of Wilmington are consistently the highest in the state with 100%, 99%, and 100% of Charter students in 11th grade scoring at or above expectations in reading, writing, and mathematics, respectively.
- Top-scoring Delaware high school in Math Assessments (1998–2010) 
- Top-scoring Delaware high school in Reading Assessments (1998–2010)
- Top-scoring Delaware high school in Writing Assessments (1999–2010)
- Top-scoring Delaware high school in Science Assessments (2000–2010)
- Top-scoring Delaware high school in Social Studies Assessments (2000–2010)
- Highest average SAT scores in the state (among all public high schools) (2000–2010)
- Andrew Gemmell, 2012 USA Olympic Team
- Charter School of Wilmington. "Charter School of Wilmington: Quick Fact Sheet". Retrieved 2008-09-13.
- Streib, Lauren (2013-05-06). "America's Best High Schools". Thedailybeast.com. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
- "About Us" (PDF). The Charter School of Wilmington. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
- "Best STEM High Schools". US News. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
- "America's Best High Schools 2011". Newsweek. 2011-06-19.[dead link]
- "America's Best High Schools". U.S.News. 2008-12-04. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
- Charter School of Wilmington
- Charter School team wins Envirothon | delawareonline | The News Journal
- O'Sullivan, Sean (8 May 2010). "Club Works to Ease Pain of Grieving Moms". The News Journal. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
- "High School Communications Contest Offers Awards At State and National Level". Delaware Press Association.
- "Charter School of Wilmington: Test Scores". GreatSchools Inc.
- "Charter School of Wilmington Alumni Association website". Archived from the original on 2007-06-09.
- The Blue Streak
- Satellite Image (Google Maps)
- Mr. Russo's Interview On WDEL