Liam and Kate Harrington. Photo courtesy of Amy Harrington.

Families debate possibilities as school choice deadline approaches

Ken Mammarella Education, Featured, Headlines

Liam and Kate Harrington. Photo courtesy of Amy Harrington.

Liam and Kate Harrington. Photo courtesy of Amy Harrington.

 

Red Clay School District residents Amy and Brian Harrington are thinking hard now about where their oldest children – twins Kate and Liam – will spend sixth grade this fall.

Follow the feeder pattern to Alexis I. du Pont Middle? Stay at Brandywine Springs Elementary, which goes to eighth grade and is just 1.6 miles away? Pick the academic emphasis at the Conrad Schools of Science? Go for Cab Calloway School of the Arts?

“I wasn’t aware there were so many choices,” Amy said, and that’s considering just the nearby schools that they favor.

It’s choice time for the Harringtons and many families in Delaware. For 25 years, the state has allowed families to choose out of their geographically defined feeder school for what the state calls “a Delaware public school in any school district, charter school, magnet school or vocational-technical school (restricted by county).” Applications are due Jan. 13.

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“Charter schools, vocational-technical school districts, and magnet schools may continue to accept applications after the second Wednesday in January to fill remaining availability; however, those holding a lottery, will include applications received by the second Wednesday in January,” the state Department of Education explanation continues.

A third of Delaware public school students exercise school choice, Rodel noted for a recent year.

The Harringtons are considering many different factors in their decision.

Amy brought up the issue in online mothers groups, and “nobody has raved” about Alexis I., she said. “Nothing is drawing us there.”

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On the other hand, family members and friends have said they’re happy with Conrad and praised its excellence. Conrad administrators have also said that they had no objections to the twins being in the same classroom, which is what they Harringtons want.

The two youngest kids also attend Brandywine Springs, so Amy said it would be very convenient if all four attended the same school.

When she was interviewed, she had submitted paperwork for Brandywine Springs and was considering updating the applications before the deadline.

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