Cape Henlopen schools scored largely above average on state assessment tests in 2021, a year for which the Delaware Department of Education said low participation rates prevent comparison to previous-year test scores.
The U.S. Department of Education waived student testing requirements for the 2019-20 school year due to COVID-19 school building closures that spring. Delaware was required to administer all tests in the 2020-21 academic year, when many students were learning remotely or in hybrid formats for part or all of the year.
“Although assessment opportunities were available to all students, we saw significantly fewer students take the assessment,” Delaware Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said. “While direct comparisons with assessment data from previous years may not be appropriate because of this, the data provides an important temperature check that allows our schools to better track and address both short- and long-term learning needs.”
Statewide, participation was at 60 percent for English language arts and mathematics assessments for grades three to eight, while about 71 percent of eligible students took the SAT. For science and social studies tests, 49 percent of eligible students participated statewide.
Students scoring at or exceeding grade level are considered proficient, and students scoring below or well below grade level are considered not proficient.
Cape Superintendent Bob Fulton said he was very proud of the overall results on the district’s statewide assessments.
“Overall, our scores were higher than any other school district in the state,” Fulton said. “Additionally, we had one of the highest participation rates, meaning we tested a much higher percentage of our students in comparison to other school districts across the state. While we are very pleased with the results, we know that we have so much work to do as we look at the data for each student in our district to better understand each of their strengths and weaknesses, and provide them what they need to improve and be successful this school year.”
English language arts scores
Cape district schools saw a 71 percent participation rate in English language arts tests in grades three to five and in grades six to eight.
Cape district students in grades three to five scored 58 percent proficient, while the state average was 39 percent proficient. All district elementary school scores exceeded the state average.
H.O. Brittingham, Rehoboth and Shields scored 61 percent proficient, Love Creek scored 60 percent proficient and Milton scored 55 percent proficient.
In grades six to eight, Cape district students scored 55 percent proficient, above the state average of 43 percent proficient. Both district middle schools scored higher than the state average; Beacon students scored 62 percent proficient and Mariner students scored 49 percent proficient.
In Cape district schools, 71 percent of students in grades three to five, and in grades six to eight, participated in state assessments.
At 51 percent proficiency, Cape district math scores for grades three to five are above the state average of 28 percent proficiency. All district elementary schools scored higher than, and in some cases double, the state average.
Love Creek scored 60 percent proficient, HOB and Shields scored 58 percent proficient, Rehoboth scored 51 percent proficient and Milton scored 45 percent proficient.
Cape district students in grades six through eight scored 40 percent proficient, while the state average for grades six through eight was 25 percent proficient. Both district middle schools scored above the state average, with Mariner scoring 32 percent proficient and Beacon scoring 50 percent proficient.
At Cape schools, 65 percent of students in grades five, eight and 11 participated in science testing. While the state average was 24 percent proficient, Cape district students scored 35 percent proficient.
Cape High, Beacon and Mariner Middle science scores were redacted by DOE, which redacts data presented to the public to avoid unintentionally identifying students when only a small group of students is represented in the data.
All district elementary schools scored above the state average. The number of students whose scores exceeded grade-level expectations was redacted at each district school, but those who scored at grade level were included in data presented to the public.
HOB and Shields scored 42 percent proficient, Love Creek scored 33 percent proficient, Rehoboth scored 31 percent proficient and Milton scored 25 percent proficient.
Social studies scores
At Cape schools, 81 percent of students in grades four, seven and 11 participated in social studies testing. At 41 percent proficient, Cape schools scored higher than the state average of 30 percent proficient.
All district elementary schools scored above the state average; students whose scores exceeded grade level were redacted at Love Creek, Shields, HOB and Milton, but were included in public data for Rehoboth.
Milton scored 50 percent proficient, Rehoboth scored 46 percent proficient, HOB and Shields each scored 37 percent proficient, and Love Creek scored 35 percent proficient.
Mariner students scored 43 percent proficient and Beacon students scored 47 percent proficient. At Cape, 26 percent of students scored proficient at grade level; the number of students exceeding grade-level scores was redacted.
Delaware uses the SAT to assess proficiency of high school students. The SAT is divided into three sections: evidence-based reading and writing, math and essay. At Cape High, 88 percent of students participated in testing.
The state average for evidence-based reading and writing was 49 percent proficient, while Cape High students scored slightly higher at 51 percent proficient.
At 27 percent proficient, Cape High students scored one point lower than the state average of 28 percent proficient in math.
In the essay portion, Cape High scored 52 percent proficient; the state average was 44 percent proficient.