Cape elementary schools to be redistricted

Board to vote Nov. 12 on enrollment areas for 2021-22 school year
October 20, 2020

Cape officials are proceeding with plans first announced in July to redistrict elementary schools for the 2021-22 school year to balance overcrowding at Love Creek Elementary.

Superintendent Bob Fulton said about 2,600 students attend the district’s five elementary schools, and the goal is to evenly distribute students so that roughly 525 attend each school.

When Love Creek was being built several years ago, nearby areas grew more quickly than trends projected, Fulton said, leading to higher student numbers than expected for that school. 

Fulton said officials first looked at moving some Love Creek students to elementary schools in Rehoboth and Milton for the 2019-20 school year to balance overcrowding, but decided to wait and redistrict all five elementaries at the same time after parents voiced opposition to the plan. 

Officials will work with the University of Delaware for input on future growth trends, including current and planned housing developments, to better balance attendance areas, he said.

The district is planning public meetings to inform families about proposed changes and accept feedback, Fulton said.

Several years ago, Fulton said schools ranged from a high of 58 percent low-income students to as low as 26 percent low-income, a difference of 32 percent across district elementaries. In the last school year, he said, the greatest socioeconomic difference between schools was a more balanced 9 percent.

Fulton said the board will vote on the final recommendation Thursday, Nov. 12, or in December at the latest. 

Delaware Department of Education enrollment data for 2019 shows 703 students at Love Creek, 571 at Shields, 508 at Rehoboth, 445 at H.O. Brittingham and 429 at Milton Elementary.

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