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8184 1 of 2

CHRISTINA SCHOOL DISTRICT

Christina School District was created on July 1, 1981, from the New Castle County School District.1 The county school district had been formed by order of the U.S. District Court in 1978 to integrate the predominately black schools of Wilmington and the predominately white suburban New Castle County schools. (See RG 8181 for the agency history.) In a 1978 review of the District Court’s order, the U.S. Circuit Court urged the State to submit its own plan to organize the desegregation of New Castle County schools. Legislation passed in 1980 permitted the State Board of Education to divide the New Castle County School District into smaller districts.2 The county district was divided into four racially balanced districts, Brandywine, Christina, Colonial, and Red Clay, because it was felt tha the smaller districts would be easier to manage and be more responsive to the local community.3 Although the District Court approved the plan, the new districts were required to report on racial composition of students, suspensions, arrests, expulsion, staff, special education, dropouts, bilingual education, demographic changes, enrollment projection, and students who attend schools other than normally assigned.4 The four districts eventually formed a consortium for collecting data and preparing a report.5

The four districts that were created in 1981 are each administered by elected boards of education which consist of seven members. The board is elected at large in each school district and not just by voters in the nominating districts. School taxes are collected on a county-wide basis, as they were under the New Castle County School District, and then allocated to each district according to their number of students.6

Christina School District is administered by a Superintendent and three Assistant Superintendents. The district is located primarily in the Newark area, although a noncontiguous section of Wilmington is also included to provide a better racial balance in the district. In 1989 the following schools made up the Christina District:

High Schools: Christiana, Glasgow, and Newark.

Middle Schools: Bancroft, Bayard, Martin J. Gauger, Wilmer E. Shue, and George V. Kirk.

Elementary Schools: Brookside, Ramon C. Cobbs, Christiana-Salem, John R. Downes, Charles R. Drew, Gallaher, May B. Leasure, R. Elisabeth Maclary, Joseph M. McVey, Casimir Pulaski, Sarah Webb Pyle, Jennie R. Smith, Frederick Douglass Stubbs, Etta J. Wilson, and West Park

Special School: Margaret S. Sterck School for the Hearing Impaired.

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CHRISTINA SCHOOL DISTRICT

1 “Board Highlights,” Department of Public Instruction, September 18, 1980. Del. Doc. # 95-01/80/09/11.

2 “Educationally Speaking,” Department of Public Instruction, December 1980. Del. Doc. # 95-01/80/12/4. 62 DL, ch. 351. “A Plan for the Division of the New Castle County School District into Four School Districts,” Department of Public Instruction, September 18, 1980. Del. Doc. # 95-01/80/08/12.

3 “News of Delaware Schools,” Department of Public Instruction, December 1980. Del. Doc. # 95-01/80/12/1.

4 U.S. District Court Order, June 8, 1981. Del. Doc. # 95-01/81/09/13.

5 “Board Highlights,” Department of Public Instruction, September 17, 1981. Del. Doc. # 95-01/81/09/13.

6 “Board Highlights,” September 18, 1980.