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Legislation passed in 18751 required each county superintendent to organize annually a teachers’ institute, consisting of a series of lectures upon topics directly applicable to schools, and being likely to arouse the enthusiasm of the teachers, giving them ideas and suggestions of positive and practical value. New Castle and Kent Counties held their initial meetings in the fall of 1875 with Sussex County following suit the next year, with meetings usually lasting three or four days.
By virtue of his position, the superintendent served as president of each institute. Also elected were two vice presidents; a secretary with two assistants; a treasurer; an executive committee of three; and an enrolling committee of three.2
In 1888, Kent County established a summer school program for both certified teachers and persons wishing to be certified.3 The idea essentially was that, in lien of any established normal school, an intensified period of training each summer would benefit the teachers more than the abbreviated county institutes. The summer school session of 1907 was held at the State College for Colored Students, and in 1917 at Delaware College.
The annual report of the State Board of Education in 1917 recommended abolishment of the annual institutes and subsequent use of the funds to increase the efficiency of the various summer schools.4 Within a few years, the institutes were phased out.

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1 15 D.L., ch. 50

2 By-laws of the K. C. Teachers Institute, 1875

3 Biennial report of the State Board of Education, 1988

4 Annual report of the State Board of Education , 1917
April 20, 1989

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