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Concord High School is a public secondary school located in Wilmington, Delaware, one of three high schools in the Brandywine School District. There were 1,268 students enrolled in the fall for the 2008-2009 school year.
Concord has a range of levels: AP (Advanced Placement), Honors, College Preparatory "CP" "College-Prep", Traditional, and classes for those with special needs. In 2008, Concord ranked #1378 in Newsweek's top 1300 high schools, which uses a ratio of the number of AP, IB and/or Cambridge tests taken by all students at a school divided by the number of graduating seniors. Concord participates in the mandatory Delaware Student Testing Program, or DSTP.
Concord is a member of the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA). The Raiders compete in the Blue Hen Conference, and are currently assigned to Flight B based on the school’s enrollment size falling below the conference’s average. For those sports which the DIAA has split schools into divisions for playoffs or state championship meets based on enrollment size, Concord is assigned to Division II. Concord fields a full slate of teams in all three sports seasons:
The Concord Golden Raider Marching Band is under the direction of Domenic Pisano.
Concord also has 2 concert bands: Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and 2 Jazz Bands: Concord Creators, and Raider Jazz.
Concord has the only full orchestra in the state of Delaware that meets every day.
2005-2006 school year: In Spring 2006, the Concord Players put on the production "Singin in the Rain" in which an actual rain stage was built. Both productions were produced and directed by Thomas Marshall. Also during this year, a course entitled "Technical Theatre" was introduced into the master schedule, taught by Thomas Sabatino (vocal music director) and John C. Scali (chemistry teacher and set construction crew advisor).
2006-2007 school year: The fall play was the stage adaptation of "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe," directed by Sheri Williamson. The spring musical was "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," directed by Thomas Marshall.
2007-2008 school year: The fall play was the stage adaptation of "Rumors," and the spring musical was "The Pajama Game," both directed by Thomas Marshall. The set for "Rumors" won a national first place recognition from Scenographics, a distributor of blueprints for set design.
Chorale is an audition-only group of the top 40 singers in Concord High School. In addition, the top 12-16 voices from the Concord Chorale are selected for the Concord Madrigals, an a cappella group which is student-run and meets after school.
In the 1960s, the area north of Wilmington (referred to as Brandywine Hundred) was growing rapidly. The school district (then known as the Alfred I. DuPont School district) was opening new schools as rapidly as possible. Soon, it became apparent that the one high school in the district, Brandywine High School, would not be able to handle the increase in students. The district decided to open a second high school rather than expand the existing one.
The student body for the new high school was developed slowly. At first, students from the existing two junior high schools (Forwood and Springer) were selected based on where they lived to attend the yet to be built high school. The first year (1967 – 68), Concord High School was held at the then new Hanby Junior High and consisted of 9th and 10th graders. The students met in the top floor while elementary students attended classes in the lower floor while their school was being built. The following year (1968 – 69), the student body was expanded to 9th, 10th and 11th grades and the elementary students were moved out to their new home.
During this period, the Concord High School building was under construction and planned to open in the fall of 1969. However, a worker strike and construction issues delayed its opening. Since the school was not completed, the student body now consisting of 10th through 12th grades was forced out of their temporary home at Hanby Junior High and into the Brandywine High School building on double sessions. Brandywine High School students attended their school in the morning, while the Concord students attended in the afternoon.
Concord High School finally opened in January 1970 and the first senior class graduated a few months later in June. Even though the school was open, construction was not completed in several areas including the gym, auditorium and swimming pool until the fall of 1970.
The first principal, Dr. William J. Bailey, promoted what was, at the time, a progressive environment that emphasized trust and responsibility among the students. Students were given then unheard of freedoms and responsibilities, which worked extremely well during the progressive periods of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Bailey left in the mid-1970s to become a professor of education at the University of Delaware.
Ronald Suskind, Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author
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