Smyrna School Board Welcomes J Back Into The Smyrna School District

Every once in a while, stories do get a happy ending. Continue reading Smyrna School Board Welcomes J Back Into The Smyrna School District

The Delaware State Police Need YOUR Help For Delaware Students!

The Delaware State Police began the 2017-2018 school year “Operation BACKpack” yesterday.  This annual drive helps students who are unable to afford the essential supplies they need for school.  If you have the means, please help out our students who need it the most.  Here is their press release:

Good morning communities! It is hard to believe the next school year is right around the corner! To help prepare, the Delaware State Police Community Outreach Unit has established a program to assist elementary school aged children in need with the necessities for school. Troopers are asking for help with any donations to fill each child’s back-pack with school supplies. Troopers assigned to the Statewide Community Outreach Unit have initiated this program and are working with organizations in their communities to collect and donate school supplies for children in need. Donations can be taken Headquarters in Dover or to any Troop statewide by anyone wishing to help. Each Troop will have a box in their lobby for supplies to be dropped off for the project. The donations will be collected from July 10 to August 11, 2017 and the donations will be presented for the 2017-2018 school year, prior to school starting. A list of supplies needed for the students are listed below:

Backpacks

No. 2 pencils

Spiral notebooks

Washable Crayola crayons box of 24

Large pink erasers

Pencil cases

Colored pencils

Washable markers

Loose leaf wide ruled paper

Highlighters Composition books

3 ring binders

Plastic folders with pockets

Tissue boxes

Hand sanitizer

If you need to contact any of the Troopers in the Community Outreach Unit, their information by region is listed below:

Master Corporal Mike Austin (New Castle County) 302-365-8466

Corporal/1 Heather Imhof (Kent and Southern New Castle County) 302-698-8520

Master Corporal Rickey Hargis (Eastern Sussex County) 302-752-3804 Corporal/1 Juanita Huey-Smith (Western Sussex County) 302-232-3459

Please help the Delaware State Police give to the students who will need the essential supplies and materials for a successful school year. Thank you for your help.

Smyrna Update: Board Meeting Tonight & Patrik Williams Evades Transparency

The Smyrna School District Board of Education is meeting tonight for what they are calling a “reorganization meeting”.  Meanwhile, Superintendent Patrik Williams has flat-out responded to my two requests for the email addresses of the Smyrna board.  I actually called most of the members earlier today, but none of them picked up.  I did not leave messages.

What kind of school board, in this day and age, does not provide email addresses?  Seriously?  Patrik Williams seems to think he doesn’t have to provide those even though he is the secretary for their board.  What is the point of having just phone numbers if no one picks up?  Most Delaware school boards and even charter boards provide email addresses for their board members on their website.  I know he saw my request for this because he responded to me on another matter.

At the board meeting tonight, I expect a decent crowd.  The board may discuss discipline issues including votes on current issues, former students, and potential litigation according to their agenda.  They do have other items on their agenda.  Most school boards go into public session at the start of their meeting and then adjourn to go into Executive Session.  Then they return and go through the public agenda.  Time is allotted for public comment this evening.  Bring tootsie rolls if you wish.  The meeting will begin at 6pm at the district office in Smyrna at 82 Monrovia St.

J’s mother will be there along with others who are not happy with his situation and how the district handled it.  I will be there.  You should too.

 

Governor Carney Lets Teachers Get Pink Slips While Hiring New DOE Administrator

The optics are bad for Delaware Governor John Carney.  After telling us you were going to “trim” the Delaware Department of Education, you went and created a whole new division of the Department and placed them in Wilmington.  Yes, the new Office of Improvement and Innovation is just different letters for the same accountability machine.  Located in Wilmington, this new DOE division, led by former Brandywine Assistant Superintendent Dorrell Green, will “support Delaware’s most in need with a focus on Wilmington’s struggling schools,” according to a press release issued today.

According to Atnre Alleyne, a former Delaware DOE employee who broke this news yesterday, “It downgrades the work of the Teacher & Leader Effectiveness Branch and rebrands it as Educator Support and Collaboration (to be more palatable to those less interested in conversations about effectiveness).”  In fact, Alleyne’s post was mostly ripping on the Department he used to work for.

This is my real issue with this announcement.  With the FY2018 budget cuts, teachers are going to lose their jobs.  Carney’s response?  Create a new division of the Department that needs the biggest cuts of all.  Yeah, you can shrink down the TLEU and move people around, but setting up what will basically be a priority schools branch smack dab in the middle of Wilmington doesn’t show this DOE transformation.  It shows the DOE will be closer to schools they want to “monitor”.  While Carney says he wants the DOE to be more of a resource center for Delaware schools, who determines what resources are needed?  The schools, the Delaware DOE, or the US DOE?  I don’t picture this as a situation where schools say “we need this” and the DOE comes riding in on their white horse to save the day.  This is the same color, just a different kind of paint to make it look more pretty.

I don’t know the first thing about Dorrell Green, but it sounds like he has a great deal of experience in Wilmington schools which is always a good thing.  And I congratulate him on his new position, but now is not the time to be creating new divisions of the Department that most in Delaware want to see massive cuts.  You don’t do this the second the ink is dry on your budget signature and not expect the people of the state to raise a big old stink about it.  But, this is Delaware.  Where the people’s voice just doesn’t seem to matter anymore.