Guest Post: Shelley Suchyj On School Choice In Delaware

Shelley Suchyj is an educator from the Christina School District.  She was also the Exceptional Delaware Hero Of The Year for 2016 for speaking out about the mold issues in her district.  As the School Choice window in Delaware will end tomorrow, Suchyj put up a Facebook post with some information that was left out of a recent Delaware Today article by Larry Nagengast.

This is a must read for every politician and parent in Delaware so please share. As the Talented and Gifted Educator for the Christina School District city schools; I have spent over 30 hours already this week, going to student’s houses and helping their parents fill out Choice forms on my personal computer. This is on top of the hours spent with a “carload of parents and students” that I attended open house with at the new Christina Honors Academy two weeks ago. There is a lot that this article doesn’t include, that most don’t even understand. Like the fact that the choice website is only in English and most city parents don’t realize that you only have from November- January of the previous year to apply for Choice in the following year. The biggest hurtle is a perception of what a “good school” is.

I have been an educator for over 23 years, 16 years as an 8th grade teacher helping parents navigate the high school choice decision. Having taught most of my years as an inner city teacher. I have had siblings in the first graduating classes of both Wilmington Charter and Newark Charter when they both opened. I have sons that have attended public, catholic, charter, magnet and choice schools in the state of Delaware since choice began in 1997 and currently. I have to say the biggest issue for everyone in the state of Delaware to understand that there are GREAT programs and things happening in every school.

My own mother thought I was crazy when I took my son out of the, believed to be best catholic school, and put him in a public school. But to this day Marbrook, and the friends, teachers and experiences he had there can not be matched. But that was for him. He learned to speak Spanish fluently not because he learned it in school, because he didn’t, it was because his best friends spoke Spanish when they arrived at school and he needed to be able to communicate when they played soccer at recess and hung out after school. He got to learn a new sport at Dickinson playing varsity lacrosse that he never would have been able to play at Sallies or Wilmington Charter because of the number of kids on the team.

My belief is that every school should have an engineering class, computer class, arts class, music classes, languages and personal finance class option for every child in grades 4-12. Lets figure out what kids are talented in and grow those talents. We have changed the location of where our children can go to school in Delaware through Choice and Charter. Shouldn’t we change what they are taught in school to be successful too? It isn’t 1950 any more.

With sincerest apologies to Suchyj, I promised her I would get this up when I saw it over the weekend, but due to weather and work constraints I was unable to do so.  Every parent interested in choicing their child to a different school should look at every possible option and not go solely by reputation.  Each child is different and has unique learning methods.

Capital’s Chase Christiansen Youngest Of Delaware Today’s “20 Delawareans Under 20”, Rosetta Pierce Also Recognized

Delaware Today, for their April issue, has an article on the most influential Delaware youngsters under 20.  The youngest of which is Capital School District’s own Chase Christiansen.  The nine-year old was selected for the list due to his unwavering dedication to his role as the lieutenant for South Dover Elementary School’s School Safety Patrol.  He started as a sergeant and is now a lieutenant!

Another Dover resident, Rosetta Pierce, was spotlighted for her quilting business.  Even though her home burned down last year, Rosetta kept her quilting business going.  She gives the quilts to a program called Kozy Kovers for Kids, a part of the Delaware Foster Program.

Also included in the list is Braeden Mannering, Exceptional Delaware’s 2015 Hero of the Year, for his 3B: Brae’s Brown Bags business.

Congratulations to our home-town heroes, Christiansen and Pierce, and the other 18 who are making a difference in Delaware!

Exceptional Delaware Is Part Of A Haiku Learning Assignment Today! **UPDATED**

On WordPress blogs, you can see what other websites refer you to your own blog. For the past few days, I’ve seen a website called Haiku Learning refer quite a few folks to Exceptional Delaware. I decided tonight to see what the fuss was all about.  This is an online learning school.  The class that had the assignment was Social Action and Leadership.  This was today’s assignment:

Assignment for 9/18

For class on Friday, please read the article attached below.  After reading the article, skim these two sites.

Site 1: http://www.solutionsfordelawareschools.com/

Site 2: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/

Please answer these questions:

1. Summarize the Delaware Today article.

2. What was one thing in the Delaware Today article that surprised you?

3. What impression do you get from the two sites?  Do you believe they are for the same audience?  If you were a parent of a public school student, how would they help you?

Page_white_acrobat Fixing Wilmington’s Schools August 2015 Delaware Today.pdf

I guess you’ve hit the big leagues when your blog is part of a class assignment! I would love to see some of the actual completed assignments on this. Have I now corrupted the assignment by writing about it? Will Solutions For Wilmington Schools generate some out-of-state discussion concerning the Wilmington redistricting plan? I am fascinated by this! Especially the part about “If you were a parent of a public school student, how would they help you?”

You can follow the yellow brick road here.

Updated, 9/19/15, 10:15am: WEIC Co-Chair Tizzy Lockman told me Padua is an all girls Catholic school in Wilmington.  This is an assignment for that school.  Mystery solved.  This is what happens when a Dover guy doesn’t know all the schools up there!