Education in the First State
April 25, 2018
Celebrate Delaware's great teachers May 7-11  
Check out last year's Teacher Appreciation Week Storify to see a collection of posts celebrating Delaware's great teachers.
Delaware students, families, schools and the community are encouraged to recognize great educators in early child care facilities, pre-K settings and K-12 schools throughout our state during this year's Teacher Appreciation Week from Monday, May 7 through Friday, May 11. Post your photos of great teachers and teacher appreciation celebrations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #IloveDEteachers. Posts will be shared throughout the week. Attached are printable black-and-white and color signs you can choose to use in photos. Thank you for your support of Delaware educators!

Teacher of Year focuses on racial equity in education
Princess Jones, 2018 Delaware Teacher of the Year Virginia Forcucci, and Monchelle Waters discuss race following a screening of Black Panther. (Photo courtesy of Phillip Moore Photos and the Cape Gazette.)  

Editor's Note: This guest post is from Jinni Forcucci, a Sussex Technical High School English language arts teacher and State Teacher of the Year.

As Delaware's 2018 Teacher of the Year, I have an opportunity to advocate for students and educators in ways I could have never dreamed. Discussing educational initiatives and issues with leaders in our state and across the nation is quite the honor, especially when people are not only listening, but offering assistance. Honestly, since receiving this remarkable opportunity several months ago, not one person with whom I've collaborated has said no to any of my requests. Seriously, not one.

So, when deciding which educational issue most required my attention, I chose to focus on a matter that has inspired my advocacy since beginning my career 21 years ago. Racial Equity.

A curriculum that promotes diversity and courageous conversation has always been the beating heart of my classroom. Teaching composition, literature and creative writing to motivated and empathetic high schoolers allows me to hear the stories of learners who've struggled to find equality, who demand equity, who search for educators who will elevate and challenge, rather than limit and stereotype.

Even though my intentions have been sincere, not all students have equally benefitted. What I realized many years ago is that I was, and I continue to limit students simply because of my physical appearance. As a white, 46 year-old educator, I have learned that student comfort is directly related to my race, to the implicit biases that exist in classrooms across our nation. This uncomfortable realization was sparked by one of my African American seniors in a creative writing class I teach.
Families, educators reflect on Delaware Pathways
Spotlight on Delaware Pathways programs

Hear students and community partners describe their success with Delaware Pathways programs. 
Please note: Due to weather, the Delaware Pathways Conference and student EXPO was rescheduled from Wednesday, March 21 to Friday, April 27
Educators, families and community representatives are invited to attend Delaware Pathways events on Friday, April 27 at the Chase Center in Wilmington. From 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., educators and policymakers are invited to the Pathways Conference to reflect on the progress Delaware Pathways has made to date and build momentum for future action. Those who registered for the March 21 event do not need to re-register. Anyone else interested in attending the conference should register here.
From 4 to 7 p.m., students and families are invited to attend the Delaware Pathways Student EXPO to learn more about pathways opportunities in Delaware schools. Registration is not required to attend this free event.
Come learn more about Delaware Pathways and discuss how we can continue to work together to equip all young people with the skills they need to compete in a global economy. Delaware is increasingly recognized as a national leader in the career pathways movement. This year's conference will be held in partnership with the National College Access Network (NCAN). Together, Delaware Pathways and NCAN are uniquely positioned to provide a rich professional development opportunity to conference attendees.
For more information about the event, visit

Delaware celebrates month of the military child

Dover Air Force Base Middle School's choir sings Song of Peace in the Delaware Senate as part of the April 2018 Month of the Military Child celebration.

Dover Air Force Base Middle School's choir sings Song of Peace in the Delaware Senate as part of the April 2018 Month of the Military Child celebration.
Delaware honored its military children this month in a celebration at Legislative Hall in Dover. On Tuesday, April 17, Governor John Carney signed a proclamation declaring April the "Month of the Military Child" during a ceremony inside his Legislative Hall office. Students representing National Guard families as well as students from  Caesar Rodney School District's Air Force Base Middle School and Major George S. Welch Elementary School were on hand for the signing,  singing military songs in celebration of the event. The community also was encouraged to wear purple in the students' honor.     

"When a family member serves in the military or Delaware National Guard, the whole family serves," Governor Carney said. "During Month of the Military Child, we honor and thank the thousands of military children and families who serve here in Delaware."

The state's political and educational leaders recognized students for their sacrifices and their strengths as members of military families. Major General Carol Timmons, adjutant general of the Delaware National Guard, noted that military children often have to deal with parents regularly coming and going. Military children also can change schools often, leaving friends behind in the process.

The April 17 celebration  was a joint effort between the Delaware Department of Education, the Delaware House and Senate, Governor John Carney, Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, Dover Air Force Base, the Delaware National Guard, and Caesar Rodney School District.               

Warner Elementary named state Green Ribbon winner  
Students at Warner Elementary School lead the recycling program and participate in other green activities to become more eco-friendly (more pictures).
Red Clay Consolidated School District's Warner Elementary School is Delaware's 2018 Green Ribbon award winner, becoming the state's nominee for the national award.
The Green Ribbon program recognizes schools for exemplary achievement and considerable progress in three areas: 1) reducing environmental impact and costs; 2) improving the health and wellness of students and staff; and 3) providing effective environmental and sustainability education by incorporating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), civic skills and green career pathways.
Warner went from a school that did not recycle at all to a school that has placed recycling as a top priority amongst its students and staff:
  • Every classroom now has a recycling bin for paper, plastics, and aluminum. On a weekly basis, the school recycles about 130 pounds of classroom "trash."
  • The school upgraded its Styrofoam lunch trays to recycled paper trays and now recycles all the milk jugs in the lunch room.
  • All third-graders visit the Delaware Solid Waste Authority to learn about recycling and conservation.
Other Good News in Delaware's Public Schools