Education in the First State
November 29, 2017
Provide formal comment on Regulation 225 by Dec. 4
The public is invited to provide formal comment on the proposed anti-discrimination regulation until Monday, Dec. 4.

On July 17, Governor Carney directed the Delaware Department of Education to develop specific guidelines - by regulation - for school districts and charter schools to use in developing their own local policies that prohibit discrimination against students.  In the months since, a team of stakeholders and community members drafted this anti-discrimination regulation.
The team included the superintendents of Brandywine, Cape Henlopen, and Smyrna school districts, as well as parent representatives, students, other school leaders, and school board members from each county. The team also hosted evening public meetings in each county to gather more community feedback (find meeting notes and materials on a website dedicated to this effort ).
This regulation will help districts and charters create consistent policies statewide that prohibit discrimination based on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, disability, age, gender identity or expression or other characteristic protected by state or federal law. The effort also includes a model anti-discrimination policy that each district and charter could adopt, or tailor and adopt, to suit the needs of its students.
The regulation is now open for public comment and feedback is encouraged.   
SUBMIT PUBLIC COMMENT : Provide feedback on the regulation:  
  • Email; or
  • Mail comments to: Delaware Department of Education, RE: 225 Prohibition of Discrimination, 401 Federal Street, Suite 2, Dover, DE 19901
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: For additional information, including a copy of the draft regulation, and meeting notes, visit the website at
Academy prepares students for education jobs
Smyrna High School teacher Michael Hill-Shaner leads a student in the new Delaware K-12 Teacher Academy.
Smyrna High School teacher Michael Hill-Shaner knew early on that he wanted to become an educator. As a Smyrna High student in the mid-1990s, he became involved in Future Educators of America, now called Educators Rising, and went to college to study education.
After returning to his home town, Hill-Shaner taught Smyrna's educator preparation program for several years, creating more "homegrown" teachers along the way. This year, Hill-Shaner says he is excited to transition the educator prep program to the Delaware K-12 Teacher Academy, giving students more opportunities while still in high school to jumpstart their careers as well as provide future teachers for area schools.
"Future Educators of America helped mold me into the educator I am today and opened doors that I never would have imagined," Hill-Shaner said. "When given the ability to help establish the Delaware Teacher Academy and begin this journey in my own high school, I couldn't have been more excited. I am able to build my future colleagues and prepare students for greatness."
Smyrna students earn micro-credentials

Video: Student members of Educators Rising earn micro-credentials they can display throughout their career. 

The Educators Rising program at Smyrna High School in the Smyrna School District is using micro-credentials to provide training and practical experiences to high school students interested in teaching. Students can then use the micro-credentials throughout their careers as a way to recognize specialized skills.
In education, traditional micro-credentials are personalized, competency-based professional learning activities that allow educators to demonstrate the skills they learn both formally and informally. Educators can start and continue the process of earning micro-credentials on their own time. They can use digital badges to demonstrate different competencies.
Students at Smyrna High are using micro-credentials to engage in professional learning activities aligned to their specific needs and instructional goals. These  micro-credentials can follow them through college and into the workforce.
"Teaching has changed over the years," Smyrna High School Teaching Academy instructor Michael Hill-Shaner said. "We use micro-credentials to track growth and monitor reflective practices with the students to ensure that they're going to be wonderful teachers in the future." 

Laurel graduate helps other students get to college
Editor's Note:  This guest piece is by Eric Hastings, a 2010 graduate of Laurel High School in the Laurel School District. Eric is a College Application Month (CAM) volunteer and advocate for college access.  
When I was a senior in high school my parents and I had frank, regular discussions about my college choices and our finances. We were a small blue-collar family from Sussex County who worked hard and believed in ourselves but had realistic concerns for the future. So when I applied to colleges, I had to seriously vet my options against harrowing financial concerns.
My family and I committed countless hours to researching the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), federal loans, private loans, interest rates, and the daunting process of planning the next four years of a life nobody in our family had ever experienced. For the first time, my parents and I were equals - novices in a process foreign to us. We were exhausted by the end of the winter. Luckily we all were committed and, with their support, I succeeded in enrolling in a great university. 

Not everyone has the support system that I have at home, but Delaware's College Application Month (CAM) does all it can to help bridge these types of gaps. Now that I have had the fortune of working on CAM as a research assistant at the University of Delaware's Institute for Public Administration, I can't stress enough how integral this program is in making future education more realistic to Delaware's youth.
Closets supply Delaware students with basic needs

Editor's Note: The following is a reprint of a Nov. 13, 2017 article on 

This educator didn't punish troublesome kids. She gave them a closet full of stuff.
This time last year, the top three most misbehaved boys at Equetta Jones' elementary school were from the same family.
As assistant principal, it fell to Jones to figure out how to solve the problem. Other educators might prescribe detentions, suspensions, extra tutoring help, or even a doctor's appointment to be evaluated for an attention-deficit issue. But Jones sensed that the problem ran deeper - and she had a solution.
"No child comes in every day and says 'I want to be angry. I want to hit you. I want to curse you out. I don't want to learn,'" she says. "So it is our responsibility to find out why they're verbalizing those things."
Often, the problem is the same: Many kids are not having their basic health, shelter, and nutritional needs met. "The middle class, we forget about the fact that when we wake up every morning, we wake up with shelter," Jones says.
Not all of her students have that luxury.
That's why Jones' school worked with an organization called First Book to install a "Care Closet" - a supply of basic essentials for kids in need. 
Other Good News in Delaware's Public Schools