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Superintendent's Report September 18, 2019

Community Engagement

DelawareCAN’s first Student Voice Week

This weeklong event hosted 30 students from New Castle and Kent counties. The Youth Advocacy Council helps teens learn more about education policy and supports to help improve schools.

High school senior Alba Espinosa

Alba Espinosa, a senior at Alexis I. du Pont High School, emigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic two years ago. Drawing from her experience as both an immigrant and an English learner, Espinosa is advocating that school counselors be required to take cultural competency training so they can better assist students from different backgrounds.

Capitol Little League 60th Anniversary

Capitol Little League is celebrating 60 years! The league and Red Clay schools hold a special relationship as many of our students and families are a part of the league. There is also longstanding history based on the relationship at Brandywine Springs School. In partnership with the league, Red Clay hosts two baseball fields, John Vaught Field and Giofre-Pyle Field.

9/11 Tribute at Delaware Military Academy

Each year on September 11, Delaware Military Academy holds an official ceremony in remembrance of the events that took place on that historic day. It is a moving ceremony that not only honors the lives lost, but shows the resolve of our nation.

Latin American Community Center (LACC) Open House

The Latin American Community Center holds an Open House on the first Friday of September and kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) in our community. It is an opportunity for sponsors, funders and colleagues to visit El Centro Latino and celebrate Hispanic culture and food.

Teaching & Learning

District Diversity Committee

Led by our Equity Officer, Dr. Tawanda Bond, the Red Clay Diversity Committee came together to kick off the new school year. Comprised of Diversity Champions from all of our schools, district leaders and school board members, the committee engaged in activities that will serve as jumpstarters for 2019-20. We had Brave Space Conversations with meaningful exercises such as “What I Want You to Know” and “Just By Looking At Me.”

The First Day of School

Friends from the community joined us for the first day of school, making it an unforgettable start to the new year. This year, Red Clay welcomed close to 16,000 students through our doors and a record 160 new teachers!

What Is Your Everest, with Ricky Singh

Motivational speaker and Red Clay parent Ricky Singh stopped by Heritage Elementary School to welcome back teachers with an inspiring talk about setting goals and helping others reach their potential. Ricky is the only person to have run a marathon in every state and summit Mount Everest. Watch Ricky’s talk on The Good Stuff episode 3, premiering this month on EdTV.

Cab Calloway’s Erin Sullivan

Teacher Erin Sullivan is one of only 114 teachers selected for a National History Day program titled Legacies of World War I. The program is a partnership between the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and National History Day. Sullivan will participate in webinars and discussions with educators from around the world to learn about World War I and its lasting impact. As one of the selected teachers, she receives free tuition, graduate credits and materials for the online program.

Continuous Improvement

Parent and Family Engagement

We held our first meeting of this year’s Red Clay Parent Advisory Council. This was an excellent opportunity to hear from Red Clay parents about what they like about their schools, what they want to see done differently, and what they wish for their children’s education.

Fall Captains Leadership Summit

Student athletes from Alexis I. du Pont HS, McKean HS, The John Dickinson School, Conrad Schools of Science, Cab Calloway School of the Arts, The Charter School of Wilmington and Delaware Military Academy came together for our first-ever Fall Captains Leadership Summit. We had 98 fall sports captains in attendance, including cheerleading and marching band! The call to action of the day was “I Can, I Will, I Must.” We were fortunate to have Coach Justin Brown who shared his journey from being a standout Delaware student athlete to an NFL draft pick. He emphasized the importance of identity beyond sports, investing in yourself and serving others.

Superintendent Meet & Greets Next Week

September 23 at 7 PM at The John Dickinson School

September 24 at 6 PM at Stanton Middle School

September 25 at 5:45 PM at Cooke Elementary School

September 26 at 6:30 PM at Warner Elementary School

October is Bullying Prevention Month

Red Clay will host a Say No to Cyberbullying event for parents on October 8 at 7 PM at the district office. Join us for tips on how to recognize the signs of cyberbullying and how to keep your children safe online, with experts from the Delaware State Police.

An Update on School Transportation

Students Check In and Check Out on the Bus

  • New tablets
  • Route/stop lists
  • Indicates students who must be met at their bus stop
Driver / Paraprofessional Eddie Jones shares bus safety tips on Red Clay This Month

We provide double the training for drivers (8 hours instead of the required 4 hours). Topics include driving safety and student safety, with additional opportunities for one-on-one training and re-training.

Decreasing the number of contractors has enabled district trainers to provide training to contractors. State Safety & Security funding provides tablets to contractors.

Student Safety on School Buses

Frequent reminders

  • Scratch-offs reward safety
  • Digital reminders in break room
  • Radio reminders

Additional bus alarms to document driver checks

Building Relationships

Drivers in the classroom at Evan G. Shortlidge Academy and Highlands Elementary School

94% of buses arrived and departed on time during the first week of school

(up from 81% last year)

Routes are customized to students, unlike mass transit buses

Drivers perform practice runs but still need to modify due to traffic, construction and road conditions

Significant student registration changes in the beginning of the year

After routes are designed, ~150-180 students each day need to be assigned during the first weeks of school

40-50 daily changes due to family requests (e.g., daycare, more convenient stop)

A change for one student can affect up to 120 other students

School dismissals take extra time in the beginning of the year

Fast Facts

  • Approximately 1.7 million miles driven
  • 139 buses, with most running 3 routes
  • 85 Red Clay buses and 54 contractors’ buses
According to the NHTSA, a student is 70x more likely to make it to school safely in a school bus than in a passenger car.

Waking Up for the Bus

We are continuing our efforts to have later pickup times for magnet programs.

At Conrad Schools of Science, we have cut in half the number of buses starting before 6:30 AM (from 18 to 9).

At Cab Calloway School of the Arts and The Charter School of Wilmington, the average student stop is 27 minutes later.

Dorrell Green

Superintendent, Red Clay Consolidated School District