January 2018 Newsletter

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President of Delmarva Power and Chair of the Vision Coalition Leadership Team

Only a few weeks into the new year, the Vision Coalition Leadership Team is off and running.

We are excited to welcome into the fold four new Leadership Team members, whose wide range of expertise both inside and outside the classroom will add tremendous value to our group, particularly as we aim to catalyze the implementation of Student Success 2025. Learn more about our new Leadership Team members below.

As a coalition, we are also looking forward to working with Governor Carney and his administration to build momentum in the core areas of Early Learning, Postsecondary Success, Educator Support and Developmentall of which were outlined in his State of the State address earlier this month.

We also know that helping all Delaware students succeed requires support from the entire community. One of our main goals in 2018 will be to collaborate with community partners and advocates to develop:

  • Key, data-driven measures of success to analyze and communicate progress in implementing Student Success 2025
  • Analyses of work underway to understand what we can build upon, and where there are gaps

I hope you will join us and look forward to engaging with you all throughout the year. I encourage you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and continue to read our monthly progress made email newsletters.

2018 has the potential to be a momentous year in Delaware public education and I believe I speak for all members of the Vision Coalition Leadership when I say we are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work.




Early childhood education in First State gets a $500k boost
Delaware’s Department of Education is using new grant money to create an Early Education Teaching Credential.The W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded the First State $500,000 to develop the credential for educators teaching infants and toddlers. The funds will be used to create a nine-credit online course, and a program manager coaching people in the program.



State awards first Certificates of Multiliteracy
Secretary of Education Susan Bunting honored the first students in the state to earn Delaware’s new Certificate of Multiliteracy, which recognizes and honors students for attaining high levels of proficiency in languages in addition to English. The Certificate of Multiliteracy is Delaware’s version of the Seal of Biliteracy, which is a national response to recognize the importance of language learning both socially and economically.


State grants go to financial literacy
The state is granting $290,000 from its Financial Literacy Education Fund (FLEF) to schools and nonprofits that teach the public how to be smart with their money. Eighteen different agencies received funds this year.



Delaware strives to prepare state’s future workforce
Gov. John Carney, community groups, and members of the business community are discussing ways to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow. In December 2017, Carney held a roundtable discussion on how to engage more members of business community in work-based learning programs and other partnerships with the K-12 education system.



GEAR Board report offers recommendations on government efficiency
The Government Efficiency and Accountability Review (GEAR) Board has offered its first set of recommendations to Gov. John Carney. Carney created the GEAR Board to identify government efficiencies, improving services and saving money. The GEAR Board is focused on several critical education areas like transportation and shared technology.
The Department of Education will complete a study on a community-based transportation system which will serve as a model for school districts and charter schools to highlight the potential cost savings and enhanced transportation service that could be provided through the implementation of a consolidated busing system. With shared technology services, the GEAR Board aims to follow through on the recommendations and strategies set forth by the Council on Educational Technology, which will provide strategic guidance for educational technology for the state, districts, and charters.



Governor Carney, community leaders unveil strategic plan for English learners
Joined by community leaders and educators, Governor John Carney unveiled Delaware’s English Learner Strategic Plan at North Georgetown Elementary School. To coordinate this important work, the Governor has asked a group of community leaders to help Delaware improve its delivery of services to English learners with the creation of the Governor’s Advisory Council for English Learners, one of the key recommendations of the plan.


We are proud to welcome new Leadership Team members Michelle Johnson, Leslie Newman, Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Farley-Ripple, Ph.D., and Liane Sorenson. Learn more about our new Leadership Team members below



Dr. Elizabeth Farley-Ripple is an Associate Professor of Education and Public Policy in the School of Education and an affiliate of the Institute for Public Administration at the University of Delaware. Her research expertise is in policy analysis and evidence-based decision-making, and she has worked on a range of educational and social policy issues. Read more.



Michele Johnson is a National Board Certified librarian and teaches library, technology, and gifted and talented classes at Fairview Elementary in the Capital School District. She is a two-time district teacher of the year. This is her 19th year as an educator, and 15th year in the K-12 system. She facilitates STEM education through project-based learning units that include LEGO robotics, computer coding, and the design process to personalize learning for students. Read more.



Leslie Newman has been the chief executive officer at Children & Families First of Delaware since 2007, having served as their Director of Development for 15 years prior. She has both guided and celebrated the organization’s commitment to strengthening Delaware families, helping children reach their full potential, and its ability to adapt and respond to the changing needs from their programs and services. Read more.



Liane Sorenson currently serves as a member of the Delaware State Board of Education. She is a former state senate member from District 6 in the General Assembly (1994-2013). She was also a representative in the Delaware House from 1992-1994 and director of the Office of Women’s Affairs at the University of Delaware from 1988-2003. Read more.


Please complete our brief survey to help us improve our digital communications efforts in 2018. The survey consists of five questions and will take less than five minutes to complete. The data collected will be confidential and strictly used by the Vision Coalition of Delaware to improve our email newsletters, social media, and online presence.

2018 Vision Coalition Digital Communications Survey


Student Success 2025 imagines a landscape where equitable opportunities meet the needs of these students and where lifelong learners are equipped to adapt to changing times.

The goal is for all Delaware students to thrive, accomplish more, and take advantage of expanded opportunities aligned with their unique skills, interests, and abilities. This includes providing support needed for all students to succeed, including students who are homeless, living in foster care, hungry, neglected, physically disabled, cognitively challenged, or learning English.

Throughout 2018, we will highlight a recommendation from the plan in each newsletter. In the meantime, feel free to check out the full plan on our website.