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Community Collaboration: Hodgson Vo-Tech and LACC

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A group of Hodgson Vocational Technical High School students traveled to the Latin American Community Center (LACC). What was their goal? To spread the word about good dental hygiene and gain meaningful real world experience.

The Hodgson Vo-Tech students enrolled in the school’s dental assistant program are learning how to work alongside professional dentists as they examine and treat patients. While at the LACC, these students received the opportunity to demonstrate their newfound knowledge and skills on the children attending the LACC’s early childhood program. The students worked alongside professional dentist Dr. Nitchel Bastien as she provided close to 10 free examinations.

Also in attendance at the LACC were Hodgson students who are participating in advanced Spanish courses. They served as translators throughout the day and helped facilitate three activities for the LACC children to complete as they waited for their dental examination. The Hodgson students developed the activities summarized below.

Station One: Good Food vs. Bad Food = Comidas Saludables vs. Comidas Dañinas

The Hodgson dental assistant and Spanish students taught the children what foods are good and bad for their teeth. The children identified and stuck cut-out pictures of food onto a large poster in the shape of a mouth.

Big Mouth
Big Mouth8
Big Mouth 6

Station Two: How Many Teeth Are In My Mouth? = ¿Cuántos Dientes Hay En Mi Boca?

By the end of the day, the children at the LACC were able to count how many teeth they have. The Hodgson Spanish students counted with the children in Spanish and English while the dental assistant students encouraged the children to create a replica of the mouth using marshmallows and other craft supplies.


Station Three: How To Brush = Cómo Cepillarse Los Dientes

At the last station, Hodgson dental assistant students presented a two-minute review on the proper way to brush teeth. A song, sung in Spanish by the Hodgson students, accompanied the presentation.


The entire day was a blast! The Hodgson students left feeling energized as well as equipped with a better understanding of content they are learning in class.

I would like to give a special shout out to my colleagues and partners listed below for all of their hard work in making this collaboration and experience for the students possible.

  • Bonita Green, Spanish Instructor at Hodgson Vocational and Technical High School
  • Michelle Rabinovitch, Special Education Teacher at Hodgson Vocational and Technical High School
  • Christina Hampton, Dental Assistant Instructor at Hodgson Vocational and Technical High School
  • Wanda Burgos-Rincon, Director of Youth Development at the Latin American Community Center
  • Adrianna Viveros, Latin American Community Center

By Tim Brewer, Instructional Technology Coach at Hodgson Vocational and Technical High School

10 Education Stories to Watch in 2018

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Every new year brings with it a sense of transition and opportunity—a chance for a fresh start or reinvention. Between midterm elections, nail-biting budget negotiations, and big issues unfolding in Wilmington and beyond—2018 could shake up the world of public education. The team at Rodel has examined the tea leaves and compiled its 10 Delaware education issues to watch in 2018.

[Read: Bold action, not alarmism, will fix Delaware’s budget; Status quo will further hasten Delaware’s economic demise]

  • ESSA and School Report Cards
    With Delaware’s state Every Student Succeeds Act plan finished and filed, the focus now shifts to the legislation’s hotly debated report card mandate. The design of the report cards—which are meant to equip families with information about school performance—will come under scrutiny between now and June 2018, during which DDOE will host a series of community engagement activities. Community members will help decide what information should be in the report card, and the best ways to present that information.

[Read: Why Carney’s administration should stay the course on school report cards]

  • The Rise of Work-Based Learning
    Delaware Pathways has been one of the runaway success stories of the past few years, with more than 9,000 students enrolled and earning valuable career acumen, college credits, industry credentials, and more. The next big chapter: Work-based learning. Delaware Technical Community College tapped former Family Court Judge Chandlee Kuhn to head its new Office of Work-Based Learning, which is tasked with facilitating connections with school and college personnel, and building partnerships with business and industry to create more opportunities for students. In December, Gov. Carney convened a roundtable discussion to energize some of Delaware’s most prominent employers around the expansion of work-based learning. The goal? Engage 20,000 youth in career pathways in high-demand fields, and support over 7,000 youth to gain work-based learning experience in high-demand fields by 2020.

[Read: Businesses and schools can work together]

  • English Learners
    You may have heard: Delaware’s EL student population is on the rise in a big way. Over the last decade, we’ve seen a statewide increase of over 400 percent in the number of English learner students—including nearly 600-percent growth in Sussex County. While these primarily native-born Americans, who collectively speak nearly 100 native languages, are just like your average student—they often face language barriers or unique social and emotional challenges that create barriers to higher education and eventual careers. With Delaware’s outdated school funding system standing in the way (we’re only four states that doesn’t provide additional education funding for English learners), advocates are clamoring for awareness and change.On a similar note, the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) legislation hangs in the balance. There are around 4,000 eligible young people in Delaware—many of whom found their way to Delaware State University—must wait as well.

[Read: English-learning students need our help; Delaware State University: A Haven for Dreamers]

  • Wilmington Schools
    The much-talked-about MOU between the Christina School District and Gov. John Carney’s office is still awaiting a vote from Christina school board. But it could have huge implications for the district, its staff, and its families. Proposed changes range from larger salaries for teachers, renovations to Bancroft Elementary and Bayard Middle schools, funding to reduce class sizes, and funding for students living in poverty or learning English as a second language.

[Read: Can the divides over Wilmington schools ever be bridged?; Carney leads delegation to Massachusetts ‘model’ school]

  • Student- and Teacher-Driven Changes
    As teachers take a more active role in policy conversations—including helping to shape the state’s ESSA plan—and as students become more empowered to control their learning, it’s safe to say we can anticipate more influence from the people inside the classroom. “If we listen to students, it will drive changes in how we deliver instruction, provide feedback, and ‘give credit’ for coursework,” says Robyn Howton, a longtime member of the Rodel Teacher Council. As technology fuels more ownership and creativity in the classroom, the demand for more robust broadband connectivity also rises.

[Read: Student Centered Learning Structures]

  • Deepening Social and Emotional Learning
    Could we see a big transition year for social and emotional learning as it moves from buzzy concept to classroom implementation, standards, and policy? Some educators, including members of the Rodel Teacher Council, think so. In a survey, more than nine out of 10 educators say explicitly adopting state standards for social and emotional skills—combined with training—would help provide deeper guidance and legitimacy. And, according to Supporting Postsecondary Success in Delaware: A Landscape Analysis of Student Opportunities, while many community-based organizations offer SEL services, young people may have difficulty finding the right ones, or navigating different options. A common framework and strategy for collaborative messaging and distribution of services, the report argues, could help community-based organizations and their partner schools achieve greater impact. What’s next for SEL in Delaware?

[Read: Make social and emotional learning a priority]

  • Supporting Students In Need
    Local civil rights groups hit state leaders last week with a lawsuit over Delaware’s antiquated funding system, claiming it provides more support for children who are well off than it provides for children living in poverty and English learners. Many advocates—from the Education Equity Delaware coalition to the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission—have urged for such a change in recent years. Elsewhere members of the early learning community are pushing for a $5.9 million door-opener that was recommended by the Delaware Department of Education to support tiered reimbursements for new early learning programs entering the Stars quality rating program this fiscal year (on top of existing ones trying to move up). Many priorities should make for some drama during budget markup later this spring.

[Read: Civil rights groups sue Delaware over education funding for low-income, disadvantaged students; Early Learning is a Better Investment than the Stock Market]

  • Investing in Two-Generation StrategiesAn idea on-the-rise from family health advocates that’s gaining traction, two-generation approaches focus on creating opportunities for and addressing needs of both children and the adults in their lives together, recognizing that families and their challenges come in all different shapes and sizes. In Delaware this is manifesting through increased focus on home visits by organizations like Early Head Start, Healthy Families America, Nurse-Family Partnership, and Parents as Teachers. It’s also a part of the plan for Gov. Carney’s Family Services Cabinet Council, which will collaborate with a Christina School District team to create and implement a two-generation center, designed to provide supports to early learners and their parents.

[Read: Confidential plan calls for consolidating Wilmington schools down to two]

  • Local Elections
    2018 will be a pivotal year nationwide for midterm elections. And in Delaware, as much as 20 percent of the General Assembly may turn over come September, including some key leadership positions.

[Read: Candidates line up to replace Sen. Margaret Rose Henry; Dover’s Sen. Brian Bushweller will not seek re-election; party majority at risk]

Teacher Newsletter – December 2017

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December 2017

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Teacher Tweets, Wins Drones For Her Classroom

A classroom in New Castle has been transformed into a bustling runway for programmable drones this fall, all thanks to a single tweet.

“It can do a flip! Watch!” fifth-grader Justin Dorce said excitedly, using an iPad to control one of the eight drones Pleasantville Elementary School teacher and Rodel Teacher Council member, Lisa Mims, recently won the class in an internet sweepstake.

All she had to do was retweet a post by technology company Parrot Education, which makes and sells unmanned aerial and ground vehicles to schools and educators. Read more in The News Journal.
Submit Your Education Story Ideas To The News Journal

Save The Date

Supporting Postsecondary Success: Discussion and Action Planning (Dec. 11, New Castle)
The Rodel Foundation of Delaware, United Way of Delaware, Delaware Department of Education, Delaware Community Foundation, and Delaware Business Roundtable Education Committee will present the results of a statewide landscape analysis of in-school and out-of-school postsecondary resources.

Delaware Readiness Teams Celebration (Dec. 13, Dover)
The Delaware Readiness Teams invite you to celebrate five years of program successes with Governor John Carney, Readiness Team members, and community partners. Learn about a new kindergarten registration campaign, meet with members of local Readiness Teams, and find ways to get involved.

The Summit on Professional Learning Communities at Work (Feb. 20-22, Arizona)
This unique event brings the PLC at Work champions together with some of the brightest, most respected minds in education. Whether you are just beginning to build a PLC or need to regroup for your next steps, this summit provides practical knowledge based on the three big ideas that drive a PLC, delivered by experts who know the process best.

2018 Delaware STEM Symposium & Educator Awards (May 10, Dover)
The Delaware STEM Educator Award recognizes a teacher or team of teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels who demonstrate STEM innovation and excellence through teaching, academic collaboration, and student engagement. A total of three unrestricted cash awards up to $7,500.00 will be given to winning teachers or teams.


The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Semester Program (Deadline: Dec. 13)
The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Semester Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the Institute of International Education. It seeks to promote mutual understanding among teachers, their schools and communities in the U.S. and abroad by building teachers’ and students’ global competence and sharing of best educational practices internationally.

Technology Teacher Grant (Deadline: Dec. 9)
Technology is all around us. From smartphones to voice assistants and self-driving cars, our world is becoming increasingly high-tech. We believe technology has a place in every discipline—and studying its role in our lives is critical for students of all ages. Share your tech-focused lesson plan and you could win up to $1,000 for classroom supplies, educational subscriptions and apps for your students, and more.

Teach Earth Fellowship (Deadline: Jan. 8)
Investing in science and environmental education is paramount if we hope to empower future generations and provide them with the tools needed to combat the greatest environmental challenges the world has faced. Teach Earth offers teachers the opportunity to experience scientific research first-hand, providing you with the tools to make science come alive in your classroom.

TranspARTation Grants (Ongoing)
The TranspARTation Grant supports travel costs to Delaware arts and cultural institutions and venues so that students may attend events, performances, and exhibits that have high-quality arts components. TranspARTation applications are accepted on an ongoing basis but must be received at least six weeks prior to the field trip date.

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