• School Reopening Working Group

    On Monday, May 18, 2020, Governor John Carney and Secretary of Education Susan Bunting announced a public strategy to plan for the safe reopening of Delaware school buildings. Three COVID-19 School Reopening working groups have been formed to advise the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE), Delaware school districts and charter schools on ways to safely and effectively reopen Delaware school buildings: health and wellness, academics and equity, and operations and services. In April, Governor Carney closed Delaware public school buildings for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year due to the threat of COVID-19.

    The purpose of the School Reopening Working Groups is to develop recommendations for the Secretary of Education, superintendents and charter leaders to consider as they create by July 15 a comprehensive, actionable plan for re-opening school buildings once that decision has been made by the Governor’s Office. Three working groups – Health and Wellness, Academics and Equity, and Operations and Services – will develop recommendations for each of the following public health scenarios in relation to their assigned focus:

    • If minimal community spread exists in Delaware (and school buildings re-open)
    • If minimal-to-moderate community spread exists in Delaware (situation dependent)
    • If significant community spread exists in Delaware (and school buildings remain closed)


    Upcoming meetings

    The public is encouraged to participate in the virtual School Reopening Working Group meetings. Meeting dates and viewing information will be posted on the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar. Comments and ideas will also be accepted via email at reopeningideas@doe.k12.de.us.

    Meetings will be held as follows:

    DDOE sincerely apologizes for this Reopening Schools Workgroup meeting crashing. We used the platform we regularly use and it simply could not hold the volume of callers wanting to participate. While we are as frustrated as you are, we are encouraged by the number of Delawareans wanting to participate. As we have learned during this time of COVID, we are all learning to do new things, and we learned we need a larger platform for a call of this size. For inconveniencing all of you, we are very sorry.

    • Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. - Initial meeting - This virtual meeting will be available on the Delaware Department of Education YouTube channel. Due to the anticipated number of meeting attendees, public comment will be accepted via email at reopeningideas@doe.k12.de.us or voicemail at 302-735-4244. All comments will be forwarded to the committees for review.

    • Health and Wellness: Tuesdays on June 2, June 9, June 16, June 23 and June 30 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
    • Academics and Equity: Wednesdays on June 3, June 10, June 17, June 24 and July 1 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
    • Operations and Services: Thursdays on June 4, June 11, June 18, June 25 and July 2 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

    Working group members

    Health and Wellness

    • Co-Chair Mike Rodriguez: Associate Secretary, Delaware DOE
    • Co-Chair Dr. Meghan Walls: Pediatric Psychologist, Nemours
    • Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald: Superintendent, Caesar Rodney School District
    • Dr. Laretha Odumosu: Executive Director, Charter School of New Castle Middle School
    • Dr. Susan Haberstroh: Director of School Support Services, Delaware DOE
    • Stacy Greenly: Counselor, Polytech High School
    • Dana Carr: Delaware Division of Public Health
    • Sue Smith: Nurse, Mispillion Elementary and member of the Professional Standards Board (PSB)
    • Dafne Carnright: Former Chair, Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens and Family Services Program Manager, Autism Delaware
    • Dr. Marisel Santiago: Director of Pediatrics, La Red Health Center
    • Rev. Provey Powell: Mt. Joy United Methodist Church and Delaware State Board of Education Member
    • Kristin Dwyer: Delaware State Education Association
    • Representative Valerie Longhurst: Delaware House Majority Leader
    • Representative Michael Smith: House Education Committee Member
    • Senator Laura Sturgeon: Chair, Senate Education Committee
    • Senator Anthony Delcollo: Senate Education Committee Member
    • Student Representative: Sussex Technical High School

    Academics and Equity

    • Co-Chair Dr. Monica Gant: Associate Secretary, Delaware DOE
    • Co-Chair Ashley Giska: Assistant Superintendent, Laurel School District
    • Dr. Matt Burrows: Superintendent, Appoquinimink School District
    • Laura Schneider: Principal, West Seaford Elementary
    • Loretta Greig: Parent, Lake Forest High School and member of the Professional Standards Board (PSB)
    • Dr. Lisa Lawson: Executive Director of Special Education and Support Services, Brandywine School District
    • Eugene Young: President, Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League
    • Dr. Maria Alonso: Board President, Academia Antonia Alonso Charter School
    • Rebecca Vitelli: 2020 Delaware Teacher of the Year, Colonial School District
    • Stephanie Ingram: President, DSEA
    • Allison Castellanos: ESL Professor, Delaware Technical & Community College
    • Gwendolyn Haar: English Teacher, Dover High School
    • Representative Kim Williams: Vice-Chair, House Education Committee
    • Senator Tizzy Lockman: Vice-Chair, Senate Education Committee
    • Representative Bryan Shupe: House Education Committee Member
    • Senator Brian Pettyjohn: Delaware State Senate, District 19
    • Student Representative: Smyrna High School

    Operations and Services

    • Co-Chair Dr. Chuck Longfellow: Associate Secretary, Delaware DOE
    • Co-Chair Oliver Gumbs: Director of Business Operations, Cape Henlopen School District
    • Dr. Sherry Kijowski: Principal, Caesar Rodney High School
    • Heath Chasanov: Superintendent, Woodbridge School District
    • David Hearn: Athletic Director/Drivers Ed Teacher, Delmar School District
    • Stacey Clark: Director of Instruction and Student Services, First State Military Academy
    • Natosha Rivera: Transportation Supervisor, Seaford School District
    • Gerald Allen: HR Director, New Castle County Vo-Tech School District and member of the Professional Standards Board (PSB)
    • Kristine Bewley: Manager of Information Systems, Red Clay Consolidated School District
    • Leolga Wright: School Board Member, Indian River School District
    • Mary Nash Wilson: Senior Fiscal and Policy Analyst, Delaware Office of Management and Budget
    • Jeff Taschner: Executive Director, DSEA
    • Mike Williams: Delaware PTA Secretary/Parent, Christina School District
    • Representative Earl Jaques: Chair, House Education Committee
    • Senator Dave Sokola: Senate Education Committee Member and Former Chair
    • Representative Charles Postles: House Education Committee Member
    • Senator Dave Lawson: Delaware State Senate, District 15
Last Modified Yesterday at 4:02 PM