Wilmington's William C. Lewis Elementary School. (Red Clay district website)

Red Clay picks parent rep for Learning Collab

Jarek RutzHeadlines, Education

Wilmington's William C. Lewis Elementary School. (Red Clay district website)

Wilmington’s William C. Lewis Elementary School. (Red Clay district website)

A Red Clay mom known for community advocacy has been appointed to the Wilmington Learning Collaborative’s governing council as the school district’s parent representative.

Jennie Yeow, who has a child at Red Clay Consolidated School District’s William C. Lewis Dual Language Elementary School was chosen for

Jennie Yeow, Red Clay's parent rep.

Jennie Yeow, Red Clay’s parent rep.

the role, Red Clay Superintendent Dorrell Green said during Wednesday’s monthly board meeting.

“She’s very passionate about advocacy,” Green said, “and we’re excited about announcing this and putting forth the name.”

Yeow will join Brandywine School District’s parent representative Starr Wilson. Christina School District is interviewing candidates and plans to name its representative at its Jan. 10 board meeting.

The collaborative  is a new organization that will put all Wilmington city students in the three districts under an organization designed to increase learning and raise test scores by addressing educational, social and family issues.

The 12-member board still has four vacancies.

Here’s who makes up the Learning Collab’s board so far:

  • Christina superintendent: Dan Shelton
  • Brandywine superintendent: Lincoln Hohler
  • Red Clay superintendent: Dorrell Green 
  • Christina city school board member: Alethea Smith-Tucker
  • Brandywine city school board member: Shanika Perry
  • Red Clay city school board member: Adriana Bohm
  • Brandywine parent representative: Starr Wilson
  • Red Clay parent representative: Jennie Yeow
  • Unfilled: Christina parent representative
  • Unfilled: High school senior representative
  • Unfilled: Former city educator, appointed by Education Secretary Mark Holodick
  • Unfilled: City of Wilmington representative, appointed by the city council

Yeow is a lifelong citizen of the city of Wilmington and a graduate of Red Clay. 

She is the community engagement and program manager at Public Allies Delaware, a social justice organization focused on recruiting and training leaders to create meaningful change in the community. 

Green told the Red Clay board the Learning Collaborative’s immediate next steps are filling out the remaining four open seats of the governing council and hiring an executive director to lead it.

The goal is to have the council formally seated in January, Green said. 

“There’s also been discussions around Delaware State serving as not only a potential project manager to help advance the work, but also really looking at what other kinds of capacity that they could potentially serve,” Green said. 

The idea for DSU joining the collaborative started when Shelley Rouser, DSU’s chair of education, asked the Christina district board in August to allow the HBCU to have a seat at the table. 

“We would foster support for the high quality materials that you’ve adopted, and help teachers use them well,” Rouser said then. “We would help them then make those resources custom and individualized for the children that they are serving.”

Also at Red Clay’s board meeting

Committee rules: Green recommended and the board voted to have each of its eight committees develop a statement outlining the purpose of the committee, its goals and responsibilities as well as the proposed timeline to complete the stated purpose and work by April 19.

The committees are: 

Hygiene products: Board member Adriana Bohm also requested that the board evaluate which schools do not have the proper feminine hygiene products in their bathrooms.

Green agreed to provide the board with an update before its Jan. 18 meeting. 

A 2020 state law requires the district to be sure that 50% of the bathrooms that serve students in grades four through 12 provide feminine hygiene products, Green said.

“A lot of our schools have experienced improper use, especially in the lower grades,” he said. “They’re finding them and they’re stuffing them into toilets and sticking them in the walls.”

Green acknowledged the importance of those products in bathrooms, but he said there needs to be more education on the importance and use of the products. 

His 10th-grade daughter hasn’t experienced this in high school bathrooms, Green said, but his seventh-grade daughter has told him that many products in her school are dumped in the trashcan or shoved in the toilets and sinks.

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