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Exciting things happening in Colonial Nation • September 21, 2020

Khayree Bey Governors Challenge Wellness Award winner & District Teacher of the Year 2020-2021

Bey Wins Again!

Colonial’s District Teacher of the Year for 2020-2021 has won another honor! Khayree Bey, a Health and Mindfulness teacher at McCullough is one of the 2020 winners of the Governors Challenge Wellness Leadership Award. This prestigious recognition is awarded to individuals and organizations that are making Delaware a healthier place to live and exemplify a commitment to long-term change in the First State.

“Your entry for mindfulness and emotional well-being was among a truly impressive group of candidates from across the state and was highly ranked by our team of distinguished judges for its sustainability, reach, and outcome/impact for Delaware. You should be very proud of this achievement; it will no doubt inspire others to enact initiatives in their own communities. Thank you for helping inspire others to live healthier lives,” said Delaware Lt Governor Dr. Brittany Hall Long.

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Kudos to Mr. Poindexter!

As challenging as remote learning can be, many parents are sharing kudos for Colonial’s hard-working teachers. Wilbur Principal Beth Howell received several emails giving PE teacher Mark Poindexter his props. Below is just one from a parent:

Ms. Howell,
OMGOSH!!! I have to share with you what that nut 😃, Mr. Poindexter, is having the Spanish Immersion 4th grade class doing for gym today. They are having a touch scavenger hunt around the house. Gia is running around the house squealing with delight as she touches every item he mentions. It’s HYSTERICAL!!! What an AMAZING way to get the students involved and active while making it fun!!! Please thank him for being so awesome! Can’t thank Wilbur enough for being the most engaging, fun, and enthusiastic school in the Universe!!!!! ❤
Wilbur is absolutely KILLING this remote learning thing!!
Parent,
Tina Kosinski

More Kudos

We know remote learning can be challenging, but our students and families are stepping up and getting the job done! Here is some feedback from a few about Colonial’s Virtual Academy and our teachers:

"We have been good so far at Wilbur! 5th grade and 1st grade. We can see and hear all the teachers on zoom and the teaching staff has been great at getting back to us ASAP! Colonial has been doing a great job!!”

“I have to say – the George Read 6th grade team & exploratory teachers are amazing! The classes so far have been very interactive. You can hear/see the patience & effort being put into the lessons. My son didn’t want anything to do with virtual learning, so to see him engaged and interacting speaks volumes!”

”My boys are at Wilbur and Penn. Both schools have done a great job to give them the tools and teaching needed to be successful during their new normal. We can definitely see the effort put in over the summer to make remote learning the best experience possible.”

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Tech Help for William Penn Students

At William Penn about 300 students took the initiative to sign up for sessions designed to help them learn more tech skills for virtual learning during their first week back at the Virtual Academy. The 30-minute self-selected tutorials were offered on more than 20 different technology platforms. The students got tips about using Zoom, Schoology, Bitmoji creations, and more. Assistant Principal Ursula McCoy created the sessions saying, “This was an excellent opportunity for students to learn to navigate through these platforms prior to being required to use them in class. Students were encouraged by their teachers to select sessions for the technology they were least comfortable with, was completely new to them, or was going to be used heavily in any particular class.”

Makayla Hollis, a 9th grader, was thrilled the extra help was offered. “The tutorial sessions were great! All of the teachers were kind and very helpful. When the teachers were showing me how to make a Bitmoji, they made sure I understood, and if I didn’t they would explain it,” she said. Madrid Hollis, another 9th grader, agreed saying “My first week of virtual learning was pretty amazing!”

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Food Pantry at the Big E

COVID-19 may have closed school buildings, but not the food pantry at Eisenberg. Family Crisis Therapist Molly Perdue welcomes those in need to make IN PERSON visits to the pantry BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, with one family member being allowed to enter the pantry at a time (all others must wait in the car). Appointments are a must so Perdue can clean and disinfect the pantry after each person leaves.

Eisenberg received a generous donation of 3,000 pounds of food and other items thanks to Sallie Mae in July! When COVID-19 hit in March, Perdue coordinated with volunteers from the New Castle Presbyterian Church who delivered boxes of food, contact-free to the doorsteps of at least 20-25 families. Way to go!

To make an appointment contact Ms. Perdue at molly.perdue or leave a message at (302) 429-4046 but email is the easiest way to reach her.

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Studio Make-Over at William Penn

When students return to William Penn they’ll be thrilled to see a brand new expanded TV studio. A soundproof control room is just the beginning of the new additions. There will be a state-of-the-art production system, audio and lighting switchers, three new studio cameras, three teleprompters, two green screens, a second gray background set for doing interviews, and an upcoming third set for a talk-show background. The studio will also house an enclosed soundproof audio voiceover room with radio station technology.

Teacher Gary Phillips says, "The vision is to give students a facility to professionally produce video for a daily broadcast of PennNews, segments of different stories involving sports and weather broadcasts. The students will also be able to film and produce school events and open it up to community/business projects the students can direct and produce themselves. The students have already produced videos for a number of clients outside of WP, some of which have been paid endeavors! We look to expand that to offer their services to more businesses.”

Phillips says the new studio will help students expand their portfolio in media production as they enter into post-secondary education and offer entrepreneur opportunities, and he can’t wait for them to return to put the new space and equipment to use.
Check out more of WPTV can do on youtube at https://youtube.com/c/WilliamPennTV

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Make-Over at Gunning Bedford Too

Students at Gunning Bedford will be able to say “Ready, Set, Action” too, thanks to new state-of-the-art digital media equipment for audio, video, and editing. Plans include having students do PSA’s (Public Service Announcements), spot-news highlighting sports and other academic events at the school. The middle school will have a studio much like the one at William Penn and with the ability to have broadcasts that are live or on recorded. Supervisor Dr. Brian Erskine says, “The Colonial School District continues to improve and expand programs at our middle schools in order to connect, support and feed our high school programs at William Penn. These students will move to the high school’s Digital Media program with some experience. It’s all about offering access and opportunity to our kids!”

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Good Job!

Take a moment to enjoy this moving music video of a children’s choir singing a song for essential workers like teachers and our support staff. It was written by award-winning songstress Alicia Keys.

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