The student-led forum, which will take place today at 6pm at the Community Education Building in Wilmington, will feature school board candidates from Brandywine, Colonial, and Appoquinimink school districts.
The high school students in YAC have spent months planning and promoting the forum, outreaching to candidates, and developing the questions they will ask candidates during the event. The prepared questions will range from topics about student mental health needs in schools, district-charter school collaboration, education inequities, sex education, support for English Learners, student voice in education policy, and more.
There will also be an opportunity for audience questions during the forum. DelawareCAN’s Youth Advocacy Council is the first statewide forum for high school students to learn about education policy and lead their own campaigns to improve Delaware schools. The high school students participating in the 2018-19 cohort of YAC have engaged in nearly a year of extensive education advocacy trainings and meetings with education leaders.
The students decided to host a school board forum after learning the important role school board members play in the quality of schools. “Taking everything we have learned throughout this past year, we decided to do something that has never been done before in Delaware. We decided that it is critical to host a forum for students and community members to hear from candidates and their plans for their districts,” said Whitney Grinnage a high school junior at Ursuline Academy. Mt. Pleasant High School sophomore David Miller said, “Having students lead a candidate forum is something I believe empowers students and is the reason the event will be so important.
I hope the forum helps better bring together students and decision-makers, as better communication will lead to better understanding.” YAC students have a diverse set of experiences in schools —with some members enrolled in district, charter, private, and home schools— but they have joined together with a common agenda of making student voice more powerful in Delaware. “I am excited about tonight’s event because I want to hear candidates’ plans for improving special education and making sure that special education students have the resources and opportunities they need to be successful in the classroom,” said Tara Grier, a senior at Design Thinking Academy.
WHAT: DelawareCAN Youth Advocacy Council School Board Candidate Forum
WHEN: 6pm Tuesday, May 7th
WHERE: Community Education Building (1200 North French Street, 2nd Floor Teachers’ Lounge)