Do­or­dan wants to im­prove com­mu­nity in­volve­ment



— Since fil­ing as a can­di­date for the Ce­cil County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion, Erin Do­or­dan has learned a lot about how the county school sys­tem works.

If elected, she hopes to help other county par­ents come to that same un­der­stand­ing and learn new ways to be in­volved in their kids’ ed­u­ca­tion.

“I think that par­ents and the av­er­age ci­ti­zen in this county doesn’t un­der­stand the Com­mon Core, doesn’t un­der­stand the cur­ricu­lum,” Do­or­dan said. “I think that keep­ing our kids ac­tive, in­volved and want­ing to suc­ceed can be a chal­lenge.”


Do­or­dan, a Ser­viceSource em­ployee con­sul­tant, is run­ning against Jim Fazz­ino and Ron Lo­bos in the pri­mary for the District 2 seat, which largely cov­ers the north­ern Elk­ton area. The top two can­di­dates in the non-par­ti­san April 26 pri­mary will move on to the gen­eral elec­tion in Novem­ber.

As a school board mem­ber, an­other one of Do­or­dan’s top pri­or­i­ties would be at­tract­ing and re­tain­ing qual­ity teach­ers, both from in and out of the county.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Do­or­dan would like CCPS to change its phi­los­o­phy to­ward longterm sub­sti­tutes. As a par­ent, Do­or­dan said she’s been frus­trated when a teacher takes a leave of ab- sence and her son ends up hav­ing a dif­fer­ent sub­sti­tute ev­ery day. Th­ese sub­sti­tutes of­ten don’t know the stu­dents or the cur­ricu­lum, which sets the whole class back, she said.

To rec­tify this, Do­or­dan would like to see the sys­tem bring in more stu­dent teach­ers from lo­cal col­leges who could pro­vide some con­ti­nu­ity in class­rooms when the head teacher can’t be there.

But even when the teacher is there, un­der­stand­ing the Com­mon Core cur­ricu­lum can be a frus­trat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for par­ents, said Do­or­dan, who sup­ports Com­mon Core. If elected, Do­or­dan said she’d like to see CCPS hold monthly in­for­ma­tion ses­sions to help par­ents un­der­stand what they’re kids are learn­ing.

T h e school ex­pe­ri­ence goes be­yond the class­room cur­ricu­lum though, and Do­or­dan said she would like to see more men­tor­ship pro­grams, ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties and com­mu­nity in­volve­ment in the schools, es­pe­cially in ways that help ad­dress the county’s drug prob­lem.

“I think we need to find more ways to make that vol­un­teer­ing more eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble,” she said, not- ing she’d like to get lo­cal busi­nesses in­volved.

But th­ese types of pro­grams can only do so much when it comes to ad­dress­ing the com­plex needs of the county’s stu­dents. That’s why the schools need ad­e­quate fund­ing to help stu­dents get ahead and why Do­or­dan said she was dis­ap­pointed that County Ex­ec­u­tive Tari Moore only gave CCPS main­te­nance of ef­fort fund­ing in her pro­posed bud­get.

While main­te­nance of ef­fort does as­sure schools a min­i­mum level of fund­ing, Do­or­dan noted that it rarely cov­ers all the sys­tem’s needs or helps it get ahead in terms of tech­nol­ogy and cur­ricu­lum changes.

Do­or­dan takes a sim­i­lar view when it comes to the sys­tem’s $ 44 mil­lion in de­ferred main­te­nance and said the sys­tem needs to col­lab­o­rate with the county on how to ad­dress it.

“There’s go­ing to come a point where we’re go­ing to have to ad­dress all the main­te­nance that’s been de­ferred, prob­a­bly a lot sooner than we think,” she said.

Do­or­dan is an em­ployee con­sul­tant with Ser­viceSource, a Delaware com­pany that helps in­di­vid­u­als with dis­abil­i­ties find jobs. A sin­gle mother, she has two sons who at­tend county schools and has lived in Ce­cil County off- and- on her whole life.


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