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Welcome to the Non-Partisan Delaware Website

Welcome to the Non-Partisan Delaware Website!

Non-Partisan Delaware is a ballot qualified political organization in Delaware. We are unique from many political organizations in that we do not have a fixed platform or policy goal. Our immediate short term goals are determined each election cycle by the NPD Governing Board through the development of an internal "Strategic Plan" and we focus on achieving those goals through public information activities, lobbying policymakers in coordination with our coalition partners, and supporting candidates for public office.

Our Strategic Plan for the 2023-2024 Election Cycle includes the following priorities:

  • Cannabis Legalization

    NPD is extremely proud that in our first year of operations, we were able to assist the Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network and the Delaware Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws to pass HB1 and HB2, legalizing personal use quantities of cannabis and creating a legal retail market.

  • Ranked Choice Voting

    NPD is coordinating with Rank the Vote Delaware to promote the study and implementation of ranked choice voting in Delaware elections.

  • Abortion, Gender & Sexual Minority, and Gun Rights

    While these issues are rarely considered together and often find little common ground between the traditional "right" and "left", NPD views all of these issues through the perspective of individual privacy and the rights of individuals to live as they choose.

  • Education, Land Use, Environment, Broadband, Criminal Justice, Other

    This catch-all refers to areas we would like to work on as opportunities arise, but have not put together a more focused and cohesive approach.

On these issues and any others, Non-Partisan Delaware hopes to provide a perspective outside the common left-vs-right paradigm based on thoughtful and thorough analysis, open but skeptical towards new information, and unconstrained by ideological dogma.

Our Board members, after years of activism, have developed a healthy skepticism of coercive, majority-imposed policies over those based on mutual consent and individual dignity. However we recognize the need for pragmatism as we seek to find ways a new and small organization on the Delaware political scene can make a positive difference!

Keep scrolling for News and Updates, or follow the links on the side bar to the right (below the newsfeed on mobile) to connect to our social media communities and get involved. We hold monthly Meet Ups in all three counties and someone is usually active on our Discord Server in between.

Join us today!

About Us:

Non-Partisan Delaware Founded!

Latest News:

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Stephanie Smith - Seaford

<<< Back to School Board Main Page.

The following response was sent to our survey:

Good evening,

The following are my responses to the School Board Survey:

1. Why are you running for School Board?

After retiring in 2021 from a career in education spanning twenty-nine years, I took some time to become more involved in other areas of interest.  But, what I realized is that the knowledge and experience I had acquired over the years I spent in schools was something that I needed to be able to share in some way.  The kids I taught years ago in Seaford are the parents of the children attending Seaford schools today.  I worked really hard to give them the best experience I could in our schools and in turn I want to be able to be an advocate for their children – just as I was for them.  I believe that I would be a valuable addition to our board and that my experiences will be an asset to the process when forming policy and making important decisions for our district.

2.  What personal connections do you have to your local school district and community?

Far too many to capture in this response!  I am a lifetime resident of the Seaford area and a K-12 attendee and graduate of the schools in Seaford.  Most of my career was spent in the Seaford School District where I have served as a substitute, intern, teacher, club advisor, school counselor, Assistant Principal, Principal, Director of Human Resources and Public Information, and parent.  Together with my husband, the late Dr. Mike Smith, we dedicated 50 years in combined service to the Blue Jays.   Most former students I meet around town, were either taught, counseled, coached, or under our care at one time or another in Seaford. Our own children attended Seaford schools.  In fact, our youngest daughter has just begun her own teaching career at Seaford High School where my husband and I met and fell in love while working together.  I have lived, shopped, dined, banked, volunteered, and worshipped in Seaford my whole life.  I at one time or another have been active in our community in organizations such as the AAUW, Kiwanis Club, Nanticoke Little League, St. John’s UMC Church, Seaford Golf and Country Club, AFS, Seaford Historical Society, Seaford Alumni Association, and Emmaus Community. My children have participated in activities such as Little League, SGCC swim team and junior golf, Seaford: field hockey, soccer, wrestling, softball, baseball, cross country, drama, and NJROTC.  My son served as a firefighter in the Seaford Volunteer Fire Company and was the Mayor’s Right Choice Award winner upon his graduation from Seaford.  Quite honestly – the connections are endless, and I go few places without being recognized by someone here in our community as a leader, mom, and educator.

3. How should district policy balance student privacy against parental rights?

A district must seek legal advice and depend on current case law when trying to determine if the policies they develop provides a balance between student privacy and parental rights.  Following guidelines for FERPA determines student information that can be shared and provides guidance for specific student data for students through the age of 18.  Other sources such as Title IX, the Equal Protection Clause, and state law should be considered as well.  Current legal recommendations can help identify the guidance to be followed in determining what to share with parents without violating individual student rights.  The NSBA (National School Board Association) would be an excellent resource on this increasingly complex matter. 

4.  What should be the district’s approach to overseeing curriculum, reading material, and lesson planning in the classrooms?

The selection of curricular materials has become a popular “lightening rod” as of late as political agendas are being forced upon our educational system.  It is a Board of Education’s responsibility to have a clear policy for reviewing questionable materials that allows for resolution through careful consideration & input from stakeholders. Such policies should recognize that the study of controversial issues is a pillar of creating independent thinkers of our students.  However, those studies must be age appropriate & reflect the values of the community the board serves.  Intellectual freedom must also be of prime consideration.  By being a part of the adoption process from the start, boards can help ensure that materials meet district criteria & state guidelines.  Clear steps must be provided to review materials questioned by parents so that there is a fair and balanced look & not a response to the “loudest voices”. 

The school board should not be in the business of evaluating individual lesson plans.  As the board, expectations are determined and communicated with the Superintendent of Schools who in turn creates the process by which school administrators evaluate lesson planning.  These plans should go beyond the teacher evaluation process and include data gathered from walkthroughs, department and team meetings, etc..  This data could, and should be shared with the board so that overall trends can be identified by school and/or by grade. 

5. How well do you feel that your district currently serves students who are gifted, learning disabled, or who have other special needs? What policies does your district follow that should be improved, or adopted more widely?

Our district has traditionally served students with special needs beyond the walls of our district as we have had special programs for years for students with more severe orthopedic special needs as a part of a county wide program.  We trained staff and built a program to be an approved site for the Delaware Autism Program many years ago as well. Our supports for our gifted student population have varied through the years from a SPARK program at the elementary level to Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programming at our secondary schools. As our population needs have changed, so has our programming.  At times, this lack of programming has caused parents to look at other alternatives for their child as I unfortunately had to do for my youngest child’s high school experience.

What I believe could improve our services is a more focused approach to the specific needs of students based on their progress monitoring and the creation of IEPS that will specifically instruct students on the resources they may use to compensate for their challenges.  We must use student data to not only identify needs but to also develop ways to address those needs, which are as individual as the students themselves. It was not until 9th grade that my own son was able to really study his disability himself and determine what resources helped him overcome his deficits due to his diagnosis and become an advocate for himself.  All schools  need to go beyond “cookie cutter” accommodations and really become attuned to what accommodations can be made that will help a student to be successful and help them become their own best advocates.  Things like “extra time” and “small group” in themselves aren’t true skill sets that will help a student become more successful.

As a board member, I would also help to ensure that resources are being allocated to meet the greatest needs in our schools and that we are hiring staff who are dedicated to meeting the needs of our diverse student population.

Stephanie Smith, Ed.D

Candidate for Seaford Board of Education