Citizens For Delaware Schools

Challenger: Robin Crossman

Facebook Tanya Kerns for Colonial (

You can also read Tanya’s responses to the ACLU survey here.

Why are you the best candidate for School Board?

I am the best candidate for School Board because I am committed to educating all students. As an avid volunteer in our School District and our community, giving back has been one of the highlights of my life. My accounting and organizational management skills are essential qualities. My top priorities are student outcomes, transparency and school funding, family engagement and student behavior and safe and secure schools for students and staff.

Black woman smiling at camera
How will you prioritize improvement to student academic achievement, particulary reading and math?

Improving student academic achievement is vital to achieving District academic goals. The strategies I will use to prioritize the improvement of student academic achievement include 1) implementing individualized instruction using targeted tutoring, 2) expanding learning opportunities to include afterschool and summer enrichment programs 3) enhancing programs to address student absenteeism including using systems to identify the root cause 4) tackling classroom disruption and behavior issues including distractions from electronic devices.

What steps will you pursue to strengthen the connection between parents and the school system?

Strengthening the connection between parents and the school system is important to student achievement. Some steps I will pursue to strengthen this connection include 1) offer family engagement events such as parent universities, workshops, award ceremonies and family fun nights, 2) offer volunteer opportunities for families in the classroom, on the field and during other events 3) establish PTA programs in every school 4) establish regular communication lines with families such as email, newsletters, conferences, homework help tips and resources.

How will you ensure that parents will be made aware of proposed or new regulations or policies that affect their children?

As a School Board member, I will ensure that parents, families and the community are made aware of all proposed or new regulations that affect their children and our School District by establishing and utilizing regular communication channels with all stakeholders. These communication channels would include monthly updates through newsletters, social media posts, attending community events and establishing an open communications policy with stakeholders. As a representative of the community, I would make every effort to gather input from our stakeholders before voting on proposed or new regulations.

What steps should be taken at schools to create a safer learning environment?

There are several changes schools can make to create a safer environment for learning including 1) Secure entrances – restricting access to buildings, especially during school hours. 2) Emergency drills – conduct fire, lockdown and other drills with students and staff for emergencies. 3) Offer bullying prevention programs to educate stakeholders on the impact of bullying, how to prevent it and hassle-free ways to report bullying. 4) Enhance network security to protect students and staff from cyber-attacks. 5) Digital safety – educate students about safe internet use. 6) Inclusive policies – where all students feel accepted and respected.

What changes should be made, if any, to local and state funding to maximize the amount that goes directly to producing academic achievement?

Delaware’s funding formula is unit based, over 70 years old, not flexible and does not account for the needs of all students. Local funding is based on local property taxes and as a result wealthier school districts generate more local revenue. Delaware’s funding system should be overhauled to address several areas including 1) equitable funding – funds are distributed to districts and schools based on specific student needs including disabilities, economically disadvantage backgrounds and English Language learners. 2) more transparency – less complicated funding distribution formulas 3) increase Staff development funding 4) increase in funding level.

How will you commit to increasing classroom transparency - including but not limited to curriculum - with parents?

I will commit to increasing classroom transparency with parents by using several strategies. 1) Distribute and review learning objectives and grading policies. 2) Distribute weekly updates through newsletters and emails. 3) Offer classroom volunteer opportunities to families. 4) Leverage technology by offering families access to online tools and apps to see student progress.

How will providing curricula that defines people as oppressors and oppressed based on group identity such as race or sex either help or hinder students in their interactions with the world around them?

Providing curricula that defines people as oppressors and oppressed based on group identity can both help and hinder students’ interactions with the world. Students will develop a deeper awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by other groups. Students may begin to question norms and recognize biases. Alternatively, the curricula may oversimplify the reality and reinforce stereotyping. Focusing solely on one group (oppressors or oppressed) may cause increased division.

In what circumstances would it be considered acceptable for material that contains visual or written depictions of sexual acts to be presented to students in the classroom or in school libraries?

Presenting students with material that contains visual or written depictions of sexual acts would be acceptable in the classroom or in the school library based on the age-appropriate educational goals of the class and only after parental consent is received. Normally these situations occur in health class, while analyzing literature and art or while studying historical and cultural context. Open communication between parents, teachers and students is necessary in order to reach the right balance of learning.