Indian River School District
Special education is “an ever-evolving specialty,” said Heather Statler, who has dedicated her career to the subject. Now, this Indian River School District board member is chairing the new Special Education Task Force, which will review the district’s entire special-ed program.
In our Aug. 12 article “IR educator: Teachers undermined as parents demand special treatment,” we referenced the IRSD board’s decision-making on additional admissions to the East Millsboro Elementary School Spanish Immersion program. The four students who were recommended did go through the lottery process with all applicants.
More than four dozen students at Lord Baltimore Elementary School will receive backpacks filled with school supplies to start their school year, thanks to the efforts of a group of local women.
The idea for the backpack project came about as a group of women who live in the Bishop’s Landing development collected their usual money for local charities during their monthly luncheon. The women decided that they wanted to contribute backpacks and came up with filling 50 packs as their goal.
First, the backpacks themselves were purchased, and into each one was placed a supplies list for one of the grades at Lord Baltimore, which encompasses kindergarten through fifth grade. The individual backpacks were then taken by households in Bishop’s Landing and filled with everything from dry erase markers to earbuds.
Schools in the Indian River District will host a series of open houses in the coming weeks.
Open houses are designed to allow students and parents to meet teachers and staff, view class lists and tour school buildings. A number of schools will host multiple sessions during a three-day period, with each session catering to a different grade level.
Every school year brings new faces to the classroom, and the Indian River School District has a handful of new administrators leading local education for the 2016-2017 school year.
Indian River High School is welcoming two new assistant principals, Chad Moletress and Laretha Payton, who filled vacancies left by Corey Heacock and Justin Miller.
Teachers are trusted to manage classrooms, from grades to discipline. But when parents are unhappy with a teacher’s decision, they’re sometimes taking advantage of the system, according one local teacher.
At Indian River High School, students aren’t getting equal treatment when parents demand that the administration intervene, said physical education teacher Wendy Megee.
This year, 10 students of all ages won college scholarships from the Indian River High School Alumni Association.
The group far surpassed their original goal of awarding four IR Pride Scholarships, which were presented to college students and to recent high school graduates at their Aug. 1 meeting.
Five recent grads won the $1,000 IR Pride Scholarship; four alumni won the $500 IR Pride Scholarships for Current Alumni; and one grad won a special memorial scholarship of $3,150.
The award celebrates school spirit, beyond the usual academics or athletics.
The Indian River School District recently announced its adult education course offerings for the fall of 2016. They can now be viewed online at irsd.net.
Fall 2016 courses for youth include:
• Babysitting Course by Delaware Safety Council (ages 11-16): Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 17-18, 5-7 p.m., $50, Southern Delaware School of the Arts library. Advance registration required.
The Indian River School District is continuing to produce new episodes of its “IRSD Spotlight” podcast. The episodes can be accessed free of charge through iTunes, soundcloud.com, the district website at irsd.net and several mobile podcast apps.
The Indian River School District’s new dress code policy is using broader terms and leaving some wiggle room for the beach’s favorite footwear: flip-flops.
After helping the Indian River School District with financial tasks during the past few months, Jeannette “Jan” Steele will now officially take the helm as the IRSD’s new director of business. She’ll finish an eight-year tenure as chief operating officer at Delmar School District before taking on the new role in the IRSD.
Miller wins LB Teacher of the Year
Surrounded by small desks and chairs, Amanda Miller lights up when she talks about teaching.
Her joy and professionalism combined to make her Lord Baltimore Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year for 2016-2017.
“You only need to spend a short time with Mrs. Miller to learn that she cares very deeply about being an educator and strives to give her very best to her students each and every day,” according to Principal Pam Webb.
“Teaching isn’t just reading, writing and arithmetic anymore. We teach respect and socialization and how to get along with others … so time can be a challenge, fitting all those things in,” Miller said.
When students graduate from high school, they have decades of life still ahead of them. Indian River High School is again honoring alumni who have made the IRHS family proud with the 2016 Hall of Fame inductions.
Usually, there is just one inductee each year, but this year, two alumni were honored for their service to the community: Vincent E. Mumford (1983) in sports leadership and V. Graig Temple (1993) in emergency services.
“We are looking for high standards and representation up there, so to see two this year is incredible,” Principal Bennett Murray said at the May 25 graduating senior awards night. “There’s so many great Indian River High School alumni — not only in our area, but throughout the nation and world — giving back in [many] ways,” Murray said.
The Indian River High School Alumni Association re-started the Hall of Fame in 2013, honoring grads who have made significant achievements their professional lives and noteworthy contributions to society. They hope that will help inspire the next generation of students.
Hundreds of smiles, and a few tears, filled the football stadium at Indian River High School’s 47th commencement on May 30.
Principal Bennett Murray congratulated the 193 graduates of the Class of 2016. In that diverse group, everyone is going somewhere different: 86 percent to post-secondary schools, 2 percent into the military and 11 percent into the workforce.
Audit began around time of Miller’s administrative leave
After being placed on administrative leave, Indian River School District’s longtime chief financial officer has announced his retirement from the district. That announcement came amidst the news that the IRSD is undergoing a financial audit by the Delaware State Auditor of Accounts, R. Thomas Wagner Jr.
Money doesn’t grow on trees, but it’s often found on cereal boxes.
Local schools are making easy money through Box Tops for Education and Labels for Education. People just need to clip the labels from specially-marked grocery products and drop them off at their favorite school. The box tops are redeemable for money or gift vouchers.
“You’d be surprised how much those little box tops help,” said teacher Jennifer Hitchens, who keeps a collection jar on her desk at Selbyville Middle School.
“It’s what we use for everything,” Hitchens said, such as field trips, learning supplies or holiday gift-giving for students in need.
Each year, the Fenwick Island Lions Club sets aside a significant percentage of its annual budget in order to recognize the achievements of outstanding seniors at Indian River High School. But, this year, the Lions had a particularly difficult time deciding the recipients, they said, as a result of tight funds and an extraordinary group of applicants.
Indian River High School recently celebrated Students of the Month for March and April of the 2015-2016 school year.
On Thursday, May 19, the Indian River High School Music Department held its annual Music Awards ceremony in the IRHS auditorium. At the ceremony, two graduating seniors were awarded scholarships totaling $3,000.
The Delaware State Police are currently investigating bomb threats that they said were called in to four area schools this morning.
Police said the first incident occurred around 11:09 a.m. this morning, Monday, May 23, when an unknown male suspect allegedly called East Millsboro Elementary School, located at 29346 Iron Branch Road, Millsboro, and advised that a bomb was at the school.
Brooke Beam has collected just about every individual accolade there is to collect during her storied soccer career.
The senior forward has earned First-Team All-Conference and All-State honors every year since arriving at Indian River High School for her freshman season. As a junior, she was named to the state’s Top XI list. And, recently, she became the Indians’ all-time leading scorer, as the first soccer player in school history to eclipse the 100-goals mark.
But there was still one thing that Beam hadn’t accomplished — something that she’d made a personal goal ever since stepping foot in the gym at IR some four years ago, a starry-eyed freshman looking up at banners for legendary IR athletes Jamie Jarmon and Caitlin Forte.
Little did she know then that one day she’d have a banner of her own hanging in the rafters, as last Tuesday, Beam became only the third athlete in Indian River High School history to be named a Gatorade Player of the Year.
A recent school fire only resulted a few hours of lost instructional time.
Lord Baltimore Elementary School suffered a small electrical fire on Friday, May 6, at 11:52 a.m. in a heating panel on the second floor of the school.
With those wires mostly producing smoke, it was barely a fire, said Indian River School District spokesperson David Maull.
“It was producing smoke on the second floor, so they went ahead and evacuated the building and called the fire department,” Maull said.
The fire was extinguished by the time the Millville Volunteer Fire Company arrived.
Hundreds of students stood outside in a light but persistent rain. But they were being ushered into the gymnasium by 12:15 p.m.
The Indian River High School girls’ soccer team’s seniors have definitely seen their fair share of firsts since their days starting out at the River Soccer Club.
As eighth-graders, they put together Selbyville Middle School’s first-ever undefeated season for girls’ soccer. When they got to the high school, they helped win the girls’ program’s first Henlopen Conference championship as sophomores. Then, as juniors, they made history again as the first girls’ soccer team to make it all the way to the state championship game.
While they’re hoping to add another first to the list and finally bring home the title as seniors, on Thursday, May 6, they took the field at Indian River High School soccer stadium like they have plenty of times before — only, this time, it would be their last.
“It’s bittersweet having our last game here ever for high school,” said senior Kayla McCarra after Senior Night ceremonies and the 9-0 win over Sussex Academy.
“There’s so many good memories that we’ve made on this field together,” said a teary-eyed Emma Engel, with a laugh. “I’ll cry if I start talking about it, so somebody else say something.”
Headed into their Tuesday, May 10, matchup against Cape Henlopen, the Indian River High School baseball team was riding a three-game win streak. A 19-4 victory against Laurel and comebacks against Seaford and Woodbridge had the Indians looking to keep things rolling.
Fresh off a state championship appearance last season, Cape’s Vikings had other ideas, however, keeping the IR bats at bay and notching a 6-0 victory.
“They battled today,” said head coach Chris Megee of his Indians squad. “That’s a good team. That’s a team that was in the state championship last year and really didn’t lose too many people.”
After jumping out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning, a seasoned Cape squad tacked on runs throughout the game, pushing the lead to 3-0 in the top of the fourth and adding three late scores to cap the shutout.
The bats were hot for the Indian River High School softball team during their matchup against Cape Henlopen on Tuesday, May 10. But as the game went on, the Vikings’ bats were hotter, as they came back to take down the Indians 6-4.
“After the first inning, we chose to revert back to chasing the pitcher’s pitches, instead of using the philosophy of hitting our own, and that hurt us,” said head coach Erika Brittingham of the late struggle at the plate.
“I knew they had a few good hitters. We all knew that coming in. We knew they were a good hitting team, but so are we,” added junior shortstop McKenzie Collins. “We just made some mistakes that we shouldn’t have.”
Sophomore pitcher Marley Evans got the start in the circle, getting a quick three outs on four Cape batters to close the top of the first inning.
The students of the Indian River High School Business Professionals of America (BPA) and Future Farmers of America (FFA) will walk, jog and run to raise funds for the school, which is introducing a program called My School Color Run (MSCR).
The Indian River School District Community Education Department is offering a Summer Field Hockey Camp for girls ages 8-14 at Millsboro Middle School from Monday, June 20, through Thursday, June 23. Sessions will be held each day from 8 to 11 a.m.
The registration fee is $25 for those who sign up by the May 27 deadline. Late registration costs $35.
The Indian River School District has pulled its longtime chief financial officer out of the office.
The Delaware Department of Education has awarded four new 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) program grants under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, including one to the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension 4-H at the Indian River School District’s Phillip C. Showell Elementary School and Hickory Tree Center (also, John M.
Sussex Academy recently announced the names of students who named to the school’s Honor Roll for the third marking period of the 2015-2016 school year. They include:
• Sixth-grade Distinguished (A) Honor Roll — Michael Daniello, Emily Simon.