Indian River School District
Overwhelmed LB turned to paper ballots
Voters were waiting in line before the polls even opened March 2 at six schools in the Indian River School District. But despite the long lines and a last-minute switch to paper votes, and with a lot of public debate, 57 percent of the public voted to approve IRSD’s current-expense referendum.
“Above and beyond” were the words most frequently used to describe 17 individuals who were named Special Education Ambassadors this week.
The Indian River School District honored educators who serve as role models for their colleagues while promoting a positive message of inclusiveness for students with disabilities.
“Ambassadors will be those who clearly support a mission to allow students identified with disabilities to become emotionally, socially and academically successful learners ready to fulfill their lifelong goals,” according to IRSD officials.
“[These are] folks in our schools who really make it possible for our students to achieve their goals,” said IRSD Board Member Heather Statler.
About three months after the Delaware Auditor of Accounts released a biting financial report on Indian River School District, the AOA this week commended the district for improving its financial policies.
IRSD officials have been working to correct the alleged misuse of funds, poor oversight, nepotism and other faults the AOA perceived within IRSD’s finances.
Local polls will open on Thursday, March 2, for the Indian River School District’s current-expense referendum.
Comparing it to the November 2016 referendum, which failed by 20 votes, IRSD Acting Superintendent Mark Steele said, “We’re still asking you for the same 49 cents,” but the expenses have been restructured.
Lord Baltimore Elementary School students were able to do something a little unorthodox last week, as students were able to duct tape Assistant Principal Matthew Keller to a wall.
The students had participated in “Penny Wars” for two weeks to help raise funds for a new school sign.
“We had the grade levels compete against each other to bring in change — pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters. Some students even brought in bills,” said Jennifer Lovellette, president of the school’s PTO. “Each cent was worth one point... The grade level that brought in the most money won the Penny Wars.”
The students raised a little more than $2,800, which Lovellette said was likely driven by the prize the winning grade would receive.
“They were able to duct tape the assistant principal, Mr. Keller, to the wall, which was fantastic.”
The first grade won the Penny Wars, and Keller, being a good sport, spent his afternoon taped to a wall.
“It was such a great event,” said Lovellette. “He was taped to a wall in the cafeteria. We had mats stacked up, so he was able to stand on the mats and then the PTO officers started by putting a couple of larger pieces of tape around him, just to start it, just to make sure he was secure to the wall. We had fun, different duct tapes — Gummie Bears, Minions — cut into pieces.
Former Indian River School District chief financial officer Patrick Miller has been accused of nepotism, mismanagement of funds, authorizing payments to other nonprofit organizations he leads, improperly using the IRDS board president’s signature and potentially intimidating staff into sharing their financial software passwords to bypass financial safeguards.
An Indian River High School health teacher was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 18, for allegedly trying to prevent a meeting between school administrators and another district employee. Delaware State Police arrested Paris D. Mitchell, 41, of Milton, on one count of coercion.
With Indian River School District superintendent Susan Bunting having been confirmed this week as the new Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education, the district was facing a vacancy in a vital post during a tense time at one of the fastest-growing districts in the state.
The Indian River Volunteer Fire Company this week responded to the Indian River School District’s request for the reimbursement of $4,900 related to two items that were the subject of questions under a recent State audit of the district’s accounts.
What is the tallest mountain in Africa? Which country produces the most coffee beans? What is the capital of Iowa?
It’s either the most famous romance of all time, or the silliest. A love story between two teenagers, ages 14 and 17, “Romeo & Juliet” now has modern-day teenagers calling out their literary counterparts out for being a bit overdramatic. And Indian River High School’s new Drama Club is plunging in with its first full production, taking on William Shakespeare’s classic romantic tragedy.
To top it all off, “Romeo & Juliet,” coming at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3 and 4, may be the first drama production at IRHS in decades. Tickets cost $5 each. Guests can bring extra money for the concession stand at intermission. Indian River High School is located at 29772 Armory Road, Dagsboro.
It’s time for IR’s “hidden talent” to display their acting skills, said English teacher and director Sadie Andros.
The Indian River School District will not have a school board election this spring. This time, it’s none because there aren’t enough candidates — it’s because none of the seats are even up for election.
The Indian River School District may be sending another education leader to the state level. This time, it’s for the big chair.
IRSD Superintendent Susan Bunting is to be nominated for Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education. On Dec. 30, Gov.-elect John Carney announced his intent to nominate Bunting for his cabinet to lead Delaware for the next four years.
“It’s been an absolute privilege to be in this district for the length of time that I’ve been here. It’s a very tough decision to go, but I’m hoping to help more people,” Bunting said. Ultimately, the students have been “at the heart of everything” she has done.
Bunting has served as Indian River School District superintendent since 2006, currently responsible for more than 10,000 students and more than 1,300 employees — one of the state’s biggest and fastest-growing school districts.
The Delaware State Police on Thursday afternoon were investigating a bomb threat that was called into the Long Neck Elementary School at 26064 School Lane this afternoon.
Gov.-elect John Carney is building his cabinet to lead Delaware for the next four years. On Dec. 30, he announced his intent to nominate Selbyville’s Susan Bunting as Secretary of the Department of Education.
District expects nearly $1M in state budget cuts
After their recent referendum failed by a mere 20 votes, Indian River School District officials are ready to try again. The school board this week approved holding a second current-expense referendum on Thursday, March 2, (inclement weather date, March 16), in hopes of having at least slightly better success.
New Ennis would be entirely State-funded
The Indian River School District’s major challenges all stem from student enrollment. It’s growing faster than the money and buildings can keep up.
• The Bethany Beach Town Council has canceled its December meeting.
• Bethany Beach Town Hall will be closed Dec. 23-26 for Christmas and Jan. 2 for New Year’s Day.
SCHS presents classic show, plus children’s party
Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s classic fairytale story is coming to the stage at Sussex Central High School, as, for one weekend, the SCHS Take Two Drama Club will present “Cinderella.”
The show will be Friday and Saturday, Dec. 16 and 17, at 7 p.m., with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m.
“The classic fairytale has been turned into a moving, funny and magical story with a great score and a beautiful message about making your own pathway in life,” according to David Warick, director and SCHS drama instructor.
General admission costs $8 at the door. Students, seniors and military pay $5. Middle school students with ID are admitted on a special two-for-one ticket for $5. No one will be turned away for inability to pay. The box office opens at 1 p.m. for the matinee and 5:30 p.m. for the evening performances.
Accused of racial discrimination at George Washington Carver Academy, the Indian River School district submitted its official response on Dec. 5, denying all claims of intentional wrongdoing at the alternative school.
Children across the land have been preparing for the upcoming slate of holiday concerts almost as diligently as they’ve worked on their lists for Santa. Horns are tooting, drummers are drumming and singers are tuning their pipes in anticipation of the chance to shine in front of their families and friends and spread some holiday cheer while they’re at it.
Usually, a traffic jam leads to inconvenience. But on Nov. 2, Ronna Cobb caused a traffic jam to save a life.
Cobb was on the road around 7 a.m. that morning. As a Phillip C. Showell Elementary School paraprofessional and bus driver, she was performing the first half of her regular duties.
She was driving in Selbyville around the same time as police officer Laurence “Larry” Corrigan.
Every vote counts on the local level. On Tuesday, Nov. 22, Indian River School District’s current expense referendum was defeated by a margin of 20 votes.
At the G.W. Carver Center in Frankford on Nov. 18, the APELL (Advancing Proficiency of English Language Learners) staff was thankful for community.
With local residents coming together to not only donate, but volunteer, that’s how they were able to put on their second annual Thanksgiving feast for immigrant students, introducing most of them to their first traditional Thanksgiving with a celebratory feast.
“I think it was wonderful to see so many people involved with trying to make the kids have a welcoming first Thanksgiving in our country,” said Lori Ott, who teaches English and serves as the program’s unofficial “lead teacher” after 22 years in the district.
“The students really appreciated it, and I think the volunteers really enjoyed getting to meet the students. Even though there were language barriers, you could still see them communicating.”
Problems can be ‘easily fixed,’ Wagner says
Many Indian River School District staff and residents were holding their breaths this week in anticipation of the Delaware Auditor of Accounts’ report on the district, which was released Nov. 17.
The good news? The problems are easily fixed, said Delaware State Auditor R. Thomas Wagner Jr.
District goes back to the drawing board
On the local level, every vote counts. On Tuesday, Nov. 22, the Indian River School District’s current-expense referendum was defeated by a margin of just 20 votes.
Audit to be released Nov. 17
The Indian River School District is asking taxpayers to think local when it comes to funding education. The public will vote in a Nov. 22 referendum on whether to approve a 49-cent increase in the local tax rate — primarily to keep up with skyrocketing student enrollment.
It was a Murphy’s Law kind of night for the Indian River High School soccer team, to say the least.
Any book will do. When Nichele Lobo invites special guests to read to her third-grade classroom, she doesn’t care which book they choose.
“If you’re reading something you enjoy … [you’ll] bring it to life,” said Lobo, a teacher at Southern Delaware School of the Arts.
Because students didn’t have school in mid-November, Lobo’s class celebrated National Young Readers Week a week early. That meant a week’s worth of special guests, sharing new stories with both third-grade classes.
Guests bring a book that is special to themselves or their own children. The students connect the stories to their own lives and classroom lessons.