A report released this week looks at how three high-needs Delaware schools are “beating the odds” by supporting strong instruction and student learning through effective educator support, collaboration and evaluation practices.
Top students at Alvernia University received awards at the annual Honors Convocation on Sunday, April 17. David McDowell of Millsboro earned the Award for Excellence in Social Media Marketing from the English & Communication Department in the College of Arts & Sciences.
Indian River and Sussex Central high schools will implement a new finance and accounting curriculum for the 2016-2017 school year, district officials announced this week.
Shamia Turlington of Millsboro was recently initiated into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Turlington was initiated at Clark Atlanta University.
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).
Melissa Grise, a fourth-grade teacher at John M. Clayton Elementary School, is Indian River School District’s Teacher of the Year for 2016-2017.
The announcement was made at the district’s annual Teacher of the Year celebration on April 15 at the Clubhouse at Baywood Greens. Grise was chosen as the district’s overall winner from a pool of 16 candidates — one from each school.
Sussex Central High School has proven that public schools can lead the state in a prestigious academic competition. This year, SCHS won second place in the 2016 Delaware State Mock Trial Competition.
That’s the highest a Sussex County team has ever advanced in the competition’s 25-year history.
Mock trial puts students in a real courtroom to argue either side of a fictional, but realistic, case.
This year’s fictional criminal trial involved a police officer accused of murder. During two days at New Castle Courthouse, the goal isn’t to win the actual case, but to prove mastery of courtroom proceedings, as judged by real attorneys and justices.
Every team has the same cast of characters, and they compete by arguing different sides of the case against other schools, before an actual Delaware justice. Each student attorney questions one witness from each side.
The Indian River School District will not hold a school board election in 2016, as only one candidate registered for each seat that was up for election this year. The incumbents were uncontested, so their new terms will begin on July 1.
Gerald “Jerry” Peden will begin a four-year term in District No. 2 (north Millsboro and southern Georgetown).
It’s springtime, and Indian River High School musicians are ready to put on a show. They’ll raise the curtains for the annual IR Live! on Friday and Saturday, March 18 and 19.
The 2016 show is called “Spirit of the Radio” and organized “as though somebody is on a car ride and they’re listening to the radio,” said director Nathan Mohler.
Students will be masters of ceremonies, but as disc jockeys, in this revue-style show.
They’ll perform about 24 different acts, including singing, some dance, flag work, instrumentals, mock radio station interviews and more. Performers will lead audiences through old rock, new pop music and even big-band.
The many musical acts whose music is represented — which include Joan Jett, Sarah Bareilles, Josh Groban, Led Zeppelin, Adele and Echosmith — are interlaced with short radio commercials (“That’s the spice to the show,” Mohler said.)
Millsboro Middle School brought it’s A-game to the science fair this week.
Four MMS students won 10 prizes at the 24th Annual Sussex County Science Fair, held March 7 at Delaware Technical Community College.
Conell Bradner, Mackenzie Crozier, Ben Koly and Tessa McDonough were four of about 60 Sussex students competing for 45 prizes. Winning projects on March 7 revolved around music, moon phases, tsunamis, salinity, acid rain, food science, catapults, bacteria and more.
“I hadn’t really been in a science fair, before so I just wanted to test it, see what I can do,” said first-timer Bradner.
“It’s fun to be involved,” Crozier said.
“If you put enough work in, it’ll pay off,” said McDonough, who won a 2015 award, too.
The Lord Baltimore Lions Club recently announced that, again for 2016, the club will award three scholarships to eligible graduating seniors of Indian River High School. Each recipient will receive a one-year scholarship valued at $1,500, toward their freshman year of college.
The Indian River High School’s Leo Club strives to present the community’s youth with opportunities for maturity and involvement through leadership, service and experience. In recent months, the Leo Club has supported the community by aiding neighboring schools and assisting those in need.
Indian River High School recently announced its honor roll students for the second marking period in the 2015-2016 school year.
Students receiving High Honors were:
BART announces scholarship in the arts
The Bethany Area Repertory Theater (BART) this week announced the availability of applications for its 2016 Scholarship in the Arts. An eligible applicant must be a graduating high school student in Sussex County who plans to pursue a higher education degree in the arts. Completed applications are due April 1 for the 2016-2017 academic year.
Besides the classrooms and gymnasiums, most Delaware high schools have the equivalent of a regular doctor’s office. Wellness centers became widespread in Delaware about 20 years ago, under now-U.S. Sen. Tom Carper’s governorship. So Carper toured Indian River High School’s wellness center and met with health staff from across the state on Feb. 17, during National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month.
Teenagers get help with mental and physical health at school wellness centers, staffed with nurse practitioners from local hospitals.
“We live in a very different age today. … We all have different baggage that we carry,” said IRHS Principal Bennett Murray.
Coming from all socioeconomic backgrounds, kids need the wellness center for many reasons.
It’s time to break out those bingo daubers, at the 8th Annual Bingo Fundraiser, hosted by the Indian River High School Band Boosters.
Players can get the thrill of being in a speedy game of bingo on Friday, March 4, at the Millville Volunteer Fire Company’s fire hall, all while supporting the band. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and games start at 7 p.m.
SMS building Lego robotics club to compete statewide
They might have named their team robot “The Terminator.” They might have a “team snack,” and it might be popcorn. But chances are, you probably aren’t as smart as these fifth graders — at least, not when it comes to Lego engineering.
The “Block Busters,” made up primarily of Selbyville Middle School students, is currently in the midst of their inaugural year as members of the First Lego League (FLL), going up against other schools from across the state in Lego-based robotics competitions.
According to coach Chester Boggs — who’s been involved with FLL for nine years — while his squad might be young, so far this season they haven’t looked much like rookies. In fact, the team nearly tripled their score from the first scrimmage of the season to the second and appears on track to add more points at the FLL Challenge.
“We’ve come a long ways,” said Boggs. “We were looking at 129 points the first scrimmage, and they were over 327 at the tournament. They’re on track to be somewhere in the 450 to 490 range.”
One problem to address: three new schools for voter approval
Students are squeezed into conference rooms and shuffled into auditoriums. Teachers are working out of boxes instead of classrooms.
The Indian River School District just needs more space.
District officials have dreamed about a new school for several years, but now they’ve got four new schools on the brain, plus two major additions.
Ponce de Leon would be jealous. The Fountain of Youth was discovered in a new musical, opening soon at Sussex Central High School.
In March, the Take Two Drama Club will debut an original show, “Under,” created by two school district teachers.
The zany comedy was written by David Warick, SCHS drama teacher, with music and lyrics by Eric Tsavdar, Selbyville Middle School music teacher.
In the show, after discovering an elixir of life in Florida in the late 1950s, a billionaire secretly builds the town of Under. Real-life celebrities known for mysterious deaths or disappearances came to this underground utopia.
Here, Marilyn Monroe has become warm and nurturing, Billie Holiday is a wise woman, and James Dean is still cool.
“They have their talent, but they don’t have an audience,” Warick said. “We come in at a time where there’s a lot of problems.”
Art and music will be on display as Indian River High School hosts a lively new concert, mid-winter and mid-week. The Multicultural Art Festival & Concert are free to the public on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at the Dagsboro high school.
Guests can arrive at 6 p.m. for the fine-art exhibit, then be seated for the 6:30 p.m. band and chorus concert.
Millsboro Middle School student Will Kenney, 13, of Delmar and Micah Freer, 18, of Wilmington were recently named Delaware’s top two youth volunteers of 2016 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.
Sussex County is a small place, but it’s not immune to nationwide problems, including military veterans committing suicide. Some young people have been victims, but some of their peers are now pushing for a brighter future.
Richard Pope, 18, founded Operation Yellow Spear in 2015 “to spearhead the assault on veteran suicide through art, love and grace.”
Based in Laurel, his homeless outreach program is attacking the statistics from the ground up.
“Veteran suicide starts with the community they live in and the struggles they face. We’re reaching out to veteran homelessness, because that can lead to suicide,” Pope said.
A Frankford elementary school this week joined the long list of schools being harassed by bomb threats.
Having exceeded a certain number of students enrolled, the Indian River School District is eligible for State funding to hire additional staff, but district officials have instead chosen to use the money for other expenses.
Election will determine reps from Districts 2, 3
Candidates may now file to run in the 2016 school board elections. The Indian River School District has two positions up for election on Tuesday, May 10.
There is a four-year term in District 2 (north Millsboro and southern Georgetown).
There is a two-year term in District 3 (south Millsboro and northern Dagsboro). Terms begin on July 1.
Almost daily bomb threats are weighing heavily on parents, as schools across the Delmarva Peninsula are peppered with (thus far unfounded) bomb threats.
The Indian River School District is encouraging families to remain calm, despite receiving threats at four schools between Jan. 11 and Jan. 20.
To push back against stereotyping, intolerance, racism and bullying, high school students across the region are being encouraged to write and illustrate books that highlight diversity and inclusion.
Strong smell raises concerns, but ‘resolved’
Due to a problem in the school’s swimming pool pump room, the Howard T. Ennis School was briefly evacuated on Tuesday, Dec. 22.
“Apparently, there was a strong burning smell coming out of that pump room, and they were concerned” about the potential for a fire,” said David Maull, Indian River School District spokesperson. “It’s all resolved now.”
Adults who struggle with reading can get a boost at the Frankford Public Library.
To help Sussex County adults with low literacy skills, the library started a free reading program through Literacy Volunteers Serving Adults (LVSA).