Indian River School District

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This week the Indian River Board of Education is set to grapple with an expected explosion in student enrollment as they look over major capital improvements in the district.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the district says Sussex Central High School is expected to see an increase in student population from around 16-hundred to over 2-thousand by 2024.

In all 11 schools are expected to be over capacity in the next school year.

That includes six elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools.

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Many Delaware schools are partnering with state police and local law enforcement to provide resource officers to patrol the halls.

Some have assigned duties such as controlling outside traffic, maintaining discipline and identifying problems among other duties.

The officers are not school employees.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that other districts have hired retired police officers with the ability to carry a firearm.

The paper reports that Indian River School District has been in the forefront with retired officers patrolling the hall since 2013.

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The Indian River School District is joining with the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center.

They will be promoting two initiatives with brochures that will be sent home with students.

WBOC reports that one is the Smart911 app which provides a safety plan for people’s families and homes.

The other is PulsePoint alert which notifies CPR-trained bystanders to cardiac emergencies.

The app will tell people the location of the person in need and the nearest Automated External Defibrillator for CPR.

Don Rush

The Indian River School District said it is moving ahead with plans to hand the school bus driver shortage.

WBOC reports that Superintendent Mark Steele said the district has been using spare buses to cover four of the district’s routes because one of their contractors lost six its drivers.

The loss affected 240 students.

The television station reported that three of the routes are in Georgetown while the other is in East Millsboro.

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The Indian River School District says it is not dumping students as punishment into the George Washington Carver Academy.

The district is responding to an amended lawsuit by a group that promotes educational opportunities for minorities.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the original suit was filed on behalf of five students who said their rights were being violated under the 14th amendment and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

It has since added two more students to the suit.

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There are more plaintiffs in a discrimination lawsuit against the Indian River School District.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that two families with children in the district have been added to three other individuals who attended George Washington Carvey Academy.

The paper reports that the amended complaint also charges that there was a prison-like environment at the school.

School District Photo

The Indian River School District has a new permanent superintendent.

He is Mark Steele who has been serving on an interim basis.

He has a two year contract that runs through June of 2019.

WBOC reports that he said he sees himself as being a community superintendent pledging to be open and accessible.

Steele has been a teacher and administrator in the district since 1981.

He becomes the sixth superintendent for the district since its creation in 1969.

Don Rush

The Indian River School District Superintendent Mark Steele says his students will get “slammed” under the state budget proposed by Governor John Carney.

He told the Wilmington News Journal that what would hurt the school system most is the decision to cut $22 million in the Education Sustainment budget.

Carney’s budget has also slashed $15 million from the school operating budgets.

For the district the cuts would amount to $1.7 million for the fiscal year of 2018.

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Voters in the Indian River School District gave the thumbs up to a referendum that would raise $7.3 million.

It was approved an overwhelming margin of around 17-hundred votes – that is 7-thousand to 53-hundred.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the district argued that the funds were needed given that its student pollution had grown over 22 percent over the last decade.

The district says it is projected to hit over 10-thousand students by 2026.

The district said that this would save up to 200 jobs.

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Today it’s one more time to the polls in the Indian River School District on a referendum that would raise $7.3 million in property taxes.

The district has argued that it needs the funds to handle the massive growth the district has seen in recent years.

WBOC reports that the district says the money will allow it to hire more teachers and improve security and technology.

In addition, the money would also help fund school programs.

If approved residents would pay an additional 49 cents for $100 of assessed property value.