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Schools Closed Remainder of Academic Year
Schools Closed for Remainder of Academic Year
Posted on 04/24/2020
In accordance with Gov. Carney’s directive of April 24, 2020, all Indian River School District schools will now be closed for the remainder of the academic year. The district’s remote learning plan will continue. Please see letter below from Superintendent Mark Steele.

April 24, 2020

Indian River School District Parents & Staff: 


This afternoon Governor Carney announced that students will not be returning to school on May 18th as originally hoped.  Due to the continuing COVID health crisis, school buildings will remain closed through the end of this academic school year.  Although the announcement came this afternoon, we have been planning for this possibility since schools were closed back on March 16, 2020.  We began with a phase I plan for the first three weeks and have since moved to our phase II plan earlier this week.  Our staff will be working with our schools to roll out our phase III plan within the next few weeks. Sadly, this closure also means that all scheduled calendar events and athletic events are cancelled for the remainder of the school year. 

I do want to address a few questions that I am sure many of you may have:  

1) Will school graduations still occur?  On Monday evening, our Board will be asked to approve calendar changes for this school year.  These calendar changes are necessary due to the amount of time lost in the classroom.  The Board will approve dates regarding the end of the school year, as well as, graduation dates.  We are currently working with our high school principals to plan and organize an event so that we can recognize this milestone for our students and parents.  Unfortunately, this will not be a traditional graduation due to the restrictions on social gatherings. I anticipate the event will have to be conducted remotely for everyone’s safety.  Once these plans are finalized, we will share them with everyone.

2) How will the next phase of remote learning be different?  We are in the process of putting the final updates to our phase III remote learning model.  Once complete, there will be a seamless transition into the third and final phase.  Our goal from the onset of remote learning has been to have all of our students ready for the next grade level.  Our goal will not change and the phase III model will help us successfully achieve this goal.  It is imperative that every student participate in the remote learning plan.

The decision was an exceptionally difficult one for the Governor to make. His goal, and ours, is to do whatever we can to prevent the spread of the virus and make sure we get back to business as usual as quickly as possible while keeping our community healthy.  We are now seeing significant spread of the virus in Sussex County, especially in the Georgetown and Millsboro areas of our school district. 

Both phases of our remote learning plan have been successful.  I simply cannot express my gratitude to our school staffs for all they have done in preparing and making this a valuable learning experience for all of our students.  We will reach our goal and your child will be ready to move to the next grade level by the end of the school year.

We will be sending out information regarding changes to the school calendar after Monday evening’s Board meeting.  We have all faced hard times at some point in our lives and now we are all facing a pandemic that has changed the way we go about our daily lives.  It is important at this time that we work together to make sure that our children have the opportunity to continue to learn and grow. Please help us make sure that we reach our goal.

Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely, 

Mark L. Steele  
Superintendent