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An Important Letter from Mark Steele
An Important Letter from Mark Steele
Posted on 03/24/2020

March 24, 2020

IRSD Parents and Staff,

Late yesterday afternoon, Governor John Carney released an order that will extend school closures through May 15, 2020.  The Governor also confirmed that the school calendar would not extend beyond June 30, 2020.  The letter that we received is posted below.

GOV. CARNEY LETTER (ENGLISH)

GOV. CARNEY LETTER (SPANISH)  

Other important items addressed in his letter included:

  • Student access to meals continues to be a commitment.  Please continue to monitor our website for any changes to meal distribution locations.
  • School calendars will be adjusted to extend beyond the scheduled end date; however, Dr. Susan Bunting will recommend forgiveness to the State Board of Education so that no district or charter would go beyond June 30, 2020.
  • District and charters are approved to create remote instruction plans so students can continue to learn during this crisis.  The Department of Education has also posted a list of learning activities on their website https://www.doe.k12.de.us/domain/599#learning_activities.
  • We will continue to offer counseling and mental health support to our students through the Student Services Hotline (302-604-2121) and our high school Wellness Centers.  Indian River High School Wellness Center can be reached at 302-732-3680 and Sussex Central Wellness Center at 302-934-5962.
  • Delaware Department of Education submitted a waiver to the U.S. Department of Education requesting exemption from assessment and accountability requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. 

Our instructional team has posted a COVID-19 Contingency Instructional Plan on our district website.  Students with internet access can access Khan Academy, Achieve3000, Dreambox, i-Ready and Benchmark.  Our schools have also created materials for students who do not have internet or technology access at home.  The instructional packets are located in waterproof containers and are available to be picked up at your child’s school.  We strongly encourage all parents to make sure that your children utilize these instructional activities daily.

Over the next few weeks, we will be conducting a survey to find out how many of our families have access to technology and the internet.  It is critical that you participate in this survey.  Our plan is to continue with the instruction that is now being provided through April 20, 2020.  Our instructional team is now working with building principals and teachers to design an online instructional plan that will enable our district to provide new instruction for students up through May 15, 2020.  This is going to require significant work on the parts of our district instructional team and school instructional staff.  This is new unchartered territory and we know we are going to face barriers along the way but we are committed to providing your children the best education possible under these circumstances. We will continue to keep you updated on any future changes.

Sincerely,

Mark L. Steele, Superintendent

31 Hosier Street

Selbyville, DE  19975

(302) 436-1000