The Connection

Connecting you to the School District of Indian River County

Welcome to the Connection!

Welcome to The Connection, our new weekly newsletter connecting you to important news, events, and activities happening in the School District of Indian River County. This newsletter will highlight events throughout all grade levels and include district news. We are looking forward to your input in The Connection and hope that you will submit important news and information to be considered for publishing. Please email to submit potential highlights.

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Happy Holidays from the School District of Indian River County! Please note that the District Office will be closed from Monday, December 24- Tuesday, January 1, 2019. Schools will be closed starting on Monday, December 24-welcoming teachers back for a workday on Monday, January 7, and welcoming students back to the classroom on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. Have a wonderful and safe winter break spending time with your families and friends!

SDIRC Graduation Rates Hit Historic High

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On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, The Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) released student graduation rates for the 2017-18 school year. Indian River County improved its graduation rate by almost 5 points; increasing from 87.1% in 2016-2017 to 92% in 2017-2018. This exceeds the State of Florida’s graduation rate by almost 6 percentage points. Also, for the first time in the history our school district, all three of our high schools, Indian River Charter High, Sebastian River High School, and Vero Beach High School are above a 90% graduation rate. Thank you to the students, teachers,guidance counselors, graduation coaches, families, and community partnerships within our district for pouring love and support into our students every day.
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Osceola Magnet School Recognized by Florida Department of Education

Congrats to Osceola Magnet School! This week, The Florida Department of Education recognized Osceola for having the highest participation percentage in the STATE on Dad's Take Your Child to School Day! Along with a recorded message from the Chancellor of K-12 Education, Hershel Lyons, they received a check for $1,000!

give, grab, grub event with Publix and the Education Foundation

On Wednesday, approximately 150 teachers participated in Give – Grab – Grub over at the Support Services Complex. Teachers donated non-perishable goods to GIVE back to the community, for we were able to fill several boxes with food items for Indian River County families in need this season. Publix graciously donated a plethora of school supplies for our classrooms throughout the district (GRAB), and two food vendors were on site selling lunch (GRUB). It was an amazing event, and we are grateful to Publix Supermarkets for supporting our schools.

Student Spotlight: Alexa Magana, Fellsmere Elementary School

Fellsmere Elementary student, Alexa Magana, was selected as student of the month for Florida Arts4All. FL Arts4All awards students with disabilities in the visual arts. She received her trophy from Mary-Therese Vanhollenbeck and Sara DiPardo, the music teacher who nominated her.
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Alexa with Mary-Therese Vanhollenbeck and her music teacher, Sara DiPardo

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Alexa with her parents

Gifford Middle Welcomes Back Alumna and M.I.T. Graduate

A Gifford Middle School (GMS) Alumna spent two days of her vacation speaking with GMS eighth graders to get them excited about science!

Ashley Villars attended Glendale Elementary, Gifford Middle School, and Vero Beach High School. In her words, “Gifford was my first exposure to many sciences, and I think my love of science really bloomed as a result of Gifford's gifted science classes.”

As an eighth grader, she read a book by Neil Degrasse Tyson that got her interested in astrophysics. She also became involved with Mu Alpha Theta and Mighty Mu. Her coach, Mrs. Presti, encouraged her to continue with Mu Alpha Theta at VBHS. She remained an active Mu Alpha Theta participant throughout high school.
Ashley’s dual interests in science and math led her to M.I.T. where she graduated with a major in physics and a minor in math. Currently, she is an astrophysics PhD student at Harvard. Specifically, she studies the explosive deaths of stars called "supernovae".

The students enjoyed hearing about her journey from Gifford to Harvard, but, they were most excited about her research on stars. She described a “typical” day as a scientist, as well as not so typical days, when she traveled to remote locations to stay up all night looking at the sky through a telescope. They were also impressed to learn that worldwide, there are not many scientists that research supernovae.

How fortunate the GMS family is that our alumni are willing to come back to GMS to encourage a new batch of potential scientists!

SDIRC Recognizes Nurses and Health Assistants

Life-Time Achievement Award: Dorothy Hall-Osceola Magnet School

Dorothy Hall has dedicated 27 years of service to providing compassionate and competent care to students of Indian River County. She is an example of outstanding customer service and team work. When we reached out to her to be a potential school site for a State audit, we knew her health room would be not just be in compliance, but would be an exemplary example of a standardized and organized health room. Dorothy always provides a great screening environment for students, staff, and volunteers.

Best Screening Award: Sherry Clark-McFolley-Rosewood Magnet School

Sherry Clark-McFolley is a health assistant who is always on top of her game when organizing a healthcare event. This year was not any different, as her screening had an excellent work space and her hospitality did not go unnoticed. Sherry was recognized for coordinating a highly successful and organized flu shot clinic with the highest percentage of students vaccinated. Her coordination with her teachers and staff shows in every event. Sherry is always prepared and has a smile on her face.

Outstanding Performance Award: Camille Adams-Treasure Coast Elementary

Camille has a very organized, well-run, and clean health room. She is very efficient and manages her students well. Camille has excellent rapport with parents and teachers, and is committed to team work and relationship building. She is always willing to take time and help another health assistant, and is very involved in community outreach to youth. Camille is a genuinely caring and compassionate individual and touches many lives.

Health Assistant of the Year: Colleen Keat, L.P.N.-Gifford Middle School

The moment I met this nurse, I knew she could be placed in practically any situation and handle it well. I had faith in her abilities from the moment I met her.

She works closely with students and families to link them to community resources. She sees the whole child, not just an abrasion on a knee. She takes pride in her work and can be relied on to give all she has to give. She truly takes pride in her screenings and does a wonderful job organizing ahead of time. She is a great multi-tasker. She is a well-respected and valued member of her school. Colleen has a big heart for her students and the lives she touches. Colleen is truly an asset to Gifford Middle School, the Indian River School District, and School Health.

Physical Plant Staff Members go Above and Beyond

Two Physical Plant staff members are being recognized for going above and beyond in responding to an after-hour event at Liberty Magnet last week. Jim Alderson, Plant Operator, was contacted by the school concerning a broken pipe outside the building after school hours. Jim immediately took the appropriate action to notify our in-house plumber, Brian Murano, and our outside vendor Meeks Plumbing to mobilize, contain, and repair the broken main water line. Jim and Brian also began the Boil Water Notice protocols of bagging water coolers before students arrived for school on Friday. The quick action of Jim Alderson and Brian Murano to respond to this incident is commendable and another example of the dedication these two individuals have for serving the needs of the students, staff, and visitors in our schools. Thank you, Jim and Brian!

Sebastian River High School Offers Holiday Gift Wrapping

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The SRHS-FBLA Program is providing their Annual Gift Wrapping Service at the Vero Beach Outlets through Christmas Eve! Please help us spread the word to your family and friends to support our SRHS students!

Veteran of the Month: Peter Sayles

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Peter and his wife, Gail

Peter Sayles, United States Marine Corps, Combat Veteran of the Vietnam War.

Peter is the facilitator of the "Toys for Tots" program for North Indian River County. Peter is also President of the Victory Center Military Store at the Indian River Mall. The Victory Center is a non-profit store, whose profits are used to pay for a gathering place for veterans at the mall. Thank you for your service, Mr. Sayles!

Textbook Adoption Information

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Magnet School registration

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The School District of Indian River County will be accepting magnet school applications between December 1, 2018, and February 1, 2019, for the kindergarten classes of 2019 – 2020. In order to enter kindergarten for the next school year, students must be 5 years old on or before September 1, 2019. Applications will be accepted until February 1, 2019, at 5 p.m. Kindergarten slots are filled by a lottery conducted in mid February. Families may indicate only ONE choice of a magnet school. The three magnet schools in Indian River County are Osceola Magnet, with a math and science focus; Rosewood Magnet, with a Core-Knowledge curriculum; and Liberty Magnet, with an international studies focus. Families who apply for their student to attend a magnet school must agree to follow the requirements of the Magnet School Commitments. Applications can be picked up at the School District office at 6500 57th Street or any of the magnet schools.

Student applications will be given a computer generated number to determine their rank in the lottery. Families will be notified by mail of their acceptance or non-acceptance. Kindergarten siblings of students currently attending one of the three magnet schools will automatically be accepted, if they have an application on file by 5:00 pm on February 1, 2019.

SDIRC Job Fair

SDIRC cordially invites you to participate in our 2019 SDIRC Teacher Job Fair on Wednesday, February 12, 2019, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
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December's Casual for a Cause

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The Salvation Army exists to meet human need wherever, whenever, and however we can. When you give locally, you ensure that the people in your community get the help they need.

From family tracing to disaster response, The Salvation Army offers a wide variety of services worldwide.

Addiction Dependency
For those in need, the Salvation Army runs a number of addiction rehabilitation programs. We believe in taking the holistic approach, not just helping the client to overcome their addiction, but attacking the roots of that addiction.

Emergency Response
From sites of natural and man-made disasters to places of human conflict, the Salvation Army is there to provide compassion and practical support to those in real and sudden need.

For almost as long as The Salvation Army has existed, it has operated hospitals and clinics in some of the most needy areas of the world. That remains true today. The Salvation Army’s medical services are most effective, influential, and sustainable when they link to health-related community development, which gives local people the opportunity to participate.

International Projects
International Project and Development Services (IPDS) seeks to equip all Salvation Army centers to be catalysts of sustainable change in their communities. IPDS works though a culture of listening to the voices of the local community and then seeking to assist the aspirations of the community to be realized.

Social Work
The Salvation Army is one of the largest social care providers in the world. There are social programs running in almost every country we operate in.

support education tags available now!

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It's official! The new design of the Support Education license plate is available now! The main branch of the Tax Collector's office has 19 to sell.

Each time a tag is sold $20 goes toward the Education Foundation of Indian River County to fund classroom and school grants!

The full release was on December 14th. Hurry, and buy your plate today!


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The Vero Beach High School Wrestling Program is offering a FREE Program for any youth in the Indian River School District between the ages of 7 and 14.

Registration began on Monday, December 17th, 2018.

The Program is designed to teach Student Athlete techniques in the area of Wrestling. The program is free. The wrestlers will be responsible for registration, wrestling shoes, and headgear.

The program will run two days per week and will start Tuesday, January 8th, and run on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The program is free of charge.

If you have any questions, you can contact Ken Colao, Head Wrestling Coach, at 914-456-7475 or at

2018-19 Tomahawk Wrestling Program

Registration began on: Monday, December 17 ,2018

Who can Register: Any Indian River School District Student, ages 7 - 14

Cost: Free

Learning Ally for Students with disabilities and reading accommodations plans

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fortifyFL security app

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We are pleased to announce that the FortifyFL app is LIVE. Now, any student, educator, parent, or member of the public can report school safety concerns directly to law enforcement and school administrators anonymously and easily through the FortifyFL app or The app, which is available for download on Apple and Android mobile devices, is critical to ensuring all Florida schools are safe environments where students and educators can experience and share the joy of learning without fear. We hope that you will become familiar with this tool and help us spread the word about it with our students and their families. Please note that the official app’s logo will look exactly as it does in the graphic above.

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The Reading Scholarship, administered by Step Up For Students, was created to help public school students in third through fifth grade who scored a 1 or 2 on their English Language Arts FSA. The program offers parents access to education savings accounts, worth $500 each, to pay for tuition and fees related to part-time tutoring, summer and after-school literacy programs, instructional materials, and curriculum related to reading or literacy.
The scholarships are worth $500 each and can be used for reimbursement for the following:
*Tuition and fees for part-time tutoring provided by a person who holds a valid Florida educator’s certificate, a baccalaureate or graduate degree in the subject, an adjunct teaching certificate, or has demonstrated mastery of the subject area knowledge.
*Fees for summer education programs designed to improve reading or literacy skills.
*Fees for after-school education programs designed to improve reading or literacy skills.
*Instructional materials and curriculum related to reading or literacy.
Click to apply:

IRCSO Tips Hotline and School Tips Email

Thank you to the Indian River County Sheriff's Office and all local law enforcement agencies for your partnership with the SDIRC, and your dedication to keeping our students, teachers, and staff members safe.
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School information

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Virtual Backpack

In an effort to save resources and time required by school staff to sort and handle flyers, approved flyers will be posted on this page. Posting of flyers does not imply endorsement or recommendation by the School District of Indian River County.

School District of Indian River County's Strategic Plan

Click below to see our District's Strategic Plan

Follow Us!

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Superintendent's Workshop

Tuesday, Jan. 15th 2019 at 1pm

6500 57th Street

Vero Beach, FL

Please join us in the Joe N. Idlette, Jr. Teacher Education Center for the Superintendent's Workshop.

SDIRC Business Meeting

Tuesday, Jan. 15th 2019 at 6pm

6500 57th Street

Vero Beach, FL

Please join us in the Joe N. Idlette, Jr. Teacher Education Center for the SDIRC Business Meeting.