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.

April is Autism Awareness Month

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April's Casual for a Cause

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Our Mission

Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.

Autism Speaks enhances lives today and is accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow.

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April is Autism Awareness month, and as a District, we are using this month as an opportunity to recognize the contributions of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders; shining a light on the importance of understanding and responding to those with Autism, and encouraging all of our students to participate in activities and discussions to aid in the understanding of their peers, and others with Autism. At our April 9th Business Meeting, following a proclamation asking the Board to designate April 2019 as Autism Awareness month, Hunter Patzer, student at Citrus Elementary School, and his family, lit up our Board Room BLUE in recognition of Autism Awareness Month.

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Join our district as we #CELEBRATEDIFFERENCES for Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness month, and our district has been celebrating differences starting off the month with a proclamation at our 4/9 Board meeting designating April as Autism Awareness month, and lighting up our Board room “Blue” in recognition of autism awareness month; we recognized our students and school programs and activities on social media and in our Connection newsletter, participated in Special Olympics events, and fund-raised for Autism Speaks as our Casual for a Cause organization. At the beginning of the month, we reached out to a few teachers in our district who work in Autism classrooms at a few of our schools. Our idea was to highlight our Autism classrooms, and the teachers and students who work together to overcome obstacles, and meet their goals, every day. Looking into these classrooms helps one understand that there is not one “autism” but several types…a wide variety existing on a large spectrum. Each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The ways in which people with autism learn, think and problem-solve is truly unique, and it takes a very special person to develop a relationship, understand, and respond to each student individually. This month, we would like to send a special thank you to all of our teachers, and teaching assistants, who work to educate our students with special needs every day.

A special thank you...

We would like to formally recognize the teachers who participated in our video highlighting our Autism classrooms. Thank you to Ryan Sandgren, teacher at Citrus Elementary School; Margaret Graffweg, teacher at Gifford Middle School; and Rachel Homan, teacher at Liberty Magnet School (not pictured).

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Margaret Graffweg and Ryan Sandgren with Board Members and Dr. Rendell

Wabasso School #CELEBRATEdifferences

The Wabasso School’s 4th annual Water Day was today! Students enjoyed water slides, popcorn, cotton candy, and snow cone machines to celebrate the end of a successful school year!

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Join us THIS MONDAY for the 3rd Annual Citrus Elementary Autism Awareness Walkathon

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April is School Library Month

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School Library Month is the American Association of School Librarians' celebration of school librarians and their programs. Every April, school librarians are encouraged to host activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in transforming learning. At our Board meeting on April 9th, Nancy Wishart, media specialist at Citrus Elementary, Chloe Offutt and Madison Stanton, 8th grade students from Oslo Middle School, and Ethan Christensen, 5th grade student at Citrus Elementary, read a proclamation asking the Board to recognize April 2019 as School Library Month in our district.

TechVentures Summer Technology Camp Application Deadline TODAY!

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The School District of Indian River County is excited to open the application process for TechVentures, our second annual student technology camp, held at Gifford Middle School. This is a free opportunity for your child to enhance their digital literacy skills and engage in innovative learning experiences in a fun, friendly environment! This hands-on, interactive technology camp will familiarize in-coming 5th and 6th grade students with some of the digital literacy skills necessary to succeed. Digital citizenship, keyboarding, coding, robotics, Office365, and OneDrive are some of the applications that will be covered during the three-day camp. Applications for camp must be complete and submitted by 5:00p.m. on April 26th, 2019. Due to a limit of 100 seats, students will be chosen via a lottery. IF SELECTED, parents and students will be notified on Friday, May 3rd. All participants must be incoming 5th or 6th grade students attending an SDIRC traditional public school for the 2019-2020 school year. This camp is a FREE opportunity for the students selected. Please read and discuss the required information in the TechVentures application below with your child.

"Hear My Story"

“Hear My Story” focuses on speakers sharing true life stories to convey meaning, inspire listeners, and transmit wisdom to help struggling students grow, learn, and develop in their student life. Our speakers understand the impact of mentoring based on the ups and downs in their life and credit other mentors for guiding them when nothing else worked. “Hear My Story” also serves as a sounding board for new ideas, cheerleader when students struggle, an advocate for being a positive peer, and inspiration for a new way of thinking.

The Singing Sharks' Superior Sweep in Orlando Competition

Congratulations to the Sebastian River High School Singing Sharks, Directed by Mr. Larry J. Stanley, Sr., MM, for their Superior Sweep in the Music In the Parks Festival Competition at Universal Studios Orlando, Saturday, April 13, 2019! Competing against schools from around the country, the Singing Sharks earned FIVE 1st Place Superior Ratings, Best Soloist Award to Caitlyn Seeloff, AND Best Overall Choir to Shark Choir, Chorale, Encore in two categories, and Harmonix! Well done, we are so proud of you!

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SRHS Navy JROTC and Boy Scouts Join Forces for Eagle Scout Project

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Our Cadet Executive Officer, Hunter Morrison, who is also working on completing his Eagle Scout designation, recently completed his Eagle Scout project at our NJROTC Unit here at SRHS. Hunter, with the help of other Cadets and Boy Scouts, removed old plants and weeds and replaced with new and also mulched all around our flag pole and front of building. They pressure washed the front walkway and around the flag pole and sealed large cracks so that when they painted the concrete it would seal the cracks from future expansion. This was all accomplished over the course of a couple of weekends. The results are amazing, and will represent SRHS and Navy JROTC in fine fashion for years to come. JROTC and Boy Scouts both stress the importance of giving back to the community. This project is a perfect synthesis of the two programs coming together to display this effort.

The overhead photos were taken using a small Unmanned Aircraft System that our Embry-Riddle University Dual Enrollment class uses for training. The class, which Cadet Morrison is also a part of, is using that technology to learn how to take photos as well.

SRHS Top 10 Seniors

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From left to right:

Allison Pardon, James LaBranche, Skylar Carstairs (Salutatorian), Robert McCartney, Andrea Peterson, Shepard Smith, Matthew Perakes (Valedictorian), Connor Ford, Simon Casas, Ryan Wahl

Congratulations to the Top 10 Seniors at Sebastian River High School! These seniors were recognized at a lunch prepared by our culinary students under the direction of Mr. Eric Boscovich, and were presented with a certificate, pin, and blanket. Each senior selected one teacher from their educational career to recognize. The following teachers were recognized: Ms. Keesee, Mr. Goldstein, Mr. Coffey, Mrs. Maloney, Mrs. Infanzon, Mrs. Gebhardt, Mr. Sarnoski, Mr. Post, Mrs. O’Keefe, and Mr. Jim Mattingly

SDIRC Designates May 6-10 as "Teacher Appreciation Week."

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Ryan, his wife, Lila, Board members, and Dr. Rendell

Mr. Ryan Sandgren, teacher at Citrus Elementary School, read our "Teacher Appreciation Week" proclamation at our April 23rd Board meeting, asking the Board to recognize May 6th-10th as Teacher Appreciation Week. Teacher Appreciation Week is a week-long celebration in recognition of teachers and the contributions they make to education and society. It is held in the first full week of May of every year and provides an opportunity for students, their parents, and school principals to show their appreciation for the hard work teachers do and the long hours many of them put in. As the summer approaches, please remember that this doesn’t necessarily mean that teachers are taking a vacation. Keep in mind that summer is really a time that many teachers teach summer school, attend professional development trainings, complete courses for special endorsements, and set up their classrooms to create an atmosphere that would meet the decorating standards of Disney World. A teacher’s work is never finished.

SGMS Chamber Orchestra Performs at Board Meeting

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The Storm Grove Middle School Chamber orchestra, under the direction of Mr. Richard Ballinger, performed at our 4/23 Board meeting. This orchestra represents the nearly 200 students in the OMS and SGMS orchestra programs. Two years ago, the Oslo and Storm Grove Orchestras participated in the Music Festival in Winter Park and earned not only Superior ratings, but also were awarded the best in class and the Grand Champions of the festival after competing against groups from around the United States and South America. The Oslo and Storm Grove Orchestras have received the invitation for next year and planning is currently under way for the orchestra to return to Winter Park again to participate in this festival during Spring Break of 2020.

Next week, on May 1st, the Oslo and Storm Grove Orchestras will be performing their Spring Concert with the theme: “Stranger Strings” and will be an eclectic program of Orchestral Music and they will be joined by a guest artist local band, the String Assassins

With the dream of going to Colorado again in March of 2020, the Storm Grove Chamber Orchestra performed, "The Spirit of Colorado," by Susan Day.

Osceola Magnet Student Council raises money for leukemia and lymphoma society

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Osceola Magnet School’s Student Council requested to lead a fundraiser this year as a part of their role as school leaders. These students organized and facilitated school-wide activities, with the help of their teacher sponsor, Mrs. Rachel Alexander. The Student Council raised $5,059.12 through their efforts. Osceola Magnet received a banner from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society recognizing us as “Champions of Change” for raising over $5,000.

SDIRC Achieves "Silver Distinction" Award from the American Lung Association

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The American Lung Association has awarded our District with a Florida Tobacco Cessation Alliance “Silver Distinction” for the effort that has been taken, and the services that have been offered, to help our employees break their nicotine addiction and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Kellie Brunner, Health Promotions Manager for the American Lung Association in Florida, presented the award, along with Leslie Spurlock, Community Health Advocate in Indian River County. Meri-De Mercado, Coordinator of Risk Management and Employee Benefits accepted the award on behalf of our District.

Stranger Strings presented by the Storm Grove and Oslo Middle School Orchestra

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VBHS Pre-Prom Mock DUI

Vero Beach High School held their pre-prom mock DUI on Wednesday morning. Students observed from the bleachers as their classmates enacted a horrific accident scene, caused by someone who made a destructive decision behind the wheel of their vehicle. Through this dramatization of a mock crash, students are provided with a realistic look at the consequences of distracted driving.
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Veteran of the Month: Bruce Cady

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Bruce Cady served in the United States Marine Corps from 1992 to 2001, leaving as a Captain.

Bruce and his wife, Leah, have lived in Vero Beach nearly two decades. Bruce and Leah have three children who attended school in Indian River County. Harrison, 25, graduated from University of Florida and is now on active duty in the U.S. Navy. Erin, 22, will graduate from University of Central Florida next year, with a degree in elementary education. Spencer, 19, is finishing his AA at IRSC and will transfer to UF in the fall to study microbiology.

Bruce has been an active member of the veteran community in our county for many years. He is a founding member of the Next Generation Veterans organization, and is leading the effort to create an Iraq & Afghanistan War Memorial at Riverside Park. Bruce and his fellow Next Generation Veterans led the effort to put blue tarps on over 38 roofs in the aftermath of Hurricane IRMA.

He and two Next Generation Veterans have organized and maintain a weekly physical conditioning program to help young people in IRC who do not meet the minimal fitness requirements to join our armed forces. So far, they have helped 12 young men and women meet their goal of serving our country.

Introducing our NEW SDIRC Mobile App!

Introducing our new SDIRC mobile app, designed to enable parents, staff, students, and the community to stay informed and up-to-date on important issues, information, and activities underway within our school district. The free app, which proudly displays the SDIRC logo, provides the most used resources from our website directly on your mobile device; including, lunch menus, maps, event calendars, social media updates, school contact information, and notifications from the school(s) of your choice!

Download for Apple iOS at:

Download for Android at:

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At the District School Board business meeting held April 9, 2019, the District School Board voted to hold a public hearing to consider revisions as follows:

Policy: 5500 Student Conduct: Code of Student Conduct, Student/Parent Handbook
Purpose: Revisions comply with changes in State and Federal Legislative action during the 2018 Legislative Session, as well as current practice, and are in compliance with School Board Policy 5500 and under Chapter 120 F.S.
Action Initiated by: District School Board
Action Approved by: Mark J. Rendell, Superintendent of Schools
Estimated Economic Impact: None
Implemented: 1006.07, 1006.13 F.S., Chapter 120 F.S.

The public hearing will be held during the District School Board business meeting on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, at 6 p.m. at the J.A. Thompson Administrative Center, 6500 57th St., Vero Beach, Florida, in the Joe N. Idlette, Jr. Teacher Education Center. The last date for filing a written objection is April 30, 2019. A copy of the proposed changes is available for review in the office of the School Board Members and in the document container below.

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The Florida Department of Education wants to hear from you! They have announced another opportunity to provide feedback on the standards. Floridians can still provide general feedback on the General Survey but now they can also provide feedback on each individual standard through the new Florida Review Portal. Click below for more information.

Please take our parent survey!

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We want to hear from our parents! Each year the School District surveys our parents and uses the data to make improvements in our schools. The Parent Survey for this year opened on March 25th. Parents may complete the survey online or fill out a paper copy at your child’s school. To complete the online survey, log into the Focus Parent Portal and click the link to the Parent Survey. You will not be required to log into the survey, as the feedback is collected anonymously. If you do not have a Focus parent account, please contact your child’s school for assistance.

Your feedback is very important to us and we appreciate you taking the time to complete the survey.

ESE Parent Survey

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STEP Into Kindergarten

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The School District of Indian River County invites your son or daughter to attend the STEP into Kindergarten: Summer Transition Enrichment Program. This FREE program promotes readiness for school success and a positive transition into kindergarten. Learn more at

Traditional Public School Choice Open Enrollment

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Open Enrollment

Elementary (Kindergarten) & Secondary (6th and 9th)

Open enrollment for Public School Choice will be from March 1 through April 15. A computer driven lottery will be conducted for all applications received during the open enrollment dates. All applicants will receive a letter by April 30, informing them of their placement for the following fall semester. All accepted applicants will have 10 days to enroll at their accepted school. If applicants do not register by the 10th day, their spot will be given to the next applicant on the waiting list.

Elementary (1st – 5th) & Secondary (7th - 8th) (10th – 12th)

Applications can be submitted at any time throughout the year and will be placed on the waiting list by the date the application was received. Student Assignment will monitor openings at the schools every first Wednesday of the month. If there are openings, we will call the next student on the waiting list for the seat.

All Public School of Choice placements are accepted in accordance with program capacity, class size, and racial balance. Preferential treatment is considered for the following:

  • Dependent children of active duty military personnel whose move resulted from military orders.
  • Children who have been relocated due to a foster care placement in a different school zone.
  • Children who move due to a court-ordered change in custody due to separation or divorce, or serious illness or death of a custodial parent.
  • Students residing in Indian River County School District.

All applications that are received after the open enrollment date will be placed on the waiting list by the date that the application has been received.

**All students who are accepted through public school choice may remain at the school chosen by the parent until the student completes the highest grade level at the school.**

Application Procedures

In-County parents have the option of requesting that their child(ren) attend a school outside their zoned school by completing the Public School Choice Application.

Out-of-County parents have the option of requesting that their child(ren) attend a school in Indian River County. Preference for Public School Choice is given for in-county residents, active military, foster care students, and to students that have a court ordered change of address, before offering seats to out-of-county residents (Florida Statute 1002.31).

For more information, visit:

Interscholastic & Intrascholastic Extracurricular Activities

Students who wish to play a sport at a school that is not their zoned school will need to complete the Public School Choice Application with the Student Assignment Office.

All Public School of Choice placements are accepted in accordance with program capacity, class size, and racial balance.

A student may not participate in a sport, if the student participated in that same sport at another school during that school year, unless the student meets one of the following:

  • Dependent children of active duty military personnel whose move resulted from military orders.
  • Children who have been relocated due to a foster care placement in a different school zone.
  • Children who move due to a court-ordered change in custody due to separation or divorce, or serious illness or death of a custodial parent.
  • Students residing in Indian River County School District.

Magnet School registration

Magnet School applications are still being accepted; however, they will not be placed in the lottery.

Students who turned in applications by February 1st, and were not accepted through the lottery, will be placed on a wait list by their lottery number. Any applications submitted after February 1st, will be placed behind those not accepted in lottery, by date and time submitted.

For families submitting late applications:

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.

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.

support education with a fresh, new look!

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The Support Education specialty tag has a fresh new look! For the first time in 25 years, the tag has undergone a total makeover.

Since its introduction in 1994, more than $13 million has been raised through the collaborative efforts of the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF) and local education foundation members across the state.

While the look has changed, one thing remains the same – when Florida residents purchase or renew their Support Education specialty tag, $20 goes directly back to support education programs in the county where the tag was purchased or renewed. Funds support programs like classroom innovation, education enrichment programs, supporting and recognizing teachers, extra help and mentoring for at-risk students, school supplies, and school scholarships.

Visit to learn more, purchase, or trade in your current Support Education tag today!

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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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Board Discussion Session

Tuesday, May 14th, 12pm

6500 57th Street

Vero Beach, FL

Please join us in the Joe N. Idlette, Jr. Teacher Education Center for our Board Discussion Session.

SDIRC Business Meeting

Tuesday, May 14th, 6pm

6500 57th Street

Vero Beach, FL

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

Budget Workshop

Tuesday, May 28th, 10am

6500 57th Street

Vero Beach, FL

Please join us in the Joe N. Idlette, Jr. Teacher Education Center for our Budget Workshop.

Superintendent's Workshop

Tuesday, May 28th, 1pm

6500 57th Street

Vero Beach, FL

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

SDIRC Business Meeting

Tuesday, May 28th, 6pm

6500 57th Street

Vero Beach, FL

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