Kids Discover the Trail!
Kids Discover the Trail! (KDT!) provides elementary students in Tompkins County with curriculum-based field trips to the Discovery Trail.
KDT! was formed in 2004 through a collaboration between the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), the Discovery Trail, and the Ithaca City School District. The idea was to enhance students’ learning through experience-based programs and help students find connections between art, history, literature, science, and the natural world.
Through Kids Discover the Trail!, each elementary grade is linked with one of the eight Discovery Trail organizations: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell, Tompkins County Public Library, Museum of the Earth at PRI, Sciencenter, Cornell Botanic Gardens, The History Center in Tompkins County, ...
Computer Science for All
Kindergarten students learning on iPads.
In the future, every ICSD student will use computer science principles to become users and creators of knowledge.
That’s the aim of a team of teachers and administrators looking to integrate computer science into the district’s curriculum over the next several years, empowering all students to be fluent in its applications from an early age.
Teachers from Ithaca High School, Lehman Alternative Community School and Boynton Middle School, the district’s technology integration team, and building- and district-level administrators are working with the CSforAll Consortium to bring computer science education to all K-12 students. Through a Computer Science Education Visions Research-Practice Partnership grant, ...
Department Highlight: Child Nutrition
Beth Krause, Director of Child Nutrition
Each day, Ithaca City School District students receive nutritious, tasty meals in an enjoyable atmosphere, thanks to the Department of Child Nutrition.
The department’s 40 employees are focused on providing as many homemade and fresh foods as possible while meeting federal nutrition guidelines for school meals, ensuring children are able to learn on a full stomach.
“We understand that a hungry child cannot learn,” said Child Nutrition Director Beth Krause, who began working for ICSD in February after the retirement of longtime director Denise Agati. “School meals serve as a building block to promote the growth and development of our students.”
The department participates in the ...
ICSD Annual Budget Vote and Election Results
The results of the 2018 budget vote and school board election listed below have been adopted by the Board of Education.
Proposition #1 , the proposed school budget of $128,466,376 for 2018-2019
1,820 yes votes and 414 no votes
Passed with 81.47%
Proposition #2 , the appropriation and expenditure of funds from the School District's 2018 Capital Reserve Fund
1,968 yes votes and 284 no votes
Passed with 87.39%
Proposition #3 , to eliminate registration by the Board of Registration and replace it with continuous registration in the office of the district clerk
1,811 yes votes and 342 no votes
Passed with 84.12%
Further, the results of the election to the Board of Education are:
Unified Sports Basketball Team
This year, ICSD Athletics, along with 15 other districts, is partnering with the Special Olympics, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHAA), and the Southern Tier Athletic Conference (STAC) to bring Unified Sports to our region.
Unified Sports is an exciting new athletic opportunity for student-athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to compete together in various sports. The goal of the program is to increase inclusion, build understanding, and create a greater sense of community within schools.
Last month, Ithaca formed its first Unified Sports basketball team. The roster includes both male and female students, as well as students with and without intellectual ...
Best Communities for Music Education 2018
The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. This is the sixth consecutive year that the ICSD has received this designation.
The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities for Music Education designation, the ICSD answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs.
This award recognizes that the ICSD is leading the way ...
Department Highlight: English as a New Language (ENL)
The Ithaca City School District’s English as a New Language (ENL) program touches every facet of the educational process through its work with the district’s English language learners.
The department helps English language learners (ELLs) at all levels of English proficiency to access the same opportunities as their English-speaking peers. ENL teachers work together with classroom and content area content teachers to ensure access to the curriculum through scaffolds, language objectives and tapping into students' prior knowledge.
About 930 ICSD students – 18 percent – come from homes where another language is spoken, although not all receive ENL services. In all, ICSD families speak 66 different languages.
Students are determined ...
ICSD Security Upgrades
The Ithaca City School District is continually working to increase the safety of our students, staff, and families. We are currently engaged in several initiatives that will help ensure the security of our district’s community and facilities.
Smart Schools Bond Allocation
Several years ago, New York State voters approved the Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014, which authorized the creation of state debt and the sale of state bonds to finance improved educational technology and infrastructure. The ICSD was allocated $2.5 million from the Smart Schools Bond for the installation of high-tech security features in our school buildings, including access control systems and video security systems.
Access control systems will be installed in all school buildings throughout ...
Department Highlight: Transportation
The Ithaca City School District’s transportation office is constantly buzzing with activity as bus drivers, monitors, and office staff work closely to ensure students get to and from school safely.
It’s a job that requires a team-player attitude, extensive training, and hard work. Many drivers arrive at 6 a.m. to prepare buses for the day, and the last bus sometimes returns as late as 6:30 p.m., said transportation manager Elizabeth Berner.
First, there’s the morning bus run. Then, at 11 a.m., Pre-K students are returned home, followed later in the day by elementary, middle, and high school students. Late buses run for students who participate in sports, extracurricular activities, and after-school programs, and sometimes drivers make out-of-town trips. ...
Bikes Have Arrived at BJM!
By Bart Auble, Associate Principal of Beverly J. Martin Elementary School
On October 26, I had the honor of representing Beverly J. Martin Elementary School at a very special event called the Cornell Johnson MBA residential admissions program, which was geared toward diverse students. As part of the orientation the Johnson Leadership Experience provides potential MBAs with a fun, team-building exercise. Each student became an active member of a six-person team, half of whom were blindfolded, to learn not only what it means to rely on their team members, but to understand the role they play on a team. The task was to assemble bicycles, which will be donated to Beverly J. Martin. This experience exemplifies the Johnson MBA where students are placed in teams from day one, to learn ...
IHS Class of 1951 Donation
A $15,000 donation from the Ithaca High School Class of 1951 will help IHS’ technology and engineering department support its student teams and spark an interest in engineering in younger students.
The gift will fund a trailer that will not only accompany teams like Code Red Robotics and the Technology Student Association to competitions around the state and country, but will serve as a mobile makerspace and outreach tool for younger students as well.
Currently, the teams rent a moving truck to transport robots, dune buggies and other large projects, said IHS technology department leader Scott Breigle. The trailer will replace those expenses while serving as a way to promote the department on the road. It will also help with a broader goal, Breigle said – to encourage ...
Professional Learning Community (PLC) Day
Students had the day off on October 19, but ICSD teachers, staff, and administrators were hard at work, engaged in professional development on cultural anti-bias topics.
The district-wide Professional Learning Community (PLC) Day brought staff in each building together that morning to consider issues of culture, identity, and implicit bias and how they impact interactions with colleagues, families, and students.
Administrators collaboratively planned and facilitated development activities for all staff.
Work included discussing texts and videos around implicit bias; discussing the rings of culture; discussing how each person's individual experiences shape their work and interactions; and working through trust-building activities.
Department Highlight: Early Childhood
The Ithaca City School District’s Early Childhood Department applies the ICSD’s key levers of responsiveness, inclusion, and innovation to its youngest learners.
The department, which consists of 66 teachers and staff members, works to support Pre-K students, families, and staff through practices that affirm children and families; provide reflective and thoughtful practice; and encourage creativity, mastery, and purpose.
This year, staff have focused on increasing support to students who are English language learners and their families. In all, Pre-K students speak 17 different languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, Burmese, and Thai.
A budding partnership with the district’s English as a New Language (ENL) staff ...