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Annual Notices

Access to Student Records Asbestos Notice Annual Professional Performance Review
Attendance Policy Childhood Nutrition Program Disclosure to Military
Homeless Students Policy Parents' Bill of Rights Pesticide Notification
Promotion and Placement Parent Involvement Rights Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)
Teacher Qualification Requests Title IX  

Access to Student Records

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parents and students who are over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) have the right to: inspect and review the student’s educational records; request that records be amended to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights; and consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records.
For more information, view Policy 5500: Protection of Privacy of Student Records.

Asbestos Notice

As required by the EPA since 1989, the Ithaca City School District has kept Asbestos Management Plans for the district. The Asbestos Management Plans are on file in each principal’s office and collectively in the facilities office at 602 Hancock Street. These records are available for review during normal business hours.
As required, periodic surveillances are conducted every six months. The most recent three-year re-inspection was performed as required in 2016. 
For more information, contact:
Ellen Phillips
Clerical Support, Facilities Department
(607) 274-2213

Annual Professional Performance Review of Teachers and Principals

Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) is the process by which teachers and principals are evaluated in New York State. The purpose of APPR is to empower educators to improve the quality of instruction in schools and, in turn, to improve students’ performance and readiness for colleges and careers.
APPR plans must meet strict state guidelines and are negotiated with local unions. Under state guidelines, APPR takes into account classroom observations, student test scores, and a variety of achievement and assessment measures –many of which are decided at the local level. Teachers and principals across New York ultimately receive a number grade every year, which equates to an effectiveness rating.
Request for Teacher or Principal Overall Score and Effectiveness Rating
New York State Education Law requires each classroom teacher and school principal to receive an APPR that results in a composite effectiveness score and rating. All parents/guardians have the right to obtain the APPR quality ratings and composite effectiveness scores for their child’s current teacher(s) and principal(s) once they are available.
To initiate this request, please contact:
Lily Talcott
Deputy Superintendent
(607) 274-2134

Attendance Policy

There is a direct link between regular attendance and a child's success in school. Children have a greater sense of belonging and feel connected to their environment when they attend school regularly. Excessive absences and late entrances interrupt the instructional day, which begins at 8:00 a.m. at all Ithaca elementary schools, 9:04 a.m. at Boynton Middle School, 9:00 a.m. at DeWitt Middle School, 9:04 a.m. at Lehman Alternative Community School, and 8:55 a.m. at Ithaca High School. We understand that there are occasions when students must be absent or tardy, but please work to minimize these.
All students are required to attend all scheduled classes unless excused for reasons that are outlined below. The school principal is responsible for making the final determination of whether the absence will be excused for legitimate educational purposes, necessary, and/or unavoidable, or will be unexcused. All students or their parents/caregivers are expected to consult with their (child’s) teachers regarding missed work as grades may be affected.
Examples of Excused Absences Examples of Unexcused Absences
Personal Illness
Medical, Mental Health Appointments
Court or Legal Hearings
School Field Trips 
Career Visits
Religious Observance
Illness or Death in Family
College Visits
Military Obligations
Student Services Appointments
Out-of-School Suspension
In-School Suspension
Participation in school-sponsored events
Music Sectionals 
Impassable Roads or Weather 
Senior Skip Day
Driver’s Test
Birthday Celebrations
Missing the Bus
We ask you to call the school office and let us know that your child is going to be absent. If the absence is due to illness and that illness is communicable, such as the flu, chicken pox, strep throat, impetigo, head lice, pinworms, ringworm, or scabies, please let us know when you call. Please do not send a sick child to school. If you have a question about whether your child can be in school with a specific diagnosis, please contact the school nurse.
Upon returning to school, the child must have a written excuse indicating the reason for the absence. Alternatively, we will also accept an email as a written excuse.
You will receive an automated phone call for any instance when your child is late or absent; in the case of secondary school periods, the notification will be for each period. When a student is absent or tardy five times without an excuse, a letter will be sent home to parents documenting the absences with a reminder of the policy. A second letter will follow after ten incidents with a possible request for a school conference to develop plans to improve attendance. In cases of chronic absences, the school may commence the Person In Need of Supervision (PINS) process and/or the Department of Social Services Hotline process in accordance with New York State Education Law.
In order to participate in after-school activities, students must be present in school for at least one-half of that school day and attend all classes as required. Students who are absent from school with an excused absence, other than illness or suspension, will be allowed to participate in after-school activities. Other consequences may be imposed consistent with the district’s Code of Conduct.
For more details, view Policy 5160: ICSD Comprehensive Attendance Policy.

Child Nutrition Program

The Ithaca City School District participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program. Follow the links below for more information.
Policy 5601: School Lunches
Information on Free & Reduced Price Meals
Contact Information:
Beth Krause
Director of Child Nutrition
(607) 274-2302

Disclosure to Military

The school district may release, without prior consent, directory information for each student (e.g., to a school’s recognized parent organization or for coverage by the media of program activities, awards, and prizes for students). Directory information for a student consists of the student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, age, school currently attended, grade in school, participation in officially recognized activity and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance. 
Under FERPA regulations regarding information disclosed to military recruiters, opportunity shall be given annually for parents/guardians or students who are over 18 years of age to notify the Superintendent’s designee that some or all of this information is not to be released without prior consent. Such notice must be in writing, identify the types of directory information to be withheld from release, whether from student directories or to military recruiters, and be received by the Superintendent’s designee by close of business on the last school day of September. 
For more information, view Policy 5500: Protection of Privacy of Student Records.

Notification of Homeless Students Policy

The McKinney-Vento Act covers children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and/or adequate nighttime residence, including:
  • Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason
  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations
  • Abandoned in hospitals
  • Living a in public or private place not designed for sleeping
  • Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, etc.
  • Migratory living in circumstances described above 
Homeless children have a right to be enrolled in their school of origin or to attend school in the area where they are living. A child cannot be denied enrollment due to lack of immunization records. A homeless student is entitled to transportation to his school of origin if that is what their parent or caregiver requests. A homeless student is entitled to all the educational services and extracurricular opportunities that would be available to any other student living in the district.
If you're uncertain if you qualify for this coverage, contact:
Michael Simons
Homeless Liaison
(607) 882-9090

Policy 5151: Homeless Children and Youth Education and Assistance 

Parents’ Bill of Rights Regarding Student Data Privacy and Security

All educational agencies in the State of New York must develop a Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security (Parents’ Bill of Rights). The purpose of the Parents’ Bill of Rights is to inform parents and guardians of the legal requirements regarding privacy, security, and use of student data.
Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security
For more information, contact:
Lynn VanDeWeert
Evaluation officer
(607) 229-2286

Pesticide Notification

New York State Education Law requires schools to notify the school community that pesticide products may be used during the school year. Parents/guardians and staff members may request 48-hour advance written notification of certain pesticide applications. If an emergency application is necessary to protect against an imminent threat to human health, a good faith effort will be made to supply written notification to those on the notification list.
To be included in a 24-hour notification, please contact:
Ellen Phillips
Clerical Support, Facilities Department 
(607) 274-2213

A new request must be submitted each year.
For more information, view Policy 8115: Use of Pesticides and Herbicides.

Promotion and Placement

Policy 4770: Graduation Requirements and Commencement Exercises
The Board of Education will determine the graduation requirements of the district in accordance with the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. The Superintendent of Schools shall develop regulations setting forth the graduation requirements. Such regulations shall be approved by the Board and shall be provided to students and parents each year once a student reaches the eighth grade.
Specific graduation requirements for students attending Ithaca High School (IHS) and Lehman Alternative Community School (LACS) are addressed in separate regulations.
Participation in the commencement exercises is determined by 4770-R (IHS) for Ithaca High School; 4770-R (LACS) for Lehman Alternative Community School; and 4772 / 4772-R for students who possess Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential (CDOS) or Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC).  In extenuating circumstances, and with notification to Board officers, the Superintendent may grant an exception for a student to participate in commencement exercises. 
District schools shall not hold commencement exercises on a day when it would conflict with religious observances (e.g., Friday, Saturday, or Sunday).

Parent Involvement

Our Parent Involvement Policy can be found here: Policy 1900: Parental Involvement.

You may also request a hard copy of the policy by contacting:
Lily Talcott
Deputy Superintendent
(607) 274-2134

Rights Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) affords parents/guardians certain rights regarding our conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include the right to:
  • Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas (“protected information survey”) if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the Ithaca City School District:
    1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent/guardian;
    2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
    3. Sex behavior or attitudes;
    4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
    5. Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
    6. Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
    7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents/guardians; or
    8. Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.
  • Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of—
    1. Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;
    2. Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under State Law; and
    3. Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.
  • Inspect, upon request and before administration or use—
    1. Protected information surveys of students;
    2. Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes; and
    3. Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.
These rights transfer from the parents/guardians to a student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under State Law.
The Ithaca City School District will develop and adopt policies, in consultation with parents/guardians, regarding these rights, as well as arrangements to protect student privacy in the administration of protected information surveys and the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information for marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes. The ICSD will directly notify parents/guardians of these policies at least annually at the start of each school year and after any substantive changes. The ICSD will also directly notify, such as through U.S. Mail or email, parents/guardians of students who are scheduled to participate in the specific activities or surveys noted below and will provide an opportunity for the parent/guardian to opt his or her child out of participation of the specific activity or survey. The ICSD will make this notification to parents/guardians at the beginning of the school year if the district has identified the specific or approximate dates of the activities or surveys at that time. For surveys and activities scheduled after the school year starts, parents/guardians will be provided reasonable notification of the planned activities and surveys listed below and be provided an opportunity to opt their child out of such activities and surveys. Parents/guardians will also be provided an opportunity to review any pertinent surveys. Following is a list of the specific activities and surveys covered under this requirement:
  • Collection, disclosure, or use of personal information for marketing, sales, or other distribution.
  • Administration of any protected information survey not funded in whole or in part by the ICSD.
  • Any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening as described above.
Parents/guardians who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202

Teacher Qualification Requests

As a parent/guardian of a student in the Ithaca City School District, you have the right to know the professional qualifications of the classroom teacher(s) who instructs your child. Federal law allows you to ask certain information about your child’s classroom teacher(s) and requires us to give you this information in a timely manner if you ask for it.
Specifically, you have the right to ask for the following information about each of your child’s classroom teachers:
  • Whether the NYS Education Department has licensed or qualified the teacher for the grades and subjects he or she teaches.
  • Whether the NYS Education Department has decided that the teacher can teach in the classroom without being licensed or qualified under state regulation because of special circumstances.
  • The teacher’s college major and whether the teacher has any advanced degrees and, if so, the subject of the degrees.
  • Whether any paraprofessionals provide service to your child and, if they do, their qualifications.
If you would like to receive this information, contact:
Robert Van Keuren
Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations
(607) 274-2138

Title IX Policies/Coordinator For more information, contact:
Lisa Rieger
Title IX Coordinator
(607) 227-3335

Belle Sherman
Beverly J Martin
Cayuga Heights
Fall Creek
South Hill
Boynton Middle
DeWitt Middle
Ithaca HS
Lehman Alternative


Ithaca City School District
Dr. Luvelle Brown, Superintendent
400 Lake Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 274-2101