Long ago in the 1830's, formal education in Ithaca took place at the Ithaca Academy. It was a private preparatory school for entry into college. By 1859 it was the largest school of its kind in the state with 345 students.
The academy became a public school in 1875. In 1884 a larger building was erected on the same site for public education. In February of 1912 it was completely destroyed by fire. Classes were held in homes until the new building was opened in 1914. This facility would be large enough to hold 1500 students (it is now the DeWitt Building that houses apartments and retail stores).
By fall of 1960, the present campus was opened near the south end of Cayuga Lake. The campus complex welcomed 1430 students.
Ithaca High School continues to evolve, adapting itself to the educational and social needs of the community. Today's school enjoys widespread admiration for its diversity, strong academics and innovative education.
Guided by Ithaca City School District’s vision “All Students Achieving Their Dreams…” Ithaca High School strives to enable all students to develop their talents, abilities and interests. The comprehensive educational program provides preparation for students who either intend to continue their formal education beyond high school or enter the world of work.