Ithaca City School District


Thursday, November 20, 2014
ICSD Announces IHS Principal Search

Click here to learn more about the anticipated timeline for the Ithaca High School Principal search.


Monday, November 17, 2014
Dr. Brown Invited to National Connected Superintendents Summit

Dr. Luvelle Brown, superintendent of the Ithaca City School District, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education as one of the top school leaders from across America to participate in the first-ever National Connected Superintendents Summit Wednesday, November 19, at the White House.

Superintendent Luvelle Brown is among exemplary local school chiefs who will be recognized for their leadership in helping transition their districts to digital learning. This unique event will bring together officials from throughout America to share with one other and the Education Department promising approaches to using technology in classes.

“School districts across the country are helping teachers harness the power of technology to create personal learning environments for all students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We want to make sure every child – whether he or she is in the inner-city, in a rural community or on a Native American reservation – has access to knowledge and the chance to learn 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The White House summit will be followed by a series of 12-15 regional summits that will focus on the digital progress both made and possible by local school districts. The events will also include the unveiling of digital tools that facilitate incorporation of technology into short-term and long-range education planning.

To help spotlight the value of technology in schools, the Education Department is sponsoring a Future Ready Initiative aimed at showcasing outstanding school leadership and strategies.

“The Future Ready Initiative highlights the critical role of district leaders in setting a vision and creating the environment where educators and students access the tools, content, and expertise necessary for thriving in a connected world,” said Richard Culatta, director of the Department’s Office of Educational Technology.

Future Ready superintendents demonstrate effective use of technology in some of the following ways:

  • Fostering and leading a culture of collaboration and digital citizenship;
  • Transitioning schools and families to high-speed connectivity;
  • Empowering educators with professional learning opportunities;
  • Accelerating progress toward universal access to quality devices;
  • Providing access to quality digital content;
  • Creating access, equity, and excellence – particularly in rural, remote, and low-income districts;
  • Offering digital tools to students and families to help them prepare for success in college;
  • Sharing best practices and mentoring other districts in the transition to digital learning.

In June 2013, President Obama announced the ConnectED Initiative, starting with a goal of connecting 99 percent of students to next-generation connectivity within five years. Model schools and districts across the country are using technology to create personalized learning environments; technology will play an increasingly crucial role in the future.

“Our community invests significant resources in the preparation of its young people for the ever-changing world. I’m honored to be recognized as a national leader and excited that our work serves as a model for others nationwide,” said Dr. Brown.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014
ICSD Insider Volume 42

Click here to read Volume 42 of the ICSD Insider. 


Monday, November 10, 2014
ICSD Educators receive IPEI Red and Gold Grants

The Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI) announced the first round of its quarterly Red and Gold Grants for the 2014–15 school year. Twenty-four grants totaling $10,671 were awarded for projects and programs that will serve more than 3,500 ICSD students. Priority is given to projects that strengthen and enrich the ICSD curriculum, have a positive impact on students, and actively engage students.

"The amazing variety and ‘bang for the buck’ are the best part of IPEI's Red and Gold Grants,” said IPEI Board President Jennifer Engel. “They excite and ignite the imaginations and learning for Ithaca's students and teachers!”

Newly awarded Red and Gold Grants are listed here. The deadline for the second round of Red and Gold Grants is December 8.

This round’s Red and Gold Grants include three first-time recipients highlighted here:

Janet Gordinier, Caroline’s school secretary, will provide for all of her school’s classrooms with Wilderness Campus Outdoor Bags containing field guides, water testing kits, nature journal books, and animal track identification guides. The materials will help students study and identify plants and animals as they explore Caroline’s Wilderness Campus.

Vinnie Alcazaren, a Boynton Social Studies teacher, asked his students where and how New Yorkers could survive a fantasy epidemic caused by zombies. Role-playing as teams for the Centers for Disease Control, the students researched the spread of pandemic diseases in historical outbreaks through graphs, charts and data tables, and analyzed how best to predict and increase survival rates in various populations.

Cassidy Fisk, an Ithaca High Social Studies teacher, will take students to Cornell’s Johnson Museum of Art and Kroch Library to work with and analyze ancient artifacts and artwork from Europe’s Medieval and Renaissance periods. This educational exploration will allow students to compare the two historical periods and learn how art and architecture reflect cultural values.