Ithaca City School District


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.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014
ICSD launches Goals and Priorities Survey

The Ithaca City School District has launched a new survey soliciting input from stakeholders to help the District develop goals and priorities based on the wants and needs of the community.

Open today, the survey asks for feedback from parents, students, teachers, staff members and the general public on various aspects of the District, including school and community relationships, relationships with teachers, interest in classes, the rigor and relevance of curriculum, events, and communication.

“It is important for us to gather information from stakeholders regarding our progress with addressing school district goals and priorities.” Superintendent Luvelle Brown said. “We are seeking to continuously improve while fostering a culture of excellence in the Ithaca City School District. I encourage everyone to take part in this survey because your voice matters in this process.”

Designed and administered by independent technology and communications firm K12 Insight, the survey will be accessible in a variety of ways. Students in grades 6-12 will participate at school through unique URLs linked to their student IDs. Parents, teachers and staff members will receive email invitations with unique links to the survey. A public URL ( is also available on the District website, and can be accessed at any time.

In addition to being available in English, the survey has been translated into Chinese. All survey responses will be kept confidential, and none of the reports generated by K12 Insight will identify who participated or connect respondents to their answers. This is the second time the District has solicited community feedback on its goals and priorities, and it will compare this year’s results to data gathered in 2013.

“The results of the survey will be used to understand student and community opinions, as well as to monitor how well we are adhering to our District mission,” Dr. Brown said. “The responses we receive will inform decisions to improve education for all students and help the District continue to engage, educate and empower.”

For more information, go to


Wednesday, October 15, 2014
ICSD announces change in administrative leadership

Jason Trumble to assume leadership of Ithaca High School through 2014-2015 year

The Ithaca City School District today announced both short- and long-term changes to the current District administrative structure. The roles of Chief Elementary Officer Matt Landahl and Chief Secondary Officer Jason Trumble will be realigned into Chief Academic Officer and Chief Administration Officer, respectively.

Trumble will begin his role as Chief Administration Officer by assuming leadership of Ithaca High School for the remainder of the 2014-2015 school year and facilitating the transition of the leadership of the school. The current principal of the school, Jarett Powers, begins his tenure as Superintendent of Union Springs Central School District on November 1, 2014.

“Mr. Trumble’s leadership at Ithaca High School this academic year will allow for the school’s positive momentum and stellar performance to continue without interruption. His leadership of the search and transition of the next principal will be critical as well,” said Superintendent Luvelle Brown.

Trumble began his career at Ithaca High School in 1992 where he spent 11 years as a social studies teacher, cross country and track coach. Trumble served nine years as an associate principal and principal of Boynton Middle School before becoming Chief Secondary Officer in 2012.

“I’m looking forward to continuing the positive momentum that exists at Ithaca High School and working with staff in their quest to achieve a 100% graduation rate,” said Trumble. “I’m very much looking forward to establishing relationships with staff, students and their families to help them achieve the success they deserve.”

Going forward, the Chief Administration Officer will oversee student and family supports, and broader district operations including athletics, transportation, food service, maintenance and facilities as well as school building safety and climate. A substitute administrator will assist the District’s leadership team until July while Trumble focuses on the leadership of Ithaca High School.

As Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Matt Landahl will guide curriculum and instruction Pre-K through 12. Landahl came to Ithaca in 2012 from Virginia where he served 14 years as a school administrator at both the elementary and secondary level. During the past two years, he has supervised the administration, curriculum and instruction for the District’s eight elementary schools. As Chief Academic Officer, Landahl will oversee the facilitation of engaging and empowering learning experiences in all classrooms and supervise professional development, technology and arts integration, and special education throughout the District.

“Our goal is to see all of our students graduate college, career and citizen ready and well on their path to being life-long learners,” said Landahl. “As the Chief Academic Officer, I will bring a collaborative spirit to my work to provide quality learning experiences for students, teachers and staff throughout the Ithaca City School District.”

“The shift in central administration responsibilities is in response to evolving needs and a commitment to providing exceptional support for our school buildings,” said Superintendent Luvelle Brown.