Ithaca City School District

Monday, August 11, 2014
ICSD Announces departure of Principal Jarett Powers

The Ithaca City School District today announced that Ithaca High School Principal Jarett Powers will be leaving the district as of November 1, 2014. Powers has been appointed superintendent of the Union Springs Central School District in Cayuga County, New York.

“Mr. Powers has distinguished himself as an instructional leader in the ICSD, and I am pleased to have had the opportunity to learn with him,” said Superintendent Luvelle Brown.

A graduate of Ithaca College, Powers completed his student teaching at Ithaca High School in 2003 and began teaching social studies at the school in 2004. He has served as principal since the 2011-2012 academic year.

“I want to thank Dr. Luvelle Brown, and the Ithaca City School District Board of Education for affording me the opportunity to serve as Principal of Ithaca High School,” said Powers. “The past decade at Ithaca High School and the positions I have served in, have been an incredible experience for me and I will treasure my time here along with the relationship forged with our great students, faculty, staff and community. I will truly miss Ithaca High School. I’d like to think I leave the high school better than I found it, and in a strong position to continue to support student learning and achievement.”

During Mr. Powers’ tenure, the high school experienced significant increases in test scores, attendance and graduation rates and a reduction in discipline. While he served as principal, four new Advanced Placement courses were added and the school’s curriculum was restructured with the addition of new electives, including English, Math, Science, Social Studies and Career and Technology. Mr. Powers ensured access to the PSATs for every eleventh grader and built programming for interventions of students in need of academic support.

Upon Mr. Power’s departure, the Ithaca City School District will appoint an experienced administrator as interim principal while it begins the national search process for the next principal of Ithaca High School.

“The timing of Mr. Power’s departure presents challenges for us as we prepare for the beginning of the 2014-2015 academic school year,” said Brown. “However, I am confident that existing structures and the appointment of an interim principal will contribute to a smooth and successful transition of leadership.”


Monday, August 04, 2014
“Dangerous” label removed from Caroline Elementary School

In response to a petition from the Ithaca City School District, Caroline Elementary School has been removed from the list of persistently dangerous schools in New York State.

“We are striving to continuously improve all of our schools. I’ve always disagreed with the state designation for Caroline, and I am pleased that our state Education Department moved so quickly to remove the label,” said Superintendent Luvelle Brown.

Officials from the New York State Education Department, who spent a day at the school with students and staff, removed the distinction in response to evidence submitted by the school and findings from an on-site visit.

“Caroline is a dynamic school with a wonderfully supportive school community,” said Caroline Principal Mary Grover. “The students at Caroline do amazing things every day and I am proud of the academic and creative achievements of the students and staff in our school.”


Friday, July 25, 2014
ICSD Board of Education thanks Seth Peacock for his service to the board

The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Board of Education noted the departure of former vice president of the board and Interim City Court Judge Seth Peacock at its board meeting on Thursday, July 24, 2014. The board and Superintendent Luvelle Brown thanked Mr. Peacock for his decade of service to the school district and congratulated him on his recent appointment as an interim Ithaca City Court judge by Mayor Svante Myrick.

“Seth was first elected to the board of education in 2005 and in May 2014 was re-elected for the fourth time. His tenure is marked by his dedication to students and the entire Ithaca community, and we wish him well in his new role,” said Board Member Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell.

Mr. Peacock was the longest serving member on the recent board and he was largely responsible for encouraging the district to televise its meetings. As vice president, he helped provide leadership and stability during the district’s superintendent transition.

Upon his recent appointment, Mr. Peacock was no longer eligible to serve on the board as Section 2502(7) of the New York Education law precludes anyone holding a city office from also serving on the board of education. Board member Chris Malcolm will replace him as vice president of the board.

Mr. Peacock’s departure created an open seat on the board of education, which board members voted to keep vacant until the next annual election. Leaving the seat vacant is one of the three options outlined by ICSD Board of Education Policy 2150 for filling vacancies on the board. The board’s other options were to appoint another board member to complete a one-year term or to call a special school district election to fulfill the remainder of Mr. Peacock’s term.


Friday, July 18, 2014
ICSD meal prices to increase to accommodate new USDA Guidelines

Due to new United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines, the price of breakfasts provided to students in the Ithaca City School District will increase for the 2014-2015 academic year. While students were previously offered fruit or vegetable options with breakfast, the changing guidelines now require the district’s Child Nutrition Program to mandate that students be given a fruit or vegetable with the morning meal. Additionally, the program is now required to provide all whole grain products.

“The guidelines are a good thing for our students’ nutrition, but the changes do incur a rising cost to the program,” said ICSD Child Nutrition Program Director Denise Agati.

Elementary and high school breakfasts in the district will increase by 15 cents, and the price of middle school breakfasts will increase by 10 cents. Despite these changes, lunch prices in the district will remain at the same rate for the third year in a row and the price of reduced meals will remain at 25 cents. The new meal prices are below.

  • Elementary school: $1.50 breakfast, $2.50 lunch
  • Middle school: $1.50 breakfast, $2.75 lunch
  • High school: $1.75 breakfast, $3.00 lunch

“Providing healthy, affordable meals to students is our priority, and we are committed to producing quality meals from fresh ingredients,” said Agati. The Ithaca City School District Child Nutrition Program incorporates farm to school practices by purchasing fresh produce from local farmers. Additionally, the program uses these fresh ingredients to prepare plant-based recipes from scratch.