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The ICSD Receives $420,000 Annual Grant to Fund Project Innovation: Cultivating Connections The ICSD Receives $420,000 Annual Grant to Fund Project Innovation: Cultivating Connections The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) has been awarded a five-year grant at $420,000 a year to provide summer learning experiences for students. Project Innovation: Cultivating Connections serves over 325 elementary and middle school students. The program is open to all students with integrated support for those who receive special education and English as a New Language (ENL) services. Transportation, breakfast, and lunch are provided. Project Innovation: Cultivating Connections aims to create an unparalleled learning experience for students and empowers them to be leaders in creating the programming and curriculum they need to succeed: "...the summer program centers students as partners in designing project-based units of studies where students grow their identities as scientists, ...
Administrative Shifts 2022-2023 Administrative Shifts 2022-2023 Beverly J. Martin Elementary Jacqueline Richardson, who most recently served as an associate principal at Ithaca High School, has been appointed as the new principal of Beverly J. Martin Elementary School.  Principal Richardson first joined the ICSD in 2004 to teach art at Cayuga Heights and South Hill elementary schools and then taught visual arts at Ithaca High School from 2005 to 2008. She then relocated to the Harlem Village Academy Charter High School for two years, where she served as a visual arts teacher and ninth-grade team leader. In 2010, Ms. Richardson returned to Ithaca High School, teaching visual ...
Summer Meals for Kids Summer Meals for Kids The Ithaca City School District is providing free summer meals for kids and teens 18 and under, beginning July 5! No application needed. Meals must be eaten on site. Meal days and times are subject to change.   Cass Park and Stewart Park* 701 Taughannock Blvd July 5 - August 19 Monday - Friday Breakfast: 8:00-9:00 Lunch: 11:00-12:00 Cayuga Heights Elementary* 110 E Upland Rd July 5 - August 12 Monday - Friday ...
Nicole LaFave Resigns from ICSD Board of Education Nicole LaFave Resigns from ICSD Board of Education Ithaca City School District board member, Nicole LaFave, has submitted a resignation from the board of education. Nicole LaFave’s term is set to expire June 2024. Discussion regarding the vacancy will be held at an upcoming school board meeting. Public recognition and acknowledgment of Nicole’s years of service, contributions, and dedication to the school district will also be held at an upcoming school board meeting.
ICSD Community Letter - May 25, 2022 ICSD Community Letter - May 25, 2022 Dear ICSD Community, There are no words to express the horror of the most recent acts of violence in our country. The senseless, hate-filled deaths of children, teachers, shop-goers, and church-goers in predominantly Black, Latino, and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities hurt our hearts. These events have become all too common, and yet we can never become desensitized to such despicable violence.  As we process these tragedies, we must do so in community with each other. First, please check in with yourself and reflect. ICSD employees continue to have access to the Employee Assistance Program . If you are an adult supporting healing conversations, connect with other adults to process your own feelings and plan for discussions with students. Know that students ...
Communication Regarding the May 17 Budget Vote and School Board Election Communication Regarding the May 17 Budget Vote and School Board Election The Ithaca City School District wishes to thank our community for their continued support of our budget and participation in the election process. The District also would like to clarify certain information regarding yesterday’s school board election and budget vote.  Each ballot correctly directed voters to choose “up to four candidates.” However, due to a clerical error at some polling locations, signage incorrectly stated to choose “up to three candidates.” Approximately one hour after the polls opened, the District became aware of these signs and called all Poll Site Managers to correct or remove them. Additionally, on the evening before the election, the District learned that Benjamin Mumford-Zisk was not an eligible Board of Education candidate ...
Ithaca High School's Trumble Named Secondary Principal of the Year Ithaca High School's Trumble Named Secondary Principal of the Year Ithaca High School principal Jason Trumble will be named the Region 9 Secondary Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS). The prestigious award is given annually to a SAANYS member who has distinguished themselves as a middle or high school principal and who-- sets the pace, character, and quality of education for the children in their school; is a practicing principal (of at least three years) who is committed to excellence; has made a commitment to parents and the community; and has shown evidence of outstanding contributions to the community and the educational process. “Jason Trumble has demonstrated for decades ...
ICSD Commendations Ceremony May 2022 ICSD Commendations Ceremony May 2022 On May 10, district leadership and the ICSD Board of Education recognized the extraordinary achievements of students and staff at the second Commendation Ceremony of the 2021-2022 school year - and our first in-person ceremony since March 2020! The purpose of the quarterly Commendations Ceremonies is to celebrate the success of Team ICSD members who go above and beyond in the arts, athletics, and the community. Special recognition is also paid to individuals who embody the ICSD’s  Culture of Love . Congratulations to everyone recognized! Cartier Clemons, Zamara Butler, Yekaterina Mugambee Ioanide, Ysenia Gonzalez Ashton, Ava Sierra, Za'Lariah Bien-Aime, and Juliana Oliver - GIAC Spelling Bee winners ...
Kelly Evans Resigns from ICSD Board of Education Kelly Evans Resigns from ICSD Board of Education Ithaca City School District school board member Kelly Evans has submitted a resignation from the board of education. Kelly Evans’ term was set to expire in June 2024. The vacancy and remainder of the term will be filled by the upcoming election, which will be held on May 17, 2022. Public recognition of Kelly’s service to the board will be held at the school board’s next meeting, on April 26, 2022.
ICSD Music Education Program Receives National Recognition for 10th Consecutive Year ICSD Music Education Program Receives National Recognition for 10th Consecutive Year   The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) designation from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. This is the tenth consecutive year that the ICSD has received this designation.  The BCME award program recognizes districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. Districts are evaluated on a number of factors, including funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music programs, and community music-making programs. Read the NAMM Foundation's press release to ...
IHS Senior Wins National Merit Scholarship IHS Senior Wins National Merit Scholarship Simratpal (Sammy) Deol, a current senior at Ithaca High School, has been awarded a National Merit $2500 Scholarship. Deol, who will major in biomedical sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in the fall, is one of only 2,500 “Merit Scholars” named in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. Not only was Deol selected to RIT's Honors Program, but he has also been accepted to the Upstate Accelerated Scholars (UAS) Program in conjunction with Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. Through UAS, Deol is guaranteed a spot at Upstate Medical University in Fall 2026, where he will pursue his medical degree. "Since I dream of becoming a physician, I'm definitely excited to begin that ...
March 2022 ICSD e-Insider March 2022 ICSD e-Insider A new issue of the ICSD e-Insider is out now! In this issue, you'll find more Learning Forward ICSD updates, including new course highlights, examples of "students as partners and leaders" from some of our elementary schools, and more! Visit our ICSD e-Insider page to read the latest issue and subscribe to have future issues delivered straight to your inbox!
Course Highlight: African America Studies at IHS Course Highlight: African America Studies at IHS During the Fall 2021 semester, Ithaca High School ELA teacher Michael Reiff and then student-teacher Steven D’Alterio introduced a new senior elective, called African America Studies (AAS), in “hopes to toss sand in the gears of conformity.” Guided largely by foundational texts like Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Gholdy Muhammad’s Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework , Reiff and D’Alterio sought to design a course that would empower students to-- deconstruct the language, histories, and narratives that surround us – which are often obscured, falsified, and whitewashed - and better understand why our individual and shared lives are the way they are; reconstruct a different understanding of our country’s ...
IHS Chorale to Join Ensembles from Cornell and Ithaca College for First-Ever Documented Performance of “Song of Hope IHS Chorale to Join Ensembles from Cornell and Ithaca College for First-Ever Documented Performance of “Song of Hope" On Saturday, March 26, the Ithaca High School Chorale will join ensembles from Cornell University and Ithaca College for the first-ever documented performance of “Song of Hope,” a choral-orchestral work by Florence Price. Born in Arkansas, Price (1887-1953) is known for being the first African-American female composer to have a symphony performed by a major American orchestra. She began studying music at an early age, graduating as valedictorian of her high school class at the age of 16. From there, Price went on to study piano, organ, and composition at the New England Conservatory of Music before returning to Arkansas to teach and raise her family. As the South became increasingly segregated and racial tensions were on the rise, she and her family moved to Chicago. ...
Cayuga Heights First-Graders March for Black Lives Matter at School Cayuga Heights First-Graders March for Black Lives Matter at School The idea of a march came when a student in Christine Barley's first-grade class at Cayuga Heights Elementary School connected the library read-aloud  We March  by Shane W. Evans to what the class had been studying around Black Lives Matter at School's 13 Guiding Principles , specifically the Principle of Unapologetically Black: There are lots of different kinds of people and one way that we’re different is the color of our skin. It’s important to make sure that all people are treated fairly. This is why we, and lots of other people all over the country and the world, are part of the Black Lives Matter at School Movement. The student asked Barley if they could march for Black Lives Matter at School and make "flags" or posters ...
Belle Sherman Annex Mural Announcement - Call for Artists Belle Sherman Annex Mural Announcement - Call for Artists The Belle Sherman Elementary School 5th grade class is seeking a muralist to create a work of art on the Annex wall . After reflecting on their core values and drawing inspiration from the study of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, students would like the mural to convey the importance of a peaceful, safe community, where everyone feels supported and has the freedom to play, relax, and express themselves. Additionally, students would like to emphasize the importance of nature, not only as the backdrop to their everyday life in Ithaca but also as an integral part of a socially just world. Successful applicants are comfortable working with 5th and 7th grade volunteers to complete the project. Timeline : April 16: Proposals due April 30: Artist announced ...
Opt-In to Receive Text Messages from the ICSD Opt-In to Receive Text Messages from the ICSD March 21, 2022 Greetings ICSD Parents and Caregivers, We hope this message finds you well! We are reaching out because we want to enhance our communication through text messaging. SchoolMessenger has the ability to send text messages about events, school closings, safety alerts, and more to your mobile device. To participate in this service, please follow these three simple steps to ensure that you’re set up: Verify that your wireless phone number is on file and listed as the first number in SchoolTool . To make changes-- contact your child's school secretary OR click on the 'request contact changes' icon and submit your request directly in the Parent Portal ( see screenshot below - click to enlarge ). ...
Belle Sherman First-Graders March Against Racism Belle Sherman First-Graders March Against Racism The 50 first-graders at Belle Sherman Elementary School recently marched for peace, carrying protest signs they created with slogans such as “Black Lives Matter at School,” “Make Good Trouble,” “Enough is Enough,” and “Peace, Not War!” As they marched from the Annex to the Main Building with their signs, the students chanted anti-racist messages in support of human rights. Students, staff, and families lined the playground, hallways, and cafeteria to show their shared passion for justice.  Winding their way across the street back to the Annex, the first-graders held candles and sang “We Shall Overcome” in a moving display of solidarity and unity. Some ...
South Hill First-Graders Call for Inclusive Band-Aids South Hill First-Graders Call for Inclusive Band-Aids First-grade students at South Hill Elementary successfully urged their school to supply diverse band-aids that represent and appreciate the many skin tones that exist among students and staff. During Black Lives Matter at School week, one of Patricia Buhr’s first-graders asked her for a band-aid and remarked that the band-aid did not match their skin tone. This presented an opportunity for all of the students in Buhr’s class to discuss why the band-aids supplied at South Hill didn’t reflect the diversity that exists within the school and to consider how they could become agents of change. The students crafted persuasive letters to the school nurse and principal advocating for diverse band-aids (see examples below) and, in doing so, helped make South Hill a more ...
CS for Good Introduces Students to Computer Science from Equity Perspective CS for Good Introduces Students to Computer Science from Equity Perspective A new course at DeWitt Middle School is introducing all first-year students to foundational computer science (CS) concepts, with a specific focus on equity, collaboration, and the positive impacts of computing. The course, CS for Good, is one that every 6th-grader must now take, along with DeWitt’s other “Pot of Gold” courses, which teach critical skills like paragraph writing and effective study habits. The idea for the course was pitched to ELA teacher Angela Levy -- who had previously served as a TOSA for Technology Integration for the district -- by DeWitt’s principal, Carlan Gray, and Master Educator for Inclusion, Tara Caiza. The hope was to further the CS for ALL initiative by providing an entry point to computer science for all students before they self-select ...



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