Skip to main content
Ithaca Schools - click for home 
Ithaca City Schools - click for home
 
 

Press Release Archives

Jump to:
2021-2022
2020-2021
2019-2020
2018-2019
2017-2018
2016-2017
2015-2016
 

2021-2022

ICSD Announces Administrative Appointments for 2022-2023
Official Results: ICSD Annual Budget Vote and Election 2022
Preliminary Results: ICSD Annual Budget Vote and Election 2022
Ithaca City School District After-School and Evening Activities Canceled May 16, 2022
Ithaca City School District After-School and Evening Activities Canceled March 9, 2022
Ithaca City School District Closed February 4, 2022
Ithaca City School District Closed February 3, 2022
Two-Hour Delay in Effect for the Ithaca City School District January 18, 2022
Ithaca City School District Closed January 11, 2022
 
ICSD Announces Administrative Appointments for 2022-2023

June 28, 2022: On Tuesday, June 28, 2022, the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Board of Education approved several administrative appointments for the 2022-2023 school year.

Jacqueline Richardson, who currently serves as an associate principal at Ithaca High School, has been appointed as the new principal of Beverly J. Martin Elementary School. 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, before returning to again teach visual arts at Ithaca High School from 2010 to 2020. In 2020, Richardson was then appointed to her current role as Associate Principal of Curriculum and Instruction and the 10th Grade at Ithaca High School.

Joining Richardson at Beverly J. Martin is newly appointed associate principal Annette Schaffer. Schaffer is coming to the ICSD from Pennsylvania, where she served as School Improvement Facilitator for the Chester County Intermediate Unit in Downingtown and, most recently, as an elementary school assistant principal for the Pleasant Valley School District in Kunkletown. Prior to moving to Pennsylvania, Schaffer worked for the New York City Department of Education for 15 years, serving in various roles, including English as a Second Language teacher, data specialist, Aspiring Principal, and middle and elementary school assistant principal. Since 2019, Schaffer has also been an adjunct professor in the School of Education at Pace University.

Caren Arnold has been appointed as the new principal of Caroline Elementary School. Arnold began her career in education in 1993, serving as a speech and language therapist for six years and then as an elementary teacher for 23 years. During the 2019-2020 school year, Arnold was also an administrative intern for the ICSD and Northeast Elementary School. In 2020, Arnold was appointed Director of Student Activities and Engagement at Ithaca High School and, since 2020, has also served as Project Lead Manager for Canvas, the district’s secondary school learning management system. This past year, Arnold transitioned to her current role as an associate principal at Ithaca High School.

Samantha Little has been appointed as interim principal of Northeast Elementary School. Little has served as the ICSD Director of Athletics and Wellness since 2017 and, prior to that, was the principal of South Hill Elementary School for four years. Little first joined the ICSD in 2002 as a school counselor at Beverly J. Martin Elementary School. In 2009, she transitioned to Ithaca High School, where she worked as a Student Services Department Chairperson for one year and then as an associate principal from 2010 to 2013. While she serves as interim principal at Northeast, Little will remain connected to ICSD Athletics, and the district will provide additional administrative support for the department’s day-to-day operations.

Julie Humble, who has served as the associate principal at Beverly J. Martin Elementary School since 2019, will join Little at Northeast as associate principal and Educator of Inclusion. Humble started her career in the ICSD in 2009, working as a kindergarten teacher for seven years and as an instructional coach during the 2013-2014 school year. From 2016 to 2019, Humble then taught special education, first at Newark Valley High School and then at the Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga (TST) BOCES Regional Alternative School, before returning to the ICSD in 2019. In addition to serving as associate principal at Beverly J. Martin, Humble is currently the principal for Project Innovation, the district’s inclusive summer school program for elementary and middle school students.

“We have very talented and seasoned educators stepping into building leadership roles,” Superintendent Luvelle Brown said. “These passionate leaders will facilitate the continuation of impressive initiatives and transitions in their respective schools.”

Official Results: ICSD Annual Budget Vote and Election 2022

May 18, 2022: The results of the 2022 Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Budget Vote and School Board Election listed below have been certified and adopted by the ICSD Board of Education. 

Proposition No. 1    Proposed 2022-2023 Annual District Budget
 
YES Votes: 2,446
NO Votes: 1,069
Passed with 69.59%

Proposition No. 2    Appropriation and Expenditure of Capital Reserve Funds
 
YES Votes: 2,757
NO Votes: 747
Passed with 78.68%

Proposition No. 3    Establishment of New Capital Reserve Fund
 
YES Votes: 2,843
NO Votes: 635
Passed with 81.74%

Proposition No. 4    Conveyance of Real Property to the City of Ithaca
 
YES Votes: 1,366
NO Votes: 2,129
Failed with 39.08%

School Board Election: Karen Yearwood, Jill K. Tripp, and Erin Croyle having received the highest number of votes are confirmed as elected, each to an at large full three-year term from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2025. Eldred Harris having received the fourth highest number of votes is confirmed as appointed to the balance of the unexpired term of Kelly Evans, which shall begin on May 18, 2022, and expire on June 30, 2024.
 
Candidate
Votes For
Jill K. Tripp 
2,604
Eldred Harris
1,292
Benjamin Mumford-Zisk*
1,077
David Shapiro
1,030
Erin Croyle
2,584
Robert Ainslie
1,076
Karen Yearwood
2,799

* Benjamin Mumford-Zisk is an ineligible Board of Education candidate due to not meeting the one-year residency requirement per New York State Education Law.
Preliminary Results: ICSD Annual Budget Vote and Election 2022

May 17, 2022: The preliminary results from the 2022 Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Budget Vote and School Board Election, as of 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17, are listed below. These results are subject to verification. The ICSD Board of Education will meet to certify the results on Wednesday, May 18, at 6:30 p.m. 

Proposition No. 1    Proposed 2022-2023 Annual District Budget
 
YES Votes: 2,446
NO Votes: 1,069

Proposition No. 2    Appropriation and Expenditure of Capital Reserve Funds
 
YES Votes: 2,757
NO Votes: 747

Proposition No. 3    Establishment of New Capital Reserve Fund
 
YES Votes: 2,843
NO Votes: 635

Proposition No. 4    Conveyance of Real Property to the City of Ithaca
 
YES Votes: 1,366
NO Votes: 2,129

School Board Election
 
Candidate
Votes For
Jill K. Tripp 
2,604
Eldred Harris
1,292
Benjamin Mumford-Zisk*
1,077
David Shapiro
1,030
Erin Croyle
2,584
Robert Ainslie
1,076
Karen Yearwood
2,799

* Benjamin Mumford-Zisk is an ineligible Board of Education candidate due to not meeting the one-year residency requirement per New York State Education Law.
Ithaca City School District After-School and Evening Activities Canceled May 16, 2022

March 9, 2022: All Ithaca City School District-sponsored after-school and evening activities are canceled for today, May 16, 2022, due to inclement weather. There will be no late bus transportation. 

Ithaca City School District After-School and Evening Activities Canceled March 9, 2022

March 9, 2022: All Ithaca City School District-sponsored after-school and evening activities are canceled for today, March 9, 2022, due to inclement weather. There will be no late bus transportation. 

Ithaca City School District Closed February 4, 2022

February 3, 2022: The Ithaca City School District will be closed tomorrow, February 4, 2022, due to inclement weather. All school-sponsored after-school and evening activities scheduled for tomorrow are also canceled. 

Ithaca City School District Closed February 3, 2022

February 2, 2022: The Ithaca City School District will be closed tomorrow, February 3, 2022, due to inclement weather. All school-sponsored after-school and evening activities scheduled for tomorrow are also canceled.

Two-Hour Delay in Effect for the Ithaca City School District January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022: A two-hour delay is in effect for the Ithaca City School District for today, January 18, 2022. 

Ithaca City School District Closed January 11, 2022

January 11, 2022: The Ithaca City School District will be closed today, January 11, 2022, due to inclement weather. All school-sponsored after-school and evening activities are also canceled.

 
 

2020-2021

ICSD Annual Budget Vote And Election Official Results
ICSD Annual Budget Vote And Election Preliminary Results
Ithaca City School District in Session May 28, 2021
DeWitt Middle School Remote Learning Day - April 30, 2021
Ithaca City School District Closed February 3, 2021
Ithaca City School District Closed February 2, 2021
Ithaca City School District Closed February 1, 2021
ICSD Board of Education Accepts Resignation of Superintendent Brown
ICSD Developing Plan for COVID-19 Vaccination of Personnel
ICSD Completes First Week of Voluntary COVID-19 Testing
Ithaca City School District Closed Thursday, December 17, 2020
 
ICSD Annual Budget Vote And Election Official Results

May 19, 2021: The results of the 2021 Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Budget Vote and School Board Election listed below have been certified and adopted by the ICSD Board of Education. 

Proposition No. 1    Proposed 2021-2022 Annual District Budget
 
YES Votes: 1,369 NO Votes: 589 Passed with 69.92%

Proposition No. 2    Appropriation and Expenditure of Capital Reserve Funds
 
YES Votes: 1,614 NO Votes: 340 Passed with 82.60%

School Board Election: Nicole LaFave, Moira Lang, and Kelly Evans having received the highest number of votes are confirmed as elected to the ICSD Board of Education, each for a three-year term commencing July 1, 2021, and ending June 30, 2024.
 
Candidate
Votes For
Nicole LaFave 
1,375
Moira Lang
1,266
Ann Reichlin
1,112
Kelly Evans
1,115
ICSD Annual Budget Vote And Election Preliminary Results

May 18, 2021: The preliminary results from the 2021 Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Budget Vote and School Board Election, as of 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18, are listed below. These results are subject to verification. The ICSD Board of Education will meet to certify the results on Wednesday, May 19, at 5:30 p.m. 

Proposition No. 1    Proposed 2021-2022 Annual District Budget
 
YES Votes: 1,334 NO Votes: 543

Proposition No. 2    Appropriation and Expenditure of Capital Reserve Funds
 
YES Votes: 1,570 NO Votes: 335

School Board Election
 
Candidate
Votes For
Nicole LaFave 
1,340
Moira Lang
1,229
Ann Reichlin
1,084
Kelly Evans
1,092
Ithaca City School District in Session May 28, 2021

May 3, 2021: Due to the number of emergency closings this school year, Friday, May 28, 2021, will not be a school recess day for the Ithaca City School District. All schools will be in session. 

DeWitt Middle School Remote Learning Day - April 30, 2021

April 30, 2021: DeWitt Middle School will be closed to in-person learning today, April 30, 2021, due to a power outage. DeWitt's instructional programming will be held remotely. Students in need of breakfast and lunch can call (607) 274-2302.

Ithaca City School District Closed February 3, 2021

February 3, 2021: The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) will be closed today, February 3, 2021, due to inclement weather. All instructional programming and school-sponsored activities, both in-person and remote, are canceled. School meals will not be available for pickup and weekly meal deliveries will be delayed until Thursday and Friday.

Ithaca City School District Closed February 2, 2021

February 2, 2021: The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) will be closed tomorrow, February 2, 2021, due to inclement weather. All instructional programming and school-sponsored activities, both in-person and remote, are canceled. School meals will not be available for pickup or delivery.

Ithaca City School District Closed February 1, 2021

February 1, 2021: The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) will be closed today, February 1, 2021, due to inclement weather. All in-person and remote instructional programming and school-sponsored activities are canceled. School meals will not be available for pickup or delivery.

ICSD Board of Education Accepts Resignation of Superintendent Brown

January 12, 2021: On January 12, 2021, the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Board of Education accepted the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown, effective February 1, 2021. After a significant decade of service, Brown will leave the ICSD to become the head of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for Discovery Education, a global education company providing resources and support for millions of students and teachers.  
Brown joined the ICSD in January 2011. With his leadership, the ICSD has earned state and national recognition achievements, including:

  • Being named one of New York State’s first and largest 1:1 technology initiatives
  • Improving graduation rates from 78% to as high as 94%
  • Increasing enrollment and diversity in higher-level courses and earning College Board AP Honor Roll for this effort
  • Having Ithaca High School be named one of the best high schools for STEM (#48 nationally)
  • Having US News rank Ithaca High School in the top 2.5% of high schools in the nation (Gold Medal Distinction)
  • Receiving the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Best Communities for Music Education Award for the last six consecutive years 
  • Receiving the New York State School Boards Association Champions of Change for Kids Award-Aspiring Educators Award and Program

Brown also has a long list of individual accolades. In 2017, he was named the New York State Superintendent of the Year and one of TrustEd’s national thought-leaders. In 2019, he was honored with the Tompkins County Distinguished Citizen Award. Additionally, Brown has been recognized as one of the nation’s top tech-savvy educational leaders, as well as a “difference maker” by the National School Boards Association. Most recently, Brown founded and currently co-chairs the New York State Council of Superintendents Commission on Diversity and Inclusivity, and was recently appointed to the Learning 2025: National Commission on Student-Centered, Equity-Focused Education.

“I am blessed to live and work in this wonderful community,” Brown said. “We have accomplished much together over the past decade and I am excited for the future of our school district. The decision to transition has been very difficult. While I will miss serving as Superintendent in Ithaca, I am looking forward to scaling my influence and directly impacting teaching and learning for millions of students and educators all over the world.”

“It will be nearly impossible to replace Dr. Brown,” ICSD Board of Education President Rob Ainslie said. “He has been an amazing leader and community member. We wish him great success in his new role.”

At its next meeting, the Board of Education expects to appoint ICSD Deputy Superintendent Lily Talcott as Interim Superintendent. Brown will provide consultation throughout the remainder of the academic year.

ICSD Developing Plan for COVID-19 Vaccination of Personnel

January 10, 2021: On January 8, Governor Cuomo announced the expansion of COVID-19 vaccination eligibility in New York State to Phase 1B, which includes education workers. In light of this announcement, the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) is working to formulate a plan for the vaccination of district personnel in close collaboration with the Tompkins County Health Department, Cayuga Health System and district unions.

Under the phased distribution of the vaccine, appointments will be made available for group 1B as early as this week, based on vaccine availability, in parallel with the ongoing vaccination of direct and ancillary health care professionals in group 1A. The largest group, 1B includes 3.2 million New Yorkers who will be eligible to receive the vaccine, as outlined below.

Phase 1A (eligible as of 1/04)
Phase 1B (eligible as of 1/11)
  • school nurses
  • school psychologists
  • speech pathologists
  • audiologists
  • occupational therapists
  • physical therapists
  • social workers
  • 870,000 education workers
  • 207,000 first responders
  • 100,000 public safety workers
  • 100,000 public transit workers
  • 1.4 million people 75 and older

The governor’s office and the New York State Department of Health are asking unions to organize vaccine administrations for their constituents, including but not limited to police, firefighters and educators, to enable other providers to focus on the 75+ age group. According to the governor's office, if viable plans are established, these groups will receive weekly allocations from their local health departments, rather than pharmacies, primary care offices, hospitals or health care centers.

Based on the current distribution of vaccines to New York State by the federal government, it is estimated that it will take 14 weeks to administer vaccines to all eligible persons in groups 1A and 1B (through April 16). The ICSD is working to establish a vaccination plan in alignment with the state’s 10 Guiding Principles, which reflect the district’s commitment to equity. Communication regarding the ICSD’s vaccination plan will be forthcoming.

For more information, visit Tompkins County Health Department Vaccine Information and New York State Phased Distribution of the Vaccine.

ICSD Completes First Week of Voluntary COVID-19 Testing

January 9, 2021: On Monday, January 4, 2021, the Ithaca City School District began testing in-person students and staff for COVID-19 using Abbott BinaxNOW antigen tests provided by the New York State Department of Health. The district’s school-based testing program is voluntary and caregivers can opt their children in at any time by completing a testing consent form.

The ICSD aims to test 20% of in-person students and staff over the course of each two-week period, similar to the structure required under a “Yellow Zone” designation (the ICSD is not currently in a “Yellow Zone”). Throughout the first week of testing, nurses and trained observers ultimately tested 12% of in-person students and staff across our 12 schools. There were no positive cases identified in the process. 

All positive antigen results must be confirmed through PCR testing. The ICSD reports any health department-confirmed positive PCR result to the New York State COVID-19 School Dashboard and directly notifies school communities of positive cases with in-school contacts. Those who wish to stay informed about positive cases that have not had any in-school contacts are encouraged to regularly check the NYS dashboard, which is updated each school day, as the ICSD will no longer be notifying communities directly unless there are school-based contacts. 

In addition to launching the school-based testing program, ICSD nurses began receiving the COVID-19 vaccine this week. Governor Cuomo has also announced that Phase 1B of the state-wide vaccination rollout will include teachers and education workers.

For more information on the ICSD’s surveillance testing program, visit ithacacityschools.org/testing.

Ithaca City School District Closed Thursday, December 17, 2020

December 16, 2020: The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) will be closed tomorrow, December 17, 2020, due to inclement weather. All remote instructional programming and school-sponsored activities are canceled. School meals will not be available for pickup or delivery.

 
 

2019-2020

ICSD to Open Outdoor Facilities for Public Use Beginning July 6
ICSD Announces Administrative Transitions
ICSD Annual Budget Vote And Election Official Results
ICSD Annual Budget Vote And Election Preliminary Results
Extension of Deadline to Receive Absentee Ballots by Mail
ICSD Board Approves New End Dates for 2019-2020 School Year
ICSD Announces Administrative Transitions
ICSD Moving to Only Home Delivery for School Meals
Ithaca City School District Announces School Closure
Ithaca City School District in Session May 22, 2020
Superintendent Brown Selected to Receive Appreciation Award
ICSD Announces Administrative Appointments
ICSD Superintendent Announces First Cohort of Aspiring Educators
Third Annual Leading With Love Community Event
ICSD Board of Education to Hold Public Hearing on Proposed Utility Tax
ICSD Appoints New Principal for Caroline Elementary
 
ICSD to Open Outdoor Facilities for Public Use Beginning July 6

June 29, 2020: Beginning July 6, 2020, the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) will reopen its outdoor facilities for public use, including low-risk youth sports in accordance with Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order. The district will continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure the health and safety of children, families and the community. 

Group outdoor facility use requests will be managed through ML Schedules, which can be accessed on the ICSD website at ithacacityschools.org/facilities. Those who wish to submit an outdoor facility use request will need to review and confirm their understanding of and commitment to health and safety requirements on behalf of their group or organization. These include, but are not limited to groups of no more than 50 people. Any outdoor facility use request made prior to July 6 will be considered by the district on an individual basis.

The use of playgrounds, play structures and green spaces by individuals or members of the same household does not require district review and approval. The ICSD asks anyone using outdoor district facilities to practice recommended social distancing and hygiene practices, including maintaining six feet of distance from others, staying home when sick, and wearing cloth face coverings as feasible.

At this time, our indoor facilities remain closed. All questions regarding district facility use should be directed to Daniel Breiman, Administration Officer, daniel.breiman@icsd.k12.ny.us.

ICSD Announces Administrative Transitions

June 23, 2020: On Tuesday, June 23, 2020, the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Board of Education approved two administrative appointments for the 2020-2021 school year.

Jennifer Gondek, who currently serves as a Master Educator for Inclusion (MEI) at Enfield and Northeast elementary schools, has been appointed as the district’s new Director of Special Education. Prior to joining the ICSD in 2019, Gondek worked for eight years as an Instructional Specialist for Inclusion at TST BOCES, supporting component districts in the areas of inclusive education, literacy, behavioral support, special education regulation, and more. Gondek also has over a decade of diverse teaching experience, having worked in various states as a special education teacher, elementary teacher, student support teacher, and literacy specialist. 

On Tuesday night, the ICSD Board of Education also appointed Lisa Sahasrabudhe as the new principal of Cayuga Heights Elementary School. Sahasrabudhe first joined the ICSD in 1988 and served for 30 years as a classroom teacher at Fall Creek, Belle Sherman, and Beverly J. Martin elementary schools. In 2018, Sahasrabudhe became the district’s first Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) for Culturally Responsive Practices. She was then appointed to her current position, Instructional Coach for Equity, Inclusion, and Innovation at Fall Creek Elementary School, in 2019. Sahasrabudhe also serves as an Equity Mentor for the district and has been a member of the ICSD Equity and Inclusion Leadership Council (EILC) since 2014.

ICSD Annual Budget Vote And Election Official Results

June 18, 2020: The results of the 2020 Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Budget Vote and School Board Election listed below have been certified and adopted by the ICSD Board of Education.

Proposition No. 1    Proposed 2020-2021 Annual District Budget
YES Votes: 5,526
NO Votes: 1,682
Passed with 76.66%

Proposition No. 2    Appropriation and Expenditure of Capital Reserve Funds
YES Votes: 5,606
NO Votes: 1,563
Passed with 78.20%

School Board Election: Sean Eversley Bradwell, Christopher Malcolm, and Patricia Wasyliw, having received the highest number of votes, are confirmed as elected to the ICSD Board of Education, each for a three-year term commencing July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2023. 
Candidate Votes For
Sabrina Draffen 1,820
Sean Eversley Bradwell 5,042
Sophia Lux 2,869
Christopher Malcolm 4,275
Patricia Wasyliw 3,709
ICSD Annual Budget Vote And Election Preliminary Results

June 17, 2020: The preliminary results from the 2020 Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Budget Vote and School Board Election, as of 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17, are listed below. These results are subject to verification. The ICSD Board of Education will meet to certify the results on Thursday, June 18 at 5:30 p.m.

Proposition No. 1    Proposed 2020-2021 Annual District Budget
YES Votes: 5,526 NO Votes: 1,682

Proposition No. 2    Appropriation and Expenditure of Capital Reserve Funds
YES Votes: 5,606 NO Votes: 1,563

School Board Election
Candidate Votes For
Sabrina Draffen 1,820
Sean Eversley Bradwell 5,042
Sophia Lux 2,869
Christopher Malcolm 4,275
Patricia Wasyliw 3,709
Extension of Deadline to Receive Absentee Ballots by Mail

June 8, 2020: New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued an Executive Order extending the deadline for school districts to receive absentee ballots returned by mail to June 16, 2020.

Ballots may be delivered by hand to the District Office at 400 Lake Street until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9. Ballots may continue to be mailed and will be received by mail until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16.  

The “closing of the polls” will occur at 5:00 p.m. on June 16, at which time, election inspectors will begin counting the ballots. Ballots that are postmarked on or prior to June 16 but not received by 5:00 p.m. on June 16 cannot be counted.

ICSD Board Approves New End Dates for 2019-2020 School Year

May 22, 2020: On Thursday, May 21, the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Board of Education approved a modification for an early end to the 2019-2020 academic calendar.

Along with other districts in the region, and in accordance with Governor Cuomo’s executive order requiring remote instruction through the April spring break, the ICSD is positioned to end the school year approximately one week early.

The last day of instruction for all ICSD students will now be Tuesday, June 16. The last day for 10-month employees will be Friday, June 19. The district will continue offering free school meal deliveries to all children through June 25. 

In an effort to ensure a sense of closure for students, families and staff, the ICSD will transition away from new instruction as of June 8 and will begin culminating projects/review and offering closure conversations/conferences for all students. 

Newly Modified 2019-2020 End-of-Year Dates for the Ithaca City School District
  • Monday, May 25: Memorial Day Recess
  • Monday, June 8: Begin Closure Conversations/Conferences and Culminating Experiences
  • Tuesday, June 16: Last Day for Students
  • Friday, June 19: Last Day for 10-Month Employees
  • Thursday, June 25: Last Day for School Year Meal Delivery
ICSD Announces Administrative Transitions

May 12, 2020: Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Superintendent Luvelle Brown is pleased to announce that two district administrators will transition into new roles for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Carlan Gray, who currently serves as an associate principal at Ithaca High School, will transition to the role of principal of DeWitt Middle School on July 1, 2020. Gray first joined the ICSD in 2005. Prior to her appointment as associate principal in 2018, she served as a high school biology teacher, science department chair, and master educator for science, math, engineering and technology (STEM). In addition to several district-wide professional development projects, Gray has also supported the ICSD by serving as a coach for the cross-country team.

Lauren Wright will transition to the role of principal of Boynton Middle School on July 1, 2020, as well. Wright began her career in the district in 2013 as a social studies teacher at Ithaca High School. She then served as a district-wide technology integration specialist before being appointed associate principal at Boynton in 2018.

The ICSD Board of Education approved the appointments of Gray and Wright to their new roles on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. 

“The role of principal is very important for our school community,” said ICSD Superintendent Luvelle Brown. “Our district is fortunate to have these two internal trailblazers with the talent, experiences and passion needed to lead our buildings.”

ICSD Moving to Only Home Delivery for School Meals

March 20, 2020: In order to help support travel and social distancing restrictions, beginning Tuesday, March 24, the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) will move to only home delivery for school meals. Meal pickup locations will not be operational. 

ICSD staff will be at the sites on Monday to provide food and assist those who have not received notice of this change; the sites will not be staffed after Monday. 

The school meals will continue to be free for all students, and any ICSD family can arrange for meal delivery by completing our online delivery request form: http://bit.ly/2U55Q5p. The form can also be found on our district website, www.ithacacityschools.org. Families should complete one form per week for all children in the household and submit the form at least 24 hours in advance.

Those who do not have access to the internet, or who otherwise need assistance completing the meal delivery request form, should call 2-1-1. The call center is available 24/7 and is also locally staffed Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

All meals will be delivered to homes only and will be left outside. Families should not meet the delivery person at the door. The ICSD is grateful to our staff and community for making this happen for our children.

Ithaca City School District Announces School Closure

March 13, 2020: On Friday, March 13, 2020, the Ithaca City School District announced that all schools will close effective immediately through April 12, 2020. 

Attached, please find a letter from Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown, Board of Education President Robert Ainslie, and Board of Education Vice President Sean Eversley Bradwell announcing the closure.

Attachment: ICSD School Closure

Ithaca City School District in Session May 22, 2020

February 24, 2020: Due to the number of emergency closings this school year, Friday, May 22, 2020 will not be a school recess day for the Ithaca City School District. All schools will be in session.

Superintendent Brown Selected to Receive Appreciation Award

February 3, 2020: Ithaca City School District Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown has been selected by the New York State Council of School Superintendents (“The Council”) to receive the 2020 Appreciation Award. This annual award is given in recognition of the extraordinary efforts by members of The Council to improve public education and serve the children in New York State.

This year, the Appreciation Award will be presented to two individuals, Brown and Superintendent Dr. L. Oliver Robinson of the Shenendehowa Central School District, who together established The Council’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusivity. As co-chairs, Brown and Robinson continue to lead the commission in its efforts to promote equity, cultural responsiveness, and inclusion in public school.

Since 2018, the ICSD has hosted the commission’s annual Diversity Symposium of Thought Leaders, a two-day national conference for educators. The commission has also conducted regional workshops in Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Long Island, Albany, New York City, and other locations throughout New York State. 

Brown and Robinson will be presented with the 2020 Appreciation Award on March 1, during The Council’s annual Winter Institute in Albany, N.Y. Brown, who has served as the Superintendent of the Ithaca City School District since 2011, is the recipient of various other awards and recognitions, including:
  • 2017 New York Superintendent of the Year
  • National School Board Association’s “20-to-Watch”
  • 2019 Tompkins County Distinguished Citizen Award
ICSD Announces Administrative Appointments

January 28, 2020 - On Tuesday, January 28, 2020, the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Board of Education approved two administrative appointments for the 2020-2021 school year. Beginning July 1, 2020, Daniel Breiman will assume the role of Administration Officer and Jeffrey Tomasik will replace Breiman as the principal of Belle Sherman Elementary School.

Breiman, an Ithaca native and ICSD alum, began his career in education in 2001 as a classroom inclusion teacher in New York City and then as an inclusion specialist in Cambridge, M.A. In 2003, he moved to Houston, T.X., where he worked as an educator and school administrator for eight years, including four years as an elementary principal. Breiman returned to Ithaca in 2011, after being appointed principal of Belle Sherman Elementary School, where he currently still serves.

“For the past nine years it has been my great honor and privilege to be the principal of Belle Sherman Elementary,” said Breiman. “Seeing the growth of our students has brought me the most pride and joy. Our students are problem solvers, collaborators, and are ready to lead. I am privileged and excited to now join our Superintendent, Luvelle Brown, and other central office leaders to further support Belle Sherman, and all students in the Ithaca City School District.”

In addition to holding degrees from Boston University and New York University, Breiman earned an Ed.D. in Education Leadership, Management and Policy from Seton Hall University in 2019. His two sons currently attend Northeast Elementary School.

Replacing Breiman as the principal of Belle Sherman Elementary will be Jeffrey Tomasik, who is now in his 20th year in the district. Tomasik joined the ICSD in 2000, serving first as an English as a New Language (ENL) teacher and then as an associate principal at DeWitt Middle School. In 2003, Tomasik was appointed principal of Northeast Elementary School. He remained at Northeast for the next 12 years, during which time the school was named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. In 2015, Tomasik took on his current role as principal of Boynton Middle School.

“I am extremely grateful for my five years at Boynton and have learned so much working with a talented staff and incredible student body,” said Tomasik. “I am also excited to be heading back to elementary school and very much look forward to joining the Belle Sherman community in June.”

Tomasik holds degrees from Rutgers University and the University of Virginia. His wife, Jennifer Wilkie, also works for the district, serving as an instructional coach at Cayuga Heights Elementary School. Their two children both attended ICSD schools and are graduates of Ithaca High School.

ICSD Superintendent Announces First Cohort of Aspiring Educators

September 5, 2019 - Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown announced the first cohort of students selected to be part of the Aspiring Educators Award and Program during the district’s annual Convocation on Sept. 3.

The Aspiring Educators Award and Program recognizes high school students from the ICSD who show promise as future educators and educational leaders. The program is open to rising juniors and seniors from underrepresented backgrounds who are interested in pursuing teaching as a profession.

The first three students selected to participate in the Aspiring Educators Program are Ithaca High School senior Travion Brooks, and juniors Karije Henderson and Kenya Westfield.

First cohort of Aspiring Educators - Travion Brooks, Karije Henderson, and Kenya Westfield
Dr. Brown announces first cohort of Aspiring Educators at Convocation: 
Travion Brooks, Karije Henderson and Kenya Westfield.

Through the program, Brooks, Henderson and Westfield will receive mentorship opportunities with ICSD teachers and administrators, and will be included in professional development activities that expose them to the education profession.
 
“Increasing the number and diversity of talented individuals in the professional educator pipeline should be at the top of the list for all school districts,” said Brown. “We can do much to provide young men and women from underrepresented backgrounds the chance to experience the joys of being an educator through direct mentorship and learning opportunities.”
 
Following Brown’s announcement, New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) president William Miller presented the ICSD with the “Champions of Change for Kids” award, in recognition of the work being done through the Aspiring Educators Award and Program.

President of NYSSBA awards the ICSD the "Champions of Change for Kids" award at the 2019 Convocation
William Miller presents the "Champions of Change for Kids" award to 
Dr. Brown.

The Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI) supports the Aspiring Educators Award and Program through a special ICSD Superintendent Fund. This fund is open to tax deductible donations from community members who share Dr. Brown’s interest in encouraging local youth to consider careers in education through the Aspiring Educators Award and Program. To learn more, or to donate to the fund, visit www.ipei.org/icsd-superintendent-fund.

Third Annual Leading With Love Community Event

August 21, 2019 - The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) and Cornell University’s Office of Community Relations will once again mark the start of the 2019-2020 school year with a community gathering on Wednesday, Sept. 4.
 
The third annual “Ithaca NY: Leading with Love” event will be held at Enfield Elementary School. This is a simple, non-political event that celebrates education, young people, and the power and potential of unified, loving communities. Everyone is welcome.
 
The event will begin at 7:15 a.m. with the community gathering and welcoming Enfield students for their first day of the 2019-2020 school year. Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown and Enfield principal Keith Harrington will then offer brief remarks on the importance of compassion and inclusivity. The event will conclude by 8 a.m.
 
“We will open our school year with conversations and emblematic examples of our loving culture,” said Brown. “This is not a political event. This is a chance to show people from near and far what Ithaca and Tompkins County value: inclusive, empowering and culturally responsive environments.”
 
Parking will be available at Enfield Elementary School, 20 Enfield Main Road. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be held inside the school.

For more information, contact ICSD Communications at icsdcommunications@icsd.k12.ny.us or (607) 274-2101, ext. 71102.

ICSD Board of Education to Hold Public Hearing on Proposed Utility Tax

August 6, 2019 - The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Board of Education will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, August 13 to solicit feedback on the proposed imposition of a sales tax on certain utility services. The hearing will be held in the ICSD Board Room at 400 Lake Street, beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Those who wish to give testimony but who are unable to appear personally on August 13 may send their written testimony and comments to the District Clerk, either by mail (Tricia Beresford, District Clerk, 400 Lake St., Ithaca, NY 14850) or by email (tricia.beresford@icsd.k12.ny.us).

About the Proposed Utility Tax

Section 1212 of the New York State Tax Law authorizes counties, cities, and small city school districts like the ICSD to impose a sales tax on certain utilities and utility services. Almost half of the 57 small city school districts in New York currently impose such a tax, as do Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca (for a list of jurisdictions that impose these taxes, view Publication 718-R, Local Sales and Use Tax Rates on Residential Energy).

Pursuant to Section 1212 of the Tax Law, small city school districts may impose a sales tax on gas, electricity, refrigeration, and steam, and related services; telephony and telegraphy and related services (except interstate and international telephony and telegraphy and related services); telephone answering and facsimile transmission (fax) services; and mobile telecommunication services provided by a home service provider. The maximum rate at which a district may impose such a tax is three percent.

The ICSD Board of Education is considering the imposition of a sales tax on utilities and utility services as an alternative option for generating revenue. The district’s ability to assess property taxes is limited each year by the New York State tax cap. Additionally, shortfalls in foundation aid paid to the district, combined with wage increases included in negotiated contracts, have necessitated that the ICSD seek out alternative revenue sources in order to sustain quality instructional programs.

Unlike property taxes that disproportionately impact the district’s property owners, the utility tax would be a tax of general applicability, the burden of which would be shared by all users of utilities on an equitable basis.

Should a majority of the ICSD Board of Education vote to impose a tax on utility services after the August 13 public hearing takes place, the earliest the tax could go into effect is December 1, 2019.

Additional information on the proposed utility tax can be found on the ICSD website. If you have any questions, please contact ICSD Chief Operations Officer Amanda Verba at (607) 274-2121.

ICSD Appoints New Principal for Caroline Elementary

July 2, 2019 - On Tuesday, the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Board of Education approved the appointment of Kristin Herman as the new principal of Caroline Elementary School.

Herman has nearly 20 years of experience as an educator, including six with the ICSD. Since joining the district in 2013, Herman has served in multiple capacities, including middle school teacher, department leader, equity data team member and founding principal of Project Innovation, the ICSD’s fully inclusive, project-based summer school program. Most recently, Herman served as associate principal of Enfield Elementary School.

In each of her various positions, Herman has demonstrated her commitment to creating safe learning environments for students and staff, and to building meaningful relationships with families and the broader Ithaca community.   

“We are thrilled to welcome Kristin Herman as the instructional leader of Caroline,” said ICSD Inclusion Officer Mary Grover. “She is a talented educator, who’s bringing a palpable passion and a great deal of expertise to the position. We’re grateful to the families and staff who partnered with us throughout the selection process to ensure that we found the best leader for the Caroline community. I’m looking forward to what lies ahead for this great school.”

“I am honored to have this opportunity to lead the Caroline Elementary School community as principal,” said Herman. “I have admired the work the Caroline staff has done and couldn’t be happier to join this team of dedicated educators as we support students and families. I will continue to dream big for the mighty Enfield Elementary School and the wonderful community it serves.”

Top

 

2018-2019

Ithaca High School Recognized for Academic Achievement and Progress
Ithaca Teachers to Vote on Six-Year Contract
Annual Budget Vote And Election Official Results
Annual School Board Election Prelim Results
Annual Budget Vote Preliminary Results
Budget Hearing And Tele-Town Hall
Community Conversations On 2019 Capital Project
IHS Senior Earns Perfect Score on AP Exam
ICSD Schools in Session Friday, May 24
Dr. Brown to be Recognized as Distinguished Citizen
IHS Brain Team Sets National Record in Quizbowl
Community Conversations on Capital Project and ERC
IHS Teacher Awarded Fulbright Fellowship
Local Leaders to Hold "Leading with Love" Walk
 
Ithaca High School Recognized for Academic Achievement and Progress

June 19, 2019 - The New York State Education Department (NYSED) recently named Ithaca High School a 2018-2019 Recognition School.

Recognition Schools are identified as high achieving and high progress under the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan, the goals of which are to foster equity in education and expand measures for school support, school accountability and student success.

“We are taking a more holistic approach to school and student achievement under ESSA and I am excited to recognize these schools for their accomplishments and progress,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “I commend the teachers, administrators, staff, parents and students for the hard work and dedication they bring each day—it is truly paying off.”

The Recognition Schools were identified as such for having high academic achievement, student growth and graduation rates, and for having made progress in English language arts (ELA) and math performance, chronic absenteeism rates and college, career and civic readiness. All of the schools have also met the federally required 95 percent participation rate in ELA and math assessments.

In total, NYSED identified 562 Recognition Schools for 2018-2019. Of those, Ithaca is one of 234 high schools and one of 280 schools located outside of New York City.

“Ithaca High School is consistently receiving state and national recognitions for academic achievements,” said Dr. Luvelle Brown, Superintendent of the Ithaca City School District. “It is an honor to work and learn with the students, staff and families associated with one of our nation’s best secondary schools.”

Ithaca Teachers to Vote on Unprecedented Six-Year Contract With the ICSD

June 6, 2019 - This week, president and chief negotiator for the Ithaca Teachers Association (ITA) Adam Piasecki signed a tentative agreement with the Ithaca City School District that will increase teacher payroll by more than 27 percent over the term of the contract.
 
Highlights of the unprecedented six-year labor agreement include: expanded employee health insurance benefits; increased stipends paid to teachers for extra duties; additional tuition-free slots in ICSD schools for children of teachers who live outside of the district; and targeted flat-rate pay increases in the first, third and fifth years of the contract.
 
“Flat-rate increases allow for a greater percentage of the payroll increases to flow to teachers on the lower end of the salary scale,” said Robert Van Keuren, chief negotiator for the ICSD. “Both the ITA and district were in agreement that these flat-rate increases will help the district retain current staff and remain competitive in the market for newer teachers.”
 
“The Board of Education recognizes the competitive market for top educators requires a competitive compensation package,” said ICSD Board Member Brad Grainger. “This contract will increase payroll 27 percent over six years. While aggressive, it is needed to assure continued recruitment of the best educators in New York. The budget will be stretched to meet these contracts, but Ithaca residents have indicated support for our teaching professionals.”
 
The ICSD also recently reached a six-year collective bargaining agreement with ESP/I that includes yearly pay increases of three or four percent for all paraprofessionals, including teacher aides and teaching assistants, and protects health care benefits.
 
ICSD Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown stated, “The collaborative conversations with the leadership of our two largest bargaining units have been fruitful and resulted in agreements that are consistent with our school district’s compensation strategy. The length and pay increases associated with these new contracts are noteworthy.”

ICSD Annual Budget Vote And Election Official Results

May 22, 2019 - The results of the 2019 Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Budget Vote and School Board Election listed below have been certified and adopted by the ICSD Board of Education.

Proposition No. 1      Proposed 2019-2020 Annual District Budget

YES Votes: 2,383

NO Votes: 584 Passed with 80.32%
Proposition No. 2      Appropriation & Expenditure of Capital Reserve Funds

YES Votes: 2,530

NO Votes: 447 Passed with 84.98%
Proposition No. 3      Capital Improvement Bond Resolution

YES Votes: 2,393

NO Votes: 554 Passed with 81.20%
School Board Election

Eldred Harris, Robert Ainslie, and write-in candidate Erin Croyle, having received the highest number of votes, are confirmed as elected to the ICSD Board of Education, each for a three-year term commencing July 1, 2019 and ending June 30, 2022.

Candidate Votes For
Bradley Grainger 1,503
Eldred Harris 1,897
Robert Ainslie 1,581
Erin Croyle (write-in) 1,566
ICSD School Board Election Preliminary Results

May 22, 2019 - The preliminary results from the 2019 Ithaca City School District (ICSD) School Board Election, as of 6:55 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22, are listed below. These results are subject to verification. The ICSD Board of Education will meet to certify the results tonight at 8:00 p.m.

School Board Election
Candidate Votes For
Bradley Grainger 1,503
Eldred Harris 1,897
Robert Ainslie 1,581
Erin Croyle (write-in) 1,566 
Top 
ICSD Annual Budget Vote And Election Preliminary Results

May 21, 2019 - The preliminary results from the 2019 Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Budget Vote and School Board Election, as of 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, are listed below. These results are subject to verification. The ICSD Board of Education will meet to certify the results on Wednesday, May 22 at 8:00 p.m.

Proposition No. 1     Proposed 2019-2020 Annual District Budget

YES Votes: 2,383

NO Votes: 584
Proposition No. 2     Appropriation & Expenditure of Capital Reserve Funds

YES Votes: 2,530

NO Votes: 447
Proposition No. 3     Capital Improvement Bond Resolution

YES Votes: 2,393

NO Votes: 554
School Board Election

The ICSD will not have the preliminary results from the school board election until all write-in votes are counted tomorrow, May 22.

ICSD To Conduct Budget Hearing And Tele-Town Hall On May 13

May 7, 2019 - The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) will conduct its annual budget hearing and tele-town hall on Monday, May 13, 2019. The purpose of the events is to provide opportunities for the public to learn more and ask questions about the district’s proposed 2019-2020 budget.
 
The budget hearing will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the ICSD Board Room, 400 Lake Street, and the tele-town hall will follow at 6:30 p.m. All ICSD student households will receive an invitation by phone to participate in the live tele-town hall. Members of the community who do not automatically receive a call are invited to participate by dialing in to (855) 756-7520, ext. 46791#.
 
During the tele-town hall, the ICSD Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown, and members of the executive team will respond to questions and comments about the proposed budget. Participants may simply listen to the discussion or may submit questions and comments to be entered into a queue. Submissions posted to Twitter (@IthacaNYSchools) and Facebook (facebook.com/ithacacityschools) with the hashtag #ICSDBoE will also be added to the queue.
 
The public will have the opportunity to vote on the district’s proposed budget on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Polls are open from noon to 9:00 p.m. For more information, including poll site locations, visit the Budget Vote and School Board Election page on the ICSD website.

ICSD To Hold Community Conversations On 2019 Capital Project

April 29, 2019 - The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) will engage the public in two community conversations focused on its proposed 2019 Capital Project. The purpose of the conversations is to provide opportunities for community members to learn more and ask questions about the project, prior to the May 21 referendum.
 
The first community conversation will be held on Tuesday, May 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the ICSD Board Room, 400 Lake Street. The second community conversation will be held on Wednesday, May 15 at 5:30 p.m. in the DeWitt Middle School auditorium, 560 Warren Road. Both events are open to the public. Questions can be submitted in advance of the events via the Let’s Talk Portal on the Ithaca City School District website. 

About the 2019 Capital Project

On May 21, voters will have the opportunity to authorize a $120 million, tax-neutral bond issue that would support the ICSD’s proposed 2019 Capital Project.
 
The 2019 Capital Project is a district-wide, long-term facilities plan designed to enhance safety and security, upgrade teaching and learning spaces, and improve infrastructure at all Ithaca schools. Construction of the proposed project would be completed in multiple phases over the course of 12 years, with Phase I work scheduled to begin in 2020.
 
The cost of the 2019 Capital Project would not exceed $120 million. The ICSD would pay this amount over 10 years’ time using a combination of state building aid reimbursements and debt retirement – as the district pays off old debt, it would take on new debt to fund the improvements. This system of debt retirement would stabilize the debt service line in the district’s annual budget and, as a result, the 2019 Capital Project would be tax-neutral.
 
For more information, visit www.ithacacityschools.org/2019CapProj

IHS Senior Earns Perfect Score on AP Exam

April 25, 2019 - Ithaca High School senior Rowan Lynch is one of only 16 students in the world to earn a perfect score on the Advanced Placement (AP) United States History Exam last May.
 
The College Board’s AP Program provides students the opportunity to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. All AP courses are modeled on comparable introductory college courses in their subjects and culminate in a standardized assessment, or AP exam. AP Exams are scored on a scale of 1 to 5, where a 5 is equivalent to a grade of A in the corresponding college course.

Not only was Lynch among the 10 percent of students who received the top score of 5 on last year’s AP United States History Exam, he was among the 0.003 percent who earned every possible point on the assessment.
 
Lynch said he was somewhat surprised to learn he had earned a perfect score last month, and was quick to praise his AP United States History teacher, Phillip Jordan. “Although I received the score, much of the credit for this accomplishment belongs to Mr. Jordan, as he created an enjoyable and challenging atmosphere that benefited every student,” he said.
 
Next fall, Lynch will attend the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. Although he’ll major in jazz studies, Lynch said he looks forward to enrolling in history classes as well.
 
“The content is always interesting, and often puts current events in a broader context that yields fresh insights,” he explained. “There are so many fascinating stories lurking in the past…from thought-provoking solemn events like Nat Turner’s Rebellion to entertaining absurdities like Tycho Brahe’s inebriated moose.”

ICSD Schools in Session Friday, May 24

April 23, 2019 - Due to the number of emergency closings this year, Friday, May 24, 2019 will not be a school recess day for the Ithaca City School District (ICSD). All ICSD schools will be in session.

ICSD Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown to be Recognized as Tompkins County Distinguished Citizen

March 27, 2019 - Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown will be honored by the Boy Scouts of America, Baden-Powell Council with its prestigious Tompkins County Distinguished Citizen Award.
 
The award recognizes individuals who set positive examples for others and who demonstrate concern and significant care for their communities. As this year’s honoree, Dr. Brown will be recognized by business and community leaders for his significant achievements and service to the community and its youth. Dr. Brown has invested a lifetime in mentoring youth and has served as the ICSD Superintendent of Schools since 2011.
 
“Living and working in Tompkins County is a great privilege and honor,” said Luvelle Brown. “To have my love, commitment, and service to this community recognized with such a prestigious honor brings much joy to my heart.”

Dr. Brown will be honored at the annual Tompkins County Distinguished Citizens Award fundraising dinner on April 29, 2019 in the Emerson Suites at Ithaca College. Proceeds from the dinner will help fund critical Scouting programs throughout Tompkins County and its surrounding communities. To purchase tickets for the event, visit http://bit.ly/tcdca2019.

IHS Brain Team Sets National Record in Quizbowl Tournament

February 15, 2019 - On Saturday, February 9, the Ithaca High School Brain Team set a national record while competing in the Geneva Invitational Quizbowl Tournament in Geneva, NY.

Through nine rounds of play, the Ithaca A team, featuring seniors Isaiah Gutman and Julian Perry, junior Kaelan Imani, and freshman Rohit Lal, went undefeated and sustained an average of 631.7 points per game. This score set a new national record for highest points per game in the recorded history of high school quizbowl. The previous record of 627.3 points per game was set two years ago by a team from New York City.

After its outstanding performance at the Geneva Invitational, the Ithaca A team was named Team of the Week by the National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT), one of the main governing bodies of quizbowl, and qualified for national tournaments in Washington and Atlanta this spring. The Ithaca B team, comprised of senior Tony Yang, junior Patrick Yuan, and sophomore Alice Lee-Kleinberg, also qualified after finishing the weekend with eight wins and two losses.

The IHS Brain Team is currently ranked first in New York State and 15th in the nation.

ICSD to Hold Community Conversations on 2019 Capital Project and Equity Report Card

November 19, 2018 - The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) will be engaging the public over the next couple of months in community conversations focused on the upcoming capital project and the ICSD Equity Report Card. Community conversations offer students, families, staff, and community members opportunities to share visions of success for the school district and propose thoughtful improvement strategies.
 
2019 Capital Project Community Conversations
On May 21, 2019, ICSD voters will have the opportunity to approve an approximately $100 million, ten-year-long capital project that will enhance safety and security, upgrade teaching and learning spaces, and improve infrastructure across the district. As it moves through the capital project planning process, the ICSD seeks to engage and receive input from all community members. In addition to meeting with PTAs and other community stakeholder groups, the ICSD will host three community conversations about the capital project that are open to everyone.
 
2019 Capital Project Community Conversations:

  • November 28, 2018 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
    Tompkins County Public Library Borg Warner Room

  • December 13, 2018 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
    Southside Community Center

  • January 17, 2019 from 5:30 -7:00 p.m.
    Boynton Middle School 

Equity Report Card Community Conversations
The Equity Report Card is a tool the ICSD has created to monitor its progress in achieving equity throughout the district. Specifically, the Equity Report Card helps the ICSD and broader Ithaca community think collectively about: students’ experiences in ICSD schools; the impact of the ICSD’s efforts to eliminate race, class, disability, and gender as predictors of academic performance, co-curricular participation, and discipline; and how everyone can contribute to the goal of increasing equity in the ICSD and throughout the community.
 
The ICSD, Village at Ithaca, Equity Inclusion Leadership Council (EILC), and PTA Council will host a total of five community conversations about the Equity Report Card, four for parents, guardians, and community members and one for students.
 
Equity Report Card Community Conversations for parents, guardians, and community members (these sessions are not school specific -- all are welcome to attend any/all locations):

  • December 3, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.
    Enfield Elementary School

  • December 5, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.
    Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC)

  • December 12, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.
    Lehman Alternative Community School

  • January 28, 2019 at 5:45 p.m.
    Caroline Elementary School

Equity Report Card Community Conversation for students:

  • Thursday, December 6, 2018 from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m.
    Ithaca High School
Ithaca High School Teacher Awarded Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Fellowship

September 25, 2018 - Ithaca High School social studies teacher Keith Thompson is one of 38 highly accomplished U.S. teachers awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching fellowship for the 2018-2019 academic year.
 
The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE). It is an intensive international exchange and professional development program designed to build teachers’ and students’ global competence and to share educational best practices internationally. A highly competitive award, Mr. Thompson was selected based on his teaching experience, academic training, inquiry project proposal, and professional experience.
 
Mr. Thompson will be in Belfast, Northern Ireland from January to June 2019 investigating how students develop and navigate their own political identities. Specifically, he will concentrate on the ways by which schools in the United Kingdom help young people have challenging and meaningful conversations across race, socio-economic, and ideological divides.
 
As part of the program Mr. Thompson will take courses at Queen’s University Belfast, as well as work with local schools, governments, and organizations to explore how different communities and institutions work to support democracy and dialogue.
 
“I am really fortunate to be able to work with the Centre for Shared Education at Queen’s University Belfast,” Thompson said. “They have been working for decades to build bridges between communities after religious, social, and economic divisions highlighted in ‘The Troubles’ of the 1970s-90s. While the conflicts we have in our communities may not be as dramatic, they in many ways run just as deep. It’s an amazing opportunity for me to learn first-hand how educators can help build communities and have the difficult conversations so necessary in our democracy today.”
 
Once he returns to Ithaca, Mr. Thompson will complete an inquiry project summarizing some of the lessons from Belfast, as well as develop academic curriculum and share insights with the school and community. 
 
“The supportive environment of Ithaca and the ICSD has been crucial to my development as an educator,” Thompson shared. “I’m very excited to be able to bring back new insights to share with such an amazing community of learners.”

Local Education Leaders to Hold "Leading with Love" Community Walk, Sept. 5

August 27, 2018 - The Ithaca City School District (ICSD), Cornell University, Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3), Ithaca College, the City of Ithaca, and local leaders and residents from throughout Tompkins County will mark the start of the 2018-2019 school year with a community walk from Stewart Park to Ithaca High School on Wednesday, Sept. 5.
 
The second annual “Ithaca NY: Leading with Love” community walk is a simple, non-political event that celebrates education, young people, and the power and potential of unified, loving communities. Everyone is welcome to join.
 
The event will begin at the main pavilion at Stewart Park at 7:30 a.m. sharp. From there, the community will walk to Kulp Auditorium at Ithaca High School, where ICSD Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown, Cornell President Martha Pollack, Ithaca College President Shirley Collado, TC3 President Orinthia Montague, and others will offer remarks. The event will conclude by 8:30 a.m.
 
“We will open our school year with conversations and emblematic examples of our loving culture,” said Brown. “This is not a political event. This is a chance to show people from near and far what Ithaca and Tompkins County value: inclusive, empowering, and culturally responsive environments.”
 
Brown recently spoke about this year’s walk on WHCU’s “All Things Equal.”
http://whcuradio.com/podcasts/all-things-equal-8-21-18/
 
The “Leading with Love” walk will occur rain or shine. Parking will be available at Stewart Park. There will be no parking at Ithaca High School or Boynton Middle School.
 
For more information, contact Gary Stewart in Cornell University’s Office of Community Relations: gjs28@cornell.edu or (607) 227-5531.

Top

 

2017-2018

Administrative Appointments II
Administrative Appointments I
ICSD Appoints New Principal at LACS
2018 Budget Vote and Election Results
ICSD Educators Receive Governor's Award
School Will be Held on Friday, May 25
ICSD Music Ed Program National Recognition
Board Statement on Spring Musical
New Roots Public Hearing
ICSD to Participate in CS-EDU Partnership
ICSD Superintendent a Top Educator and Thought Leader
IHS Athletics Seeks Hall of Fame Nominations
Meal Prices Will Increase Per New Guidelines
Brown and Myrick to Lead Two Events Next Week in the Spirit of Love, Community, Moving Forward
"Leading with Love" Walk
CWPA to Perform The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses
ICSD Announces Summer Farm to Table Program
ICSD Students Place in Top 10 at Tech Conference
 
Ithaca City School District Announces Administrative Appointments

June 26, 2018 - On June 26, the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Board of Education approved administrative appointments for the 2018-2019 school year.
 
Lily Talcott has been appointed as deputy superintendent of the ICSD. The position of deputy has been vacant since the departure of Dr. Matt Landahl who currently serves as superintendent of the Beacon City School District. Ms. Talcott has served as principal of Northeast Elementary School since 2015. Prior to this, she worked at the district level, first as a teacher on special assignment with a focus on pre-K-5 mathematics and then as a master educator supporting pre-K-12 professional development, curriculum, and assessments. Ms. Talcott began her teaching career in 2004 in the Bronx, New York before coming to the ICSD in 2006. Here, she served as a long-term substitute teacher and teacher aide before teaching first grade at Enfield Elementary School for five years.* 
 
Replacing Ms. Talcott at Northeast will be Liddy Coyle. Ms. Coyle currently serves as the district’s chief academic officer, a role that will be dissolved. Prior to becoming chief academic officer, Ms. Coyle worked in various other roles in the ICSD, including teacher, academic intervention specialist, literacy staff developer, and master educator handling staff and curriculum development. She began her career as an elementary teacher in Virginia. Both Ms. Coyle and Ms. Talcott are Ithaca natives and attended schools in the ICSD.
 
David Brown, director of fine and performing arts, will be leaving the ICSD to assume the superintendent position at DeRuyter Central School District and will be replaced by Daphne Shululu. Ms. Shululu has worked in the ICSD since 2012, first as a kindergarten teacher and most recently as a master educator in early childhood. In addition to her teaching experience, Ms. Shululu also has an extensive background in theatre arts. From 1997 to 2007, Ms. Shululu served as theatre program director at Boys & Girls Harbor in Manhattan and, from 2007 to 2009, as coordinator for the Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film at Purchase College.
 
Taking over Ms. Shululu’s responsibilities for early childhood education will be Laura Evans who has been appointed as pre-K-12 literacy officer. Ms. Evans began her teaching career at Enfield Elementary School before working for Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland for 25 years, most recently as supervisor of elementary integrated curriculum. Last year, Ms. Evans returned to the ICSD to assume the role of inclusion officer, helping to develop and implement practices aimed at creating more equitable access to education for all ICSD students. 
 
Replacing Ms. Evans as inclusion officer will be Mary Grover, who has served as the principal of Caroline Elementary School since 2013. Ms. Grover began her career teaching English in Japanese public high schools. From there, she worked in Portland, Oregon for eight years as a student advocate and teacher. In 2010, Ms. Grover assumed a position as lecturer and teaching support specialist at Cornell University’s Center for Teaching Excellence before becoming a graduation coach at Ithaca High School in 2012.
 
Karen Rachetta will replace Ms. Grover as the principal of Caroline Elementary School. Ms. Rachetta began her career in the ICSD in 1997 at Ithaca High School, where she served as a reading and English teacher, support teacher, and assistant principal. From 2007 to 2010, Ms. Rachetta was the associate principal of DeWitt Middle School. She then served as principal of Dryden High School for two years before returning to DeWitt as a chairperson in the special education department. In 2016, Ms. Rachetta reassumed the role of associate principal at DeWitt.
 
Replacing Ms. Rachetta will be Donna Lucy. Ms. Lucy is coming to the ICSD from the Cooperstown Central School District, where she has served as high school principal for the last two years. Ms. Lucy was also a founding principal and school design leader of Evolutions High School in Providence, Rhode Island, an innovative school that exemplifies personalized student learning experiences. Prior to this, Ms. Lucy worked for the New York City Department of Education for 12 years in various roles, including science teacher, site supervisor, and assistant principal.
 
These appointments come in the wake of several other administrative changes announced earlier this month. Keith Harrington, currently an associate principal at Ithaca High School, has been appointed as principal of Enfield Elementary School. Kristin Herman will be joining Mr. Harrington at Enfield as associate principal. Ms. Herman has taught in the ICSD since 2013. Carlan Gray and Corey Mitchell have been appointed as associate principals at Ithaca High School. Ms. Gray has served as a teacher, master educator, and department chair at Ithaca High School since 2005. Mr. Mitchell is coming to the ICSD from the North Syracuse Central School District, where he has been teaching for nearly 20 years. Lastly, Lauren Wright has been appointed as associate principal at Boynton Middle School. Ms. Wright joined the ICSD in 2013 as a high school social studies teacher and currently serves as a district-wide technology integration specialist.
 
ICSD Superintendent Luvelle Brown stated, “Our school district is able to realign the administrative team as the organization’s needs evolve. With the recent appointments, we’ve tapped into internal and external talent to address vacancies and needs in the ICSD. Additionally, our team’s thinking is now influencing the rest of New York State as multiple leaders have transitioned into superintendent roles in other communities.”

Ithaca City School District Announces Administrative Appointments

June 13, 2018 - At their meeting on June 12, 2018, the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Board of Education approved the appointment of various administrators for the 2018-2019 school year.
 
Keith Harrington has been appointed principal of Enfield Elementary School. Mr. Harrington has served in the ICSD since 2007 as a science and social studies teacher at Boynton Middle School, a district-wide instructional coach, a dean of students at Ithaca High School, and an associate principal at Ithaca High School. Prior to coming to the ICSD, Mr. Harrington was a science and technology teacher in Las Vegas, Nevada.
 
Kristin Herman will be joining Mr. Harrington at Enfield Elementary as associate principal. Ms. Herman has been a middle school teacher in the ICSD since 2013. Prior to this, Ms. Herman was a founding elementary head teacher at Namaste Montessori School in Trumansburg, New York and has also worked as an elementary teacher, instructional specialist, and private reading tutor in Arizona.   
 
Lauren Wright has been appointed associate principal at Boynton Middle School. Ms. Wright first joined the ICSD in 2013 as a social studies teacher at Ithaca High School. Most recently, Ms. Wright has worked as a district-wide technology integration specialist and also serves on the Equity and Inclusion Leadership Council.
 
Finally, the ICSD has appointed Carlan Gray and Corey Mitchell as associate principals at Ithaca High School. Carlan Gray has been teaching at Ithaca High School since 2005 and has also served as a master educator, science department chair, and cross country coach. Corey Mitchell is coming to the ICSD from Roxboro Road Middle School in the North Syracuse Central School District, where he has been teaching since 1999. Mr. Mitchell is also a former member of the Onondaga Community College Board of Trustees.

ICSD Appoints New Principal at Lehman Alternative Community School

May 18, 2018 - The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) announces Deborah Ptak as the new principal at Lehman Alternative Community School. Ms. Ptak replaces Diane Carruthers, who has served as principal since 2013 and will be retiring at the end of this school year.
 
Ms. Ptak has been an educator for more than 25 years, serving as a school social worker, assistant principal, and principal. In her most recent role, Ms. Ptak was recruited to act as interim principal of an experimental professional development school in Baltimore, Maryland called Elmer A. Henderson: A Johns Hopkins University Partnership School.
 
Prior to this, Ms. Ptak worked in the Madison Metropolitan School District in Madison, Wisconsin. Ms. Ptak served as assistant principal at Sennett Middle School from 2003 to 2008 and as principal at Whitehorse Middle School from 2008 to 2016. During her eight years at Whitehorse Middle School, Ms. Ptak helped turn around the underperforming school, successfully increasing student achievement, engagement, and agency, as well as stakeholder involvement.
 
In each of her various positions, Ms. Ptak approached the work with a commitment to collaboration - involving all stakeholders, giving voice to all perspectives, and stressing the importance of shared leadership. Ms. Ptak also has experience in professional development facilitation and systems improvement.

2018 Budget Vote and Election Results

May 16, 2018 - The results of the 2018 budget vote and school board election listed below have been adopted by the Board of Education.
 
Proposition #1, the proposed school budget of $128,466,376 for 2018-2019
1,820 yes votes and 414 no votes
Passed with 81.47%
 
Proposition #2, the appropriation and expenditure of funds from the School District's 2018 Capital Reserve Fund
1,968 yes votes and 284 no votes
Passed with 87.39%
 
Proposition #3, to eliminate registration by the Board of Registration and replace it with continuous registration in the office of the district clerk
1,811 yes votes and 342 no votes
Passed with 84.12%
 
Further, the results of the election to the Board of Education are:

Candidates Votes For
Lori LaBonte 452
Nicole LaFave 1,443
Moira Lang 1,509
David Shapiro 917
Ann Reichlin 1,146
Gregory S. Goodrich 668

Moira Lang, Nicole LaFave, and Ann Reichlin having received the highest number of votes, respectively, are confirmed as elected to the Board of Education, each for a three-year term commencing July 1, 2018 and ending June 30, 2021.

Two ICSD Educators Receive Governor’s Excellence in Teaching Award

May 11, 2018 - Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts visited the Ithaca City School District yesterday to award two teachers with Governor Cuomo’s Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award.
 
The honorees, DeWitt Middle School technology teacher David Buchner and Ithaca High School math teacher Steve Weissburg, were recognized as teachers who:

  • Exemplify the dedication, mission, skill, expertise, and talent of outstanding teachers;

  • Inspire and motivate all children and make learning exciting;

  • Make a difference in children’s lives;

  • Level the playing field and create a climate for learning where every child can succeed;

  • Hold high expectations for every student and provide access to higher levels of learning for all learners; and

  • Prepare children for a changing economic workforce and a lifelong journey of learning.

Ceremonies were held at DeWitt Middle School and Ithaca High School for Mr. Buchner and Mr. Weissburg, who each received a $5,000 stipend to be used for their continued learning and professional development.

“Governor Cuomo and his team have recognized the outstanding teaching and learning that is happening in the Ithaca City School District,” said ICSD Superintendent Luvelle Brown. “Mr. Buchner and Mr. Weissburg are wonderful examples of teachers who engineer exceptional experiences for students in our learning spaces every day.”
 
For photos of the ceremonies, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2081701408526432.1073741989.369569313072992&type=1&l=2752ad5409.

School Will be Held on Friday, May 25

May 4, 2018 - Due to emergency closing days this winter, school will be held on Friday, May 25, 2018.

ICSD's Music Education Program Receives National Recognition

April 23, 2018 - The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. This is the sixth consecutive year that the ICSD has received this designation.
 
The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities for Music Education designation, the ICSD answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs.
 
This award recognizes that the ICSD is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA recommends music and arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. Studies have found that music education lays the foundation for individual excellence in group settings, creative problem solving and flexibility in work situations, as well as learning how to give and receive constructive criticism.

“Every child deserves a well-rounded education inclusive of music,” said David Brown, Director of Fine and Performing Arts. “Ithaca City Schools prides itself as being an excelsior district looking for ways to educate the whole child. We are dedicated to creating programs that enrich the lives of all of our children. While we have seen incredible increases in participation. we never stop looking for better ways to attract more students. We are always investigating new paths for success. None of this would be possible without the incredible talents of our staff. To all who made this possible - teachers, administration, Fine Arts Booster Group and The Board of Education, we humbly say, ‘thank you’.”

About the NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs. For more information about the NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.

Board of Education Statement on Spring Musical

February 9, 2018 - The Board of Education of the Ithaca City School District remains firmly committed to the education, health and, well-being of ALL of our students. It is in this light that our administration made the difficult decision to cancel the scheduled spring musical, the Hunchback of Notre Dame. While much has been said about the casting of the musical, this was not the reason for cancellation. Our administration’s decision was based solely upon the significant stress and divisiveness developing in our school community. 

Unfortunately, the divisiveness has increased as this story has gained national media attention. More distressingly, members of our community, including our students, have been the recipients of hate-filled attacks and vitriolic threats. These attacks, an unintended consequence of the cancellation, also require us to act to ensure the safety of our students. 

First, we condemn the cruel and threatening attacks on our students, staff, families, and community. Our children deserve civility and love.

Second, we support our students and their right to protest. Our district leaders have encouraged just this type of analytic thinking and bold approaches to dialogue around inclusion. We may not always agree, but we greatly appreciate the important and complex conversation our students have started regarding issues of identity and inclusion in the arts. We also note these same issues are playing out from Broadway to Hollywood to colleges and high schools across the nation.

Third, we would like to remind all involved that although we may engage in conversations with the same passion displayed by our youth, we as adults owe them a higher standard of behavior and expression. Our youth are looking to us to help them hone their perspective and show them their voices are valuable. However you may feel about any of the issues involved here, we are confident our children are not the problem, but an integral part of the solution.

Lastly, it is our expectation that Ithaca High School will produce a musical this spring. Students are engaged in collaborative discussions with one another and school leaders regarding next steps. We unequivocally support this effort as our students, teachers, and staff work to create productive and meaningful conversations about inclusion in the theater arts.
 
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this situation, please contact us directly.

Sincerely,
Ithaca City School District, Board of Education

Rob Ainslie, President
Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell, Vice President
Brad Grainger
Eldred Harris
Nicole LaFave
Moira Lang
Chris Malcolm
Ann Reichlin
Dr. Patricia Wasyliw

New Roots Public Hearing

December 28, 2017 - The Ithaca City School District seeks public input on the proposed revision of charter by New Roots Charter School for the addition of a middle school program beginning in the 2018-2019 school year with approximately 60 students in grades 6-8. The revision is sought by New Roots from its authorizing agency, SUNY Charter Schools Institute (CSI).
 
The ICSD will conduct a public hearing on this matter on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 6:00 PM in the Board Room at 400 Lake Street. The ICSD seeks oral and written comments. Written comments can be submitted to the ICSD District Clerk by email: jennifer.hillman@icsd.k12.ny.us or by mail: District Clerk, ICSD, 400 Lake Street, Ithaca, NY 14850. Please put “New Roots Charter Revision-Middle School” in the subject line. Please provide any written comments by noon (12:00 PM) on January 19, 2018.
 
Comments will be sent to SUNY CSI as part of the community feedback on this revision request.
 
Documents related to the revision application can be found and reviewed in the BoardDocs library, which is accessible via the Board of Education webpage (http://www.ithacacityschools.org/districtpage.cfm?pageid=212).
ICSD Selected to Participate in Computer Science Education Partnership

December 21, 2017 - The Ithaca City School District is one of four New York State school districts selected to participate in the Computer Science Education (CS-EDU) Visions Research-Practice Partnership. In this project, the CSforAll Consortium, launched as a nation-wide initiative in 2016, is partnering with New York University (NYU) to support districts in planning computer science education. This partnership will help the ICSD coordinate vision, implementation, and curriculum decisions around computer science for all.

The ICSD will participate in planning and reflection workshops in January 2018, Summer 2018, and Winter 2019. These workshops will use continuous improvement data processes to support implementation. The ICSD will receive assistance from the CSforAll and NYU team, and interact with districts across the state.
 
“Our team is excited by the new opportunity to collaborate with the CSforAll Consortium and New York University to have students develop new approaches to problem-solving through being active producers and creators in computer science,” said Dan Breiman, Principal of Belle Sherman Elementary School.

ICSD Superintendent Listed as One of Nation’s Top Educators and Thought Leaders

December 20, 2017 - Ithaca City School District Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown has been named to the 2017 TrustED 20. The list is compiled of the 20 “top education thought leaders to consider following,” and is divided into four categories: veterans, advocates, educators, and voices.
 
Dr. Brown, listed as a top educator, was recognized for his work in fostering communication and developing trust between students, staff, families, and the community. Other notable thought leaders appearing on the list include Federal policy influencer Linda Darling-Hammond, former Secretary of Education John B. King, and authors Sir Ken Robinson and Diane Ravitch.
 
“I am humbled and honored to be listed as one of the nation’s leading thinkers and influencers,” said Dr. Brown. “It means much to have the work and successes of the ICSD students, staff, and community mentioned with the best educators and stories in the nation.”
 
Learn about all of the 2017 TrustED 20 here: k12insight.com/trusted

Ithaca High School Athletics Hall of Fame Seeks Nominations

September 19, 2017 - The Ithaca City School District Director of Athletics and Wellness Samantha Little has announced that the Ithaca High School Hall of Fame Committee is seeking nominations for the next induction class.
 
Candidates—male and female—must have graduated from IHS 10 or more years ago and have had an outstanding athletic career while in high school. In addition to student-athletes, candidates can be coaches or friends of IHS Athletics.

Nomination forms can be found online here or in the IHS Athletics Office. Nominations are due no later than November 1, 2017.
 
If you have any questions, please contact Hall of Fame Committee Chair Jeff True at jtrue1951@gmail.com.

Brown and Myrick to Lead Two Events Next Week in the Spirit of Love, Community, Moving Forward

September 1, 2017 - With the beginning of a new school year, Ithaca City School District Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown and Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick will host two events next week in the spirit of love, community, and moving forward.
 
On Tuesday, September 5, Dr. Brown and Mayor Myrick will host a conversation at Ithaca College on the violence in Charlottesville, Va. and discuss how we, as a community, may work together to move forward and respond productively to complex issues in these difficult times. The conversation will be moderated by Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell, Director of Programs and Outreach for Ithaca College and an ICSD Board member.
 
The following day, Dr. Brown and Mayor Myrick will join area clergy and Cornell University for the Ithaca NY: Leading with Love community walk. The simple, non-political event is a celebration of education, young people, and the power and potential of unified, loving communities, from every background. The walk from Stewart Park to Ithaca High School will conclude with brief remarks from Dr. Brown, Mayor Myrick, and an Ithaca High School student.
 
The ICSD encourages those who are unable to attend the walk to engage in their own conversations or symbolic events and, as Dr. Brown said, “to show people from near and far what Ithaca and Tompkins County value: Inclusive, empowering, and culturally responsive environments.”

Moving Forward: A Conversation with Dr. Luvelle Brown and Mayor Svante Myrick will be held on Tuesday, September 5 in the Emerson Suites at Ithaca College from 4:30-5:30 p.m.
 
Ithaca NY: Leading with Love will take place on Wednesday, September 6. The walk will begin at Stewart Park’s main pavilion at 7:30 a.m. and end at Ithaca High School at 8:15 a.m.

ICSD Child Nutrition Program Meal Prices Will Increase to Accommodate New USDA Guidelines

August 28, 2017 - Due to new United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines, the price of lunches provided to students in the Ithaca City School District will increase for the 2017-2018 academic year. The changing guidelines now require the ICSD Child Nutrition Program to mandate that students be charged comparable cost to State and Federal Reimbursements. Additionally, the program is now required to incur increased cost because of the finalized “Reauthorization Act”.
 
“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.

All school lunches in the district will increase by 5 cents. Despite these changes, breakfast prices in the ICSD will remain at the same rate as last year and the price of reduced meals will remain at 25 cents. The new meal prices are below.

  • Elementary school: $1.50 breakfast, $2.60 lunch

  • Middle school: $1.75 breakfast, $2.85 lunch

  • High school: $2.00 breakfast, $3.10 lunch

  • All Schools: $.75 Milk 

“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.

ICSD, Local Leaders Holding “Leading With Love” Community Walk, Sept. 6, 7:30 a.m.

August 25, 2017 - The Ithaca City School District (ICSD), in cooperation with the City of Ithaca, area clergy - led by Calvary Baptist Church and the First Congregational Church - and Cornell University’s Office of Community Relations, is marking the start of the school year with a community walk from Stewart Park to Ithaca High School.
 
This simple, nonpolitical event - “Ithaca NY: Leading with Love” - is a celebration of education, young people, and the power and potential of unified, loving communities, from every background.
 
The everyone-welcome walk will begin at the main pavilion at Stewart Park at 7:30 a.m. sharp, and will conclude by 8:15 a.m., after brief remarks by ICSD Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown, City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, and an Ithaca High School student.
 
Dr. Brown -  the 2017 New York State School Superintendent of the Year - has long espoused the concepts of “Leading with Love” in the ICSD’s daily work, and in its mission to “Engage, Educate, Empower.”
 
"We will open our school year with conversations and symbolic examples of our loving culture. This is not a political event,” said Brown, a native of Charlottesville, Va., and a guest on WHCU’s All Things Equal after events in that city earlier this month (http://whcuradio.com/podcasts/categories/podcasts-equal/).
 
"This a chance to show people from near and far what Ithaca and Tompkins County value: Inclusive, empowering, and culturally responsive environments.”
 
Parking will be available at Stewart Park. There will be no parking at Ithaca High School or Boynton Middle School. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be held at Kulp Auditorium.
 
For more information, contact Gary Stewart in Cornell University’s Office of Community Relations: gjs28@cornell.edu or 227-5531.

The Caroline Wilderness Performance Academy to Perform The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses

August 18, 2017 - In the beauty of nature, celebrate the creative work of children with performance, music, puppetry and dance!
 
This year, the Caroline Wilderness Performance Academy (CWPA) will present a staged adaptation with puppets of The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble. The performance will be on Thursday, August 24th at 2pm on the Caroline Wilderness Campus.
 
CWPA is a summer program that focuses on furthering the social/emotional well-being and literacy development of children through engaging activities that involve creativity, mastery and purpose. CWPA is made possible by a generous grant from the Park Foundation.

ICSD Announces Launch of Summer Farm to Table Program

August 4, 2017 - The Ithaca City School District is excited to announce the launch of its Farm to Table Program (ICSD FTT), offered to second and third grade students from the Belle Sherman, Beverly J. Martin, Cayuga Heights, and Enfield elementary schools. The program runs from July 24 to August 18 and will pick back up in the fall as an afterschool program beginning September 6. 
 
ICSD FTT is funded by the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) grant awarded to the District by the New York State Education Department this past spring. The grant’s purpose is to provide opportunities for communities to establish or expand activities designed to reinforce and complement the regular academic program and offer families opportunities for active and meaningful engagement in their children’s education.
 
The ICSD FTT program will offer a contextualized interdisciplinary hands-on study of food, nutrition, gardening, and cooking. The students will be outside and using their hands as much as possible and have the opportunity to visit local farms and food facilities. Families of participating students are strongly encouraged to get involved with the program, whether by helping guide the curriculum and choosing which foods the students learn about, joining the students on field trips and for special events, or participating in the Program Advisory Committee (PAC).
 
“We will be growing, harvesting, eating and learning about food in so many ways,” says program director Laurie Pattington. Currently a first-grade teacher at Cayuga Heights Elementary School, Pattington has been working with children and food systems as a farmer and educator for 20 years.
 
If you would like more information, there will be a presentation on the ICSD FTT program at next week’s Board of Education meeting, Tuesday, August 8 at 6:00pm. To view the presentation, please visit the BoE page on ithacacityschools.org or search for ICSD Communications on YouTube.

Ithaca Students Place in Top 10 at National Technology Conference

July 3, 2017 - Ithaca teams earned 13 top-ten finishes at the 39th annual national Technology Student Association (TSA) conference in Orlando, Florida. The competition involved nearly 8,000 participants from 49 states and several countries during June 21–25.

The conference offered 65 competitive events ranging from computer animation to extemporaneous speech to CO2-propelled dragster design.

DeWitt Middle School’s Jacob Yoon brought home Ithaca’s biggest prize, taking first place in the Computer Aided Design (CAD) Foundations competitive event. Yoon and more than 80 other competitors were given the task of creating a two-dimensional graphic representation of an engineering part or object using Autodesk Inventor CAD software.

In addition to CAD Foundations, DeWitt Middle School finished in the top ten in the competitive events of STEM Animation, Dragster Design, Technology Bowl Oral, Challenging Technology Issues, and Video Game Design.

The Ithaca High School team took home the second-place trophy in the Music Production competitive event for the second straight year. Team members Matthew Guo, Eli Zhang, Francesca Chu, and Jenny Yoon wrote a song titled “Vision” that represented the conference theme of “defining your future.”

The high school team also won a third-place trophy in the Computer Integrated Manufacturing competitive event. Jacob Silcoff and Tilden Chao designed a smartphone projector using computer manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing and computer-controlled mills, keeping the cost at under five dollars to manufacture.

Ithaca High School boasted an impressive seven total top-ten finishes, rounded out by Structural Design and Engineering, Prepared Presentation, Future Technology Teacher, Technology Bowl Written, and Technology Bowl Oral.

The end of the conference also marked the retirement of DeWitt Middle School advisor Bob Walters and New York State advisor Evie Weinstein from advisor roles in Ithaca TSA. Both advisors had an immeasurable impact on technology students around the community and will always be a part of the Ithaca TSA family.

The teams’ participation in the national competition was made possible by support from the Ithaca City School District, as well as fundraising campaigns organized by the teams and IthacaSTEM Advocates, an affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative. The teams are already planning and raising funds for next year’s 40th annual national TSA conference in Atlanta, Georgia. To learn more or to donate, visit www.ithacastem.org or www.ipei.org.

Top

 

2016-2017

Moresco Stadium Closed July 5 - Aug. 14
Summer Food Service Program
SED Awards Grant for ICSD Farm to Table Program
Providing Transgender Students with Safe Learning Places
A Joint Statement from ICSD and ITA
SED Awards $150K to ICSD for My Brother's Keeper
Landahl Named Superintendent of Beacon SD
ICSD Placed on AP District Honor Roll
Team ICSD Day, Nov. 15
Brown Named NYS School Superintendent of the Year
Press Conference for Special Recognition of Dr. Brown
Community Conversations with Superintendent Brown
ICSD Receives Presidential Citation Award for Music
Brown Named Top Technologist, Transformer, & Trailblazer
New Roots Public Hearing, Sept. 13
ICSD Convocation, Sept. 6
 
The Joe Moresco Stadium Will Be Closed from July 5 to August 14, 2017

June 23, 2017 - The Joe Moresco Stadium will be closed to all use from July 5, 2017 until August 14, 2017 due to the replacement of stadium lighting, through the District’s Energy Performance Contract with TRANE. The closure includes both the Harold Porter Track and Bredbenner Field.
 
At times, there may be a closure of Rosemary Lane and a small section of Sweet Field.
 
The lighting replacement will enhance not only our athletic programs but the safety of our facility.
 
No other athletic field will be closed due to construction work.

ICSD Announces Participation in Summer Food Service Program

June 22, 2017 - The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) announces its participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Meals will be provided, without charge, to all eligible children 18 years and under.
 
Children in the following programs and locations are eligible to participate in the SFSP: Beverly J. Martin Elementary School, Cayuga Heights Elementary School, Ithaca High School, Lehman Alternative Community School, Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) – Preteen, the Mental Health Association of Tompkins County, BOCES Special Classes, the Enfield Community Council, and Groton Junior/Senior High.
 
The SFSP has two downtown Ithaca locations: the Northside Community Center (625 Hancock Street) and the Southside Community Center (305 S. Plain Street). The Northside Community Center will provide summer meals from June 26 to August 31. Breakfast will be served from 8:00-10:30am and lunch will be served from 11:00am-1:30pm. The Southside Community Center will provide summer meals from July 5 to August 11. Breakfast will be served from 8:30-9:30am and lunch will be served from 12:00-2:00pm. The Groton Public Library will also be serving meals as part of the SFSP.
 
For more information about the program please contact the SFSP office at (607) 274-2234 or visit http://www.ithacacityschools.org/

NYSED Title IV Part B 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant Awarded to ICSD

April 4, 2017 - The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) has been awarded  a three year grant at $212,000 a year to provide summer learning experiences for students.  The 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant supports the Ithaca City School District’s Summer Farm to Table (ICSD FTT) Program that targets 135 low-income second and third grade students attending four elementary schools in the Ithaca City School District (ICSD), and their families.

The New York State Education Department Title IV Part B 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant’s purpose is to provide opportunities for communities to establish or expand activities in community learning centers. The grant is intended for students in activities that are designed to reinforce and complement the regular academic program and offers families of students served by community learning centers opportunities for active and meaningful engagement in their children’s education.

The summer program at Beverly J. Martin, Cayuga Heights, Enfield, and Belle Sherman elementary schools will address the need for academic enrichment, adult education, and youth development through a contextualized interdisciplinary hands-on study of food and farming. The teaching and learning practices will weave skills in reading, writing, and math with content in health, science and social studies.

The summer program in the ICSD partners Ithaca students with community organizations such as Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Food Studies Institute. Additionally, there will be family involvement incorporated into the summer sessions. ICSD students will continue their farm-to-table studies into the fall with afterschool programming funded by this grant.

ICSD Will Continue to Provide Transgender Students with a Safe and Welcoming Place to Learn

April 3, 2017 - The Ithaca City School District and Tompkins County Office of Human Rights strongly object to the recent decision by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice to withdraw crucial guidance that helped clarify federal legal protections for transgender students in school settings. We would like to address parents, students, teachers, and others who are rightfully concerned about what this means for them, their transgender loved ones, and our entire educational community.

In May 2016, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education released historic guidance for the nation’s schools on the needs and rights of hundreds of thousands of students who are transgender. The guidance summarized over a decade of case law and best practices from across the country, advising schools that under the federal Title IX law, schools should treat transgender students according to their gender identity. Title IX is the federal law that makes it unlawful for schools receiving federal funding to discriminate based on sex.

In response to the withdrawal of federal guidance, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and New York State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia issued a joint reminder that—whether federal guidance exists or not—transgender students in New York State are protected by the State’s Human Rights Law, its Dignity for All Students Act, and the New York State Education Department “Guidance to School Districts for Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment For Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students.” The guidance recommends that school districts take proactive steps to ensure compliance with DASA, and provides specific recommendations with respect to many of the same topics that were addressed in the federal guidance that has now been withdrawn, including names and pronouns; sex-segregated programming and school facilities; and student privacy and confidentiality.

Attorney General Schneiderman has given assurances he will vigorously enforce New York law which requires all school districts in New York State to prohibit discrimination and harassment, on school property or at a school function, on the basis of a student’s gender identity or expression.

State Education Commissioner Elia says, “Transgender youth are valued members of our schools and communities across New York State, yet statistics show that more than half of them will attempt suicide at least once by their 20th birthday. We must do everything in our power to create learning environments that are safe and welcoming for all.”

At the County level, the Office of Human Rights proposed a local law in June 2015 in order to re-establish local enforcement powers for discrimination based on gender identity and expression in Tompkins County school districts. This local law, in its entirety, is under review by the Tompkins County Legislature.

Please know that we remain committed to the vigorous support for a student’s right to be respectfully treated according to their gender identity and to be free from discrimination, harassment, and bullying. We encourage all school districts in Tompkins County to join the effort to ensure transgender kids are safe in our schools and are provided equal access to all programming and facilities consistent with their gender identity.

Dr. Luvelle Brown
ICSD Superintendent
 
Karen W. Baer, J.D.
Director of Human Rights
 
Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell
ICSD Board Vice President

Committed to our 6000+ thinkers: A joint statement from ICSD and Ithaca Teachers Association

March 29, 2017 - The Ithaca City School District and the Ithaca Teachers Association are fully committed to our 6000+ thinkers having equal access to school and affirming our district’s values of diversity, equality and inclusion. Our schools are welcoming places for students for learning and growing no matter their immigration status. All students who meet age and residency per district criteria have a right to a free education in our school district. All students are welcome in a safe learning environment where they can grow, thrive, and receive any support and assistance they may need. Together we will continue to stand by all of our students and families.

State ED Awards $150,000 to ICSD In My Brother's Keeper Grants

March 20, 2017 - The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) has been awarded $150,000 to improve educational outcomes for boys and young men of color. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) awarded more than $6 million in grants to 42 school districts for the Family and Community Engagement Program of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. These grants will support programs to increase the academic achievement and college and career readiness of boys and young men of color while fostering the development of effective relationships with families to promote the success of all students.

“Our school community is committed to inclusive and equitable opportunities for all young people,” said ICSD Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown. “This grant award is an indication of our school district’s commitment to continuously improving our approach to engaging, educating, and empowering all learners.”

The ICSD will be collaborating with the City of Ithaca and various community agencies to deliver direct services as part of the local MBK initiative. The City of Ithaca will contribute an additional $35,000 to the amount awarded by NYSED. A portion of the grant funds will be allocated to community organizations and professional development programs focused on family outreach and cultural responsiveness.

In 2014, President Obama established the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Task Force at the federal level. The Task Force was an interagency effort focused on closing and eliminating the opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color so that all young people have the chance to reach their full potential.

With the adoption of the 2016–2017 New York State Budget, New York became the first state to accept the President’s challenge and enacted the My Brother’s Keeper initiative into law. The budget included a $20 million investment in support of the initiative to improve outcomes for boys and young men of color.

In addition to supporting the six milestones set at the national level, New York’s MBK initiative is also committed to: Ensuring equitable access to high quality schools and programs; Expanding prevention, early warning, and intervention services; Using differentiated approaches based on need and culture; Responding to structural and institutional racism; Making comprehensive and coordinated support services widely available; and Engaging families and communities in a trusted and respectful way.

For more information, please see the New York State Education Department’s official press release here: http://www.nysed.gov/news/2017/state-education-department-awards-6-million-my-brothers-keeper-grants-family-and-community.

Matthew Landahl Will Be the Next Superintendent of Beacon City School District

January 26, 2017 - The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) Deputy Superintendent Dr. Matt Landahl, has accepted a Superintendent position at the Beacon City School District. Beacon, New York is located 65 miles north of New York City, and the school district is composed of 2900 students in four elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. 

Dr. Landahl will take over in Beacon for the 2017-18 school year, which starts July 1, 2017. Dr. Landahl began his employment in Ithaca City School District, as Chief Elementary Schools Officer in 2013. He has also served as Chief Academic Officer in Ithaca.

“I thank the Board of Education and Dr. Brown for the opportunity to serve in multiple roles in the Ithaca City School District. I am excited to begin the next phase of my professional life as my family and I transition to the role of Superintendent in Beacon” said Dr. Landahl.

Dr. Landahl received his undergraduate degree from Grinnell College in Iowa and began his teaching profession in Baltimore City Public Schools through the Teach For America organization. After teaching in Baltimore for 5 years, Dr. Landahl became an administrator in Charlottesville, Virginia while he pursued his graduate studies at the University of Virginia in Education Administration and Supervision. After serving as an Assistant Principal for three years at the elementary and middle levels, Landahl served as an elementary principal at two different schools for a total of eleven years. As Principal, Landahl received many awards and recognitions including the University of Virginia Curry School of Education Distinguished Alumni award for “Outstanding Principal” in 2011. Landahl earned his Doctorate in Education from the University of Virginia in 2012.

ICSD Superintendent Luvelle Brown stated, “I’ve been fortunate to learn with Dr. Landahl for nearly two decades. He is an exceptional public educator who has been successful in multiple administrative positions. The Beacon City School community is very fortunate to have recruited him to be their learning leader.”

ICSD Board of Education Vice President, Sean Eversley Bradwell said, “This is truly a case where Ithaca’s loss is Beacon’s gain. Simply put, Dr. Landahl is an outstanding educational leader and active learner. Congratulations to both the Landahl family and the Beacon community.”

ICSD Placed on College Board's 7th Annual AP District Honor Roll

January 11, 2017 - The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) is one of 433 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 7th Annual AP® District Honor Roll. To be included on the 7th Annual Honor Roll, ICSD had to, since 2014, increase the number and diversity of students participating in AP while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. Reaching these goals shows that ICSD is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for AP.
 
“Our school community is committed to inclusive and equitable opportunities for all young people,” said ICSD Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown. “The recent recognition from the College Board is an indication of our school district’s success with engaging, educating, and empowering all learners.”
 
National data from 2016 shows that among black/African American, Hispanic, and Native American students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half are participating. The first step to getting more of these students to participate is to give them access. Courses must be made available, gatekeeping must stop, and doors must be equitably opened. ICSD is committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.
 
“Congratulations to all the teachers and administrators in this district who have worked so tirelessly to both expand access to AP and also to help students succeed on the AP Exams,” said Trevor Packer, the College Board’s head of AP and Instruction. “These teachers and administrators are delivering real opportunity in their schools and classrooms, and students are rising to the challenge.” Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many districts are experimenting with initiatives and strategies to see how they can expand access and improve student performance at the same time.
 
Inclusion on the 7th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on a review of three years of AP data, from 2014 to 2016, looking across 37 AP Exams, including world language and culture. The following criteria were used.
 
Districts must:

  • Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts, and at least 11 percent in small districts;

  • Increase or maintain the percentage of exams taken by black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native students; and

  • Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2016 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2014 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students earn a 3 or higher.

The complete 7th Annual AP District Honor Roll can be found here.

Join Ithaca City School District for Team ICSD Day, November 15

October 31, 2016 - Team ICSD Day is November 15.  The purpose of this special day is to pay tribute to the culture of love that exists in our learning organization. On Team ICSD Day, everyone connected to the Ithaca City School District directly or indirectly is encouraged to wear cardinal and share messages about what Team ICSD means to them.
 
Engagement is encouraged by community partners, alumni, staff, caregivers, friends, volunteers, local businesses, and other supporters of ICSD. Everyone is encouraged to send photos and videos sharing memories and messages about reasons they love ICSD.
 
Engagement will be recognized in various categories. The categories include Largest Group; Most Team-Spirited; Most Creative; Farthest Distance From ICSD; Youngest Team ICSD Member; Best Team ICSD Poem; and Most Empowering Video.
 
You may start engaging now!
 
Please send photos and messages that include Team ICSD to icsdcommunications@icsd.k12.ny.us. Use #teamICSD to share anticipation, excitement, and plans. On November 15, help saturate our school community and beyond with examples of collaboration, camaraderie, and celebration for the Ithaca City School District.
 
Send questions and comments to icsdcommunications@icsd.k12.ny.us. Everyone’s contribution to the success of Team ICSD Day is appreciated!

Luvelle Brown Named 2017 New York State School Superintendent of the Year

October 26, 2016 - The New York State Council of School Superintendents announced that Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown of the Ithaca City School District has been named the 2017 New York State School Superintendent of the Year.

“This is a well-deserved honor for Dr. Brown as he has delivered on his promises,” said ICSD Board of Education President Robert Ainslie. “The amazing results and transformation in our school district are evident for all to see.”

Dr. Brown was appointed as the ICSD superintendent in 2011. He worked collaboratively with the community to establish a vision of “6000+ Thinkers” and a mission to “Engage, Educate, Empower.”

Since 2011, the ICSD graduation rate has skyrocketed from 78 percent to above 90 percent while all student groups are reaching unprecedented levels of performance, including

  • an 8 percent increase in enrollment and diversity in higher-level courses;

  • a 58 percent increase in enrollment in co-curricular programs;

  • a 7 percent increase in the number of students reading on-grade level K-5;

  • a 64 percent reduction in discipline referrals;

  • and a reduction of the special education classification rate in ICSD from significantly above the state average (14.8 percent) to significantly below (11.6 percent).

“I am overjoyed,” said Dr. Brown. “This special recognition is a tribute to the exceptional efforts and accomplishments of the entire Ithaca City School District community.”

Council Executive Director Dr. Charles Dedrick said, “Luvelle is truly deserving of this recognition for his leadership at the state and national levels, his effective and creative use of technology in education, and for his passion and dedication to the students within the Ithaca City School District. In fact, Luvelle was the first person who introduced me to the importance of social media in education and was one of the reasons why I joined Twitter when I was a district superintendent.”

Prior to becoming superintendent, Dr. Brown had experiences as a teacher, coach, principal, and school chief information officer. He has been an active community leader, serving in leadership roles for various non-profit organizations such as Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc. and co-founding the Central Virginia chapter of 100 Black Men of America. 

Council President Patricia Sullivan-Kriss, West Hempstead said, “Luvelle has been an important voice in education for the State of New York and the students he serves. His innovation in technology and program implementation is well known and regarded. We congratulate him on this important recognition and are delighted that he will represent the superintendents of our state for the national superintendent of the year.”

Dr. Brown has received various awards and recognition for his leadership. He was honored by the National School Boards Association as a “20-to-Watch” and received the Center for Digital Education Top 30 Award. In 2014, he received the eSchool News Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award. 

Dr. Brown was also selected by the U.S. Department of Education as one of the nation's top 100 innovative superintendents. Along with that distinction, Dr. Brown was invited to be a featured speaker at President Barack Obama’s first National Superintendent Summit at the White House. Dr. Brown serves on the New York State Council of School Superintendents’ Executive Committee, The School Superintendents Association Digital Consortium, The Center for Digital Education Advisory Council, and CoSN’s Empowered Superintendent Advisory Panel.

Dr. Brown is a highly regarded speaker, addressing a range of topics for local, regional, and national audiences. He has published numerous articles and is the co-author of ThinkTweets: 100 Transformative Tweets for Educators.

As the New York State Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Brown now becomes New York’s candidate for national superintendent of the year - to be awarded at AASA’s National Conference on Education in New Orleans, LA scheduled for March 2-4, 2017.

The Superintendent of the Year Award was established in 1988 by AASA and is co-sponsored by the ARAMARK Education, the Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company, and AASA.

ICSD Board Members Host Press Conference for Special Recognition of Superintendent Luvelle Brown

October 25, 2016 - The Ithaca City School District Board of Education members will host a press conference to make an important announcement regarding a special recognition for Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown. The announcement will be made at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26 at Northeast Elementary School, which is located at 425 Winthrop Drive. The press conference will begin promptly at 1 p.m. The board members, superintendent, and other participants will be available for live interviews and photographs. 

Community Conversations with ICSD Superintendent

October 11, 2016 - This fall, Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown will engage the community at a variety of locations on Monday evenings from October through December throughout the Ithaca City School District. Dr. Brown will conduct sessions that are one hour long, actively listening and learning with community members at a series of non-traditional venues.
 
- October 17 at West Village Apartments, Community Room 5:30 p.m.
- October 24 at Enfield Community Building 2:30 p.m.
- November 7 at Southside Community Center 5:30 p.m.
- November 21 at Brookton Market 5 p.m.
- December 5 at Greater Ithaca Activities Center 5:30 p.m.
- December 12 at Ithaca Community Childcare Center 5:30 p.m.
 
These community conversations offer an opportunity for the public to share visions of success regarding the Ithaca City School District. Community members will be asked a series of questions related to continuous improvement efforts in the school district. The idea behind the “Community Conversations” begins with a simple premise – our community is rich with ideas, thoughtful engagement, and strategies. Participants are asked to think differently – to propose creative ideas, propose effective problem-solving methods, and suggest untapped resources.

ICSD Recipient of 2016 Presidential Citation Award for Music

October 5, 2016 - The Ithaca City School District is the recipient of the 2016 Presidential Citation Award for music. ICSD is one of two school districts honored with this distinguished award this year.
 
The NYSSMA® Presidential Citation Award is given to districts that act as models for music education programs in New York State and provide a well-rounded music program at all levels. ICSD has been building the music program over the last five years. Student participation is up over 120 percent.
 
“There has been an increase in the outreach to our community,” said David Brown, ICSD Chief Administration Officer and Director of Fine & Performing Arts. “Music education is available to everyone. Anyone who can’t afford a musical instrument is provided one by the district. We have one of the strongest collaborators in the Fine Arts Booster Group. That’s why we are getting this award – because of the initiatives, teaching, and collaborations. I would like to thank all of the music faculty and staff that made this recognition possible.”
 
NYSSMA® President Michael Brownell stated, “Your music program is one to be emulated. It stresses high quality, is well balanced, innovative, and enjoys supports from the administration, parents, and community. We hope that this award shows in some small way, the esteem in which the state’s music educators hold the ICSD and the appreciation that NYSSMA® has for your district’s support of a quality music program. We applaud your contribution to music education and to the students of your district.”
 
“In the face of fiscal constraints, our community has maintained a commitment to an exceptional music program,” said ICSD Superintendent Luvelle Brown. “We are proud of this special recognition from NYSSMA.”

Dr. Luvelle Brown Named One of the Nation's Top Technologists, Transformers, and Trailblazers

September 29, 2016 - Ithaca City School District Superintendent Luvelle Brown is named as one of the Top 30 Technologists, Transformers, and Trailblazers by The Center for Digital Education.
 
The Center for Digital Education made the announcement today, honoring 30 education and technology leaders across the United States who are transforming the education landscape. This year’s Top 30 honorees include 24 individuals, four teams, and two organizations. The 2016 winners were selected based on their efforts to improve education; their impact on student outcomes; and their overall initiative, creativity, and leadership skills.
 
“I am proud of the work we have done,” said Dr. Brown.  “I’m dedicated to the innovation and systemic transformations needed to meet the needs of our community’s learners.  It feels good to be recognized for those efforts.”
 
“Our 2016 Top 30 award winners are visionaries who are going against the grain to increase funding, bandwidth, privacy protocols, predictive analytics, and to improve the personalization of learning. With technology as their catalyst, they are dedicated to transforming education at the local, state and national levels in ways that have a positive impact on student success,” said Dr. Kecia Ray, executive director of the Center for Digital Education. “I am thrilled to recognize our award winners and applaud their achievements.”
 
Click here to view Superintendent Brown’s feature by the Center for Digital Education. 

New Roots Public Hearing September 13 at 6 p.m.

September 9, 2016 - A public hearing will be conducted at the Ithaca City School District to get input on the proposed five-year renewal of charter by New Roots Charter School to commence August 1, 2017. According to the renewal application, the school would serve about 148 students in grades 9 through 12.
 
The public hearing will be September 13, 2016 at 6 p.m. in the Board Room at 400 Lake Street. Oral and written comments are sought. A sign-in sheet will be available at 5 p.m. for those who wish to speak – speakers will have two minutes each to share input. Written comments may be submitted to the ICSD district clerk at jennifer.hillman@icsd.k12.ny.us. Please put “New Roots Charter Renewal” in the subject line. Written comments may also be mailed to District Clerk, ICSD, 400 Lake Street, Ithaca, NY 14850. Written comments that are mailed must be received no later than noon September 15, 2016. The renewal is sought by New Roots from its authorizing agency, SUNY Charter Schools Institute. All comments received by the deadline will be sent to SUNY Charter Schools Institute and NYSED within 15 days of the hearing.
 
The board will meet at 7 p.m. for its regularly scheduled Discussion and Voting Meeting following the conclusion of the public hearing.

ICSD Convocation

August 30, 2016 - A convocation September 6 commences the 2016-2017 academic school year for 1,200 faculty and staff of the Ithaca City School District.
 
Convocation will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Kulp Auditorium at Ithaca High School. ICSD Superintendent Luvelle Brown will deliver the keynote address. The event will include special recognitions, information on school district progress towards goals, and continuous improvement efforts.

Wednesday, September 7 will be the first day of classes for students in grades kindergarten through six, grade 9, and all new entrants. Thursday, September 8 will be a full day for all students in grades kindergarten through 12.
 
Visit the ICSD website at http://www.ithacacityschools.org to view the 2016-2017 academic calendar and the Board of Education Meeting Schedule.

Top

 

2015-2016

ICSD & IPDA Settle New Contract
Caroline and Children's Garden Pilot Summer Program
Budget Vote and Election Results
No School May 27 and May 30
Grainger to be Honored for Achievement
Three Candidates Running for ICSD Board
ICSD Board Meeting Rebroadcast
Interim Reports on Lead Tests at Caroline & Enfield
Superintendent Brown Presents Proposed Budget
IHS Seniors Participate in Mad City Money
ITA Approves Tentative Contract Agreement
ICSD Top 10 District for Teacher Support
ICSD Earns Commendable Audit Results
Curley Resigns from Board of Education
Filing Period for ICSD Board Candidates
ICSD & ITA Reach Tentative CBA
ICSD Board Guest Editorial
Wildlife Habitat Certified at Caroline
New Roots Public Hearing
ICSD Achieves AP District Honor Roll
Free Viewing of 'Most Likely to Succeed'
Free Viewing of 'Most Likely to Succeed'
IHS Students Signs Letter of Intent
ICSD Enhances Website
NYSED Commissioner Tours Northeast
 
ICSD and Ithaca Principals & Directors Association Settle New Contract

June 14, 2016 - An agreement was reached between the Ithaca City School District and the Ithaca Principals and Directors Association on a new collective bargaining agreement. The IPDA represents various administrative leadership positions throughout the district such as building principals, associate principals, and directors of instructional programming.
 
The new contract, ratified unanimously yesterday by the membership of the IPDA, resulted in the introduction of a new health insurance plan to the district that should provide long-term cost stability.
 
“The plan, known as the Platinum Plan through Blue Cross/Blue Shield, will offer significant stability to the district taxpayers while also providing exceptional and affordable coverage to the members of IPDA,” said Chief Operations Officer Amanda Verba.
 
ICSD Superintendent Luvelle Brown said, “I thank the leadership of the IPDA for being so well prepared at the negotiating table and especially the rank-and-file members for their careful consideration and endorsement of the new health plan. As a direct result of IPDA’s willingness to bargain on a new health insurance plan, we were able to increase the base pay of each member by $1,000 per year for the next three years and afford them a contract with raises of 4 percent each year as well.”
 
The Board of Education is set to vote on the proposed agreement at its meeting tonight.

Caroline Elementary School and Ithaca Children's Garden Team Up to Pilot Summer Experience

May 23, 2016 - ANNOUNCING THE CAROLINE WILDERNESS PERFORMANCE ACADEMY OPEN TO RISING SECOND-, THIRD- AND FOURTH-GRADE CAROLINE STUDENTS DEADLINE TO APPLY THURSDAY, MAY 26
 
How are we connected?
 
Recently, the staff at Caroline Elementary read “Belling the Cat,” an Aesop fable that teaches the importance of evaluating a plan. In Caroline’s case, the fable encouraged teachers to reflect upon inclusive teaching practices and discuss the positive impact for all students. Out of this conversation emerged a vision for a new Caroline Wilderness Performance Academy. Thanks to generous support from the Park Foundation, plans for the Academy are real and well under way.
 
Each morning from August 1-19, Caroline teachers will lead student-centered activities to explore the question: How are we connected? Through field study, creative writing and fish bowl discussions, students will look at answering this complex question and record their process through the creation of a short documentary. Each afternoon, Ithaca Children’s Garden play workers will join campers at Caroline to facilitate rich, child-led, nature-based play that relates to the theme of the day.
 
Open to rising second-, third- and fourth-graders, the summer camp blends literacy, performance, art and nature-play throughout three intensive weeks. The summer camp culminates in a screening of the youth performance. Inclusivity, creativity, innovation, and meeting children where they are, are guiding principles of the summer camp.
 
“When Caroline Elementary Principal Mary Grover approached us to collaborate on this project, I looked at our plan to not take on anything new this season and chucked it right out the window,” said Erin Marteal, executive director, Ithaca Children’s Garden.
 
Ithaca Children’s Garden strives to foster authentic, child-led discovery, exploration, and play, and Caroline is known for their culture of empowering students to be leaders of their own learning. These are significant shifts in conventional education, and underpin the Caroline - Ithaca Children’s Garden partnership.
 
“Caroline is doing such wonderful, out of the box work with their curriculum, exploring new ways of teaching and learning for impact, we couldn’t ignore the call. As we look around the district at schools who are ready to engage with authentic, child-directed play for children’s learning and healthy development, Caroline is right at the top,” Marteal said.
 
The academy, besides being incredibly fun, is designed to inclusively engage learners and their families throughout the summer, with the culminating three-week camp at Caroline Elementary, completely outside.

Caroline’s 21-acre campus includes a quarter-mile nature trail with three outdoor classrooms, apple trees, school vegetable gardens, as well as pollinator and bird habitat gardens. This outdoor learning environment is intentional, engaging and aligned to interdisciplinary studies that students participate in throughout the year. It will be the stage for this outdoor learning laboratory, and provide the backdrop for the culminating interactive performance.
 
“We believe when students are given an authentic purpose and opportunity to share learning, they engage and succeed,” said Principal Mary Grover.
 
CONTACT
Mary Grover, Caroline Elementary, 607-342-8748, mary.grover@icsd.k12.ny.us
Erin Marteal, Ithaca Children’s Garden, 607-319-4203, erin@ithacachildrensgarden.org

Official Results: ICSD Budget Vote and Board of Education Election

May 18, 2016 - The results listed below of the 2016 budget vote and school board election have been certified by the Board of Education.

  • Proposition #1, the proposed school budget of $119,088,829 for 2016-2017, having received 1797 yes votes and 788 no votes; 

  • Proposition #2, the appropriation and expenditure of funds from the School District’s 2013 Capital Reserve Fund, having received 2023 yes votes and 556 no votes; 

  • Proposition #3, pertaining to the proposed lease with the Enfield Community Council, having received 2118 yes votes and 439 no votes. 

All three of the propositions have passed. Further, the results of the election to the Board of Education are

  • Eldred V. Harris JD, received 1741 votes

  • Robert Ainslie, received 1685 votes

  • Bradley Grainger, received 1641 votes

  • Nicole La Fave, received 661 votes 

Eldred V. Harris JD, having received the highest number of votes will begin serving immediately upon taking and filing the oath of office for a term of office ending on June 30, 2019. Robert Ainslie and Bradley Grainger, having received the second and third highest number of votes, respectively, are confirmed as elected to the Board of Education - each for a three-year term commencing July 1, 2016 and ending June 30, 2019. Nicole La Fave, having received the fourth highest number of votes, is confirmed as elected to the Board of Education for the balance of the unexpired term of office of Jen Curley, commencing May 18, 2016 and ending June 30, 2018.

No School for Students on May 27 & May 30

May 18, 2016 - School will be closed for students Friday, May 27 and Monday, May 30 throughout Ithaca City School District. All school-sponsored after-school and evening activities are also cancelled.
 
In accordance with the Ithaca City School District Academic Calendar, there will be no school for students on Friday, May 27 as a result of no emergency closing days used this past winter. There is no school for students, faculty and staff on Monday, May 30 in observation of the national holiday, Memorial Day.

Bradley Grainger to Be Honored as 2016 Board Members of Achievement

May 13, 2016 - Bradley Grainger has been selected as a recipient of the “School Board Members of Achievement” award by the Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga School Boards Association. Grainger has been a member of the Ithaca City School District Board of Education for nine years and is a candidate for a fourth term on Tuesday. He will be honored at the Central New York School Board Association’s upcoming annual dinner on Thursday, May 26 at The Lodge at Welch Allyn in Skaneateles, NY.
 
Grainger is one of five recipients of this prestigious honor. This honor is bestowed on school board members who have demonstrated exceptional service and leadership on the boards in which they have served and their area’s school boards association.  
 
“While pleased to be recognized, school boards are a team effort and I have had the pleasure to serve with outstanding colleagues who are all dedicated to our students, staff and taxpayers,” said Grainger.
 
“Mr. Grainger’s deep understanding of finance and our school district’s teaching and learning initiatives are invaluable,” said Superintendent Luvelle Brown. “Our community benefits from Mr. Grainger’s talents, commitment, and passion for public education.”
 
The theme of the annual meeting is 40 Years CNYSBA: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow. The annual meeting features a panel discussion of old and current CNYSBA members and staff members, who will reflect about the past and look to the future. The panel discussion will be moderated by Guy Cosentino, who is known for his role as host to public affairs shows and school board candidate debates.

Three Candidates for Ithaca City Schools Board

May 10, 2016 - The May 17 election for the Ithaca City School Board will include three nominated candidates for four openings. The budget and election mailing listed four names, one of which should have been deleted, as that person is not a resident within the school district.
 
The ballots on Tuesday will have the names of Bradley Grainger, Eldred Harris and Robert Ainslie as nominated candidates. No other name will appear on the ballot as a nominated candidate. However, spaces are available for write-in votes.
 
In addition to the election of Board members, there will be three ballot propositions.  The first is the 2016-2017 budget for the school district, which includes a tax levy increase of 2.1% and will be reflected in a slightly lower tax rate. The second proposition will allow the school district to expend existing reserve funds for the purchase of eight buses and the funding of three maintenance projects. Proposition number 3 will allow the school district to lease land at the Enfield Elementary School to the Enfield Community Council, allowing the construction of a community center.
 
Polls will be open noon to 9:00pm on Tuesday, May 17.  

ICSD Board Meeting Rebroadcast

April 15, 2016 - Time Warner Cable has scheduled an additional rebroadcast of the Board of Education Meeting held April 12. This meeting included the presentation by Superintendent Luvelle Brown of the proposed budget for the 2016-2017 school year. The additional rebroadcast will be Saturday at 8:30 pm on channel 16. The regular broadcast of BOE meetings is live on Time Warner 15. Then, the rebroadcast is on Time Warner 16 the following Friday at noon and 8:30pm, and Saturday on Channel 16 at 8:30am. 
 
The news release below is from Tompkins County Health Department and is provided to you by leadership at the Ithaca City School District.
 
TOMPKINS COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Your Partner for a Healthy Community
Frank Kruppa – Public Health Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact: Theresa Lyczko – TCHD at 607-274-6600 and David Brown – ICSD at 607-274-2252

Tompkins County Health Department & Ithaca City School District Release Interim Reports on Lead Tests at Caroline & Enfield Schools 

April 14, 2016 – The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) and the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) have been investigating lead in the drinking water in the Caroline and Enfield Elementary Schools. Elevated levels of lead were detected in the drinking water at both schools in August 2015. The ICSD turned off all consumptive-use fixtures and has been supplying certified bottled water.
 
The TCHD and the ICSD collected separate sets of samples at Caroline and Enfield Elementary Schools in March 2016.  All fixtures at both schools were previously tested in February 2016. The March results from Caroline were significantly better than the school-wide test results from February 2016.  The results also indicated that flushing the drinking water fixtures for a short period of time might be effective in reducing lead levels in the drinking water.
 
The Enfield results were not as conclusive – with some results being higher and some lower than previous sampling results.
 
Additional information is needed to assess the situation at both schools: A plumbing profile needs to be developed. The ICSD has selected a consultant who will assist in this and related activities. Source (ground) water samples have been collected at both schools and will be tested for water quality parameters in addition to lead.  The source water results and the plumbing profile will be used to determine what additional sampling should be conducted or if other changes should be implemented.
 
The ICSD will continue to provide certified bottled water while the investigation continues. TCHD will be coordinating with ICSD, NYSDOH and EPA on the investigation at all schools in the District.
 
Reports for these interim results at Caroline and Enfield Elementary Schools are posted on the TCHD and ICSD websites:
 
http://www.tompkinscountyny.gov/health/schooldrinkingwater#faq
http://www.ithacacityschools.org/districtpage.cfm?pageid=601

Superintendent Brown Presents Proposed 2016-2017 Budget

April 8, 2016 - Superintendent of Ithaca City School District, Dr. Luvelle Brown will present the proposed budget for the 2016-2017 school year to the Board of Education on Tuesday, April 12, 2016.

The presentation by Superintendent Brown is one of several important informational opportunities to come, regarding the budget, that culminate into a community-wide vote next month. The Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the proposed budget on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. To learn more about the 2016-2017 budget, please visit the Board of Education Budget page of the Ithaca City School District website.
 

Visit the district Let’s Talk! page, and share your thoughts, questions, or concerns about the proposed 2016-2017 budget. Access the Let’s Talk! page on the ICSD website from the top menu bar on any page, then click “Contacts,” then click “Let’s Talk.” Learn more about Let’s Talk! Let’s Talk! streamlines communication, facilitating open dialogue between district leaders and the community.
 

The community is encouraged to attend Board of Education and Committee meetings to engage in the discussion about the budget - in addition to casting your vote! The Twitter hashtag #ICSDBOE is being used to involve district leaders and community members. The Board of Education meetings are broadcast live on Time Warner 15, and rebroadcast on Time Warner 16 the following Friday at 12:00 noon and 8:30PM, and Saturday on Channel 16 at 8:30AM. The broadcasts are also archived on the Board of Education page of the district website.
 

A budget hearing will be held Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 6:00PM followed by Tele-Town Hall at 7:30PM. During Tele-Town Hall, the community is encouraged to ask questions and get responses in real-time. All ICSD student households will receive an invitation by phone to participate in a live conference call. The Ithaca community is invited to join the Tele-Town Hall by these methods: call in at (855)-756-7520 extension 28298# or tweet using #ICSDBOE. Participants who call in will have the option to listen only to the discussion or enter into the queue to have their questions about the budget addressed by Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown, district leadership, and members of the Board of Education.
 

The community is scheduled to vote on the proposed budget Tuesday, May 17, 2016 from 12:00 noon to 9:00PM.

IHS Seniors Participate in Mad City Money April 1

March 29, 2016 - All Ithaca High School seniors will take part in a program entitled Mad City Money during the second half of their school day on Friday, April 1. Organized by Cornell Cooperative Extension and Alternatives Credit Union, Mad City Money is a simulation designed to let our students practice making real-life financial decisions. This program has been successful at other area schools, and will be an engaging and thought-provoking exercise with time allotted for self-reflection. During the simulation, pairs of students will receive unique life facts such as salary, occupation, spouse (in some cases), children, and more. They will then visit several "life stations" to purchase necessary items such as housing, transportation, insurance, and many other items that students may not have considered before. Their goal will be simple: live within their means! As an added bonus, students who complete all stations will be entered into drawings to receive a pair of prom tickets, IHS apparel, and more. This is a rare opportunity for the whole grade to come together. We are excited to make this a tradition at IHS. See what the excitement is about - watch an earlier Mad City Money event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvynxONrlps .

ITA Membership Votes in Favor if Tentative Contract Agreement

March 3, 2016 - The tentative contract agreement between the Ithaca Teachers Association (ITA) and the Ithaca City School District has been approved by a vote of the full membership of the ITA. Once approved by the Board of Education, the new contract will cover the current school year.
 
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Luvelle Brown stated, “The District was notified on Wednesday, March 2 that the ITA membership voted in favor of ratification. The tentative agreement will now be voted upon by the Board of Education at its March 8 meeting.”   
 
If approved by the Board of Education, the new contract will cover the 2015-2016 school year.
 
Details of the proposed contract include:

  • 1.5% increases to teacher base salaries - retroactive to July 1, 2015;

  • an additional $600 added to teacher base salaries for all teachers - retroactive to July 1, 2015;

  • an additional 0.7% increase to teacher base salaries - effective June 30, 2016;

  • an increase in out-of-pocket maximums to employees’ current Classic Blue Cross Blue Shield health plan - $50 increase for individual plans, which are currently $100; and $150 increase for family plans, which are currently $300;

  • no change in co-pay cost for generic medication, which remains $5 under the prescription drug plan; and an increase of $10 in co-pay cost for brand name medication, which is currently $10;

  • removal of sabbatical leaves from the contract. 

“The ICSD negotiating team looks forward to entering facilitated negotiations with the ITA leadership team within the next 60 days,” said Superintendent Brown. “Our goal is to work collaboratively and with the utmost transparency with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) facilitator and ITA to have a new agreement in place for the upcoming school year by June 30, 2016.”

ICSD in Top 10 of Best School District for Teacher Support

March 3, 2016 - Ithaca City School District is ranked the 6th best school district for Teacher Support in New York State.

New York school districts were assessed on several factors, which represent how well a school district supports their teachers. Criteria included class size, availability of administrators and support staff, and student proficiency levels. 

The district has over 5,400 students and employs more than 685 teachers to meet student needs. With a ratio of about 11 students per teacher, ICSD strives to ensure that all students achieve academic excellence, states a Teacher.org report on the rankings. According to the report, ICSD was the only school district in Upstate, New York to rank in the top 20. Also, it is one of three schools from all school districts assessed to employ more than 300 support staff.

The report states, teachers work hard every day, and the more support they have the better they can succeed at inspiring our future. This is why Teacher.org has ranked school districts in New York that excel in supporting teachers inside and outside of the classroom. For this ranking, 383 school districts in New York were analyzed. The top 50 school districts are featured. To learn more, visit http://www.teacher.org/state/new-york/#school-districts.

Teacher.org Founder Salpy Baharian describes the ranking as “an outstanding accomplishment,” and encourages ICSD to “continue to inspire.” This designation comes with an official badge (below).

Ithaca City School District Earns Commendable Audit Results

March 2, 2016 - The New York State Comptroller recently released a report on the findings of an audit conducted on Ithaca City School District. The report notes that ICSD administration budgeted responsibly during financially challenging times.

“Our goal last fiscal year was to ensure that the revenue realized by ICSD exceeded our expenditures,” said Chief Operations Officer Amanda Verba. “To do so, we continued to educate our administrators, staff, families, and other key school community members about the importance of supporting our work while maintaining efficiency in our management of the budget. We will continue to work within the parameters of limited State Aid and the Tax Cap to fund our priorities and move the work forward.”

The audit is the product of an investigation into whether administration properly managed the school district’s fund balance from 2010 to June 30, 2015. The fund balance is the remaining money and resources a district has from prior fiscal years that is available for use to lower real property taxes for the following fiscal year.
 

ICSD started incurring a deficit in the fiscal year 2011-2012 when money spent by the district for operations was more than money coming into the district.  
 

Ultimately, the district saved $3 million by decreasing staff through attrition and consolidation of positions. Other measures implemented by the district that helped include transitioning its information technology services to the Board of Cooperative Educational Services. This saved the district $664,000 from the fiscal year 2013-2014 to 2014-2015.

"I appreciate the comptroller's thorough analysis of the budget process and decisions made here in the Ithaca City School District,” said Luvelle Brown, Superintendent of ICSD Schools. “Their findings affirm our beliefs that we have been both effective and efficient with our community's resources."

Curley Resigns from Board of Education

February 25, 2016 - Jennifer Curley resigned from the Ithaca City School District Board of Education February 24, 2016.

Filing Period for Ithaca City School District Board Candidates

February 17, 2016 - Nominating petitions for the May 17, 2016 Ithaca City School  Board  election are now available. The three Board candidates receiving the highest number of votes will be elected to three-year terms.
 
The 2016 Annual Budget Vote and School Board Election will be held on May 17, 2016. In order to run for a Board seat, nominating petitions must be filed in the Office of the District Clerk by 5:00 p.m. on April 27, 2016.
 
Nominating petitions, along with other forms and information for candidates, are available on the ICSD website at http://www.ithacacityschools.org/districtpage.cfm?pageid=215 and in the Office of the District Clerk at 400 Lake Street in Ithaca.
 
For more information, please contact the District Clerk at jennifer.hillman@icsd.k12.ny.us or (607) 274-2102.

ICSD and ITA Reach Tentative Collective Bargaining Agreement

February 10, 2016 - The Ithaca City School District is pleased to announce that a tentative collective bargaining agreement has been reached with the Ithaca Teachers Association. Ratification voting by the Association membership will be followed by a vote of the Board of Education. February 10, 2016 - The Ithaca City School District is pleased to announce that a tentative collective bargaining agreement has been reached with the Ithaca Teachers Association. Ratification voting by the Association membership will be followed by a vote of the Board of Education.

ICSD Board Guest Editorial Submission

February 9, 2016 - The Ithaca City School District is pleased to announce that a tentative collective bargaining agreement has been reached with the Ithaca Teachers Association. Ratification voting by the Association membership will be followed by a vote of the Board of Education.

As members of the Board of Education of the Ithaca City School District (ICSD), we write to express our concerns, frustration and angst over the Governor’s proposed budget. Four items are of particular concern to our District and taxpayers:  The Gap Elimination Adjustment(GEA), Foundation Aid, the Property Tax Cap and  Pre-K funding.

Since 2010, as a result of the Gap Elimination Adjustment, New York State has  withheld almost 21 million dollars in promised school aid from the Ithaca City School District. Unfortunately, the governor’s proposed budget continues this destructive policy by withholding another 1.15 million dollars in school aid from ICSD for 2016-17.  In addition, in allocating foundation aid to upstate school districts, which is intended to support general operating expenses, the ICSD is projected to get zero - NO -additional funding this year.

Making matters worse the state- mandated Property Tax Cap only allows school districts to increase taxes by 2% or the cost of inflation, whichever is less. This year, inflation is almost zero. Although some expenses are excluded from this cap, this year’s cap will be quite restrictive. Unfortunately for our district, there will be an approximately 7% increase in health insurance and a 10% increase in workers compensation. This will widen the  gap between projected revenues and projected expenditures. Staying underneath this restrictive Property Tax Cap is extremely challenging and could have serious repercussions for our programs.

Lack of funding for the Universal Pre-K programs for our region is another significant deficiency in the governor’s proposed budget. Our region’s four-year-olds are not being served by current state funding formulas. Existing funding for upstate enables some districts to convert half day Pre-K to full day. Pioneering districts such as ICSD already have had full day programs so cannot access these funds. In fact, due to years of the GEA claw back our district has had to significantly scale back our Pre-K programs in recent years. Universal Pre-K is vital in leveling the opportunities for children from low income backgrounds. All young children deserve this opportunity.

The toxic combination of the Gap Elimination Adjustment, no additional Foundation Aid and the Property Tax Cap pegged at close to 0%  puts our district in a serious financial predicament. Years of continuous financial strain make for difficult choices and put our educational mission at risk. New York State has experienced budget surpluses for the past two years. It is unethical to run a State budget surplus and simultaneously withhold needed funds from school districts. We urge New York State to completely abolish the Gap Elimination Adjustment this year and properly fund education for the children in the Ithaca City School District and in all of New York State.
Signed,
 
Robert Ainslie, President
Christopher Malcolm, Vice President
Jennifer Curley
Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell
Bradley Grainger
Eldred V. Harris
Moira Lang
Ann Reichlin
Dr. Patricia Wasyliw

New Wildlife Habitat Certified at Caroline

February 3, 2016Caroline Elementary School is recognized for its wilderness trail by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) as a Certified Wildlife Habitat®.
 
The NWF celebrates the efforts of the students, staff members, parents, and community members at Caroline Elementary for creating a space that improves habitats for birds, butterflies, frogs and other wildlife. The trail improves habitats by providing essential elements needed by all wildlife – natural food sources, clean water, as well as cover and places to raise young.
 
This certification also makes Caroline’s certified wildlife habitat part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge is a national effort to restore critical habitat for pollinators.
 
The application and certification process was completed as a result of the collaborative efforts between Peggy Weber’s kindergarten students and Danielle Rottenstein’s 5th graders.
 
“We give credit to the entire Caroline Community for coming together to create our Wilderness Campus and outside learning environments,” Weber said.
 
Rottenstein said, “This was a great opportunity for 5th graders to share their understanding and knowledge of ecosystems and transfer their learning into real world experience.”
 
The NWF is America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization. The organization’s Garden for Wildlife program encourages responsible gardening that helps pollinators and other wildlife thrive. It encourages planting with native species like milkweed, and discourages chemical pesticide use. With nearly 200,000 locations and growing, NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitats and Community Wildlife Habitats recognize individuals, schools, groups, and whole communities committed to providing habitat for wildlife.

New Roots Charter Revision Request Public Hearing

January 8, 2016 - The Ithaca City School District seeks public input on a proposed charter revision to decrease enrollment from 200 to 160 by New Roots Charter School for a) the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year and b) the 2016-2017 school year, which is the last year of the current charter term. The revision is sought by New Roots from its authorizing agency, SUNY Charter Schools Institute (CSI).  New Roots has made a petition for an extension of time for consideration of its revision request.
 
ICSD will conduct a public hearing on this matter on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 from 6 pm to 7 pm in the Board Room at the Administration Building, 400 Lake Street, Ithaca, New York 14850. Public comments will be two minutes per speaker. Oral and written comments are sought. Written comments can be submitted to the ICSD district clerk at Jennifer.Hillman@icsd.k12.ny.us with the subject line “New Roots Charter Revision.” Written comments can also be mailed to District Clerk, ICSD, 400 Lake Street, Ithaca, New York 14850.
 
The public hearing will be recorded, and comments will be sent to SUNY CSI as part of the community feedback on this revision request. Documents related to the revision application can be found and reviewed in BoardDocs accessible via the Board of Education page of the ICSD website.
 
The regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting will start at 7 pm, ending the public hearing.

Ithaca City School District Achieves AP District Honor Roll

December 14, 2015 - The Ithaca City School District is on the College Board’s sixth annual Advanced Placement District Honor Roll. The school district achieved this honor by increasing access to AP coursework for a broader number of students while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams since 2013.
 
“Our school district has committed to increasing access to high-level course offerings for all students,” said Superintendent Luvelle Brown. “The recent accolade from the College Board recognizes our success with not only increasing access, but increasing achievement at the same time.  I am very proud of our students, teachers, and community.”
 
Twenty-five school districts in New York State are among more than 400 in the U.S. and Canada to earn this distinction.
 
Inclusion on the honor roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2013 to 2015, looking across 34 AP exams.

ICSD Hosts Free Viewing of Film 'Most Likely to Succeed'

December 10, 2015 - Ithaca City School District will host a free community screening of Most Likely To Succeed December 15, 2015 at 6pm in Kulp Auditorium.
 
An edu-documentary, Most Likely To Succeed is a smart and engaging examination of the history of the American education system and future possibilities. Most Likely To Succeed is a movement to get thinkers, thought leaders, and vested partners to collaborate and commit to continuously improving schools in creative and progressive ways.
 
“After viewing this thought-provoking film, our community will have a wonderful opportunity to hear from and engage with an amazing panel of students, educators, and leaders,” said Superintendent Luvelle Brown.
 
There will be a panel discussion and talk-back session with the audience after the screening.  Superintendent Luvelle Brown will moderate the panel:

  • Bart Auble, Special Education Teacher at Lehman Alternative Community School

  • Sean Eversley Bradwell, Professor at Ithaca College & BOE member

  • Khiry Brown, Student at Ithaca High School

  • Ryan Lombardi, VP for Student & Campus Life at Cornell University

  • Francesca Merrick, Student at Lehman Alternative Community School

  • Helen Perl, Math Teacher at Ithaca High School

  • Jennifer Wilkie, Teacher on Special Assignment – Science & Transdisciplinary Curriculum

This event is free to the public. Childcare will be provided by the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC).
 
This event is possible through collaboration of the Ithaca City School District, the Greater Ithaca Activities Center, the Ithaca Public Education Initiative, the PTA Council, and the Village at Ithaca.

ICSD Hosts Free Viewing of Movie 'Most Likely to Succeed'

November 16, 2015 - Ithaca City School District will host a free community screening of Most Likely To Succeed December 15, 2015 at 6pm in Kulp Auditorium. An edu-documentary, Most Likely To Succeed is a smart and engaging examination of the history of the American education system and future possibilities.
 
“I was excited to learn that our school district and community had been chosen as one of the few in the nation to host this special screening,” said Superintendent Luvelle Brown.  “I look forward to an informative and inspiring experience.”
 
There will be a panel discussion and talk-back session with the audience after the screening. This event is free to the public. Childcare will be provided.
 
This event is possible through collaboration of the Ithaca City School District, the Greater Ithaca Activities Center, the Ithaca Public Education Initiative, the PTA Council, and the Village at Ithaca.

IHS Scholar Athlete Signs National Letter of Intent on Thursday

November 10, 2015 - This Thursday, November 12, 2015, Ithaca High School scholar athlete Ayla Bonniwell will sign a national letter of intent to attend Florida State University next year. She is a diver.

“This is an exciting time for athletes, and their families, as they go on to pursue an education and athletics at college,” said Athletics Director Jeffrey Manwaring.

The event starts at 4pm in the Kulp Auditorium reception area.

ICSD Enhances Website

October 28, 2015 - The Ithaca City School District will launch a new website on November 2, 2015. The website’s design reflects the school district’s focus on keeping students, caregivers, the community, and district staff informed and engaged in two-way dialogue.

“Our web presence continues to evolve to meet the needs of our community.  I am confident that stakeholders will find our new site easy to navigate, visually pleasing, and rich with valuable information.  It is also important for our website to be a place that facilitates conversations as well,” said Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown.

While the website celebrates the best of what the previous website offered, it will feature:

  • Enhanced presentation of content making it more user friendly

  • Individualized teacher home pages with heightened content capability

  • A mobile version connecting ICSD to an ever-growing population 

  • Let’s Talk!, a communication solution that lets you ask questions, submit feedback or share your opinions 24 hours a day, seven days a week

www.IthacaCitySchools.org, the previous web address, will re-route to the new website.

About Ithaca City School District

The Ithaca City School District mission is to engage, educate, and empower. We will strive to engage all students in the importance and relevance of thinking; to educate every learner to communicate, comprehend, and collaborate for understanding; and to empower all in the ICSD to achieve academic excellence. We envision a bold community of 6,000+ Thinkers. Thinking is foundational to the development of self, society, and democracy. It is the cornerstone of all creative ideas; problem solving; scientific discoveries, innovations and social good.

Visit our website at www.ithacacityschools.org

NYSED Commissioner Tours Northeast Elementary October 23

November 19, 2015 - New York State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia will visit the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) on Friday, Oct. 23, as part of her visit to the region to meet with various education stakeholders. While in the ICSD, Dr. Elia will tour Northeast Elementary School. The school was recognized as a New York State Reward School in August for its consistent excellence in student achievement.

In addition to touring Northeast Elementary School on Oct. 23, the Commissioner will meet with district superintendents and Board of Education members on the evening of Oct. 22. While in the area, Dr. Elia will also meet with designated administrators, teachers and parents to discuss different topics related to education.  

Recently, the ICSD has received state and national attention for high-levels of student achievement - such as increased graduation rates, increased attendance, increased co-curricular enrollment, more students reading at or above grade level, and decreased discipline. More recognition on the state and national levels include:

  • Northeast Elementary School named a National Blue Ribbon School
  • Northeast Elementary School recognized for two consecutive years as a New York State Rewards School
  • ICSD named one of the Nation’s Best Communities for Music Education two years in a row
  • Multiple students in the district named as National Merit Scholarship Award finalists
  • Multiple teachers in the district named as New York State Master Teachers
  • Superintendent Luvelle Brown named by the National School Boards Association as a 20-to-Watch.

Top