ICSD Community Letter - August 6, 2021
I write with hopes and wishes for your restorative and productive summer months. Also, I wish to share that educators in the Ithaca City School District are working diligently and excitedly to welcome our families back to school buildings for the 2021-2022 academic school year. As we prepare for the fall, I wish to reiterate our commitment to anti-marginalization, liberation and love. We will provide exceptional educational experiences for young people as we continue to navigate challenges created by a health pandemic.
Recently, New York State Commissioner, Dr. Betty Rosa, indicated we should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations. Also, noting that the State of Emergency has been officially lifted, the New York State Governor’s office has indicated that they will not be issuing updated guidance for September.
Both the CDC and AAP express the importance of returning students to school buildings in-person full-time. At this time, in the ICSD we will be implementing:
- Universal masking indoors, regardless of vaccination status
- 3 feet of distance as possible (6 feet for eating/mask breaks, singing, playing wind instruments)
- Surveillance testing at particular levels of community spread
- Hand hygiene
- Staying home when sick
- Symptom screening (no temperature checking at school each morning)
- Cohorting as much as possible
While we welcome all students back to in-person learning in September, we will also offer non-in-person learning to a limited number of students who qualify with specific medical conditions related to COVID-19.
Please check our school reopening website and the Frequently Asked Questions section with specific information about our instructional plans, health and safety protocols, the process for applying for a student medical exemption, and other general information relevant to the beginning of the school year. We have learned much these past 18 months, especially around the importance of flexibility and adjusting in real time to meet the needs of our young people, staff and families. We will continue to embrace the changes we know will be ahead, and appreciate your partnership.