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ICSD Community Letter - November 9, 2021

Dear Ithaca City School District Community,

It has been a challenging day for our school community as unfortunate violence impacted our school district and many families.  Please know the Ithaca City School District educators and I are working with various law enforcement agencies, mental health organizations, community leaders, and others to provide support and proactively plan for the physical and mental safety of all.

Today, multiple school buildings in our district were placed in lockdown due to police activity in the downtown and Cayuga Heights areas.  Ithaca High School, Boynton Middle School, and Cayuga Heights Elementary were placed in shelter-in-place protocols while building principals and I worked closely with law enforcement as the situation evolved. 

After transitioning to a shelter-in-place, local law enforcement officials allowed us to release IHS and Boynton students during their regular dismal times with no alterations to dismissal procedures.  At Cayuga Heights Elementary, the Cayuga Heights Police Department, assisted by Cornell University police, coordinated a gradual dismissal of students to their families and to ICSD bus transportation in order to ensure safety.
 
In addition to what unfolded in our three school buildings, I also wish to make you aware of an incident involving one of our school buses.  While traveling on West Seneca Street, an Ithaca school bus was struck by an object, shattering a side window.  This incident is being investigated by the Ithaca Police Department, and we will provide more information as it becomes available.

The reported violence in the community and school lockdowns add to the many stressors our families already have in the midst of a health pandemic.  We encourage you to use the resources listed below.

ICSD Mental Health Supports and Resources
Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Caregivers and Teachers

Please know that we recognize the magnitude and challenges added by today’s events, and I wish our community to know that we will continue to support a community-wide response.

Regards, 

Luvelle Brown
Superintendent