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ICSD Community Letter - December 17, 2021

Hello Ithaca City School District Community,

This is certainly a difficult time and I realize that many may be feeling anxious given the rise of positive COVID-19 cases. I am writing to provide information regarding district plans for the next week.
The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) has confirmed a significant rise in COVID-19 cases in our community. Through communications with officials at the TCHD, Cornell University, and Ithaca College, we’ve learned that the majority of positive cases can be traced to activities related to our local college campuses. Still, I also recognize the impact is felt acutely throughout our community. 
At this time, the Tompkins County Health Department is not recommending for K-12 schools to move to virtual learning. However, while we wish to be in-person, at times individuals, specific buildings, and/or the entire school district may need to pivot quickly to a virtual learning modality. We will keep you informed, and we will continue to closely monitor contact tracing, quarantines, staffing, and emergencies. 
As a reminder, our school buildings have layers of protection based on best-practices and recommendations. These layers include: installation and maintenance of MERV-13 filters, daily screening, school-based testing, mask wearing, physical distancing, and hand washing.  
In addition, I thank the ICSD community for our continued adherence to mask wearing, screening, social distancing and vaccination efforts during this health pandemic. Due to your collective vigilance, we have been able to keep our school buildings open, and we plan to stay open until the winter break.  
Should a change be needed, information related to a virtual transition can be found on our school district website.  
I wish you a restorative weekend and look forward to our learning together next week.
Luvelle Brown