Welcome Back, ICSD!
Dear Ithaca City School District Community,
The 2022-2023 school year is officially here! We are excited to welcome learners back into classrooms with a renewed sense of purpose and optimism. For the first time in two years, our students can return to school with increased flexibility regarding our operations around COVID-19. While we know that the pandemic continues to impact all of our lives in profound ways, we feel empowered in our ability to support everyone to achieve their full potential.
Key to this confident feeling is Learning Forward ICSD, which is the driving force behind our work as we begin the academic school year. Our three-year approach to academic and social-emotional learning helps us to center our work and provide an inclusive roadmap to student achievement. We are committed to reversing the legacy of racism and establishing communities built on love and joy.
Highlighting this commitment are ICSD educators who have spent much time during the summer enhancing skills at over 40 workshop opportunities to help further their own knowledge and learning. We also have the privilege of welcoming over 75 new teachers to our community. New educators will embark on a four year learning journey that will not only envelop new educators into the vision, mission, and culture of ICSD, but provide a shared understanding of anti-racist, inclusive, culturally responsive, and student-centered practice. Each cohort will be able to access support among each other and be paired with mentors to help them succeed.
Along with teaching and learning initiatives, efforts to continuously improve our physical plants are ongoing as well. Over the summer, our schools have been enhanced through our Capital Project. Some of the work has included a new roof for Ithaca High School, geothermal well borings at Enfield Elementary, and student entry canopy upgrades. Toilet rooms at Lehman Alternative School were renovated and outdoor space upgrades on the north end of the building have begun. The new basketball court will be available soon. Auditorium demolition was finished at DeWitt Middle School and the new south parking lot at South Hill Elementary was completed. We still have much more to do! We will be sending out more detailed information regarding our ongoing work to our buildings in the coming weeks.
Unfortunately, due to current guidance from the USDA, we are no longer able to serve free meals to students in the 2022-2023 school year. We have greatly enjoyed serving all of our students lunch at no-cost to you for the past two years and appreciate how meaningful this program was to our community. We highly encourage families to fill out the free and reduced meal application. Applications are now available along with pricing and payment options. The USDA will continue to update us throughout the school year, and we will notify you of new policies as they become available. Please check out our website for updated monthly menus.
I invite you to join me with a positive outlook, fresh start, and continuation of empowering our community of thinkers. Most importantly, I wish to thank you for being here. It is an honor to be on this journey with you.