During this time of year, I make a conscious effort to pause and engage in moments of reflection. I take a retrospective look at the past year, considering its highs and lows, the successes and mistakes. This reflection is not just a personal exercise but a vital step in planning for the future of Ichabod Crane. Throughout this edition, you’ll notice the theme of reflection is woven through many of the articles.
First, you'll hear from a small group of our 8th-grade students who took a break from their busy school days to share insights from their recent Washington D.C. trip, where they explored the nation's capital with classmates and staff.
Another article explores our administrative team's ongoing work to formulate updated strategic priorities for the district. The current priorities, outlined in Rider Goals 2024, will expire at the end of this school year. The updated roadmap, Rider Goals 2027, will focus on the future of Ichabod Crane, requiring collective reflection from the entire Rider community – including students, staff, families and district residents. Continue reading to discover how you can provide input through a survey that will help us in charting our course forward.
Reflection in education promotes a comprehensive learning approach, fostering not just academic understanding but also personal and professional development for all in our district. I genuinely appreciate everyone taking the time to pause and reflect. Your feedback is invaluable as we continue to prioritize the well-being and educational journey of all our students and staff.
Articles in this edition:
Washington D.C. Reflections
Rider Goals 2027
Ichabod Cares: How to Help our Students & Families
2024 Wall of Fame Accepting Nominations
What’s Next in January
Washington D.C. Reflections
We recently interviewed three of our 8th-graders who traveled to Washington D.C. alongside their classmates and district staffers, seeking their reflections on their time in the nation’s capital.
One standout moment for Antero Encarnacion was the opportunity to meet and shake hands with U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro, whose district encompasses Columbia County, in the Capitol on the day of a momentous vote. That day, the House of Representatives voted to expel Rep. George Santos of New York from office, making him only the sixth ever member of the House to be expelled.
“It was exciting to meet Rep. Molinaro and to see the inside of the Capitol and to learn how things run there,” Antero said. “It was also so interesting to be there when there was such an interesting vote.”
During the four-day trip, the students and staff explored various landmarks and museums, including the United States Holocaust Museum, which left a profound impact on all three students. They listened to a survivor recount his harrowing experience, how he went into hiding and lived through the genocide that killed millions of people.
“Visiting the Holocaust Museum really put into perspective how the Holocaust happened not very long ago,” Allorra Cirillo said. “You know all this happened, but our visit and hearing the survivor really put into perspective that these are real people with real stories.”
Natalie Dunbar, too, departed the Holocaust Museum with a changed and more impactful perspective on the events that transpired less than 100 years ago. In contrast to the sorrow she experienced at the Holocaust Museum and other sites, she said that the trip was also a happy and uplifting time for her. It not only deepened her bonds with existing friends but also led to the formation of new friendships.
“I am closer with my friends and also connected with new people,” Natalie said. “I got to know a lot more about them.”
The DC Club has organized two upcoming fundraisers to help cover future student trip expenses. The first is a Brooks BBQ on January 27. Click here to view the order form if you are interested in ordering chicken or ribs. You can also support the DC Club and celebrate leap year by ordering Cinnabon. Crossgates Cinnabon is baking cinnamon rolls fresh for the club on February 29! You can order here.
Rider Goals 2027
As we think about the future of teaching and learning at Ichabod Crane CSD, we know that our 1,700 students deserve the highest quality instructional program that we can offer. A collaborative design of Rider Goals 2027 creates an incredible opportunity to reflect on our instructional programming, curriculum resources, and student and adult spaces for learning – to ask ourselves a few of the following questions:
What’s your vision for the future of ICC facilities and programs?
What should district leaders keep in mind as they plan for ICC’s future?
Imagine ICC as the very best district in 5-10 years. What does that look like to you?
What skills/knowledge are essential for our graduating students to have?
We invite you to answer these four questions by clicking here to access the district’s short community survey. Also, be on the lookout for a mailing from the district in your mailboxes, slated to arrive in mid-January. Inside the envelope, you'll find a postcard (pictured below) featuring a QR code for easy survey access. Alternatively, if you don’t want to complete the survey online, you can write your responses on the back of the postcard and send it back to us.
Community engagement is key to building a shared vision of the future of teaching and learning together. Our mission at ICCSD is to prepare students to become contributing members of society in an ever-changing world. This is no small feat for a school district and requires a school community to carefully articulate strategic priorities and a vision for the future.
Ichabod Cares: How to Help Our Students & Families
The district operates Ichabod Cares, our collection of safety net programs to assist our students and families in various ways. These programs include the distribution of essentials such as food, clothing, shoes, toiletries and more. This article provides an overview of some donation-accepting programs and how you can contribute to support them.
In all three buildings, staff run programs to distribute food to dozens of students and their families each week. This helps provide food over the weekends when other food resources, including school breakfasts and lunches, aren’t available.
At the Primary and Middle Schools, staff coordinate the BackPack programs, created in partnership with the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. The program offers child-friendly, shelf-stable, and easily-consumed food on a weekly basis. Staff discreetly pack and distribute bags to students on Fridays, and coordinate efforts to financially support the programs.
Ichabod’s Table is the High School’s food distribution program. The program is sustained by donations and its partnership with the Regional Food Bank’s School Pantry Program. Participating students receive an array of items, which can include non-perishable, fresh, frozen and refrigerated options. HS Librarian Jennifer Two-Axe runs Ichabod’s Table, as well as Ichabod’s Closet. The Closet accepts donations of clothing, shoes, coats and toiletries. Students can access The Closet throughout the day and after school by contacting Jennifer Two-Axe.
The Middle School also operates Take What You Need Bins and the Middle School Closet, where students have access to an assortment of items, such as a range of toiletries and clothing.
The Music Department also accepts donations of instruments and black clothing for student concerts.
How to donate to these programs:
Both BackPack programs:
To donate online, visit www.regionalfoodbank.net. Click on the “Donate Now” link. Select “Children’s Programs” and put BP Ichabod Crane (Primary or Middle School) in the “Partner Agency Name” section.
To send a check, mail it to Regional Food Bank, 965 Albany-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110. The check should be made out to Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY, with BP Ichabod Crane (Primary or Middle) on the memo line.
Checks can be mailed to Ichabod Crane High School, c/o Jennifer Two-Axe, 2910 Route 9, Valatie, NY 12184, and made out to Ichabod Crane. In the memo, specify Ichabod’s Table.
Monetary donations can also be sent to the Regional Food Bank of NENY 965, Albany-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110. Please include in the memo section ICCHS 1895T.
For donations, they are accepting gently used or new clothing, coats, shoes and sneakers. They also accept toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.
All donations can be dropped off at the HS greeter station or arrangements for pick-up can be made with Jennifer Two-Axe via email. (email@example.com).
Middle School Bins and Closet:
For the Take What You Need Bins, they are accepting deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hair brushes, feminine products and hair ties.
The Middle School Closet is in need of leggings, socks, sweatpants and sweatshirts in all sizes.
All donations can be dropped off at the MS greeter station.
Blue and White Clothing:
We collect gently used ICC clothing to share with our students who don’t have or can’t purchase their own blue and white Rider gear.
Students in all three buildings can drop off their items in the main offices. If you are interested in receiving a donation, please contact your building's counselor or administrator.
We all appreciate the ongoing and generous support that our community consistently provides to our Rider family!
Wall of Fame Accepting Nominations
The Ichabod Crane Wall of Fame recognizes the contributions and achievements of a diverse group, including graduates, former employees, volunteers and friends of the district. These individuals, through outstanding accomplishments in their respective fields or dedicated service to the district, serve as inspirational figures for our students.
Last year, we proudly inducted a distinguished group of former faculty members and alumni – V. Ron Gabriel, Daralene Jewell, Ron Near, Thomas Rowley, Thomas Saccone and Robert Warrington.
We are now accepting nominations for the 2024 Wall of Fame, which must be received by February 26, 2024.
For further details, please visit our website, where you can find information about the application, nomination process, selection criteria, timeline and more. The Wall of Fame Committee is set to meet in March to review candidates and conduct the voting process. The district will announce the new inductees in the spring.
If you have any questions, please contact Mackenzie Rigg, Communications Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to Board Notes, a new section of the Rider Report. Each semester, we will showcase key presentations and information shared at the district’s Board of Education meetings.
High School PE teacher Tracy Nytranski gave an overview of the K-12 Physical Education Department.
Special Education Director Peg Warner and teachers leaders presented on the K-12 Special Education Department.
Assistant Superintendent Lucas Christensen reported on the Grades 3-8 testing results from the 2022-23 school year.
Katie Snyder, Team Leader for the English as a New Language (ENL) Department K-12, gave an overview of the department’s work across the district.
Introduction of Budget Calendar.
For more info about our Board of Education, their meetings, live stream links, please visit their page on our website.
What’s Next in January
January 2: Budget Committee Meeting, 3:30 p.m., Central Office
January 9: Communications Committee Meeting, 5:45 p.m., Central Office
January 9: Board of Education Regular Meeting, 7 p.m., High School Library
January 15: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – No School and Offices Closed
January 16: Academic Committee Meeting, 5:45 p.m., Central Office
January 23-26: Regents Week
January 23: Facilities Committee Meeting, 4:30 p.m., Central Office
January 23: Policy Committee Meeting, 5:45 p.m., Central Office
January 29: Kindergarten Registration Help Night, 4-6 p.m., Primary School Gymnasium
January 30: Budget Committee Meeting, 3:30 p.m., Central Office
Dates, times and locations are subject to change.
🍎🥪 Reminder: Our Free Meals Program is now in effect! All students enrolled in K-12 are eligible for one free breakfast and one free lunch each day, regardless of economic status. Visit our website post for more details. 🌟
🌟 Primary School Good Character Award Recipients, and Middle School and High School Riders of the Month 👏
Celebrating the 241st birthday of late President Martin Van Buren, a group of our 4th graders presented a biographical timeline and sang "Happy Birthday" during a ceremony in December.
National Junior Honor Society Inductees
A few photos from Winter Spirit Week!
If you haven't done so yet, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to catch a special recap video showcasing the exciting events of the week -- and so much more!