Rider Report

Ichabod Crane CSD | October 2021

Superintendent's Corner

The first month of school has been a wonderful reminder of why we are here - seeing our students back in our buildings has provided many of our staff a new energy in their work after last year’s unique circumstances of hybrid learning and remote instruction. I couldn’t be happier to see our classrooms full of students, hallways bustling with activity and cafeterias abuzz with chatter.

We are excited to bring back some of the regular activities in all our schools for our students to participate in. As you know, most of our extracurricular activities were lost last year. This summer, our fall sports teams started practicing again, and their season began as scheduled in late August. Three of our teams are undefeated, Varsity Football is off to the best start in program history, and many of our teams will be wearing pink for breast cancer awareness in October. See more in the athletics update below. We are also pleased to see the Crane Acting Troupe return to the stage - their performances were certainly missed the last two years! A full listing of clubs available to our students is available here for the Middle School and High School.

I’d also like to briefly welcome all of the new staff hired for the 2021-2022 school year. We’ve filled several positions across our district and I am looking forward to getting to know everyone! I know you will help us do amazing things for our students! See a list of all of our new staff on our website. Stay tuned for spotlights on our new staff throughout the year.

It isn’t a secret that school isn’t exactly “normal” again as it was prior to our overnight pivot to remote learning in March 2020, we are working hard to get as close as we can while maintaining compliance with the protocols and procedures outlined in our Fall Opening Plan to help keep our students and staff safe and healthy.

Also in September, we began hosting events and activities for our students and staff in all three schools to promote our district-wide theme of Unity for this year - a reminder that we are one community, and in that community, we find our strength. We held a Unity Parade at the Primary School, a welcome back barbecue, scavenger hunts in each of the three schools, and a variety of Fun Friday events. As we move through the year, these events will also tie in to our monthly character traits. Flying Deer is also back for its third year, and our students and teachers are excited to participate in this amazing nature curriculum. New this year, the program has been expanded to include fourth grade, and we are glad to be able to reach more students with this wonderful program.

We are of course continuing to focus on our health and safety protocols, and closely monitoring positive cases of COVID-19 within our district. As always, our priority is keeping our students and staff as healthy and safe as possible. Transparency is equally important - and we are committed to sharing as much information as possible while protecting private health information and confidentiality.

I would like to thank you for your continued support for our district and our programs. We are in this together, and we could not be successful without your partnership.

Welcome Back to School!

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We welcomed back our students for the 2021-2022 school year on Tuesday, September 7. It was wonderful to see so many happy faces on the first day of school! You can see more photos here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/WkyR1iv67Nqj2qZZ6

Riders Focus on Unity

The first month of school has been full of activities to welcome back our students and make school fun again. We know many students may have had some increased back-to-school nerves this year, so we wanted to ensure our students felt at home returning to school.

Keeping with our district-wide theme of Unity, our staff has worked hard to provide plenty of opportunities for our students to connect and reinforce that we are all in this together. We placed a strong focus on strengthening relationships early in the year, setting all of our students up for success after what’s been a turbulent past 18 months.

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Kicking off the year, our littlest Riders held a Unity Parade on September 10. The whole Primary School came out to start the year strong as one community - creating signs and marching around the track to show that everyone is connected. See the full photo album here.

Across campus, all of our students participated in scavenger hunts to help familiarize (or refamiliarize) themselves with the building and staff.

At the high school, Students were partnered using a word or phrase from the unity quotes posted on the welcome back bulletin board. A staff member was also partnered with each group, and students needed to find each other and their staff member through their shared word. The first group to find one another won Amazon gift cards. Prizes were also awarded to the next two groups finding each other.

The winners had the word 'collaboration', 9th - Sophia Hlavac, 10th - Hector Loyola Bautista, 11th - Alexis Cintron, 12th - Brian VanAllen Hamm, staff - Mrs. Sgambelluri. Congratulations!

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At the Middle School, students scoured the building searching for hidden UNITY letters - they might have been on bulletin boards, in books, or on teachers!
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Dolge Sets School Record!

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Congratulations are in order for Senior Abby Dolge - who not only scored the lone goal in the Girls Varsity Soccer game against Catholic Central, she also set a school record when she kicked 7 of 7 extra points in the Varsity Football team’s 49-0 win over Coxsackie-Athens! Way to go Abby!

Athletics Update

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The fall season is off to a great start for the Riders this year - our Girls Varsity and JV Volleyball teams are both undefeated with an 8-0 record, and the Girls Varsity Tennis team is also undefeated at 9-0. The Boys Golf team finished in Second Place at the Colonial Council Championships at the Capital Hills Country Club

The Varsity Football team is 3-1 after defeating Taconic Hills 30-6 on Friday, (9/24). This 3-1 start is the best start in program history! Boys and Girls Varsity Soccer teams have both won four games so far and are gearing up for Sections in mid-October.

Many of our teams will be wearing pink and showing unity to raise awareness for breast cancer during October. Remember to come out and cheer on our athletes! For all the latest athletics news and game schedules, visit our website.

Flying Deer Returns to Ichabod Crane

Returning to Ichabod Crane for a third year is the wildly popular Flying Deer Program. Led by staff from the Flying Deer Nature Center in East Chatham, the partnership takes students outside and helps them learn collaboration, problem-solving and science while exploring nature. As part of the program in previous years, students and staff have built an outdoor classroom, an improved garden, and trails behind the building. This year, we’ve expanded our participation and are now offering this wonderful curriculum to students in Kindergarten through fourth grade.

Each classroom participates in a 40 minute session once per week for five weeks in the fall and five weeks in the spring. Before each session, the Flying Deer leader sends a “Story of the Week” which relates to what the students will be doing in their upcoming lesson. We will post the story of the week and the lesson plans each week to our website - to help parents be more aware of what our students are learning through this program.

“The students at ICC absolutely love Flying Deer days. They are happy, alert, and energized. The children develop a deep connection with nature as they walk through the woods, skipping in and out of trails, pull invasive species out as they create their outdoor space, and develop an understanding of plants that are not okay to touch. They notice new things as they put on their owl eyes, and listen with their deer ears,” said Kindergarten teacher Julie Eckholm.

“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to have our fourth graders participate in Flying Deer this year after seeing their enthusiasm from having the program last year and hearing so many great things about it from my Primary School Colleagues,” said Fourth Grade teacher Jen Rickert.

Flying deer has 24 years of experience in outdoor nature education, reaching more than 9,000 children and adults in Columbia County and Berkshire County. They harness the power of teaching outside, which is shown to provide psychological, social, and academic benefits for students. To learn more about their programs, visit their website at https://flyingdeernaturecenter.org/.

See more photos from the first day of Flying Deer here.

Summer Program Enrollment

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To offer our students more learning opportunities over the summer, the district has continued to expand summer offerings - this includes summer school, extended school year, Invitations and Explorers! Enrollment has increased 41% from 2018 to 2021, while the district’s investment in summer programming has increased by nearly 200% over the same time period.

Art Display at Columbia County Fair

The ICC K-12 Art Department is proud to announce that our Pre-K through Grade 5 art display won First Place at the Columbia County Fair! We are also pleased to have won Third Place for Grades 6-12! Congratulations to all of our student artists!

COVID-19 Resources

Our 2021-2022 COVID Resources Page is updated regularly throughout the year as needed with new information, guidance, protocols and resources. Please visit this page to see the latest as we continue to monitor and work to prevent the spread of COVID in our schools. https://www.ichabodcrane.org/2021-2022-covid-resources/

Weekly COVID Tracker

Click here to access our Weekly COVID Tracker. On this page, you will find weekly totals of confirmed COVID positives within the district, listed by building. For daily updates, please visit the NYS School COVID Report Card here.

Who Do I Contact For...

We have created a document to help you find the correct person to contact for a variety of concerns that may come up throughout the year, as well as a directory of district staff. You can find this contact guide on our website.

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