Letter from Pete December 7, 2017

Dear ICE families -

I hope that you all are well and looking forward to the next phase of the holiday season, including the Winter Break from school. As we approach the holidays our 12th grade students lives are all getting busier and more exciting. Our first round of Literature Panels falls this Wednesday with round 2 next week. I hope that you will join us in evaluating our student's hard work, and participating in what makes the ICE community unique from the vast majority of schools nationwide. Our students' ownership of their work, and the evidence of their efforts to revise and improve their thinking is clearly on display in panel presentations, and if you have not seen a panel, please do come. I also want to mention that our students are hearing from colleges, and we already have many proud kids accepted into schools such as Ithaca College, SUNY Binghamton, Bard College and many others. I also want to congratulate the first of several possible POSSE foundation scholarship winners. An ICE 12th grade student has received a full scholarship to Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, our first of 3 POSSE finalists. More details to come.

While I am celebrating the accomplishments of ICE students, I want to give a special shout out to a group of students who call themselves the ICE anti-sexual harassment club. These students have crafted a mission statement and policy for ICE to adopt with regard to a uniform response to all forms of sexual harassment that are witnessed or reported at ICE. Their thinking is crystal clear and they call upon us to create safe and discrete ways for students to report what they know to adults. I'm sure you are all paying close attention to the near constant breaking news as men in power are being accused and admitting to inappropriate and abusive behaviors that include rape and other crimes. At ICE our staff has begun a conversation in response to our students' policy work, and we will make the conversation a school-wide effort in the new year with the leadership and guidance from our thoughtful kids. I plan to host a conversation with parents about all forms of sexual harassment and assault in order to make sure the ICE community is safe for all, and responsive when safety and comfort are compromised. It is also essential that our kids think critically about the onslaught of information in order to make sound decisions about their own behavior. If the current events teach us anything I hope it is that sexual harassment and assault remain pervasive in our society, and we have a duty to think deeply about what all of this means for us and our children. I hope that you will join me and the PTA in the near future, and I am proud that our students have put so much thought into making ICE a safer community for all.

My best to you all -