decades ago, a comprehensive high school serving all students in the
City School District of Albany was the right plan at the right time.
that attend an Albany High are assigned
to one of four smaller learning communities,
or academies, with a unique theme:
Students had the opportunity to decide which academy
they would prefer to attend by ranking their first,
second, third and fourth choices on an application that
was sent to their homes in December.
Applications were due Jan. 31, and 1,620 students entered the lottery.
The lottery was conducted Feb. 11 and all students who entered received their first
choice of academy.
Students that did
not apply for the lottery by the Jan. 31 application
deadline will be assigned randomly
across the four academies.
Check out the most recent list of
Frequently Asked Questions, including new information for students in private,
parochial and charter schools.
The district hosted a series of public forums
throughout January to provide parents, students and
community members opportunities to learn more about
the new lottery at Albany High School. Forums were held Jan. 6 at North Albany Academy,
Jan. 19 at Giffen Memorial Elementary School, Jan. 20 at Stephen and
Harriet Myers Middle School, Jan. 24 at Albany High School and Jan. 25
at William S. Hackett Middle School.
download the PowerPoint from these forums in
academy will offer electives tied to its own theme, all will offer the
same core classes in English, math, science and social studies. Students
will take their core courses within their own academy, but can take
advanced elective classes in other academies. For example, a student in
Innovation Academy -- which offers advanced electives in science and
technology -- will be able to take a playwriting class in the Discovery
Academy, which offers advanced English electives.
will have up to 600 students, its own prinicipal, four teams of teachers
and a "theme" coordinator. These smaller academies will offer more
demanding coursework and extra support for all students. Follow these
links for more information:
Smaller learning communities
like Albany High's new academies
were at the center of the research and
planning that the current High School Restructuring Committee has done
since it was formed in the fall of 2009 (read below for more information
about this committee of district and community representatives).
Reorganizing Albany High was a top priority in
district’s 2008 strategic plan, “A Vision for Tomorrow. The process
gained increased urgency in January 2010 when
the State Education Department identified Albany High as a
"persistently lowest-achieving" school
because of the school’s
lagging performance in math and English language arts (ELA).
A $7.5 million federal grant is bolstering the transformation at
The district continues to work with state
education officials to gain financial support from the state for these
efforts. The district also is a partner in another
federal grant that supports the creation of smaller
A committee of district and community
representatives meets monthly to discuss and plan for a broad range of
issues relating to the redesigning Albany High School and the new
magnet structure that will be implemented beginning next fall.
download a PowerPoint presentation
and elective courses in each of the four magnet academies that will be
implemented in 2011-12, and background information on the goals and
objectives that guided the decisions.
The next meeting of the High School Redesign Committee is
Tuesday, May 10 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the north cafeteria (download
You also can downloard minutes from
previous High School Redesign Committee meetings during the 2010-11 school year:
In addition to the full committee,
there also are numerous subcommittees addressing areas such as
currciulum, parent advocacy, social-emotional wellness and more. To find
out more about how you can get involved, contact Mary Mathai at
454-3987, ext. 920 or
Education Think Tank
Another important part
of the restructuring plan is the work of the Alternative Education Think
Tank, also formed in the fall of 2009 to address another key element of
the district's strategic plan.
The think tank is comprised of 20 members of
the community and district staff and has been meeting monthly, both as a
full committee and in three subcommittees, to analyze each of the 14
alternative-education programs operating during the 2009-10 school year
and evaluate best practices locally and nationally.
After more than a year's work, the think tank
in August issued a series of recommendations
to address the needs of students at risk of failing or dropping out of
school. You can read the committee's recommendations by
clicking here. Think-tank members continue to be involved in the
process of reorganizing Albany High to assure that its new structure
meets the needs of at-risk students.
The mission of the
City School District of Albany
is to educate and nurture all students to be responsible citizens,
critical thinkers and lifelong learners to successfully compete in the
global community by providing an academically rigorous and safe
environment in partnership with parents, students and the community. The
district serves about 8,600 students in 15 elementary, middle
and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district
includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other
innovative academic opportunities for students.