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Superintendent: Collaboration key to improving success for all students

ALBANY, N.Y. (Aug. 22, 2017) -- The collaborative efforts of all employees throughout the City School District of Albany will be critical for the district to significantly increase success for all students, Superintendent Kaweeda Adams said Tuesday in response to state test scores that remained largely flat.


The State Education Department reported the statewide results from last spring’s English language arts and math exams for students in grades 3-8.


In ELA, the district’s overall performance increased slightly to 19 percent, up 1 percentage point from 2016. The gain was the same in math, with 15 percent of the students tested achieving Level 3 or Level 4, the top two levels on the state’s four-level grading system.


The district’s gains mirrored the statewide averages in both subjects. Statewide, students gained 2 percentage points in ELA (to 40 percent), and 1 percentage point in math (also to 40 percent).


“Data this year and over the past several years have shown slight increases in performance; however, our student achievement results must begin to show significant growth,” Adams said.


That will take an “all in” approach from every district employee, as well as strong, consistent partnerships from all community members, she said.


“In every classroom and throughout every school, it is the responsibility of each of us to be committed to developing and promoting a positive culture and climate of belief in all of our students, all of the time, Adams said.


“Successfully engaging our families, students and community members, including the leaders of our business community, also will be vital. These productive relationships and connections are at the heart of successful schools and vibrant communities. They enable our children to succeed and transition smoothly from elementary to middle school, middle to high school and high school to the greater community.”


Broken down by subgroup, the 2017 results emphasized the challenges the district faces for all students and in closing the achievement gap.

  ELA Math
  2016 2017 2016 2017
Black students 11% 11% 7% 7%
Hispanic students 12% 16% 9% 10%
Asian students 25% 27% 21% 26%
Students with disabilities 0 2% 2% 2%
Economically disadvantaged students 11% 10% 8% 8%
White students 37% 42% 33% 33%















Some of the key measures the district has put in place over the past two years to raise achievement for all students include:

  • New instructional resources aligned to the curriculum:

    • An enhanced focus on early literacy (prekindergarten through second grade)

    • Expansion of math coaches

    • Additional academic supports in core content areas, including an enhanced focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)

  • Social-emotional supports at all grade levels

  • Several professional development initiatives for principals and teachers, including the following areas:

    • To better use data to identify student needs and guide instruction

    • STEM, literacy and social studies literacy

    • Culturally responsive education

    • Expansion of AVID (Advanced Via Individual Determination)

    • Teacher and administrator mentoring

  • Community Schools investments at five elementary schools to expand family engagement and community partnerships.


“We are moving forward in the 2017-18 school year with a laser focus on increased rigor of instruction, student engagement activities, parent and community education and engagement in order to meet the academic, social-emotional and behavioral needs of all of our students,” Adams said.


Students had strong gains at several schools and grade levels on the 2017 state exams:


School/Grade/Subject 2016 2017 Gain
Arbor Hill Elementary School    

Grade 3-ELA

2% 10% +8

Grade 3-math

5% 13% +8
Albany School of Humanities (ASH)      

Grade 3-ELA

11% 33% +22

Grade 3-math

7% 22% +15

Grade 6-ELA

3% 12% +9

Grade 6-math

11% 29% +18
Delaware Community School      

Grade 3-math

5% 16% +11

Grade 5-ELA

14% 23% +9

Grade 5-math

12% 26% +14
Giffen Memorial Elementary School      

Grade 3-math

8% 19% +11
Montessori Magnet School      

Grade 3-ELA

38% 51% +13
New Scotland Elementary School      

Grade 4-math

25% 33% +8
North Albany Academy      

Grade 5-ELA

0 9% +9

Grade 7-ELA

3% 18% +11
Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy      

Grade 3-math

19% 30% +11

Grade 4-ELA

5% 14% +9

Grade 5-math

8% 17% +9
Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School      

Grade 6-ELA

19% 27% +8
West Hill Middle School      

Grade 8-ELA

6% 16% +10
William S. Hackett Middle School      

Grade 7-math

11% 20% +9
























































The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and prepare all students for college and career, citizenship and life, in partnership with our diverse community. The district serves nearly 9,700 students in 18 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, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

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