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City School District of Albany
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Albany High School - Discovery Academy

Discovery Academy

Focusing on communications and the arts

Grades 9-12


700 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12203(click here for directions)

Phone: (518) 475-6230

Fax: (518) 475-6242


House Principal: Michael Elliott

E-mail: melliott@albany.k12.ny.us

Assistant House Principal: Richard Shea

E-mail: rshea@albany.k12.ny.us

Home School Coordinator: Deon Thomas

Email: dthomas@albany.k12.ny.us

Phone: (518) 475-6235

Guidance Counselors: Kim Baker and Jennifer Quinn

E-mail: kbaker@albany.k12.ny.us or jquinn@albany.k12.ny.us

Phone: (518) 475-6260


Visit Albany High School's website

Visit the Albany High School Counseling Center website

Visit the Albany High School Theatre Ensemble website

Visit the Albany High Prisms Yearbook website


About Discovery Academy

Discovery Academy's theme focuses on communications and performing and visual arts. Albany High's upper-level classes in English, music and art are offered in Discovery Academy and available to all students, as are Career and Technical Education programs in cosmetology and career and financial management.


Discovery Academy has a state-of-the-art multimedia production facility that includes equipment for music and video recording. Discovery Academy also makes great use of Albany High's existing theater, music and art spaces.


Receivership process -- Albany High shows solid progress

On Oct. 31, State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced that Albany High School was among 61 schools identified under the state's receivership law that showed "demonstrable improvement" in the past year.


Albany High showed significant progress on performance measures agreed to by the district and the state, the commissioner said. Those measures included more students passing Regents exams, a higher graduation rate, improved safety, and improved attendance.


Elia based the demonstrable improvement decisions primarily upon the degree to which schools achieved their progress targets. Each school’s Demonstrable Improvement Plan included a minimum of ten indicators that were submitted by the superintendent receiver and approved by the commissioner or selected by the State Education Department for the school. According to law, indicators could include student achievement and growth on state measures; reduction in achievement gaps among specific groups of students; graduation rates; student attendance; suspension rates; student safety; and parent and family engagement.


Later this year, Elia is expected to announce which schools can be removed from receivership based on meeting their progress targets.


The City School District of Albany and Albany High School, in partnership with the school's Community Engagement Team, have worked since the beginning of the 2015-16 school year to meet the requirements of New York's receivership law. At that time, Albany High was one of 144 New York schools that met the definition of “struggling” or “persistently struggling” under the new law. Albany High was designated a struggling school because overall student performance on state tests significantly lagged behind other schools in the state for more than three years.


Please visit our Receivership section for complete updates on Albany High's efforts to meet these goals during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years.


Upcoming events

  • Tuesday, June 12-Friday June 22 -- Regents exams, only students testing need report to school
  • Sunday, June 24 -- Graduation, Times Union Center, 2 p.m.

2017-18 news  

  • Albany High inducts 24 into French Honor Society -- Twenty-four students were inducted into Albany High School’s chapter of the Société Honoraire de Français (French Honors Society) on May 24. To be inducted to the society, students must have achieved a 90 or better average in French and an 85 overall average in their other academic subjects. (MORE)

  • Albany High wins big at regional theater awards -- The Albany High School Theatre Ensemble came out on top May 19 at the High School Musical Theatre Awards, taking home four wins out of six nominations. The Theatre Ensemble’s March production of “Hairspray” won best actress, best musical, best technical execution and best choreography execution. (MORE)

  • 2018 regional scholars named -- The Business and Education Partnership on Wednesday honored three Albany High School seniors in this year's regional Scholars Recognition Program. Gail Cabahug, Erin Lippitt and Harry Zay are among high school seniors from 11 neighboring counties who were nominated by their schools for outstanding academic achievement, leadership skills and service to their community and school. (MORE)

  • Students earn countywide recognition -- Two Albany High School students are among five City School District of Albany students selected to receive awards from the Albany County Youth Bureau. Senior JaVelle Cooper will receive a George Roe Athletic Achievement Award, and junior Austin Halloran will receive an Ed Roche Outstanding Award (high school). (MORE)

  • Albany High welcomes future families -- Albany High School welcomed the next generation of Falcons and their families the evening of May 16 for a first-hand look at the world of opportunities awaiting the current eighth-graders when they arrive as freshmen in the fall. (MORE)

  • Albany High seniors sweep in Tulip Fest -- Eight Albany High School seniors donned authentic Dutch clothing and shoes on May 11, helping Mayor Kathy Sheehan usher in the start of the annual Tulip Festival with the scrubbing of State Street. (MORE)

  • Albany High inducts 93 into National Honor Society -- A total of 93 academic superstars were inducted into Albany High School's Arista Chapter of the National Honor Society on May 8, and 25 of those students received class awards. The students, all juniors, are eligible for National Honor Society because each has maintained an overall academic average of 89.5 or higher. (MORE)

  • Moms and more pampered on Spa Day -- Abrookin Career and Technical Center Principal Andrea Marques was one of many who turned out on May 5 for some pampering at the school's Mother's Day Spa Day. (MORE)

  • Review underway for June Regents exams – Albany High School began offering review classes in April to help students prepare for Regents exams in June. Click here for a complete schedule of review classes and times. Testing begins Tuesday, June 5. 

  • Albany High seniors celebrate college picks -- More than 100 Albany High School seniors joined their peers across the country on May 1 for a group photo to showcase where their academic journeys will continue in the fall. (MORE)

  • Theatre Ensemble nominated for six awards -- The Albany High School Theatre Ensemble's March production of "Hairspray" has earned six nominations for the regional 2018 High School Musical Theatre Awards, including best actress. (MORE)

  • Albany High robotics goes to Detroit; Mark Cuban weighs in -- Members of the Albany High School robotics team and their robot Mark Cube-N competed in a world robotics championship in Detroit April 25-28. And although their 3-7 finsih wasn't what the team had hoped for, Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban got wind of his robot namesake and rged them via email to "keep it going." (MORE)

  • Select Choir earns silver at music fest -- The Albany High School Select Choir earned a silver rating April 19 at the New York State School Music Association Choral Festival. Under the direction of teacher Brendan Hoffman, the group performed “The Ground,” by Ola Gjeilo, “Tota Pulchra Es,” by Ola Gjeilo and “Ezekiel Saw the Wheel,” arranged by William Dawson. (MORE)

  • Albany High team wins Stock Market Challenge -- A team of aspiring Albany High School financiers on Friday defeated students from four other area high schools at the Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge. The Albany High team of Hope Edwards, Jalanah Hall and Neasha Harris showed a 45 percent profit increase by the competition’s end, besting all other teams in the contest. (MORE)

  • Promising Playwrights' 'Blaq Boi' opens May 3 --  The Albany High Theatre Ensemble is once again using the stage to tackle issues of race, privilege and oppression in the Promising Playwrights Festival’s production upcoming production of “Blaq Boi.” The play’s four-performance run opens at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, with shows at 7 p.m. Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5, and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, May 6. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors. (MORE)

  • Albany High musicians are golden -- The Albany High School Wind Ensemble on April 16 earned the highest rating for its performance at the New York State School Music Association’s Major Ensemble Festival. Under the direction of teacher John Halvorsen, the group earned a gold rating for its Level VI program. Performances are graded as "bronze," "silver" and "gold" and on a scale of I to VI, with VI being the most difficult. (MORE)

  • Rebuilding Albany High construction officially begins --  Construction of the new and improved Albany High School officially got underway Saturday at a groundbreaking ceremony celebrating the start of the project’s first phase. Elected officials, community leaders, students, parents and residents joined the City School District of Albany Superintendent Kaweeda G. Adams, Board of Education President Sue Adler, Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan and others to mark the event on a chilly spring afternoon. (MORE)

  • Senior named one of "13 Kids Who Care" Albany High School senior Alexandra Sipos has been named one of “13 Kids Who Care” in the Capital Region. She was chosen for her volunteer work at Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus, the Albany and Troy Lions Club and Double H Camp for children with serious illness. Click here to see a video clip of Sipos’ interview that ran on WNYT/Ch. 13 on March 26. (MORE)

  • Albany High junior wins state science prize -- Albany High School junior Othman Othman’s research took the top prize at a statewide science and technology conference on March 25 and may help police labs better analyze the chemical makeup of drugs they seize. Othman’s research poster won first place at the 20th annual STEP Statewide Student Conference, which ran Friday through Sunday in Colonie and hosted some 450 students from throughout New York. (MORE)

  • Albany High wins robotics regionals -- Albany High School’s robotics team made history on March 17 as it flexed its mechanical muscles to claim first place in the 2018 New York Tech Valley Regional FIRST Robotics Team event. This win marks the team’s first victory at the regional level in its 15 years of competition. (MORE)

  • Former leader Getto announces retirement -- Former Albany High School Interim Principal Dale Getto has announced her retirement following a 31-year career as a teacher and administrator in the City School District of Albany. (MORE)

  • Listening to our students' voices -- On March 14, students at Albany High School and the City School District of Albany's three middle schools joined their peers nationwide in coming together to advocate for school safety and to honor the memory of the 17 people who lost their lives in last month's school shooting in Parkland, Fla. (MORE)

  • Albany High advances in mock trial tourney -- The Albany High School Model UN Club on March 8 defeated students from Cohoes to advance to the next round of the county-level New York Statewide High School Mock Trial Tournament. The match was the second victory for the Falcon team, which defeated Voorheesville on Feb. 27. (MORE)

  • Cancer survivor named 'Student of the Year' -- Albany High School sophomore and cancer survivor Rylyn Swierzewski was named 2018 Student of the Year on March 1 by the Upstate New York/Vermont Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In eight weeks Swierzewski raised more than $28,000 for the society, which supports research into a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and provides free information, education and support for patients and families affected by the diseases. (MORE)

  • Sophomore tapped for prestigious conference -- The Albany County League of Women Voters has selected Albany High School sophomore Faith O'Toole to represent the county at a statewide "Students Inside Albany" conference to be held at the Capitol in May. An Albany High honor student by day, O'Toole also is studying American Sign Language at Hudson Valley Community Colleges. She is the only student from Albany County selected to participate in the League of Women Voters' conference. (MORE)

  • Albany High's Geography Bee -- Students at Albany High School assembled in the library after school to test their knowledge of spaces, places and natural features during the Geography Bee on Feb. 27. The geographical contest is a student-run event created by junior Adam Aleksic. Aleksic organized and promoted the bee, wrote the questions and co-hosted with Albany High staff members Liz Gialanella and Sean Fitzsimons, who also provided guidance throughout the process. (MORE)

  • Jazz bands go home with gold -- The Jazzmanian Devils – Albany High School’s advanced and intermediate jazz bands – both received the highest rankings Thursday at the 15th annual Fonda-Fultonville Jazz Festival. Under the direction of Albany High music teacher John Halvorsen, each ensemble earned a Gold ranking from four judges who are masters in jazz performance. (MORE)

  • Seniors named National Merit finalists -- Albany High School seniors Matan Adler and Max Heller have been named finalists in the competition for prestigious National Merit Scholarships, ranking them among the best students in the United States. The two are among some 15,000 finalists – among the top one percent of high school students nationwide – vying for the scholarship in 2018. (MORE)

  • Winter scholar-athletes earn state recognition -- More than 50 members of Albany High School’s winter varsity athletic teams have earned scholar-athlete recognition from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. The student-athletes each maintained an academic average of 90 or higher during the second marking period this school year. (MORE)

  • Coach Lawson passes century mark -- Decky Lawson got a special shout-out Feb. 13 for hitting a 100-win milestone in his six-year career coaching Albany High School girls’ varsity basketball. And he was presented with a commemorative ball before a scrimmage against a team from Marks High School in Skene, Sweden. (MORE)

  • Albany High student-athletes break the ice -- In the beginning, everyone was a stranger. Every practice was a road trip. And as the cold weeks and months passed, unfortunately almost every game turned into a loss. So how did it feel to be the first Albany High School student-athletes to play high school hockey? C’mon … it was hockey! (MORE

  • JROTC cadets earn spots at Girls State -- Albany High School JROTC cadets Irene Nelson and Christina Black will represent the City School District of Albany this summer at the 2018 American Legion Auxiliary Empire Girls State program. (MORE)

  • Regents exams Jan. 22-25 -- Albany High School will hold Regents exams in several subjects beginning Monday and running through Thursday, Jan. 25. Click here for a test schedule. There will be no classes at Albany High during Regents exams. All students should return for a regular school day on Friday, Jan. 26. Good luck to all of our test-takers!

  • Falcons bowling achievement -- Albany High School freshman Jedrek Arasim had the high game and second-highest series at the Schenectady New Years Bowling Invitational on Jan. 12. (MORE)

  • Drive helps avert critical blood shortage -- Albany High School on Jan. 11 held a blood drive to help avert critical blood shortages locally and nationwide. Rolling up their sleeves alongside students and staff were Mr. Eric Adams, husband of Superintendent Kaweeda G. Adams, and Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. (MORE)

  • Regents review underway -- Albany High School began offering review classes on Jan. 8 to help students prepare for Regents exams at the end of the month. Click here for a complete schedule of review classes and times. Testing begins Monday, Jan. 22.

  • 2018-19 course books to be distributed Jan. 4-5 -- Albany High School students will receive course listing books in homeroom on Thursday, Jan. 4 and Friday, Jan. 5. Students, please review the course books to prepare for upcoming appointments to plan your schedule for the next school year. Click on the highlighted text for a snapshot of next year's course offerings or to download the full course catalogue.You also can view information here about Albany High's "Seal of Biliteracy" program for students that can speak, understand and write in more than one language. (MORE)

  • Albany High's Heller earns national distinction -- Albany High School senior Max Heller was among the short list of nominees for the 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars program that the New York State Department of Education released Nov. 30. (MORE)

  • Musicians chosen for Suburban Council Festival -- A dozen outstanding Albany High School vocalists and instrumentalists have been selected from among top local high-school musicians to perform in the Suburban Council Music Festival. The annual festival will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13 at Columbia High School, 962 Luther Road, East Greenbush. Ensembles will include a high-school band, chorus and orchestra and a middle-school jazz band. (MORE)

  • Senior earns engineering distinction -- Congratulations to Albany High School senior Erin Lippitt, who has earned an Advanced Placement-Project Lead the Way Achievement in Engineering award. She is one of some 3,000 students from throughout the United States to receive the distinction from The College Board. (MORE)

  • Lady Falcons swim to sectionals -- After one of its strongest regular seasons in recent years, the Albany High School girls’ swimming team will send 10 student-athletes to compete in 16 events at the Section II Division I championships at Shenendehowa on Nov. 3 and 4. (MORE)

  • Albany High teacher named 'STEM Master Teacher' -- An Albany High School teacher has joined the ranks of City School District of Albany teachers recognized as STEM master teachers. Shannon Stevenson, an English-as-a-new-language living environment teacher, was recognized Oct. 18 in the state’s STEM Master Teacher Program, celebrating her work to deliver innovative science, technology, engineering and math education to their students. (MORE)

  • Student safety reminders -- The health and safety of all students at Albany High School and throughout the City School District of Albany is a top priority for all of us. Please click here to read an Oct. 18 letter from Albany High Interim Principal Dale Getto with important reminders for families regarding the school's status as a closed campus. We appreciate your cooperation and partnership in our efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of every student, every day.

  • Time to schedule senior portraits -- Attention Class of 2018, it's time to schedule your senior photos! Portraits will be taken between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. through July 21 at Lauren Studios, 50 Colvin Ave. You can call Lauren Studios to make an appointment at 866-696-8142. You also can make an appointment at www.LaurenStudios.com; follow the prompts and create an online account. (MORE)

  • Regents review classes begin July 19 Starting July 19, Albany High School will offer review classes to help students prepare for Regents exams in mid-August. Click here for a complete schedule of review classes and times. Testing begins Wednesday, Aug. 16 and runs through Thursday, Aug. 17. Good luck to all of our test-taking students! Get an exam schedule and more here.

  • Cancer, Lawson deemed 'Men of Valor' -- Congratulations to Albany High School alums and staffers Issac Cancer (’82) and Decky Lawson (’93) for being named 2017 Men of Valor by the Frank Chapman Memorial Institute. (MORE)


School times

  • Breakfast begins at 7:15 a.m.

  • Classes begin at 7:50 a.m.

  • Dismissal is at 2:50 p.m.

Absence from school

If your child is absent from school for any reason, please call the Discovery Academy office at (518) 475-6230 each day of the absence. When your child returns to school, please provide a written excuse and a doctor's note if one is available.



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