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Albany High grad rate continues to rise

ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 8, 2018) -- Albany High School’s graduation rate increased to 65 percent in 2017, the school’s fourth consecutive year with an increase and its highest rate since the state started measuring graduation under its current methodology in 2005.


The Class of 2017’s four-year graduation rate surpassed the 62 percent rates for Albany High’s classes of 2007, 2008 and 2016, according to data the State Education Department released Wednesday.


The 65 percent rate represents a 30 percent increase since Albany High’s 50 percent graduation rate for the Class of 2010.


“While we recognize there is more work to do on behalf of all of our students, we are pleased to see this continued steady progress at Albany High School,” said Superintendent Kaweeda G. Adams. “It is a testament to the dedication of the leadership and staff at Albany High over a sustained period of time. We look forward to continuing these gains.”


Please visit State Ed's public data site for more information. You also can visit State Ed's website to read more about statewide graduation trends.


Wednesday’s announcement follows the State Ed report in December that Albany High also met all of its goals under the state’s receivership law in 2016-17. Albany High’s receivership goals included more students passing Regents exams, a higher graduation rate, improved safety and improved attendance.


Adams credited former Interim Principal Dale Getto for her strong leadership over 2 years, as well as the school's new principal, Jodi Commerford, a member of the school’s administrative team for seven years, and Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Instruction Lori McKenna, who joined the City School District of Albany in the summer of 2016. 


Albany High’s Class of 2017 had gains for nearly every major student subgroup (with the percentage-point gain from 2016):

  • Female – 72 percent (+3)

  • Male – 59 percent (+4)

  • Economically disadvantaged – 65 percent (+8)

  • Black students – 61 percent (+4)

  • White students – 83 percent (+7)

  • Asian/Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander – 71 percent (+4)

  • English-language learners – 38 percent (+26)

  • Students with disabilities – 36 percent (+1)


Adams pointed to the following as key factors in Albany High’s progress: 

  • Better use of data to target instruction and supports for each student

  • Targeted tutoring in literacy and math

  • Continued investments in social-emotional supports

  • Enhancing the school’s culture and climate – boosting Falcon Pride – among all students, staff and families  

  • A continued emphasis on parent and family engagement through the Parent Information Resource Center


Moving forward, the school also is working on the following areas:  

  • Continuing to focus on the needs of each student, including an emphasis on data-driven instruction and decision-making

  • Increased differentiation in instruction and a focus on critical-thinking skills

  • Continued training for all staff in trauma-informed care for students

  • Expanded community partnerships to provide students with more opportunities for real-world, hands-on learning and service experiences that support both their academic progress and their overall growth and development


“Moving forward, it’s really about maintaining the focus on the systems that we’ve built because they are working, and keeping that laser focus on individual students,” Commerford said.


“The use of data in all of that has really gotten us where we are, and each year we’ve gotten better at refining those systems. That’s how we’re making those gains every year, looking at all of our students’ data on a daily basis, and that’s how we plan to continue our work so that we are sustaining that growth in the years to come.”


The mission of the City School District of Albany is to work in partnership with our diverse community to engage every learner in a robust educational program designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for success. The district serves about 9,600 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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