More than bricks and
While building new schools and renovating older buildings is important
to Albany's children, bricks and mortar do not create a first-rate
school system. Reshaping the way education is delivered to children
within the district's new and renovated schools is also critical.
Full-day Kindergarten in all elementary schools
Additional space means there will be plenty of room to engage all
students in a variety of hands-on, early-literacy learning activities.
Full-day prekindergarten for four-year-olds in
all elementary schools
Committed to the concept of prekindergarten centers
throughout the city, the district has
provided pre-K classrooms in all of its elementary schools.
Smaller schools and smaller class sizes
Smaller classes allow teachers to focus more easily on
the individual needs of each student. The project allowed Albany to
operate elementary schools with an average of 300-450 students each and
middle schools with about 650 students each.
New grade configurations
The kindergarten-grade 5 and grades 6-8 configurations replaced the
former kindergarten-grade 6 and grades 7-8
ones, providing for smaller elementary schools. The changes give students a
longer period in middle school to adjust to their surroundings, which in
turn should help them be more successful. It will also allow the
district to make the sixth grade curriculum more challenging and better
prepare students for the rigors of high school.
Greater use of team teaching
This is another way of focusing on the individual needs
of students, particularly in the middle and high schools.
Curriculum changes to prepare students for the 21st
Larger classrooms, better equipped libraries, more technology and access
to the Internet in every classroom will help teachers better prepare
students to be successful in school, college and beyond.
More enrichment opportunities
The district plans to provide students with ways to
delve more deeply into topics that interest them and raise their
academic skills to greater heights. Smaller schools with more modern
facilities will help make this possible.
A continuum of special
The district plans to offer a wide range of opportunities in every
building for special education students, from self-contained classes to
fully inclusive classes. The district also plans to make all of its
buildings handicapped accessible as well as provide space every building
for the many services that go along with special education - social
work, speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and so on.
A greater variety of alternative programs
There are some students who simply need a different
setting or unique approach in order to succeed. With the facilities
plan, the district will be better able to house the alternative programs
it has already established as well as accommodate new ones that may
become necessary in the future.