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Facilities Plan: Academic Goals

More than bricks and mortar
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 Century
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 education services
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.



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