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State funds to be restored at Albany High, Hackett Middle School

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 22, 2012) – The City School District of Albany learned Feb. 22 that the state will restore its $3.3 million School Improvement Grant for Albany High School and William S. Hackett Middle School, giving back much-needed funding to help with the efforts to raise achievement for all students at those schools.

 

State Education Department Comissioner John B. King Jr. informed the district that it was one of five to have its SIG funding restored. King suspended SIG funding for 10 districts statewide Jan. 3 because none of the plans had a framework for teacher and principal evaluations that met state standards. Albany, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Schenectady and Syracuse will have their SIG funding restored after working with the state to address SED's questions about their plans for Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR), King said. Click here to read SED's Feb. 22 news release.

 

Superintendent Raymond Colucciello, Ed.D., credited the district's APPR team, including Cathy Corbo and Kim Wilkins, presidents of the district’s unions for teachers and administrators, respectively, for its leadership and teamwork throughout the SIG process.

 

"This was a team effort on behalf of our 8,700 students," Dr. Colucciello said. "We are very pleased to be able to return to the full plan we had developed to help all of our students at Albany High and Hackett Middle School."

 

The district’s SIG grant covers about 14 positions at Albany High and Hackett. It also allowed the district to put in place new academic programs and sustain others that provide extra support for students and offer more professional development for teachers, and to buy additional computers to enhance teaching and learning.

 

All positions covered by the SIG grant remained in place while the funding issue was being resolved. Most academic programs already underway as part of the SIG plans at Albany High and Hackett also were continued. The district spent $80,000-$100,000 on SIG-related staff and programs during the suspension and expects to have that funding restored in addition to the continuation of funding for the rest of the school year.

 

The Feb. 22 announcement now will allow the district to move ahead with parts of the SIG plan that had been put on hold, including an after-school enrichment program and the purchase of new computers at Hackett, and Saturday academies for Albany High students, which had been put on hold while the SIG questions were resolved.

 

"This will alllow us to reinstate the services to students that were very difficult for us to take away," Dr. Colucciello said. "The district stood up and said we'll cover most of the initiatives we already had put in place, but we also had to put some things on hold that we believe will have a positive impact on student achievement. We are glad to have this opportunity to restore those services immediately at Albany High and Hackett."

 

The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and nurture all students to be responsible citizens, critical thinkers and lifelong learners to successfully compete in the global community by providing an academically rigorous and safe environment in partnership with parents, students and the community. The district serves nearly 8,700 students in 15 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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