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From the Superintendent -- Back-to-School 2011

Meeting the challenge


We know technology drastically has changed the marketplace for young people. What we’re just beginning to grasp as a society is the absolute necessity of giving these young people the educational foundation that will allow them to adapt and succeed when they become part of the workforce.

At first glance it may seem far-fetched to look at prekindergarten as the place for this preparation to start. It’s not. We need to expect more of every student from the time they start school until
they cross the stage at high-school graduation. That means we need to expect more of ourselves, as well.

That is exactly what we are doing in the City School District of Albany.

Our teachers and administrators are pushing themselves to learn new ways to improve the potential of every student regardless of age or ability. They will use these professional-development tools to more effectively reach and teach each student the basics and beyond.

Starting in prekindergarten, learning will be more hands-on and less memorization and repetition of facts. As teachers change their approach in the classroom, we anticipate that students will be more engaged and learn more. They will perform better on tests and get better grades.

Most importantly, they will be creative, critical and analytical thinkers, which will serve them well in any job or career.

Of course, schools cannot do this alone.

For this to succeed, we need family involvement, particularly for middle- and high-school students. We ask you as parents and guardians to become involved in our schools. We also need community involvement in the form of volunteers willing to be mentors to young people who could benefit from extra adult guidance.

We need to sustain existing partnerships and build new ones with institutions, organizations and businesses that are as committed as we are to across-the-board improvement. Many of these partnerships already are in place in the form of area colleges and universities, city and state government leaders, and community, business and civic organizations.

It sounds easy, but it won’t be.

Change can be complicated and upsetting. We are learning along with our children. We will disagree from time to time. Yet I know we will succeed because failing to prepare students for the changing world is not an option.

It is fitting that the pieces are coming together as the newly redesigned Albany High School opens its doors on the first day of school Tuesday, Sept. 6 (click here for related story).

The momentum has begun throughout the district. Please work with us to keep it moving so that all our students will be equipped to thrive in the exciting and challenging world of tomorrow.


Raymond Colucciello, Ed.D.

Interim Superintendent

 

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