Meeting the challenge
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.