Budget proposal supports enrollment changes for 2021-22

A first-grade student wearing a blue, white and orange shirt uses a crayon in the classroom.

The City School District of Albany’s 2021-22 budget proposal would support several equitable enrollment-related changes and restorations that the Board of Education approved as part of the budget-development process this spring.

The board approved the following recommendations for 2021-22; please read below for additional information about each:

  • Shifting all sixth-grade students to middle school.
    • This would affect students currently in fifth grade at Albany School of Humanities (ASH), Eagle Point Elementary School, Giffen Memorial Elementary School and Thomas O’Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST).
  • Shifting Edmund J. O’Neal Middle School of Excellence’s eighth grade to North Albany Middle School. 
  • Re-establishing the Tony Clement Center for Education as an in-person program at its traditional location at 395 Elk St.
    • The program would be for grades 9-12 only to start next school year. 
  • Re-establishing the Albany International Center as an in-person program and relocating it to 50 North Lark St., in the building currently serving as O’Neal Middle School.
  • Relocating the Dual Language Program from Delaware Community School to co-located with the international center at 50 North Lark St.

The board also approved the following program expansions, which would be supported by federal COVID-19 relief funds. These investments would have no additional impact on taxes:

  • Expanding the international center program to serve students from kindergarten through grade 12.
    • The program has served students in grades 6-12 since its inception in 2017.
  • Expanding the Dual Language Program.
    • The district plans to add second sections of kindergarten and first grade in 2021-22, and will consider a second section of prekindergarten as well based on interest. The district plans to continuing adding grades until the unique Spanish-English immersion program is two-deep.

The district’s budget vote and board election is coming up Tuesday, May 18. Visit our budget section for more information and updates. 

Shifting all sixth-graders to middle school

The district currently has four elementary schools that enroll sixth-grade students. For 2021-22, students currently in fifth grade at those schools would move up to middle school as follows:

•    ASH and Giffen – Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School
•    Eagle Point and TOAST – William S. Hackett Middle School

Download the presentation from the April 15 board meeting.

All district elementary schools would serve students from prekindergarten through grade 5, and all middle schools would serve students in grades 6-8. This aligns with the district’s long-standing goal of adjusting grade configurations to provide equitable opportunities for all students at every grade level throughout the district.
The district proposed this option for the 2021-22 school year due to social distancing limitations that may continue next school year due to COVID-19. 

The district is seeking parents and guardian volunteers for a Feeder Alignment Committee to study revised feeder patterns for all there district middle schools – Hackett, Myers and North Albany. These new feeder patterns would take effect for the 2022-23 school year. 

Accelerate the O’Neal transition to North Albany

All students currently attending seventh grade at O’Neal would attend eighth grade at North Albany. Download the presentation from the April 15 board meeting.
The district has been in the process for two years of shifting all middle school grades from O’Neal to North Albany, which is scheduled for a renovation and reconstruction project to create a new 650-student middle school. The board’s action moves the transition up one year, to this September. 
As noted above, the district will be revisiting its middle school feeder patterns, with the new alignment to take effect for the 2022-23 school year.

Restore Clement at 395 Elk St.

The Clement alternative programs have operated primarily in a distance learning model this year as a result of the programmatic reductions necessary at the start of this school year due to the COVID-19 economic crisis. Clement would return to its regular location at 395 Elk St., for 2021-22. 

Download the presentation from the April 15 board meeting.

The proposal would restore in-person alternative programs for students in grades 9-12. The district would monitor the needs for grades 7-8 at Clement during the 2021-22 school year, and plan to fully restore the alternative programs for middle school students in 2022-23.

Restore, expand Albany International Center

The 2021-22 budget proposal, combined with the district’s planned use of federal COVID-19 relief funds next school year, would allow the Albany International Center program to return to an in-person, building-based model and also expand to serve students K-12. 

The program, which has served grades 6-12 since it opened in 2017 at North Albany, would relocate to 50 North Lark St., the current home of O’Neal Middle School. 

Download the presentation from the April 15 board meeting.

Relocate, expand the Dual Language Program

The district’s 2021-22 budget proposal would support relocating the Dual Language Program from Delaware to 50 North Lark St., where it would co-locate with the Albany International Center program. 

The recommendation that the board approved also would use federal COVID-19 relief funds to begin expanding the Dual Language Program with the addition of kindergarten and first grade, and potentially prekindergarten based on interest, for 2021-22. 

Download the presentation from the April 19 board meeting. 

The international center and Dual Language Program also would share 50 North Lark with four middle school self-contained special education classrooms. 

Benefits of merging the international center and Spanish-English immersion programs in one location include immersion for all students in a culturally and linguistically diverse community, and the efficiencies – programmatically, culturally and fiscally – of having one building with an extensive focus on developing bilingual students strong in native and new language.