N.Y. (June 24, 2015) -- A
group of parents, staff and community members on June 23
overwhelmingly agreed that assuring equity among schools is the most
important issue facing the City School District of Albany as it
plans for future elementary and middle-school enrollment.
The discussions took place
between more than 100 people from throughout Albany who attended a
"Grade Configuration Summit" at Giffen Memorial Elementary School.
Participants were assigned to groups and asked to rank the issues
facing the district in its efforts to determine a long-term
enrollment strategy. Click the highlighted text to see
the worksheets that guided their discussions
a video chronicling the deliberations.
Feedback from the June 23
summit will be reviewed by a steering committee that is charged with
making recommendations for the Board of Education to consider for
the 2016-17 school year and beyond.
“Everything kept coming back to
equity regardless of what we talked about. It’s a huge beast to
tackle, and everyone defines it a little bit differently,” said
Shelette Pleat, principal of Thomas O’Brien Academy of Science and
Technology (TOAST) and a summit participant.
Suggestions for achieving
equity varied from improving data collection on students to
redrawing the lines for individual schools to changing the grade
structure to providing more academic social, health and
mental-health supports to struggling students to making teacher
training more relevant.
Input from the summit will
guide the steering committee, whose next meeting is June 30, in its
“This process is about far more
than determining which child will attend what school. It is about
creating a long-term plan that is equitable and sustainable, a plan
whose chief goal is to assure that all children have the tools they
need to succeed all throughout school,” Superintendent Marguerite
Vanden Wyngaard, Ph.D. told summit attendees.