June 18 district updates

Picture of Myers Middle School student Jaidyn Rogers


Perspectives in Online Learning

Thursday's installment of Perspectives in Online Learning is the final installment of the 2019-20 school year. We have the opportunity to feature three perspectives: Albany High School science teacher Emily Nagle, and Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School seventh-grade students Sonja DePiro and Jaidyn Rogers. 

Perspectives in Online Learning was a forum we created during the COVID-19 closure to allow teachers, staff and students to share their experiences with virtual teaching and learning. We hope you enjoyed hearing these perspectives!

A note of thanks from Superintendent Adams as we close a challenging school year

Please visit our From the Superintendent section to read this full message:

As we come to the end of this very unique and often challenging school year, I would like to take a few moments to say thank you. 

Thank you to the Board of Education for all of the leadership and support it has provided throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Thank you to all of our administrators, faculty and support staff who pulled together to help our students and our families, and each other.  

I also would like to thank our students and families. 

The pandemic has stressed all of us in every aspect of our daily lives. From an educational perspective, it took away the reassuring custom of a daily physical gathering at school and the comfort that came with that. 

Suddenly, in its place we had a solitary and sometimes isolated experience. Aside from the serious health concerns of COVID-19, this may have been the biggest challenge of all. 

Our students and families faced it with courage and resilience. I am grateful for that strength.

I would like to express my thanks to our community partners as well. Whether it was organizing a team of volunteers to support our meal distribution efforts, or donating thousands of bags to help us deliver Chromebooks and return materials to our students, our community was there in our time of need. As it always is.

I would like to thank all of the nearly 11,000 Albany residents who returned ballots in this year’s very different budget vote and board election. I am thankful for the record-setting participation, and the overwhelming support. We are so very appreciative of the tremendous support of our community. We do not take that support lightly as it is a direct indication of the confidence placed in our school district to ensure that we are adjusting our program and delivery of instruction and support to meet the needs of our students and families.

These last few months have not been what any of us planned for. They have challenged us and offered us new opportunities every single day. Together, we have responded to the best of our ability and in the best interest of our students.

I can think of no better example of what it means to be “All in for Albany!” For that, I am beyond grateful to all of you.

End-of-year reminder

Thursday was the last day of the 2019-20 school year. All City School District of Albany schools and offices will be closed Friday. Our administrative offices will reopen Monday. 

We wish you all a wonderful summer. Please be safe and remember to continue to follow appropriate social distancing practices so that we can reduce the spread of COVID-19. Please also continue to stay tuned to all of the district's communication channels throughout the summer for information and updates about the 2020-21 school year. 

Student, family surveys on re-opening

As the City School District of Albany plans for re-opening in September, in addition to the work of our district-wide committees we also want to get input from students and families about the experiences everyone is having with virtual learning.  

Please follow these links to share your input, which will help inform our decision-making as we look ahead to the 2020-21 school year: 

  • Student survey (also available for students in grades 3-12 via Google Classroom beginning Tuesday)
  • Parent/guardian survey (please note that the technical problem that was causing difficulty for some in entering information about multiple students in the same survey has been corrected; we apologize for the inconvenience)

Registration open for city's Summer Youth Employment Program

The City of Albany has announced that the Summer Youth Employment Program has reopened registration for this summer. 

The 2020 LIGHT Program – Learning, Initiative and Gaining Headway Together – will run from July 20-Aug. 14. Registration will be open through Wednesday, June 24 at 4 p.m. Click here to apply.

Youth employees will work up to 20 hours per week, and must meet all eligibility and orientation requirements to participant. At the recommendation of health officials, in-person worksites will be limited, and most youth will have a virtual work experience. 

Applications will follow a first-come, first-served process, and registration does not guarantee a paid work experience. You can call or email with questions at (518) 438-1082 or syep@albanyny.gov

Celebrating the Class of 2020

Check out our congratulatory messages for the Albany High School Class of 2020 as you drive around town this summer.

We have congratulatory messages posted in 23 CDTA bus shelters throughout the city, and seniors also have received lawn or window signs, thanks to the support of the Albany Fund for Education and the Albany Booster Club. We will continue to recognize our seniors via our social media channels as we count down to graduation weekend June 27-28, so please check out those messages out as well.  

Albany High graduation information

Albany High School is making plans for in-person outdoor graduation ceremonies on the weekend of June 27-28 following Governor Cuomo's recent notice that outdoor graduations can be held beginning June 26 with up to 150 total people and with social distancing guidelines in place that follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We will share more information as our plans are confirmed. We also have a Class of 2020 Information page that includes a variety of updates and reminders for our seniors. 

We are proud of our soon-to-be graduates!

Meal delivery reminders

Thursday concluded the district’s meal delivery program during the COVID-19 school closure. We served more than 353,000 meals during the closure, a majority of them on the 23 buses that we operated in partnership with First Student and CDTA. Our thanks to all of the staff and volunteers who managed that important operation every weekday!

As a reminder, our “grab and go” locations will be open for the summer beginning Monday. Those locations are:

  • Albany High School (Washington Avenue entrance), 700 Washington Ave.
  • Albany School of Humanities (ASH), 108 Whitehall Road
  • Arbor Hill Elementary School, 1 Arbor Drive
  • Giffen Memorial Elementary School, 274 South Pearl St.
  • Schuyler Achievement Academy, 676 Clinton Ave.
  • Tony Clement Center for Education, 395 Elk St.
  • William S. Hackett Middle School, 45 Delaware Ave.

It has not been determined yet if we will be able to deliver meals during the summer. Please watch for more information.

New summer adventure website coming July 3

Summer vacation may look a bit different this year, but Capital Region BOCES and area school districts, including the City School District of Albany, are partnering to develop a new website that will provide eight weeks of activities to keep your elementary-age children engaged during the summer.

Starting July 3, visit https://summeradventure.capitalregionboces.org for a week-by-week collection of fun, enriching activities. Curated by educators, these theme-based activities will range from arts and crafts and backyard science to mindful moments and staying active — perfect for a summer spent at home! 


Funding for childcare costs

New York is using a portion of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funds to provide free childcare to income-eligible essential workers. 

To qualify for a scholarship to cover the cost of care, essential workers must work outside of the home and use a licensed and regulated childcare provider. This would include the YMCA partnership described below. Families also must have an adjusted gross income at or below 300% of the federal poverty level. For a family of four that equals an annual income of $78,600. 
Parents and guardians are asked to complete this application for the CARES Child Care Scholarship. Applications will be considered complete once the online application is finished AND the required supplemental documentation is submitted to Bright side Up, the Childcare Resource and Referral Agency (MCCRAY) for Albany, Fulton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties. 

For parents and guardians that currently receive a subsidy from their local Department of Social Services to pay for childcare, this scholarship can cover the co-pay. Parents and guardians should apply for the CARES Act Scholarship, and then contact their local DS to get a letter stating their current co-pay. Please address any questions to Tricia Holland at Rowland@brightsideup.org.

Be counted for Albany in the 2020 Census – from home!

This is an important reminder that in spite of the closures and significant precautions in place due to COVID-19, the 2020 U.S. Census will continue this summer and into the fall. The most important thing you can do is respond online, by phone, or by mail. Responding now will minimize the need for Census Bureau workers to be out in communities following up. Help your community – and help the Census Bureau adhere to social-distancing guidelines – by responding online to the 2020 Census.

Do your part. Stay home. Get counted.

Health insurance assistance

NY State of Health is committed to ensuring access to affordable, quality health insurance for all New Yorkers so they can get the care they need during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Many New Yorkers are likely to be eligible for health coverage with financial assistance through NY State of Health due to their loss of coverage and income. NY State of Health opened a Special Enrollment Period in March to provide a safety net for people who are uninsured in difficult times like this. 

You can apply for health insurance immediately through NY State of Health. If you lost employer coverage, you must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage. 

Because of a loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, Child Health Plus or subsidized Qualified Health Plan coverage. 

Visit NY State of Health online for more information. You also can contact the Marketplace directly at (518) 486-9102 or NYSE@health.ny.gov.

Mental health hotline

Along with the impact the COVID-19 outbreak is having on physical health, we can't underestimate the impact this pandemic is having on mental health. 

More than 6,000 mental health professionals have volunteered their time to help with New York’s response to COVID-19. For free emotional support, consultation and referral to a provider, call 1-844-863-9314. 

Domestic violence resources

The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence has a message for victims during these challenging times: You are not alone.

Please call the New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline at 800-942-6906 for information on domestic violence resources in our community. You also can access these resources online.

Expanded mobile crisis hours

Northern Rivers has extended its hours for mobile crisis services. The expanded hours are:

  • Monday–Friday – 8 a.m.–10 p.m.
  • Saturday–Sunday – 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
    • For immediate crisis services, call (518) 292-5499
    • For general information, call (518) 952-9032

Mobile crisis services provides telephone support for children, families and adults experiencing emotional and/or behavioral crisis, and for professionals working with these individuals. Northern Rivers also provides in-person crisis assessment and intervention for individuals experiencing emotional and/or behavioral crisis anywhere in the community.

For more information, visit Northern Rivers online.