May 22 district updates

A picture of Clement teacher Haley Goodwin


Perspectives in Online Learning

Friday's installment of Perspectives in Online Learning features a vignette from Tony Clement Center for Education math teacher Haley Goodwin.   

Perspectives in Online Learning is a forum we have created to allow teachers and students to share their experiences with virtual teaching and learning. We will highlight a new vignette or video each day while schools are closed due to COVID-19. 

We hope you enjoy hearing the perspectives of our teachers and our students!

Social distancing reminder

As you plan for the Memorial Day weekend, and as the Capital Region begins the reopening process for businesses, please continue to keep in mind social distancing guidelines as we all try to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help our city, our region and our state return to operations in a way that is safe for all.

Stay home whenever possible, maintain a minimum of six feet between yourself and other individuals if you must go out, and wear a mask if you cannot adhere to those social distancing guidelines. You can find helpful information about social distancing practices on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. 

All online learning and other school-related activities are cancelled Monday in observance of Memorial Day. Online instruction will resume Tuesday. Have a safe and restful long weekend!

Albany High graduation, secondary promotion ceremony information

As we close in on the end of the school year, all of our schools are working on virtual ceremonies and other activities that adhere to social distancing protocols to recognize the achievements of students celebrating milestone years.

We are sharing the following information about events at the secondary level. Please stay tuned for information about events at the elementary level. In every case, each school will have more detailed information about these activities for their students and families. 

Albany High School

  • Commencement activities for the Class of 2020 will occur Sunday, June 28. This will include a virtual graduation ceremony at 10 a.m., and a graduation parade beginning at 11:30 a.m. 

Middle schools – Virtual promotion ceremonies

  • Edmund J. O’Neal Middle School of Excellence – Thursday, June 18 at 11 a.m.
  • North Albany Middle School – Thursday, June 18 at 12:15 p.m., online student recognition event
  • Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School – Wednesday, June 17 at 9 a.m.
  • William S. Hackett Middle School – Tuesday, June 16 at 9 a.m.

Albany International Center 

  • Tuesday, June 16 at 11 a.m., online student recognition event

Tony Clement Center for Education

  • Students will participate in the middle school programs

Please note that students must pass all classes to be eligible to participate in these activities. The deadline to make up work for the third quarter is Friday, May 29. 

Plan now for required immunizations for 2020-21

This is a reminder for parents and guardians to plan ahead for required immunizations for students in advance of the start of the 2020-21 school year in September. 

New York has very strict rules regarding immunizations, and children who are missing required immunizations will not be allowed to go to school beyond the first 14 days. Your child’s doctor’s office is open and able to schedule your child for an appointment to get the required immunizations now. 

Some things to note:

  • Most kindergartners need their booster shots if they didn't get them at age 4.
  • Sixth-graders need a Tetanus/pertussis shot: Tdap
    • Since students also need a meningitis shot in seventh grade, you can save time and ask for both at this visit.
  • Seventh-graders need a meningitis shot: MCV4
  • Seniors need a second dose of meningitis MCV4 if they are 16 or older.
    • So if they are at the doctor and are 16 years old, no matter what grade they are in at school, ask to get the MCV4 so you don't need to make a special trip for that immunization later.

Your doctor will know which immunizations your child is due for, but you also can reach out to your school nurse if you have any questions or would like more information. 

Make your voice heard on statewide reopening plans

There are numerous unprecedented questions to be answered as school districts across New York plan for the 2020-21 school year. The state’s BOCES are asking for input from students, families and community member to help answer those questions.

Please follow this link to participate in a statewide virtual conversation about reopening schools so that the voice of the Albany school community is reflected in this critical discussion. You will be able to read and rate other participants' responses. Based on those ratings, the most important thoughts will rise to the top. All contributions are anonymous. 

The results will be shared with our elected officials so that they will have a more global understanding of the thoughts and ideas community members statewide have about returning to school in September. The exchange includes a translation feature.

Thank you in advance for your participation.

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

Meal delivery update

The district has served about 240,000 meals to date during the school closure – currently more than 2,400 students daily – through both home delivery and our seven “grab and go” school locations. Meal pickup is available at these schools each weekday from 11:30 a.m..-1 p.m..: 

  • Albany High School (Washington Avenue entrance), 700 Washington Ave.
  • Albany School of Humanities (ASH), 108 Whitehall Road
  • Arbor Hill Elementary School, 1 Arbor Drive
  • Geffen 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.

Technical support for students and families

The City School District of Albany’s Technology Help Desk is available to assist students and families with issues related to connecting a Chromebooks to wireless access points, or with student login to the Chromebooks or the Clever suite of applications.

You can reach the Technology Help Desk from 8 a.m..-3:30 p.m.. each weekday at (518) 475-6195. 

Please note that the Help Desk cannot assist with matters related to use, content or activities within any of the district instructional applications or Google Classroom. Questions regarding the use of Google Classroom, instructional resources, learning tasks or expectations related to instructional content should be directed to each student’s teacher or principal. 

You also can find instructions and other helpful Google Classroom guidance in our online instruction section.

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 is underway. The Census Bureau is carefully monitoring the situation and follows the guidance of federal, state and local health authorities.

The most important thing you can do is respond online, by phone, or by mail when you receive your invitation. 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.

OCS childcare survey

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services is asking parents, guardians and caregivers who are in need of childcare to complete a Parent Need for Childcare survey. 

Based on the information collected in this survey, OCS may be able to help families find the childcare program to meet their needs. It may be a challenge to find childcare due to OVID-19-related closures. However, OCS is trying its best to support families to find high-quality childcare programs.

The OCS website also has several resources available.

YMCA childcare partnership

The district is partnering with the YMCA to offer childcare services for health and emergency-response personnel. The YMCA is administering and staffing the program, which operates from 7 a.m..-6 p.m.. daily at the following six schools:

  • Arbor Hill Elementary School, 1 Arbor Drive
  • Eagle Point Elementary School, 1044 Western Ave.
  • Geffen Memorial Elementary School, 274 South Pearl St.
  • New Scotland Elementary School, 369 New Scotland Ave.
  • Schuyler Achievement Academy, 676 Clinton Ave.
  • Sheridan Preparatory Academy, 400 Sheridan Ave.

The program has a limited capacity, with a maximum of 30 children per school (three classrooms with 10 children). The YMCA is staffing each room with two employees.

Online registration is available. Health and emergency personnel needing childcare are also welcome to call the YMCA at (518) 869-3500.

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

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.