Outreach, planning to continue for start of school

A head-and-shoulders photo of Superintendent Adams

The City School District of Albany will continue to work with families and employees to plan for the start of the 2020-21 school year following Governor Cuomo’s announcement Friday that schools statewide can reopen, Superintendent Kaweeda G. Adams said. 

“We are prepared to move forward with our planning for the upcoming school year following this updated guidance from the governor,” Adams said. “Our 2020-21 Reopening Plan provides us with the flexibility to provide a range of learning opportunities for our students and families, and also focuses on the critical health and safety procedures that all schools will need to have in place when the school year begins.”

In a district survey that closed Thursday, nearly 60% of the 1,741 respondents said they would choose fully virtual instruction for their students in the new school year. Nearly 86% of all respondents said they would be willing to commit to their instructional choice for at least the full first marking period, which ends Nov. 13. 

The district is preparing to meet students’ academic and safety needs, Adams said.

“We have listened to our families and employees throughout our planning process, and we will continue to do so in the weeks ahead,” Adams said. 

Please visit our 2020-21 Reopening Plan home page to access our full plan as well as a list of frequently asked questions. The plan includes a broad range of information in all academic and operational areas, including: 

The district also has virtual forums scheduled for parents and community members Aug. 17-19; three forums for employees also will be held on those days. 

While the district has an overall plan for all schools to ensure equity for all students at each grade level, there may be adjustments that need to be made at each school. In the upcoming weeks, each school also will host virtual forums in order to discuss those specific building-level details with their families, faculty and staff.

Adams also will provide a reopening update at the Board of Education’s next meeting Aug. 13, which will be held virtually. The district also will review proposed revisions to the 2020-21 school calendar at that meeting. 

Beginning Monday, families will have the opportunity to choose a fully virtual learning environment for their students for the first marking period of the school year, which ends Nov. 13. 

Families choosing that option will be required to commit to the decision for the entire marking period, and also will have the opportunity in the fall to extend that choice throughout the second marking period. The choice enrollment period will continue through Aug. 24 and also will include options for transportation and food service. Families will be asked to make a commitment to virtual learning in order to assist the district with planning.

“We understand the range of concerns and questions that our families and employees have shared,” Adams said. “The uncertain environment that COVID-19 continues to present throughout society is challenging, and our school district will be prepared to meet those challenges so that we can ensure a safe and robust learning environment for our students, faculty and staff.”

Kaweeda G. Adams