District updates instructional plans for grades 7-12

Sixth-grade female student doing schoolwork wearing glasses and a COVID-19 mask in the classroom

The City School District of Albany is continuing to expand in-person opportunities for general education students in grades 7-12 during the third marking period while it works toward an even more expansive secondary hybrid model for the fourth marking period.

Superintendent Kaweeda G. Adams led an update on the district’s ongoing instructional planning for grades 7-12 during Thursday night’s Board of Education meeting. You can download the presentation, and also can watch a video of the meeting to hear the full discussion. 

Third quarter – Phase 2 continuation

Thursday’s presentation included updates about Phase 2 of the district’s instructional planning, which began during the second marking period in November and, following the significant surge in COVID-19 cases in December and January, has continued into the third marking period.

Along with established opportunities in career and technical education, music and art, science labs and staff-supported learning labs, the district also will be adding new opportunities over the coming weeks for students who are most at-risk academically to receive additional in-person support. 

Albany High School is providing this option to 670 students who are struggling academically and are in need of additional in-person support. The four middle schools and the Tony Clement Center for Education are providing this opportunity to a total of 420 students also in need of more help in-person.

For Albany High, these added in-person opportunities for at-risk students will begin Monday, March 8, for seniors and English-language learners. The school will open the opportunity to juniors beginning March 16, sophomores beginning March 29 and freshmen beginning April 12. 

For the middle schools, the expanded in-person opportunities for at-risk students will begin March 16. 

At both the high school and middle levels, all students attending the in-person learning labs during the third quarter would be in-person for a full school day on the days they are scheduled to be on-site. These students will continue in the distance learning model on the days they are not on-site. 

All COVID-19 health and safety protocols will continue to be in place, including social distancing, wearing masks and frequent handwashing. 

Fourth quarter – Phase 3

Thursday’s presentation also included a reminder for secondary families about the current instructional selection process for the fourth quarter – Phase 3 of the district’s overall instructional phasing for the 2020-21 school year due to COVID-19. The district has extended the deadline for families to complete that process until Monday, March 8 at 5 p.m.

Through Thursday, parents and guardians had completed the selection process for 1,374 students, with 933 opting for a hybrid instructional model when the fourth marking period begins April 26. You can complete the fourth-quarter selection process online if you have not done so already.

The number of days students will attend school in-person during the fourth quarter will depend on the total number of students selecting the hybrid model when that process ends Monday. The district also will continue to offer a full distance learning model for families that prefer that option. 

All COVID-19 health and safety protocols also will continue to be in place throughout this period as well.

Fourth-quarter planning also includes the addition of modified athletic opportunities for grades 7-8 in addition to the athletic opportunities already scheduled at the high school level.

Much more information about the fourth quarter will be provided as those plans are finalized in the coming weeks. 

Strategically rebuilding staff to support students

Also Thursday night, the board approved the rehiring of 74.2 faculty and staff to support the district’s growth of in-person opportunities during the third quarter. Those positions include 58.2 support positions, including 30 teaching assistants, 19 hall monitors and eight home school coordinators. 

Superintendent Adams also indicated the district is planning for additional hiring this school year to support the secondary instruction planning for the fourth quarter.