The City School District of Albany Board of Education reviewed several enrollment-related recommendations for next school year Monday night, including recommendations that would shift all sixth-graders to middle school and restore building-based models for the Albany International Center and Tony Clement Center for Education programs.
The proposals also included a plan to complete the middle school transition from Edmund J. O’Neal Middle School of Excellence to North Albany Middle School this fall, and to relocate the Dual Language Program to share space with the Albany International Center at O’Neal, located at 50 North Lark St.
For more information about these proposals, you can:
- Download the presentation
- Watch the video (the instructional planning presentation begins at about 1:13:15 in the video)
The board will continue to review the recommendations and will make final decisions in the coming weeks based on the budget-development process.
Shifting all sixth-graders to middle school
The district proposed this option for the 2021-22 school year due to social distancing limitations that may continue next school year due to COVID-19. Even if social distancing is relaxed to the extent that schools would be able to accommodate all elementary students in-person in their classrooms, guidance related to the use of gymnasiums, cafeterias and other shared spaces could limit overall building capacity.
This recommendation would shift next year’s sixth-graders from the following elementary schools to middle school:
- Albany School of Humanities (to Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School)
- Eagle Point Elementary School (to William S. Hackett Middle School)
- Giffen Memorial Elementary School (to Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School)
- Thomas O’Brien Academy of Science and Technology (to William S. Hackett Middle School)
All district elementary schools would serve students from prekindergarten through grade 5, and all middle schools would serve students in grades 6-8. This aligns with the district’s long-standing goal of adjusting grade configurations PK-8 to provide equitable opportunities for all students.
Accelerate the O’Neal transition to North Albany
The district has been in the process for two years of shifting all middle school grades from O’Neal to North Albany, which is scheduled for a renovation and reconstruction project to create a new 650-student middle school. This recommendation would move that transition up one year next school year.
All students currently attending seventh grade at O’Neal would attend eighth grade at North Albany. The district also plans to revisit its feeder patterns for all middle schools in 2022.
Restore the Clement programs at 395 Elk St.
The district shifted the Clement alterative programs to a primarily distance learning model this school year due to the COVID-19 fiscal crisis at the start of the school year. This proposal would return Clement to its familiar location at 395 Elk St.
The proposal would restore in-person alternative programs for students in grades 9-12 next school year, and add back the in-person alternative programs for grades 7-8 in the 2022-23 school year.
Restore, relocate and expand AIC, Dual Language
Like the Clement programs, the district restructured the Albany International Center program to be primarily distance learning for this school year due to the COVID-19 fiscal crisis. This recommendation would reinstate the in-person program at a new location – 50 North Lark St., in the building that is currently O’Neal Middle School.
The recommendation also includes proposals to expand the AIC program to serve students K-12 (it currently serves grades 6-12), and to relocate and also possibly expand the Dual Language Program to O’Neal from Delaware Community School.
The Dual Language Program currently is "one deep," serving one class in each grade from prekindergarten through grade 5. The current proposal includes an option that would expand the program to be two deep at O'Neal.
Co-locating these two language-based, internationally themed programs in one location would provide space for both programs to grow, and also would allow for efficiencies for teachers and staff who have specific content, Spanish and bilingual certifications by placing them in one location.