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School turnaround through receivership


2017-18 updates

Albany High School and Schuyler Achievement Academy continue to submit required documents to the State Education Department as required by the state's receivership law.


Albany High School

Schuyler Achievement Academy

SED commissioner: Albany receivership schools show solid progress

On Oct. 31, State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced that Albany High School and Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy were among 61 schools identified under the state's receivership law that showed "demonstrable improvement" in the past year.

Albany High and Schuyler both showed significant progress on performance measures agreed to by the district and the state, the commissioner said. For Albany High, those measures included more students passing Regents exams, a higher graduation rate, improved safety, and improved attendance. For Schuyler, those measures included more students performing at Level 2 and above in ELA and math, improved attendance, and significantly lower suspension rates.

Elia based the demonstrable improvement decisions primarily upon the degree to which schools achieved their progress targets. Each school’s Demonstrable Improvement Plan included a minimum of ten indicators that were submitted by the superintendent receiver and approved by the commissioner or selected by the State Education Department for the school. According to law,  indicators could include student achievement and growth on state measures; reduction in achievement gaps among specific groups of students; graduation rates; student attendance; suspension rates; student safety; and parent and family engagement.

Later this school year, Elia is expected to announce which schools can be removed from receivership based on meeting their progress targets.

2016-17 updates

The City School District of Albany, in partnership with the Community Engagement Teams at each of the schools identified under the state's receivership law, continues to submit required documents to the State Education Department to move forward with the efforts to raise achievement for all students at Albany High School and Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy.


Albany High School

Schuyler Achievement Academy

Due to its progress in the 2015-16 school year, William S. Hackett Middle School was removed from the state's list of "receivership" schools.


2015-16 school year 

The district submitted Community Engagement Plans, Public Notification Templates and supporting evidence to State Ed for each school – Albany High School, William S. Hackett Middle School and Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy. The district also submitted Continuation Plans, Indicators for Demonstrable Improvement and quarterly reports for all three schools.


Follow the links below to download the documents submitted for each school.


Albany High School

William S. Hackett Middle School

Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy

About the law

The law initially applied to 144 New York schools the state has identified as “struggling” or “persistently struggling,” including Albany High School, Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy and William S. Hackett Middle School.


Albany High and Schuyler were designated as “struggling” schools and Hackett was designated as a “persistently struggling” school. They were identified because their overall performance on state tests significantly lagged behind other schools in the state for more than three years at Albany High and Schuyler, and more than 10 years at Hackett. Due to its progress in 2015-16, Hackett was removed from the list.


The new law appoints a “receiver” -- initially, the superintendent -- to oversee the turnaround of these schools, and sets a deadline by which the schools have to demonstrate improvement. Receivers are authorized to make several changes, including lengthening the school day or school year, making curriculum changes and, in more drastic cases, replacing teachers or administrators.


Hackett had one year to show progress; Albany High and Schuyler have two years.


The state set "demonstrable improvement" guidelines for each school. If a school does not meet those goals during that time, the state will require the Board of Education to appoint a state-approved outside receiver, removing the district’s ability to control future decisions about the school.


Also, in accordance with the law, each school has submitted an improvement plan to the state. The state has provided provisional approval for the improvement plans for all three schools: Albany High, Hackett and Schuyler.


How receivership will affect the schools

As the receiver for each school under its current status, the superintendent will work with each principal and the three school communities to develop practices to meet and exceed the expectations of the law. Change opportunities at the schools could include:

  • Becoming a community school, meaning the building would be a hub to provide social, health and mental-health services for students and families

  • Changes to curriculum

  • Extending the school day and school year

  • Re-staffing

Each school also is required to create a community engagement team under the new law. Each school's community engagement team will consist of the principal, parents and guardians, teachers and other school staff, and students. The team's membership can be changed at any time.


Each community engagement team must develop recommendations for improvement of the school and solicit input through public engagement. The team will present its recommendations periodically to school leadership and the receiver.


Public meetings

The City School District of Albany held public hearings in August 2015 at the three schools affected by the new state "receivership" law.


Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, Ph.D.,. hosted meetings Aug. 11 at Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy for about 70 attendees and at Albany High School for about 100 attendees. She hosted a similar meeting at William S. Hackett Middle School for about 60 attendees Aug. 12.


At each hearing, Dr. Vanden Wyngaard discussed how the law will affect that school. In addition, parents and members of the public had opportunities to share their thoughts and concerns, and ask questions. Written comments were accepted through Aug. 28.


More information about school turnaround

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