Oct. 6 district updates

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Google Classroom and Google Meet guide for parents, guardians

The City School District of Albany is pleased to provide parents and guardians with the following guidance on Google Classroom and Google Meet. 

Please use the links below to access our "Parent Guide to Google Classroom and Google Meet," as well as two documents outlining expectations for students; one for K-8 and the other for 6-12. Our goal is to provide parents and guardians with an overview of the Google Classroom and recording protocols.  

For more information about Google Classroom and Google Meet, please talk with your child’s teacher or principal.

Student technology update

The Technology Department is in the process of converting 1,000 standard laptops into Chromebooks to assist families who need access to multiple devices at home to meet student needs. 

Staff converted 500 devices last week and have distributed those Chromebooks to schools for distribution. They are in the process of converting another 500 devices this week and also will provide those to schools to assist in meeting student needs. If you have a need for an additional Chromebook at home, please reach out to your building principal for assistance. 

The district has distributed about 4,600 Chromebooks to students since the COVID-19 school closure began in mid-March. Our priority has been to ensure that each district household has at least one device at home to meet the core need. We now are in the process of meeting the needs of households that require multiple devices as we move toward a 1:1 computing model for all students. 

Our schools currently are prioritizing those needs based on the number of students in each household. For example, a family with four students at home that does not have a device for every student would be prioritized to receive an additional district Chromebook ahead of a family with two students at home that currently has one device.

The district also has provided mobile wireless hotspots in all cases in which a family has requested one. 

We are awaiting delivery of more than 5,000 additional Chromebooks this fall, which will allow us to get to the 1:1 computing model district-wide. The district placed that order on the day that we received State Education Department approval to do so in July. 

The initial delivery date of mid-late September has passed. The vendor notified the district last Thursday that delivery now is anticipated for November due to supply chain challenges that have been pervasive in the technology pipeline since the pandemic began. These challenges across the technology landscape have impacted the production of phones and other chip-driven technology. The combined massive volume of orders of Chromebooks by school districts across the country, all in similar circumstances simultaneously due to COVID-19, caused backorders to grow exponentially. 

We recognize the challenges that the delay in delivery of the Chromebooks is causing for some of our students. That is why we are repurposing 1,000 existing devices with Chromebook capabilities. We will continue to keep you informed as our vendor provides us with updated information about the full delivery this fall. 

Early dismissal Friday, no school Monday

A reminder that all City School District of Albany schools will dismiss 15 minutes early this Friday to participate in the annual Go Home Early emergency preparedness drill. The State Education Department requires all schools to conduct this test each year.

Please note that students in the Tony Clement Center for Education program – both in-person and virtual – will dismiss more than 15 minutes early to align with the dismissal schedule for Edmund J. O’Neal Middle School of Excellence. You can find more information about Friday’s early dismissal times in our News section and on each school’s page. 

All district schools and offices also will be closed Monday, Oct. 12, in observance of Columbus Day. 

‘Do the Right Thing’ – Albany style

Middle and high school students in the City School District of Albany who are positive role models will be recognized and rewarded for their efforts under a new program announced Monday.

The school district has partnered with the Albany Police Department and the City of Albany on “Do the Right Thing,” an initiative that acknowledges students for their accomplishments, positive behavior and good deeds. Worthy students are nominated by school staff, parents and guardians, police officers and community members. 

Superintendent Kaweeda G. Adams joined Police Chief Eric Hawkins and other leaders from the district and police department for a news conference on the steps of William S. Hackett Middle School to announce the program Monday morning.