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City School District of Albany
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Albany High School

Albany High School

Four unique academies. One great education.

Grades 9-12


700 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12203 (click here for directions)

Phone: (518) 475-6200

Fax: (518) 475-6202


Jodi Commerford, Principal


Phone: (518) 475-6200

Roderick W. Gilmour III, Vice Principal


Phone: (518) 475-6200


Academy Principals

Citizenship Academy -- Suzann Cornell


Phone: (518) 475-6220

Discovery Academy -- Michael Elliott


Phone: (518) 475-6230

Innovation Academy -- Julie Barber


Phone: (518) 475-6240

Leadership Academy -- Jason Breh


Phone: (518) 475-6250


Abrookin Career and Technical Center -- Andrea Marques, House Principal


Phone: (518) 475-6400


Visit Albany High's website

Visit the Albany High Counseling Center website

Visit the Albany High Theatre Ensemble website

Visit the Albany High Prisms Yearbook website     


A message from Principal Jodi Commerford

I am writing to follow up with you regarding our safety incident at school Thursday afternoon.


As you know, we implemented our lockdown procedures near the end of the school day due to a report that a student was in possession of a weapon in the building. The Albany Police Department responded and found a student to be in possession of a BB gun. The police took the student into custody. That student has been suspended and we will follow all aspects of our Student Code of Conduct. Our security staff, in cooperation with the Albany police, continue to investigate the circumstances around this incident, and we are evaluating all of our security protocols.


I want to let you know that the student did not come into school through our standard security entries. An individual that we have identified let the student in through a side door. While our investigation indicates there was no malicious intent in allowing the student entry to the building, this was a serious breach of our security protocols.


I cannot emphasize enough that no one should open a door to allow anyone into the building unless it is through our standard security entries. We emphasized this with our students in a school-wide message from Vice Principal Roderick Gilmour III on Friday afternoon. When a person opens an outside door to let anyone into the building, it exposes them and everyone else in the building to a potentially serious security risk.


We ask for your help in reiterating this message at home.


I also want to acknowledge the great cooperation of our students during Thursday’s incident. The vast majority followed our emergency procedures perfectly. That allowed us to successfully and safely resolve the situation. We are grateful to our students for their important role in keeping our school safe.


Our teachers and staff also showed great attention to our safety protocols throughout Thursday’s incident, and consistently demonstrated their care for, and commitment to, the safety and security of all of our students.


Safety and security is a top priority for us. It is an ongoing collaboration between our security staff, teachers, administrators, students, families and – when necessary – the Albany Police Department. It takes all of us working together in situations like this to ensure a positive outcome for everyone. Thursday was an excellent example of that.


This incident also serves as a reminder of why we tell our students and staff “if you see something, say something.” That mindset helped our school avoid an outcome that could have been much different Thursday. We are grateful to everyone who played a role in ensuring a safe resolution.


Finally, we would like to invite you to attend the Albany High PTSA meeting on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 6 p.m. The meeting will include a follow-up discussion of this incident.


Thank you again for your help in reviewing this information at home with your family.


Four unique academies. One great education.
Albany High School is a comprehensive high school that serves about 2,500 students. With students from more than 40 countries and rich academic programming, Albany High’s halls, classes and culture reflect the richness of a world-class university setting.


Albany High features four smaller learning communities, or academies -- Citizenship, Discovery, Innovation and Leadership. Each academy offers the same core courses in English, math, science and social studies, and electives are grouped in relation to each academy's unique theme. However, all students are able to choose electives outside of their academy, selecting from the full scope of Albany High's rich and diverse course offerings.


The goal of this structure is to raise achievement for all students by increasing academic rigor and providing smaller learning environments with extra supports. Through extensive and ongoing training for teachers and administrators, Albany High will work through this new academy structure to motivate every student in an environment that challenges their intellect and nurtures their development. A full range of special-education and English-as-a-Second-Language services are provided in all four academies, and the Abrookin Career and Technical Center continues to offer all Career and Technical Education courses.


December abatement projects planned in rubber gym

Beginning during the week of Dec. 10, the construction team at Albany High School will start lead and asbestos abatement projects in the rubber gym, and also complete the mercury abatement project in the rubber gym that was identified earlier this fall. All of this work will be completed within all state and federal regulations, and with the safety of all students, staff and campus visitors foremost in mind. The work will be contained entirely within the rubber gym. It is part of the ongoing renovation of the rubber gym and the overall Rebuilding Albany High School project.


Click here to read a letter from Principal Jodi Commerford with more information. You also can visit our Rebuilding Albany High School section to read construction updates from earlier this fall.


State and federal regulations for lead and asbestos abatement require proper signage, sealing (or tenting) the area, a ventilation system to generate negative air so no air escapes the tent, and independent third-party environmental monitoring. Asbestos abatement in particular requires signs to be posted on campus in advance of any work notifying all stakeholders of the project. You will see those signs on campus beginning this week. All three abatement projects will be completed before holiday break. The current renovation of the rubber gym is expected to be completed by mid-February. Full renovation of the rubber gym, including full replacement of the flooring, is scheduled to be completed during Phase III of the overall Rebuilding Albany High project.


Receivership process -- Albany High shows solid progress

On Oct. 31, 2017, State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced that Albany High School was among 61 schools identified under the state's receivership law that showed "demonstrable improvement" in the past year.


Albany High showed significant progress on performance measures agreed to by the district and the state, the commissioner said. Those measures included more students passing Regents exams, a higher graduation rate, improved safety, and improved attendance.

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


The City School District of Albany and Albany High School, in partnership with the school's Community Engagement Team, have worked since the beginning of the 2015-16 school year to meet the requirements of New York's receivership law. At that time, Albany High was one of 144 New York schools that met the definition of “struggling” or “persistently struggling” under the new law. Albany High was designated a struggling school because overall student performance on state tests significantly lagged behind other schools in the state for more than three years.


Please visit our Receivership section for complete updates on Albany High's efforts to meet these goals during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years.


Albany High's Online Success Program (OSP)

It is with enthusiasm and commitment to academic improvement that Albany High School presents a unique and unprecedented opportunity for students to enroll in the Online Success Program (OSP).


OSP provides students a chance to recover course credit and seat time from previous marking periods. As educators, we believe in the importance of what we teach, but mostly, we believe in who we teach. This opportunity will allow educators, parents and students to enter a contract that, if upheld, will allow students to earn back course credit, and ultimately, improve academic achievement. Visit our OSP section to find out more.


Procedures for school delays

Throughout the school year, and especially during the months of wintry weather, Albany High School follows a specific schedule when a two-hour delay is required at the start of school. Click here for more information about these procedures and the daily class schedule when there is a two-hour delay. 


Upcoming events

    • Tuesday, Dec. 11 -- Underclassmen picture re-take and senior panoramic picture
    • Wednesday, Dec. 12 -- Winter Concert, 6:30 p.m.
    • Thursday, Dec. 13 -- PTSA meeting, 6 p.m.
    • Friday, Dec. 14 -- Second-quarter interim marking period ends
    • Tuesday, Dec. 18 -- CTE Business Alliance Committee meeting, 7:30-9:30 a.m.
    • Wednesday, Dec. 19
      • Coffee Clutch, 8 a.m.
      • Snow date for Winter Concert, 6:30 p.m.
    • Monday, Dec. 24-Tuesday, Jan. 1 -- No school, Holiday Recess


2018-19 news   


  • Honor Roll, Principal's List students noted -- Albany High School on Friday recognized 892 academic achievers who made Principal’s List or Honor Roll for the first quarter of the school year. Students who make Principal’s List earn average grades of 90 percent or higher. Students who make Honor Roll earn average grades of 85 or higher. There were 582 students who made Principal’s List and 310 who made Honor Roll. Congrats to these students for their outstanding work! Click here to see Facebook photos of students who received certificates. (You don’t need a Facebook account to view the pictures. A window may display the text, “To see more from Albany Schools on Facebook, log in or create an account,” but you can dismiss the message by clicking “not now.”)

  • Spa Day on Dec. 15 -- The Cosmetology Department at Albany High School’s Abrookin Career and Technical Center will host a Winter Wonderland Spa Day from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 15 at Abrookin, located at 99 Kent St. (two blocks north of Albany High School). Two services will cost $25. (MORE)

Library After Dark -- The AHS study and research center was hopping long after the building closed for the day. Check out a Facebook photo collection of the event. You don’t need a Facebook account to view the pictures: A window may display the text “To see more from Albany City Schools on Facebook, log in or create an account,” but you can dismiss it by clicking “not now."

  • Abrookin chefs prepare for City Hall reception -- The culinary lab at Abrookin Career and Technical Center bustled with activity on Nov. 28 as students in Chef Lisa Valentine’s classes measured, poured, chopped, mixed and otherwise whipped up sweet treats for Friday’s tree-lighting ceremony and reception at City Hall. The chefs-in-training were preparing 10 different kinds of cookies; they’ll have a total of 600 when they finish. In addition to making the cookies, students will serve them with coffee at Friday’s event, which is free and open to the public. Check out a Facebook photo collection of their efforts. You don’t need a Facebook account to view the pictures: A window may display the text “To see more from Albany City Schools on Facebook, log in or create an account,” but you can dismiss it by clicking “not now."

  • 2019-20 academy lottery applications available – Applications are available for the lottery to determine placement in Albany High School’s four academies for the 2019-20 school year. Click here to download an information booklet and application. (MORE)

  • Albany High in full swing -- Albany High School was fully back in business on Friday, the first day of school for sophomores, junior and seniors (freshmen started Thursday). Arriving students were greeted by Superintendent Kaweeda G. Adams and a throng of cheering and applauding community partners, school board members, staff and parents who wished each Falcon well. Check out a Facebook photo album from the day. You don’t need a Facebook account to view the pictures: A window may display the text “To see more from Albany City Schools on Facebook, log in or create an account,” but you can dismiss it by clicking “not now."

  • Important safety information -- Families who drive students to school in the morning should plan to use the North Main Avenue entrance when they drop off students. For the safety of all our students, families can no longer drop off students on Washington Avenue in front of the school in the morning. We appreciate your cooperation.

  • 'Freshman First Day' -- The newest flock of Falcons had the school to themselves on Sept. 6. “Freshman First Day” gave ninth-graders an extra day to learn their way around the building and become familiar with life at Albany High before the rest of the students arrived. Superintendent Kaweeda G. Adams stopped by school to welcome the freshmen, as well. Check out a Facebook photo album from the day. You don’t need a Facebook account to view the pictures: A window may display the text “To see more from Albany City Schools on Facebook, log in or create an account,” but you can dismiss it by clicking “not now.”

  • Beat the rush! Get schedules and more early -- All Albany High School students can get their schedules, IDs and more on Wednesday between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. at their academy office. Learn more here. The first day of classes for freshmen is Thursday, and you can download a schedule for that day here. Classes start Friday for students in grades 10-12.

  • Summer grads join Class of 2018 -- Albany High School's Class of 2018 grew by 26 on Wednesday as the school celebrated its summer graduates at a special ceremony at William S. Hackett Middle School. (MORE)

  • Important information for the new school year -- The first day of school for students in grade 9 is Thursday, Sept. 6 and the first day of school for students in grades 10-12 is Friday, Sept. 7. Please see this letter from Principal Jodi Commerford containing important information about student schedules, calendar dates, school procedures and more. 

  • Sophomore tapped for statewide athletics committee-- Albany High School sophomore Toussaint Santicola Jones has been chosen to be one of 14 new members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA). (MORE)

    • Summer Regents review through Aug. 15 -- Starting July 23, Albany High School Summer School will offer review classes for more than a dozen Regents exams scheduled for Aug. 16 and 17. Click here for a schedule of review classes and exams. Please note that summer school, the review classes and Regents exams are at William S. Hackett Middle School due to construction at Albany High.

    • Robotic Hand Constriction -- Hands on learning (literally) in Discovery Academy. Check out a Facebook photo album from the project. You don’t need a Facebook account to view the pictures: A window may display the text “To see more from Albany City Schools on Facebook, log in or create an account,” but you can dismiss it by clicking “not now."

School times

  • Breakfast begins at 7:15 a.m. 

  • Classes begin at 7:50 a.m.

  • Dismissal is at 2:50 p.m.


Absence from school

If your child is absent from school for any reason, please call his or her academy office each day of the absence. When your child returns to school, please provide a written excuse and a doctor's note if one is available.


You can reach the academies at the following phone numbers:

  • Citizenship Academy -- (518) 475-6220

  • Discovery Academy -- (518) 475-6230

  • Innovation Academy -- (518) 475-6240

  • Leadership Academy -- (518) 475-6250






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