We are excited to celebrate American Education Week this week, recognizing not only the great value of our public education system throughout the United States, but also the critical role that all of our employees play in our community.
No matter their position, every member of the City School District of Albany team is important in the lives of our city’s young people. Their work is valued, their dedication commendable and worthy of celebration this week and all year round.
Together, we are building a brighter future for our city -- we are "All in for Albany!"
On Friday, we recognized administrative staff. On Thursday, we recognized teachers and non-classroom professional staff, and on Wednesday we recognized support staff.
On Friday, we recognized our administrators -- principals, assistant principals, instructional supervisors, directors and other administrative leaders who steer our educational practices and philosophies each and every day.
Our administrators motivate students, families, faculty and staff to work together toward achieving our shared goal of being a district of excellence. Our administrators are the face, the voice and the guiding force for their school or subject area. They are experts in their respective fields, and they inspire teachers, students and staff to work to their fullest potential through the examples they set and the leadership they provide.
Besides overseeing the daily operations of each school and department, administrators spend countless hours behind the scenes, analyzing and using data to shape teaching and learning. This work is difficult and goes unseen by most of the world; however, it is absolutely work which is vital to the success of students and, ultimately, our district.
Administrators have always worn many hats, but never more than this year of pandemic. They have worked with district leadership to develop sound reopening procedures at their schools, modified processes and procedures to serve our students, stepped into virtual and in-person classrooms to cover the instructional program, and established a foundation for a welcoming environment for our students and families. They have overseen cleaning and sanitizing of equipment and their assigned buildings.
Our administrators have provided quality professional development addressing equity, CRE and social justice, and the impact on our students. They have worked tirelessly to assist virtual students and families in acquiring the necessary technology to learn at home, and to support teachers and staff in adapting to and maximizing our technology resources. All this, while ensuring that we do not lose sight of the student performance data analysis needed to shape the intentional work designed to improve student achievement and the delivery of quality instruction.
Our administrators are leaders. Today and every day, we appreciate and value their work ethic, their devotion and their commitment to our students, our teachers and staff, our schools and our entire community.
Teachers and non-classroom professional staff
On Thursday, we commended teachers, school counselors, social workers, nurses, behavioral specialists and other non-classroom professional faculty who play central roles in our students’ daily academic and social-emotional lives.
Our teachers and non-classroom professionals give students purpose and inspire them to focus on their learning and become masters of their own voices and opportunities. You nurture the physical and mental health, development and well-being of our children’s everyday lives. You are mentors and guides. You equip students with the knowledge, wisdom and practical skills needed to survive and thrive in their communities and the larger world.
While COVID-19 has changed how every classroom and school looks and feels, you have risen to this challenge, adapting with creativity and using every means possible to reach and connect with your students. Your passion and devotion are unparalleled and deeply appreciated. You have been able to listen to the spoken and unspoken needs of our children and families. Your positive, productive attitudes have shaped the meaningful efforts that have been created.
Finally, you have implemented innovative teaching and learning strategies that only open the doors to more opportunities and possibilities in order to strengthen our schools, our district and our community.
Your work transforms the lives of our children, and you are valued and appreciated. You are truly “All in for Albany!”
We began Wednesday – National Educational Support Professionals Day – by recognizing the members of our support staff.
Whether they are a member of Albany Public School United Employees, a management confidential employee or a valued partner through their role with First Student or CDTA, we are grateful for their service.
Educational support professionals include our teaching assistants, teacher aides, home school coordinators, information technology support workers, administrative assistants, secretaries, clerks, maintenance staff, bus drivers and aides, food service workers and security staff. Their work is the backbone of all that we do and so very important to fostering positive relationships with all of our students and families.
And this year, the members of our support staff have gone above and beyond during the pandemic, whether that involves ensuring that all students and employees have a healthy environment in which to work and learn, deploying and maintaining the technology infrastructure so vital to our teaching and learning environments, supporting students in and out of the classroom, feeding them, keeping them safe at school or getting them to school and home again safely.
To the members of our support staff: Thank you so very much for your commitment and your tireless efforts. Your work is noticed and appreciated. We simply could not function without you.
Kaweeda G. Adams