Schools are welcoming parents back with start-of-school events. Check the list for dates and times at your neighborhood school.
Today was the first day back for teachers and staff. Approximately 500 staff members from every school attended the kick-off event at Timber Ridge School, which included a benefits fair, speeches, awards, a diversity exercise and ice cream.
Superintendent Golden recognized the District’s school resource officers and three staff members for their service to the District. South Albany High School Principal, Executive Assistant Jim Haggart and Greater Albany Education Association President Sue McGrory received Platinum Awards.
Sue McGrory, School Board Chair Micah Smith and Superintendent Jim Golden spoke to the group, recognizing the collaboration and support among staff and community members.
After speaking about the history of Labor Day, founded by unions, McGrory said, “Our union has a unique relationship with this district. We collaborate. We work together for students,” she said. Thank you to our School Board, District administrators and union leadership,” she said.
School Board chair Micah Smith called the District a reinvestment community because of the support for the construction bond passed last May. “We have passed a monumental bond,” he said. “We continue to reinvigorate our schools for our community, and we thank voters who overwhelmingly supported education in the Greater Albany community.”
And Superintendent Jim Golden wrapped up the rally by reminding staff that the ultimate goal of our schools is to help every student succeed, to ensure that outcomes for all students are similar regardless of ethnic or socioeconomic background. He spoke about equity and the need to continue working to ensure that all staff and students are treated with respect and provided support to help them succeed. “Every child, every day, cada niño cada día,” he said.
Staff are returning to get ready for the 2017-18 school year. On Friday, new teachers joined GAPS administrators for an orientation session.
Seventy-four new teachers have joined the GAPS team in schools around the District this year, bringing the total number of teachers to 475.
The new teacher group includes 52 new teachers who are starting this fall and 22 teachers who were hired during the school year. Nineteen of these teachers are first-year teachers.
The District recently sold the bonds approved by voters for school construction projects. There was very good news: they were able to get more for the money through premium bonds, a higher cost bond for investors. For GAPS taxpayers, this means that an additional $28 million will be available for projects at no additional cost to them.
The District also qualified for $6.9 million in state matching funds that became available after other districts with higher priority for the funds failed to pass their measures. These funds will ensure that the tax rate stays at the level that was estimated prior to the election.
Planning for the projects is on a fast track. Design drawings, timelines and project details will be published this fall. We’ll publish the news as we get it.
People around the country anticipated today’s eclipse, and it didn’t disappoint. Here is a recap[ of the event.
Thank you to Albany Options teacher Tassay Gillispie and counselor Anna Harryman for the photos.