Dear Albany High School Community,
The beginning of the school year is a time to reflect on previous experiences in preparation for future goal setting and actions. As a dedicated learning community, we have jumped into the work of connecting with students, family and community members to strengthen relationships, explore goals for student achievement and to align action steps with school practices that provide an equitable focus when targeting supports and services. All of our departments continue to examine course content, instructional strategies and assessment methods that reaffirm and encourage critical and compassionate thinking skills that are student driven. Some of the additions that we are now exploring for staff and students include:
- The Identity, Health and Society (IHS) social justice content for all 9th graders.
- Our newly formed Ethnic Studies course.
- Social Justice Math Study groups for teachers.
- Assistant Principals who share responsibility for discipline, curriculum and student supports.
- Reviewing and revamping the Crisis Response Plan to strengthen our school and District readiness capacity.
- A robust and expanded alternative education program.
- Professional development for all staff that includes work on unconscious bias, creating a space to discuss identity and race with each other and students, in order to develop a shared vocabulary and facilitate ongoing equity discussions.
In partnership, families can work with Albany High School to sustain home-school connections and community ownership of school outcomes. Having honest and courageous conversations in the classroom and at home regarding identity, race, or social media responsibilities, are essential when paired with our curriculum that already emphasizes empathy and appreciation for differences.
I invite you to join this important work by stepping into shared governance roles in our school and District which includes our PTSA, School Site Council and the recently formed Albany Coming Together (ACT) committees that are in place to lead policy shifts and equitable resource allocations. Please contact me or find information on our website http://www.ausdk12.org/ to learn more about program and student goal initiatives both at Albany High School and within AUSD.
Thank you in advance for your time and collective contributions this year.
Alexia Ritchie, Principal