Superintendent's Communique - October 2015
We have just completed the first month of the school year and I am pleased to say that we are off to a great start. The Greater Albany Public Schools (GAPS) believes that it is our duty to serve every kid every day. As most people know, our schools are not only places where students learn reading, writing and mathematics but they are communities of students who are in the process of learning how to become citizens. The role of our school systems has changed dramatically in the past 50 years. Our schools have been directed by both the federal and state government to overcome the ravages of poverty by feeding students and serving students who have disabilities or who speak another language other than English. In essence, schools are the institutions in our country who are charged with equalling the playing field for each and every student so that they can successfully grow up to be productive and model citizens.
I have made a point to visit everyone of our schools multiple times during this first month of school. What I have seen overall, is that our students are being served by a sincere and caring group of professionals who want them to be successful. I know that all of our staff are dedicated to improving academic outcomes for all students. We do this by working collaboratively and discussing how each student is progressing in their educational journey. GAPS currently utilizes many “best practices” to improve student academic outcomes, including Math Studio, Response To Intervention, Positive Behavior Intervention Supports and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). Using these and other research based student improvement tools, we are continually seeking to improve our educational systems so that all students have the skills they need to go on to a successful post high school outcome (university, community college, the military or some kind of vocational certificate program).
School Safety is Everyday
In the wake of yet another tragic and senseless school shooting, we send our thoughts and prayers to the victims and all people who were affected by the Umpqua Community College shootings. GAPS has in place standard response protocols for a variety of possible incidents that could occur at our schools. While school violence has been down the past 5 years, we practice and prepare for the possibility of incidents that might occur at our schools. One of the most important ways we can all work together to keep our schools safe, is to talk to your student on a daily basis to see how they are doing. In almost all of the cases of school shootings in the USA, someone knew that the shooter had been planning or intending on carrying out a heinous act. Talking to your kids and making sure they are feeling safe and sharing any information you might have with school officials or law enforcement, is one way we can work together to keep our schools safe and welcoming places for all kids.
Please see our “Family Resources” tab on the district website if you have any questions regarding help or services available in our community.
Thanks for choosing Greater Albany Public Schools!
Fir Grove School
Fir Grove Elementary School has reopened and is serving children in kindergarten and first grade. To celebrate the school’s fabulous building remodel, the staff will host a community Open House from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 21 at the school. Alumni, friends, families, students, staff, community members and school board directors are all welcome to visit, socialize, and share stories of this wonderful school. Fir Grove School is located at 5355 Scenic Drive NW near the intersection of Springhill Road.
Read more from the September 29, 2015 Education Update
Greater Albany Public School District uses an electronic flyer distribution program called Peachjar. Peachjar replaces paper flyers. Through Peachjar, each school can send eflyers to its families, and community organizations can send approved eflyers to all families in the district.
This is an effort to save paper, reduce copy costs, and help parents keep better track of these messages.
If you provided your email address to your school on your student’s contact information form, a Peachjar account has been established for you. You will receive an email from Peachjar with your login information. You do not need to login to receive or view e-flyers. The login is provided so you can manage your account or choose delivery preferences. You can opt out of receiving the messages. Fliers can always be viewed on the school websites for at least one month. Look for the Peachjar link on each school website.
If you did not provide your email address and would like to receive Peachjar eflyers, let your school office know to add your email address to the district contact form or you can sign up at Peachjar by clicking “register” in the top right corner.
If you are not receiving emails from Peachjar, there are two possible reasons for this:
Peachjar is used exclusively for distribution of school-approved flyers. Your email address will not be shared or used for any other purpose.
Helpful Family Resources:
In case of Emergency always dial: 911
211 Information Line: Dial “211” for access to a 24 hour hotline for community resources and social services.
ABC House: (541-926-2203) Child abuse intervention center. www.abchouse.org
Albany Police Department: In an emergency, dial 911 www.cityofalbany.net/departments/police
Boys and Girls Club of Albany: (541-926-6666) Provides recreational and competitive athletic opportunities, supervised after school activities. The dental clinic in the building provides low-income children with dental screening and treatment. www.bgc-albany.org
Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence: Provides confidential shelter and comprehensive advocacy services for victims of domestic and sexual violence. www.cardvservices.org
City of Albany: City website has information for library, recreational opportunities, public works and emergency services. www.cityofalbany.net
Community Outreach: (541-758-3000) Provides shelter to homeless families, mental health care and medical clinics. www.communityoutreach.org
FACT: Families and Communities Together: (541-924-3720) School district social services activity. http://albany.k12.or.us/departments/specialprograms/index.php
Family Tree Relief Nursury: (541-967-6580) Child Abuse prevention program, providing early interevention services at no-cost to high risk families. www.familytreern.org
FISH of Albany: (541-928-4460) Provides free clothing , diapers, personal hygene and household items to need families. Food pantry provides a five-day supply of groceries. Prescription assistance for life threatening issues.Guest house provides emergency shelter for pregnant and parenting teens and their children. www.fishofalbany.com
Greater Albany Public Schools: (541-967-4501) www.albany.k12.or.us
Inreach Services: (541-812-4059) Medical, Dental and mental health care. www.samhealth.org/inreach
Jackson Street Youth Shelter: (800-901-2904) Serves homeless, runaways and other youth in crisis. www.jacksonstreet.org
Linn County Health Department: (541-967-3888) Promotes the health and well being of all Linn County residents. www.co.linn.or.us/health/
Linn County Mental Health: (541-967-3886) Promotes the mental health of all Linn County residents. www.co.linn.or.us/health/mental_health/mh.htm
Linn County Sheriffs Office: (911) emergency number, (541-967-3950) non-emergency number. www.linnsheriff.org
Mid-Willamette Family YMCA: (541-926-4488) provides health and fitness activities, youth mentoring, single parent family activities, programs for seniors. www.ymcaalbany.org
Mighty Oaks Children’s Therapy Center: (541-967-7551) Provides comprehensive, family-centered therapy by licemnsed pediatrict specialists for children (birth to 22 years) with all types of disabilities. Services include physical therapy, speech and laguage therapy and occupational therapy. www.mightyoakschildren.org
Oregon State Police: (911) emergency number, (541-967-2026) non-emergency number. www.oregon.gov/osp/pages/index.aspx
Parenting Success Network: (541-917-4899) Parenting support for Oregon families in Linn and Benton Counties. www.parentingsuccessnetwork.org
Pre-Primary Speech and Language: (541-466-3110) provides speech and laguage therapy in a pre-school setting to 3-5 year old children with speech and langage delays. www.fcpreprimary.org
Salvation Army: (541-928-4774) Emergency shelter, clothing, food pantry, holiday assistance programs www.salvationarmyusa.org
Welcome Center: (541-704-2376) School district agency offers activities and translation assistance for Spanish speaking families. http://albany.k12.or.us/departments/
Albany Online! Learning Program
The Albany Online! learning program offers exceptional learning experiences to k-12 students in Linn and Benton counties. The program is based on decades of education research, and uses K¹² and Aventa curriculum to provide the tools kids need to succeed—in school and beyond. Here's why families have chosen Albany Online! for their kids:
Individualized learning approaches.
The curriculum, which
Online planning and assessment tools and resources. Hands-