February 19, 2007

Albany School Board Reviews Plan For Science Academy

By: by The Business Review


There could be big changes in store for public schools in Albany, N.Y.

The Board of Education has been given a plan to re-configure the district's schools. The main points of the plan call for the Philip Livingston Magnet Academy, currently a middle school, to become home of a new Albany High School academy for nanoscale science, engineering and environmental science.

School officials said declining enrollment would allow them to reduce their number of middle schools from three to two at the start of the 2008-09 school year.

The nanoscale science and engineering school would be operated with the help of the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

And, Albany High School would be restructured into a series of "career academies." The idea would be to give students more individualized and practical education and also to ease some of the crowding that has at times contributed to violence at the 2,400-student high school.

Superintendent Eva Joseph announced the proposed changes on Friday. The school board got the plan on Thursday night and said it would conduct a review, including hearings and informational sessions.

"The serious improvements we need to make as a district require bold action," Joseph said.

Two magnet middle schools would be run under the plan, one focusing on arts and humanities and the other on research science and technology.