Where is the school located?

The K-5 elementary school building is located at 65 Krank Street in Albany’s South End. It is across the street from Krank Park.  The 6-8 middle school building is also in Albany’s South End, located at 42 S. Dove Street.  The two buildings are in walking distance of each other.

Why and how was the school started?

A group of community members wanted to create a high-quality educational opportunity for low-income students that were trapped in Albany’s low-performing public schools. Approximately one in five Albany city residents pay to send their children to non-public schools instead of Albany public schools – but for low-income families, this often isn’t an option. So, the idea for another new public elementary school – the Albany Community Charter School — was conceived. With the assistance of charter school experts and a great deal of education research, a nearly 500 page application detailing every aspect of the school was written and submitted to the State University of New York Board of Trustees. On December 15, 2005, the dream of Albany Community Charter School became a reality when the application was approved. The school took a year of planning time and opened successfully on time and on budget in September 2006.

Who can attend the Albany Community Charter School?

Similar to magnet schools, charter schools are public schools chosen by parents for their children. Rather than having the school district dictate which school students must attend by virtue simply of where they live, parents can decide if the Albany Community Charter School best suits the needs of their children, and then enroll their children here.

Albany Community will serve students in grades kindergarten through 6th grade in 2012-13.  Seventh grade will be added in 2013-14,  and the Eighth grade in 2014-15 thus fully enrolling the school. Preference is given to students residing in Albany. If there are a larger number of applications to attend than there are available spots, an open and fair lottery will be held to randomly select students. Those students who have applied to attend Albany Community but are not chosen in the lottery will be placed on a waiting list. Once a student is admitted to Albany Community, he/she can attend the school in subsequent years without having to reapply.

Q&A: Educational Issues

What is a charter school?

A charter school is an independent public school that is free from most traditional bureaucratic regulations, allowing these school to innovate in areas such as educational programs (curriculum, learning standards, standardized assessments, instructional methods), longer school days and years, financial management, special education services, fundraising, marketing strategies, and school governance. This freedom comes with a higher level of academic accountability — the school must ensure that students learn. Like existing public schools, charter schools are required to administer state assessments and report the results publicly, hold board meetings publicly, and respond to other public information requests. Charter schools do not charge tuition or administer admissions or entrance exams.

For more information about charter schools, contact the Washington D.C.-based Center for Education Reform (www.edreform.com), the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability in Clifton Park, NY (www.nyfera.org), or the New York Charter Schools Association in Albany, NY (www.nycsa.org).

What is the Albany Community Charter School’s educational philosophy?

The Albany Community Charter School believes that all students, regardless of income, race, or ethnicity, can learn and be successful when provided a sound, basic educational opportunity. The focus and structure of the Albany Community Charter School is on student achievement and sound character. The school primarily uses a curriculum, student learning materials, and assessments that have proven to have been effective when used at other schools serving similar populations.

Is the Albany Community Charter School being run by a management company? Who operates the school?

Albany Community Charter School is not  operated by a for-profit company or an education management organization. Albany Community operates like most other public schools, with a principal, S. Neal Currie, Jr heading the school, staff teams, and having control over daily operations and educational policy. The school is governed by a diverse board of trustees, made up of community members with expertise in education, nonprofit management, construction, accounting, law, community activities, and fundraising.

Q&A: Enrolling

How do I enroll my son in the Albany Community Charter School?

Parents interested in sending their children to Albany Community should call the school at: (518) 433-1500 or complete the online form here. Preference is given to students residing in Albany. Those students who apply to attend Albany Community but aren’t chosen in the lottery are placed on a waiting list. Once a student is admitted to Albany Community, he/she can attend the school in subsequent years without having to reapply. If you are considering the Albany Community Charter School as an option for your child, please visit our enrollment page, call, send an email to enroll@albanycommunitycs.org, or write the school at Albany Community Charter School, 65 Krank Street, Albany, NY 12202.

What are the average class sizes  at Albany Community?

Albany Community offers a small-school environment. Currently, ACCS has 3 classes per grade with an average class size of 23 students. Each classroom has a lead teacher and a full time teaching assistant.

Q&A: Details for Students

Is there are dress code at Albany Community?

Yes. Students at Albany Community Charter School are expected to wear uniforms on a daily basis.   ACCS maintains and enforces a uniform student dress code policy for several important reasons:

  • Uniforms reduces distractions
  • Uniforms reduce cost for parents
  • Uniforms create a sense of group identity and unite us as a community
  • Uniforms teach students the importance of dressing appropriately for school and work.

Uniforms are available to purchase directly at ACCS.

Is transportation provided for students?

Students in grades K-6, and students who reside outside of Albany city will be provided free transportation to and from school each day.  Students in grades 7-8 who live in the city of Albany, may qualify for free CDTA transportation.  Some of our students who live in the surrounding neighborhoods are welcomed to walk or have parents or guardians drive them to school as well.

Can I get extra help on my academic studies?

Yes. Students at Albany Community Charter School will be provided tutoring services as needed.  Tutoring is scheduled during after school hours.  Teachers and parents work together to identify a student’s tutoring needs.

How long is the school year?

Students at Albany Community Charter School will report to school the last week of August through the first week of July.  Albany Public School follows most of the Albany Public School District’s calendar for holidays and school breaks.

How long is the school day?

Albany Community Charter School will have an extended day for instruction that will begin promptly at 7:30am and will conclude at 4:00pm. The doors open at 7:15am, for students having breakfast at the school. Afterschool activities and tutoring extend the day to 5:30pm.