Tuesday, January 26, 2016

They Must Think We Are Crazy. Or Idiots.

Thinking about the upcoming vote for a refurbished Albany High School, I've encountered many people who will vote "Yes" and many who will vote "No." The naysayers say that the city's residents are overtaxed as it is, and throwing money at a problem (AHS graduation rate currently stands at about 59%) won't solve it.

I say the building is falling down, and we, as a city, have a moral and civic obligation to our young citizens to provide them with a safe and functional school building in which they can attend class.

A recent article in the Albany Times Union stated that the recent fighting and secrecy of the school board, combined with super high taxes, will likely make many families flee for the safe confines of the suburbs.

We choose to stay and fight for Albany High School and its students. We choose to support this incredible school and the many opportunities that it will give - and has given - to our children and the students that attend AHS. The naysayers think we'll flee for the 'burbs.

They must think we're crazy. Or idiots.

Why would we stay in a district that graduates only 50% of its students in 4 years? Why would we stick around, with a school board that operates in secrecy (as evidenced by the recent dismissal of the district superintendent), and a school that is in desperate need of repair? The high school is falling down! Your children will get wet as the roof continues to leak upon them. Get to Delmar! Quick. Stick around and you must by crazy. Or an idiot.

We're crazy. We are crazy for the incredible teachers who work with our children and us to ensure that they get a solid education. We are crazy for the programs that allow my 4th grader to participate in the AHS musical alongside middle and high school students. She also performs in the marching band with many of these same children. Our child's reading teacher supported her as she competed in the district spelling bee at Hackett Middle School.

We are crazy for the community that is built around our school. We have built lifelong friendships with many of the families in our school and in other schools in the district. We're crazy for the many different cultures that our children are exposed to. We are crazy that when our child falls in the schoolyard, an older child is there to help scoop him up and dust him off.

We stood with our child's first and second grade teacher weeks after the massacre at Sandy Hook, and shared our emotions as we understood the love and devotion it takes to guide these kids. Our teachers love our kids, and they let our children know it.

We are crazy about our children's school and look forward to the opportunities that they will have when they get to Albany High School.

The naysayers think we are crazy to support such a project, to make Albany High School a modern and safe facility for the students who attend class there. They think we're crazy to support Albany High School.

We think you'd be crazy not to.

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