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New Anti-Bullying Task Force yields recommendations

Posted on: April 8, 2018

Last month, the district’s new Anti-Bullying Task Force presented recommendations to the School Board.

The task force, which is comprised of GAPS staff, parents, and community partners, has had two community forums. At the first forum, a definition of bullying was presented, along with various statistics and facts related to bullying and its effects on students. The group also began to look at the scope of bullying in our community, both at the school level and in the community at large.

At the second forum, the Task Force formulated concrete suggestions for the school Board to consider to address the problem.

The forums yielded recommendations for improvements to school climate that included curriculum and behavioral supports to improve school climate; new rules and policies to prevent bullying and education about policies and consequences; staff training in bullying prevention; and programs to improve coordinated prevention efforts.

Anti-Bullying Task Force Recommendations to the Board

Read the story in the Democrat-Herald

Congratulations, Team SWARM, GAPS high school robotics team!

Posted on: April 4, 2018

Team SWARM, made up of students from South Albany and West Albany high schools, is competing at the Pacific Northwest robotics championship event this weekend at Memorial Coliseum. Heading into the competition, Team SWARM is ranked ninth among all other teams.

The team placed second at the last two district events, taking home a Judges Award and a Quality Award.

The team is organized by students but has the support of coaches, mentors and parents. Parent Jodie Bowens Shilling praised the students and showed her support on a team Facebook post: “Kudos for all their hard work these past few months. They definitely deserve our praise and recognition. Signed….one proud mama and wife to a mentor.”

The competition in Portland is open to the public — admission is free. The team is also seeking support to help fund expenses for their trip to Houston, Texas, for the world championship competition on April 18-21. Read more on the SWARM 957 To FRC World Championship fundraising page on gofundme.com.

Baby item donation drive will support teen parents

Posted on: April 3, 2018

Families and Communities Together (FACT) is seeking donations of new or gently used baby items for its annual baby item give away. Donations will be distributed to teen parents on April 18.

The program is seeking donations for newborns through size 5T, including blankets, bouncy seats, small toys, books even maternity clothes.

Donations may be dropped off at West Albany High School or the FACT office at 701B 19th ave.

For questions, contact Rhonda Jacques at 541-924-3720 or rhonda.jacques@albany.k12.or.us.

Groundbreaking ceremony for new elementary school is April 25

Posted on: April 3, 2018

Work will start this summer on the bond projects approved by voters last May. Schools around the district will get facility upgrades and new construction projects will include additions at South Albany and West Albany high schools, the replacement of Oak Grove Elementary School and a new elementary school near Timber Ridge, opening in fall 2019.

The official construction kick-off for the new elementary school near Timber Ridge is scheduled for April 25 at 10 a.m. at the school site. Save the date and plan to join us to celebrate this exciting milestone.

More details will be posted on the district website soon.

West Albany High School honored by Special Olympics for social inclusion

Posted on: April 2, 2018

Before spring break, West Albany High Schools earned a distinction by Special Olympics of Oregon for inclusiveness. The school was named an Oregon Unified Champion School.

Representatives from Special Olympics presented the school with a Unified Champion banner during a school awards assembly, where they were also presented with the OSAA Unified Basketball Championship trophy for prevailing in the recent unified basketball tournament.

The Unified Champion award honors schools for creating a socially inclusive climate.

“The Unified Champion Schools approach incorporates Special Olympics sports, leadership and related activities that empower youth to be change agents in their communities. This is a paradigm shift from a focus on events to that of a whole school movement for inclusion.

Special education and general education students alongside educators and administrators are encouraged to collaborate to create supportive classrooms, school-wide activities and opportunities for growth and success for all.

When everyone in a school fosters a socially inclusive school climate that emphasizes acceptance, respect and human dignity for all students, schools become places where no student is isolated because of the degree or type of disability or the services required to meet his/her needs.

Together we are creating a Unified Generation that Chooses to Include.”

Special Olympics Champion Schools website

Photo by Special Olympics Oregon