Student Handbook

Lower School Academics

Course Requirements
Students in lower school are provided challenging, developmentally appropriate academic courses in the following subject areas: Math, English Language Arts, Science, History, Spanish, Music, Physical Education, Arts, and Library.

Academic Integrity
Academic integrity is a core value of The Albany Academies.  Students are expected to do their own work and to give proper credit to words or ideas that are not their own.  Lower School students are taught these skills and it becomes their responsibility to avoid academic dishonesty in all forms including:
  • Plagiarism
  • Copying from another student or notes in order to answer questions during a test, quiz, or homework assignment
  • Received inappropriate help from a parent or friend on homework or other assignments
  • Submit someone else’s work under his/her own name

Formal academic accommodations may be granted only for a student with an active 504 plan or Individualized Educational Program (IEP) that has been reviewed and approved within the last three years.  Recommended accommodations are reviewed in order to determine which will be implemented.  Regardless of the existence of a 504 plan or IEP, not all accommodations are put into effect at The Academies.

Grading Policies
Students in the Lower School receive three progress reports yearly, each of which is reviewed by the Division Director. These reports are written to parents and shared on My Academy; students are notified of their progress by their teachers.  

Grade Scale
Lower School student achievement is based on the student's achievement toward reading, writing, and math academic standards.

Assessment of Student Performance
The following are examples of some of the externally developed assessments utilized in our Lower School:
  • Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Reading Assessment
  • Sitton Spelling Program
  • Unit assessments from the Singapore Mathematics Program

The purpose of homework is to support and enhance the ongoing work of the classroom in a meaningful way.  Homework is an opportunity for the student to prepare for class, reinforce skills, explore further areas of interest, or  create his or her own work that cannot be done within the constraints of the class periods.

The expectation for Lower School homework is that it can be completed in approximately 10 minutes per grade level. Therefore:

  • Grade 1 - 10 minutes
  • Grade 2 - 20 minutes
  • Grade 3 - 30 minutes
  • Grade 4 - 40 minutes

The purpose of tests is to provide a summative assessment of student learning.  Students are given  notice, adequate time, and appropriate tools to prepare for tests.

The purpose of quizzes is to provide a formative assessment of student learning in order to inform future instruction. Quizzes provide teachers with information on student learning at short intervals and on specific content.  

Project-based learning is an essential component to coursework.  The purpose of projects is to provide students with independent, inquiry-based active learning opportunities.  Project activities are designed to engage students in topics that interest them and foster 21st century skills such as collaboration, communication, hands-on opportunities, problem solving, and creativity.

Standardized Testing
Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), a standardized assessment developed by the Northwest Education Association, will be given to 3rd and 4th graders at least twice during the school year.  The MAP assessment will allow us to compare against norms, measure individual progress and growth, and inform future instruction.  MAP will be given for mathematics and English Language Arts.

More information on this comprehensive testing program can be found at

Grading Calendar 16 - 17 School Year
Fall Grades Posted: 11/01/2016

Winter Grades Posted:02/21/2017

Spring Grades Posted: 06/12/2017

Parent Conferences
Formal Parent-Teacher conferences are held twice yearly, in November and March.  Parents or teachers may request additional conferences if necessary..

The school libraries of The Albany Academies are available for use by all students. Both participate in the Capital Region BOCES school library system, which allows for inter-library loans within the Capital Region.

Library Rules
  • The Library is a classroom and resource center and should be used for academic activities
  • Students should maintain an atmosphere of discovery.
  • Books may be signed out for two weeks and may be renewed unless it is in great demand.
  • Families are liable for lost books and are charged a replacement and processing fee ranging from $5 to $50.

The Albany Academies

The Albany Academy: 135 Academy Road - Albany, NY 12208
518.429.2300  Fax: 518.427.7016 

Albany Academy for Girls: 140 Academy Road - Albany, NY 12208
518.429.2300  Fax: 518.463.5096

Schellenberger Alumni/ae Center: 93 Academy Road - Albany, NY 12208
518.429.2414 Fax: 518.429.2380

Our Mission

Who We Are: The Albany Academies—The Albany Academy and Albany Academy for Girls—develop capable and confident students through single-gender education in the Lower and Middle School, and through coordinate education in the Upper School.

What We Do: Employing individualized and positive education, The Albany Academies provide students with the knowledge, skills, and character needed for leadership and success in the creative, entrepreneurial century that lies ahead.