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Watch for school buses starting next Tuesday

Posted on: September 1, 2017

Tuesday, Sept. 5, is the first day of school for students in Greater Albany schools, and about a third of them travel there by school bus.

Last year, GAPS yellow buses traveled more than 959,000 miles, carrying a daily average of 3,600 kids each way on 37 general education routes and 18 special education routes. That number doesn’t include field trips and transportation for school activities, which totaled an estimated 50,000 miles in 1,256 trips.

It’s a large transportation system that requires careful planning to make the buses run on time.

This year, extra attention and planning was needed to adjust schedules for efficiency for the new bell time system. Each bus covers three routes for morning and afternoon runs. Combined with a finite number of buses and drivers, the routes have to be exact to ensure best coverage of our geographically large district.

Watch for our buses this Tuesday and please be extra attentive in the mornings and afternoons when you see them on the roads. District bus drivers would like to remind drivers to slow down and watch for kids as they walk to or from the bus.

Transportation resources for parents include:

Thank you, GAPS bus drivers!

Welcome back, GAPS!

Posted on: August 28, 2017

Today was the first day back for teachers and staff. Approximately 500 staff members from every school attended the kick-off event at Timber Ridge School, which included a benefits fair, speeches, awards, a diversity exercise and ice cream.

Superintendent Golden recognized the District’s school resource officers and three staff members for their service to the District. South Albany High School Principal, Executive Assistant Jim Haggart and Greater Albany Education Association President Sue McGrory received Platinum Awards.

Sue McGrory, School Board Chair Micah Smith and Superintendent Jim Golden spoke to the group, recognizing the collaboration and support among staff and community members.

After speaking about the history of Labor Day, founded by unions, McGrory said, “Our union has a unique relationship with this district. We collaborate. We work together for students,” she said. Thank you to our School Board, District administrators and union leadership,” she said.

School Board chair Micah Smith called the District a reinvestment community because of the support for the construction bond passed last May. “We have passed a monumental bond,” he said. “We continue to reinvigorate our schools for our community, and we thank voters who overwhelmingly supported education in the Greater Albany community.”

And Superintendent Jim Golden wrapped up the rally by reminding staff that the ultimate goal of our schools is to help every student succeed, to ensure that outcomes for all students are similar regardless of ethnic or socioeconomic background. He spoke about equity and the need to continue working to ensure that all staff and students are treated with respect and provided support to help them succeed. “Every child, every day, cada niño cada día,” he said.

Seventy-four new teachers join GAPS team

Posted on: August 26, 2017

Staff are returning to get ready for the 2017-18 school year. On Friday, new teachers joined GAPS administrators for an orientation session.

Seventy-four new teachers have joined the GAPS team in schools around the District this year, bringing the total number of teachers to 475.

The new teacher group includes 52 new teachers who are starting this fall and 22 teachers who were hired during the school year. Nineteen of these teachers are first-year teachers.

Bond sale yields additional funds for projects

Posted on: August 23, 2017

The District recently sold the bonds approved by voters for school construction projects. There was very good news: they were able to get more for the money through premium bonds, a higher cost bond for investors. For GAPS taxpayers, this means that an additional $28 million will be available for projects at no additional cost to them.

The District also qualified for $6.9 million in state matching funds that became available after other districts with higher priority for the funds failed to pass their measures. These funds will ensure that the tax rate stays at the level that was estimated prior to the election.

Planning for the projects is on a fast track. Design drawings, timelines and project details will be published this fall. We’ll publish the news as we get it.

Read the story in the Democrat-Herald.