DCSS panel recommends shutting down AHS

(Source: (WALB)
(Source: (WALB)
Published: Apr. 26, 2017 at 5:46 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 26, 2017 at 11:15 PM EDT
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A committee made up of Dougherty County School System employees is sending a recommendation to the school board that Albany High School, which began in the 1800s, no longer serve as a high school, but instead house the offices currently at Walter Judge Academy, the GLRS facility and ESP Center.

DCSS issued a release that said what they term a "realignment" would "better allow students to progress along a track that supports and fosters academic success, improves school climate and culture."

"From the very earliest grades up to graduation, you have a consistent flow of school climate, culture, and values," DCSS spokesperson J.D. Sumner said. "A student knows from the time that they're in kindergarten that they are going to be a Patriot and what that means."

Built in the early 1950s to hold 2,000 students, Albany High's enrollment has for years been dwarfed by Westover, Monroe, and Dougherty High Schools.

It's a place students said they've grown to love, while putting in hours of hard work.

"I've spent three years of my life at this school working hard to make a name for myself," Junior Janai Poullard said. "I don't want to have to go to another school to basically start over."

School official believe that projected student levels couldn't support four high schools in Albany.

For some current Indians, that suggestion is a tough one to swallow.

"One of my greatest achievements would be, I feel like, to come back on alumni night and dance with my old team," Senior La'Treasure Jackson said, regarding being a member of the dance team. "So, it hurts me knowing, that after closing the school, there's nothing to come back to."

DCSS says that repurposing AHS will allow the district to consolidate programs and offices into one, centralized facility that will maximize efficiencies to the district, while strengthening both academic and extracurricular programs at the remaining three high schools.

"Its another chapter in the Dougherty County School System that were about to embark on," Sumner said. "One that we feel is necessary, but, also, one that some people are getting really emotional about and we understand that."

To see the presentation, click here.

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