Blog

Message from AHS Principal Ritchie

Feb 11, 2020 | AHS Webmaster

OV Welcome Letter from Albany High School

Dear Albany students, staff and families,

As we approach the mid-winter break, I am looking forward to welcoming the Ocean View 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students, Principal Georgeson, Assistant Principal Lau-Seim, their staff and the OV families to the Albany High School Addition and campus beginning February 22. I see this as an opportunity to interact effectively and work collaboratively as a learning community and to extend a helping hand when needed. Please see below for some core considerations as we move into this phase of collaboration.

  • The current plan is to have Ocean View and then Marin use the Addition, classroom M4 and the three new portables by the pool for the next 3-4 years. After that, Albany High School students and staff will move into the Addition which includes a new makerspace.
  • AHS students still have access to all routes on campus but are being asked to respect “Quiet Zones” near the courtyard, the Addition, M4 and the portables. It’s important to maintain those quiet spaces for OV students to learn and the staff to teach.
  • Separate restrooms for the elementary students are in the Addition. AHS students may not use those restrooms. OV and AHS will be sharing the Multipurpose room for lunch service at different times. There will be no overlap of lunch service in that facility and each school will be eating at separate times of the day.
  • Morning drop off times for OV are 8:30 and 9:30. Pick up times are 1:45 and 3:05. Anticipate an increase in traffic on Thousand Oaks, Key Route and Portland during those times.
  • Opportunities for AHS students to contribute positively to our OV neighbors include being a service student in one of the elementary classes as a teacher’s aide, paid lunch-time supervision positions, and creating a “Buddy Class” relationship with one of the grade levels.
  • It will be of the utmost importance for AHS students to present themselves as role models for the younger students, ages 8-10. For example, OV will be using Memorial Park for their recess and PE activities. Critical elements of behavior which will contribute positively to this expectation include using appropriate language when walking through that area, keeping the park clean, and helping to ensure an overall safe playing space for the approximately 300 elementary students who will rely on your responsible decision making.

Thank you for helping me inspire visions of future success with our Ocean View neighbors and for using the synergistic power of teamwork to make maximum contributions for all of our Albany students. If you have any further questions, concerns or suggestions, please email me at aritchie@ausdk12.org and check the AUSD website for updates on all facility news.

Sincerely,

Alexia Ritchie
Albany High School Principal

Budget update October 2019

AUSD continues to be in a structural deficit, despite several cuts made last year and some much-needed funding increases from Governor Newsom.

This fall, the Board must decide whether to renew Measure LL, the parcel tax that will expire July 2021. The Board met on October 7 and discussed the findings from a polling survey done of Albany voters. I’ll update this post shortly with a link to those results.

Background on the parcel tax

In 2014, Albany voters passed Measure LL, which provided a parcel tax of $278/year for our schools. In 2019-20, this tax is $318 per parcel after being adjusted for inflation.

In 2018-19, the district received approximately $1.5 million from Measure LL (unaudited 2018-19 actuals). Measure LL will expire in July of 2021. If it is not replaced, the district will need to reduce expenditures by that amount.

Measure J, a permanent parcel tax currently set at $591 per parcel, has no expiration date. In 2018-19 the district received approximately $4.5 million from Measure J.

Parcel taxes must be passed with a two-thirds majority.

Key questions the Board will decide this fall:

  • Whether to propose a ballot measure to replace the expiring parcel tax
  • The amount of any possible replacement tax
  • The duration of any possible replacement tax
  • Which election to place any possible tax on the ballot (March 2020 or November 2020)
  • Whether to adopt the same exemptions as Measure LL
  • Additional language for the ballot measure

The ballot question to voters in 2014 was phrased as follows: [see here for the full text of the Board’s resolution]

“To maintain excellent schools; preserve funding for science, art, music, library services, and reading and math support; attract and retain exceptional teachers and counselors; limit class sizes; and keep schools safe and technology and textbooks up-to-date; shall Albany Unified School District replace an expiring $159/year parcel tax with a temporary, six-year parcel tax of $278/year, with senior and SSI/SSDI exemptions, adjustments for inflation, independent audits, and all funds staying local to benefit Albany students?”

Key deadlines and Scheduled Board Meetings:

Regular board meeting: Consultant report presentation, review and discussion of parcel tax and exemptions
October 7, 2019
Regular board meeting: Board scheduled to make decision on placing a parcel tax measure on a 2020 ballot.
October 22, 2019
Regular board meeting
November 4, 2019
Regular board meeting
November 19, 2019
Deadline to submit ballot language for March 2020
December 5, 2019
First possible election date
March 3, 2020
Deadline to submit ballot language for Nov. 2020
August 7, 2020
Second possible election date
November 3, 2020