Albany School District Newsletter

December 22, 2022


A Message from Mr. Soderberg, Superintendent

The time has finally arrived! We’ve reached the first major break of our school year and that’s hard to believe. In some ways, the start of the school year seems like yesterday but at the same time, it feels like years ago. Our time together has been marked by many successes and positive moments that we will build on in order to create a great future for our entire school community.

We’ve seen staff dedicate themselves to professional growth and excellence in all we do. Each day our staff steps up and steps in wherever and whenever needed in order to put the needs of our students first. The students continue to demonstrate enthusiasm, school spirit, and behavior that models great citizenship, achievement, respect, and excellence (CARE).

As we part ways to enjoy time with family and friends, I want to wish all Comets the very best during this holiday season and beyond.

It's a great day to be a Comet!

Go Comets!

Mr. Soderberg

A Message from Mr. Ritzert, 4K-12 Principal

Merry Christmas, Comet Nation,

We are certainly in the holiday season! It’s been great to see all the students and staff dressing up for the 12 Days of Christmas dress up! Winter break is right around the corner, I know many of you are looking forward to celebrating the holidays with family. It’s also a time for all of us to get healthy as student and staff illness and absences have been challenging over the past few weeks.

I would like to give shout-outs to several staff members this month. I would like to thank Mrs. Ritchie & Ms. Cohen-Wichner and the 3rd and 4th-grade students and teachers for their “A Winter Wonderland” winter concert. The following week, Mrs. Ritchie and Ms. Cohen-Wichner led our middle school & high school band and choir through an amazing winter concert. All of these students looked like they had a blast performing for their families! I would like to acknowledge Mrs. Russell for her work with her Confectionary Arts class to make the birthday cupcakes each month to help celebrate birthdays for students and staff and also her assistance with the high school student council in planning their homecoming week festivities culminating with the Homecoming dance on Saturday night!

Our core value focus is Achievement for quarter 2. Staff will select 2 students at each grade who demonstrated outstanding Achievement. We will celebrate this with an assembly (sometime in the 3rd or 4th week of January) where each of these students will be recognized. Additionally, we have added a weekly drawing where a student from elementary, middle, and high school is selected to win one of our cool Albany Comet “Ask me why I C.A.R.E” t-shirts.

I want to wish each one of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope you are able to celebrate the holidays with loved ones. I look forward to seeing all the students and staff return in the new year. Let's work together to make 2023 the best year yet! As always, If you have questions or concerns about anything related to school, I encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher(s) and/or reach out to me directly. Again, the partnership between home and school is critical to our success.

Go Comets!

Mr. Ritzert

A Message from Amber Becher, Spec. Ed. Director/Speech Pathologist

Navigating the paperwork and processes of special education can feel intimidating for parents and families. I am always available in person, or via phone or email, to explain these critical pieces, answer questions, and provide resources. In our special education paperwork, we reference Wisconsin Facets as an alternate resource for families. Wisconsin Facets’ mission is to provide and broaden opportunities that enhance the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities and their families, with emphasis on support for underserved families in the community. They offer a wide range of training and resources that are free to parents and educators to enrich the lives of students with disabilities. Visit their website for more information at

Illness, Attendance and Understanding Truancy

Hello, Comet Families,

Illness has certainly run its course through our district over the past few weeks. I would just like to provide some insight and hopefully clarity on absences and truancy. It will never be our lens to penalize students or families because of absences. However, we do have a duty to notify you of these absences which also falls under state requirements and guidelines. I would like to explain what the 5-day, 10-day, and 10+ day letters look like and why they are sent.

5 Day Attendance Letter

  • Notification of a combination of 5 days excused/unexcused absence

  • Refer to the Student/Parent Handbook for the attendance policy

  • Invitation to meet to discuss may follow the letter

10-Day Attendance Letter

  • Notification of a combination of 10 days excused/unexcused absence

  • Children may not be excused by a parent for more than 10 days per school year

  • Request for future absences should include a doctor’s note or it will be considered “unexcused”

  • Reference to Wisconsin State Statute 948.45, parents/guardians can be found guilty of a misdemeanor

  • Ongoing medical issues, communicate with the school nurse

  • Schedule a meeting with school personnel to discuss absence(s)

10+ Day Attendance Letter

  • Notification of a combination of a minimum of 10 days excused/unexcused absence

  • Reference to previous attendance letter(s) being sent

  • Required doctor’s note for absences, when the student was seen, and expected return date

  • Request for calling the school office within 5 days to arrange a meeting to discuss strategies to improve attendance

  • Further attendance issues can result in referral to the Albany Police Department to initiate Habitual Truancy proceedings and follow-up by county agency.

Illness happens, we understand that. We are not encouraging our families to send sick students to school. When the state looks at absence, though, it is not taken into consideration the length of the day the student is absent and if the absence is excused or unexcused. Simply put, absent is absent. That being said this can create situations where it is unavoidable to exceed the 10+ day absences.

Our goal is to work with families to provide information and the opportunity to partner in your child/children’s education. This can best be achieved through communication and a proactive approach to absences. Additionally, the Albany School District is fortunate to have support resources through Green County, many of which families are not aware of. The point person for those resources has been provided below.

Green County Human Services

Bonny Hartman- Truancy Coordinator

Phone: (608) 426-1589

Email: bhartman@gchsd@org

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Go Comets!

Mr. Ritzert

********************FOCUS ON STUDENTS********************

Comet Media Episode 7 (27/11/22 - 2/12/22)
comet media ep # 9 12/12 to 12/16
Comet Media Christmas Edition

********************COMET ATHLETICS********************

Albany HS Girls Basketball Schedule

Thursday, December 29th @ Parkview (Varsity 5:30pm/JV 7:00pm)

Monday, January 2nd @ Beloit Turner (JV 5:40pm/Varsity 7:00pm)

Thursday, January 5th (HOME) vs. Pec. (JV 6:00pm/Varsity 7:15pm) YOUTH BASKETBALL NIGHT

Monday, January 9th (HOME) vs. Johnson Creek (JV 6:00pm/Varsity 7:15pm)

Tuesday, January 10th @ Monticello (JV 6:00pm/Varsity 7:15pm)

Thursday, January 19th @ Barneveld (JV 6:00pm/Varsity 7:15pm)

Tuesday, January 24th (HOME) vs. Argyle (JV 6:00pm/Varsity 7:15pm) PARENT’S NIGHT

Friday, January 27th @ Juda (JV 6:00pm/Varsity 7:15pm)

Albany HS Boys Basketball Schedule

Thursday, December 29th @ Parkview (JV 5:30pm/Varsity 7:00pm)

Tuesday, January 3rd (HOME) vs. Potosi (JV 5:30pm/Varsity 6:45pm)

Friday, January 6th (HOME) vs. Juda (JV 6:00pm/Varsity 7:15pm) YOUTH BASKETBALL NIGHT

Saturday, January 7th @ Abundant Life Christian (JV 5:30/Varsity 7:00pm)

Thursday, January 12th @ Black Hawk (JV 6:00pm/Varsity 7:15pm)

Friday, January 13th @ Williams Bay (JV 6:00pm/Varsity 7:15pm)

Tuesday, January 17th @ Monticello (JV 6:00pm/Varsity 7:15pm)

Monday, January 23rd (HOME) vs. Madison Country Day (JV 6:00pm/Varsity 7:15pm)

Thursday, January 26th @ Pecatonica (JV 6:00pm/Varsity 7:15pm)

Parkview-Albany HS Wrestling

Thursday, January 5th (Quad) @ Horicon HS (5:00pm)

Thursday, January 12th (Quad) @ Rio HS (5:00pm)

Saturday, January 14th (Tournament) @ Weston HS (9:00am)

Tuesday, January 17th (Quad) @ Dodgeland HS (5:00pm)

Saturday, January 21st (Tournament) @ Monroe HS (9:30am)

Thursday, January 26th (Quad) HOME vs. JC & Montello (5:00pm)


Big picture

Comet Café - Coming soon!

The Comet Coffee Café is a project developed to provide an opportunity for students who receive special education services to operate a small business! Students will learn the skills needed to run a coffee café within the Life Skills and Life Skills Math classes being taught each day. The skills will be integrated into the curriculum with the result of using those skills in a real work environment within the school. The café will operate 2-3 times a week, with students and staff being able to purchase yummy beverages such as regular coffee, iced coffee, tea, and hot chocolate! The goal is to have the café started by February of 2023. A big, big thank you to the Education Foundation of the Albany Community for the grant of $500.00 for this opportunity for our students!



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