Wynantskill UFSD

Update on School Reopening in Fall

I hope you are all enjoying your summer and am sure you are, like myself, anxiously awaiting news on the reopening of Gardner-Dickinson.

I want to reassure families that we have been working with our regional BOCES to plan for a variety of scenarios for the fall, depending on where we are with the COVID-19 pandemic. Please know that the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff remain our top priority.

Schools are awaiting reopening guidance from New York State, which is expected July 13. Once we receive that guidance, we will share another update with our community as well as an online survey where families can share their thoughts about last school year and looking ahead to the fall.

School districts will have to submit reopening plans to the state by July 31, with Governor Andrew Cuomo announcing a decision on the reopening of schools during the week of August 1.

I understand families will have questions and apprehensions about returning to school in the fall and we will make sure to communicate throughout the summer to give you answers as soon as we can. Again, please know that nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of your children.

Thank you,
Dr. Mary Yodis

Wynantskill UFSD

End-of-Year Letter for GD Families

Dear Gardner-Dickinson Families,

We hope that this letter finds your family safe, healthy and ready for a break from homeschooling! Thank you for your incredible hard work and support, as together, in a true partnership, we successfully facilitated remote learning this quarter during the statewide school closure. We could not have done this without you!

Together, families and our GD faculty and staff worked tirelessly to shift to remote instruction for all of our Pre-K-8 students. Learning new technologies and online platforms instantaneously to support instructional materials and to keep our close to 400 students connected and engaged was a huge undertaking. It was a great success due to the hard work from our students, families, faculty, staff, support teachers, therapist, counselors, technology coordinators and clerical staff. They were correct in saying it takes a village…thank you Wynantskill UFSD!

We know many of you are eager to know what the start of next school year will look like and you are not alone. Over the summer, as we await the Governor’s plans to return to our physical school building, we will examine a variety of different scenarios while working closely with the NYSED, Questar III, and the CDC to consider their guidance on re-opening schools. This is an ever-evolving situation and you will be informed as soon as we have any definitive answers as to what school will look like next year. Be assured that we will always prioritize the safety and well-being of our students and staff during this planning process.

Families, please remember to drop off any school materials (computers, books, etc.) and pick up your children’s belongings next: Monday, June 15 anytime between 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. if your last name begins with the letters A-L and Tuesday, June 16 between 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. if your last name begins with the letters M-Z.

Families should pull right up in the circle and a staff member will come to your car to retrieve your items (books, laptops, or any materials that belong to the school) and to hand you your child’s belongings as well as their 4th quarter report card. *Please note that report cards will not have next year’s classroom teacher included as we will wait until later in the summer to release classroom rosters. Supply lists are also being placed on hold as the PTA is currently working with the district to provide funding for supplies in hopes to cover all costs for all families. Thank you PTA!

Warm wishes to our 8th Graders as they leave GD and move on to the high school. Although this year was not the way anyone would like you to have finished, please remember the amazing years you have had at Gardner-Dickinson and know that you are forever in our hearts. We will see you for your outside graduation ceremony/parade on Wednesday, June 17th at 7:00 p.m. (more specific information to follow).

To all of our students, have a wonderful summer as you have earned it. Please take advantage of the online resources that will continue to be provided to you over the summer. You will still have access to your Google Classroom if you want to revisit any previously posted materials and links, as well as, the use of Moby Max and MyOn for extra math and reading practice during the summer months.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not publicly give a tremendous thank you to Dr. Reardon for his amazing job to support our GD community over the last 5 years. He is the most dedicated and hardworking educator that I have had the pleasure of working with. He took on many hats during his 5 years at GD and his brilliant, problem-solving approach was unlike no other. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with such a positive leader. Gardner-Dickinson is a stronger school community because of his countless contributions. We wish him the best of luck as he moves onto the next chapter in his career as Schalmont CSD needs his help as well.

Stay well, stay Safe! We miss you all very much and can’t wait to see you again in person. Have a wonderful summer!

Much love,

Dr. Yodis

Wynantskill UFSD

Parent Letter Explaining Report Cards

Greetings, GD Families!

We hope you are preparing for a well-deserved summer. First and foremost, thank you for your support of your children as we navigated this uncharted terrority of remote instruction for the past three months. Certainly, none of us could have predicted this would be our “new normal.” But, like any challenge GD faces, we prevailed and made what seemed like the impossible something manageable. I am proud of the work your children accomplished and though nothing can substitute for being in the classroom, GD students rose to the occasion.

As for the Fall and what our program will look like, there are many questions that have yet to be answered. Rest assured that as further guidance is provided from the Governor and the New York State Education Department we will keep you informed. Right now, we must simply wait, recharge, and remain as flexible as possible (an attribute all of you displayed when this pandemic hit us mid-March).

Your child’s report card will be sent home the week of June 15. Recognizing that this quarter was nothing like the first three, we elected to “grade” using the following system:

Elementary Report Cards (Pre-K-5)

Your child’s teacher will write a narrative only, with no scores listed in the individual subject boxes. The narrative will contain an account of the learning that occurred and any comments observed by your child’s teacher.

Middle School Report Cards (6-8) and Special Area: (K-8)

In lieu of a number grade for the 4th quarter, faculty of respective courses will use the same ratings used for progress reports (indicating if your child worked below, at, or above expectations set forth by each individual course). The final course average box will be computed as either a Pass (P) or Fail (F), based upon their first three quarter averages, combined with their cumulative participation during the 4th quarter. This model is consistent with our neighboring school districts and our eighth grade student transcripts will reflect the course credit earned as they enter ninth grade (high schools are not looking for a numerical average for these courses, even courses with a Regents exam as these assessments were universally cancelled this year).

Teacher Assignments (K-6)

You will also notice on the K-6 report cards that your child has not been assigned a classroom teacher for the Fall like we have traditionally done in the past. With the uncertainty and potential restrictions, it would be unfair to set expectations for a particular teacher and then have to make changes before the start of the school year due to guidance from the CDC, New York State, and Department of Health. Once we receive all of the additional guidance and regulations for September, we will send that information out to families along with your child’s classroom teacher and a supply list.

A true testament to a school community is how they react during a crisis. Once again, thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Superintendent Dr. Thomas Reardon

Wynantskill UFSD

Superintendent Search Process Update

The Board of Education would like to update the community about its superintendent search process.

At its May 21 meeting, the Board agreed to use Questar III BOCES to assist the district’s search with the goal of having a superintendent appointed as close to the opening of the 2020-21 school year as possible.

The district will use an online community survey to help the Board build criteria for the next superintendent and questions for the Board to ask during interviews.

Principal Dr. Mary Yodis was appointed interim superintendent effective July 1 to lead the district during the search.

The Board will continue to keep our community updated about the search process as it proceeds. Thank you.

Coronavirus Update

School Closure Updates

To make it easier for families to find the latest information about the school closing due to coronavirus precautions, we are listing all updates on this webpage. Last updated May 4, 2020.

Classes Canceled Through End of School Year

Governor Andrew Cuomo has extended the school closing for all New York schools through the end of the school year.

Buildings Closed to Visitors

School buildings are closed to visitors. We apologize for the inconvenience but we want to minimize the number of people in our buildings and allow our Facilities Department to thoroughly clean with minimal disruption.

Home Instruction Resources

During the school closure, our teachers are working to help keep students learning. While nothing replaces direct teacher instruction in a classroom, please check our Contact US webpage for email addresses, websites and social media accounts for teachers.

Playground Closed

The school’s playground is closed during the school closure by order of New York State to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Capital District YMCA to Provide Childcare for Essential Personnel

The YMCA is providing childcare services for essential personnel who do not have the option to work from home, as defined by the NYS Education Department. More info here.

Free Meals Available for Students

Gardner-Dickinson School will offer a week of meals for any student who wants them each Monday from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m.

Pick up location is the loading dock on the right side of the building. Meals will be ready for any families who picked them up last week.

If you have not received the meals and would like to, please email Food Service Director Lori Audi at laudi@wynantskillufsd.org with names of students and any allergies or restrictions. You can also leave a message at 518-283-4600 ext. 22.

Technology

Families facing technology challenges during school closure are asked to please email Superintendent Dr. Thomas Reardon.

Grades 3-8 Assessments Suspended

New York State has suspended the Grades 3-8 ELA and Math assessments this school year.

Preventative Measures for Families

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an excellent website with preventative measures.

  • Here are some basic guidelines.
  • Encourage your family to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is the top recommendation by the NYS Health Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. Throw away tissues after use and wash hands with soap and water.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, including cell phones

Have a Question About an Update That Is Not Listed Here?

Please email Communications Specialist Jason McCord if you have a question not listed on this webpage.