End-of-the-Year Letter from Dr. Yodis

Dear Families,

Together, our Wynantskill community made it to June. Today, we celebrate the milestone of our school’s doors being open five days a week, every week for both in-person and remote instruction for 10 months. As a school community, we became stronger with each passing month of the school year. Though the year was not without setbacks, it did not stop us. We were lucky to have never shut down for any period of time, and we never gave up no matter the obstacle. We gave a new meaning to “GD Strong.”

Despite the spikes in COVID-19 cases across the state and in our region over the last year, our district’s number of positive cases remained low. To date, we have had a total of 16 COVID-19 cases in our district with seven requiring quarantines. Since the beginning of the school year, there have been 194 students and 22 staff members placed under mandatory quarantine at some point. Even with more than 200 students and staff members exposed to a positive, there was no spread of the virus in our school. I am extremely proud of our community’s efforts to keep the virus out of our school. Thank you!

We have begun planning for the 2021-22 school year to ensure we are continuing to keep our students safe. We are committing to small class sizes to ensure we have six feet of physical distancing should that be a requirement. Final class lists will be mailed this summer as we continue to watch infection rates, regulations and our enrollment.

Getting through this difficult and unprecedented time would not have been possible if it were not for our dedicated school community. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made this school year possible.

Thank you to our Board of Education members.
Since last summer, our Board of Education has been committed to bringing our students back to school and providing them with intensive support in all areas. They supported purchases for school supplies, new technology and ensured that we were equipped with the proper PPE to safely open our school and remain open. Our Board is incredibly active and has been exceedingly supportive and dedicated to making this year such a success. Thank you!

Thank you to our administration, faculty and staff.
Our faculty and staff transitioned back to school after being out for six months with a great deal of fear and trepidation, many of them leaving their own children home as their schools were not open. They focused both on the students in front of them and those on the screen, providing individualized instruction for all students no matter where they were physically, academically, socially or emotionally. They made sure each student had what they needed. 

Our support staff ensured our building was always sanitized; food was served safely; children were supervised at all times; temperatures were taken; hands were clean; children were guided during parent drop off and pick up; technology was working; and communications were frequently posted. 

Our transportation department was incredible. Every driver followed all safety precautions, which enabled them to provide busing for the full 10 months. 

Thank you to Mrs. Cornell for jumping into GD mid-year and working like you have been here for years. Your immediate dedication and commitment to all of us was unlike anything I could have asked for.

Every single employee pushed themselves to the limit, and I am eternally grateful. 

Thank you to our families.
Without you, we could not have made this such a successful year. For those of you who are supporting your students remotely or did so intermittently when there was a quarantine, thank you for switching gears and becoming a teacher. Your support enabled the remote learning option.

Thank you to our students.
Thank you for following each of the new, difficult and unfamiliar rules that were put in place this year even when you didn’t want to. Our students worked hard to always wear masks; keep themselves socially distanced, not touching one another or one another’s belongings; stay in pods; and much more. The list goes on. You are amazing kids. I love each and every one of you, and I am so proud of the hard work you put into this school year. 

From the bottom of my heart, I thank each member of our school community for making this year what I see as a success. Yes, it was difficult and vastly different than anything we have seen before, but it was still a success. Children learned and grew academically, socially and emotionally. I hope you have a wonderful summer, and I look forward to seeing you in September for a more traditional school year. We did it!


Dr. Mary Yodis
Wynantskill UFSD Superintendent

Posted in District.