A Message from the Superintendent

Wynantskill UFSD Gardner-Dickinson
GD Families,

In a blink of an eye the 1st half of the school year is coming to an end. What a busy year it has been. During September, most school districts were working frantically to finalize plans to bring their students back to school 5 days per week, but not GD. We had already mastered the ability to maintain a physical distance of 6 feet allowing us to bring all students into school 5 days per week for the entire school year. We celebrated the fact that we were able to open school for the entire 180 day school year. This year we were able to continue to find ways to maintain the proper social distance while still allowing our students more flexibility such as moving throughout the building, going to special area classes, bringing music and band back, mixing pods during lunch and recess and creating school wide events such as the pumpkin run.  As we enter 2022, we will continue to find our way through this pandemic searching for a new normal where our kids are safe while building back the celebrations and milestones they so much deserve. 

I can’t wait until the time that I can send you a holiday letter without discussing COVID-19. I will only mention it as I am so grateful for the dedication, flexibility and patience you have all shown this year as we continue to battle this pandemic. To date, we have had 30 COVID cases as compared to 15 all last year. This is not unique to our school district, but rather indicative of what our school districts are facing right now. With that said, we will remain vigilant with our safety protocols and procedures and are thankful once again that we have not seen any spread within the school setting.

During this holiday time, I am reminded of how much I have to be thankful for. I am thankful for a school board and administration who provides the vision, leadership and resources to support our school community in all aspects. I am thankful for our faculty and staff who work tirelessly to ensure the safety of our students while providing them with the tools they need to grow intellectually, emotionally and socially. I am thankful for the families who have done so much to support this crazy academic journey this year. From picking up your children instantaneously and running them around to find a COVID test to becoming the teacher during a quarantine. We can’t do this without all of you. I am also thankful for our students, whose curiosity, determination and excitement remind us why we are here – to support and nurture their development and growth. 

If this year, like last, has taught us anything, it taught us to appreciate the little moments and cherish your loved ones. My daughter turned 30 this summer and it feels like yesterday I put her on the bus to kindergarten crying my eyes out as I ran behind the bus. My youngest Angela who is 26 was surprised when I called her LuLu at her work event in front of all of her fellow police officers. She was a baby 5 minutes ago! Time goes by much too fast and we need these constant reminders to cherish every moment. Luckily, I have been blessed to have this amazing position where I can literally watch all of our beautiful GD children learn and grow each day. I watch them with love and pride as they grow. What an absolute blessing! 

From my family to yours, have a safe and wonderful holiday season. Cherish every moment!

Much love,

Mary Yodis



Posted in District, Elementary School, Middle School.