Wynantskill UFSD

Letter About Changing to Remote Learning

Dear Families,

As you know, this school year presents schools and families with many challenges. We are committed to ensuring that our students receive a quality education whether they are attending in-person or remotely. Our district’s remote learning plan has been updated and is available on our website, www.wynantskillufsd.org. This plan will go into effect anytime we need to move to remote learning whether it is for days or weeks, or for the entire school, or for just one classroom or for individual students.

There may be times that a student may be ill, quarantined or awaiting a COVID-19 test, causing them to miss school. After you have notified School Nurse Tricia Gibbs at 518-283-4600 ext. 18, you may request that your child continue to participate in their classroom instruction through remote learning by emailing Mr. Peter Mesh at pmesh@wynantskillufsd.org.

Our remote learning option comes with the following requirements:

  • You certify that your household has stable internet access and devices equipped with internet capabilities for your child(ren) to access the remote instruction and coursework.
  • Your child will follow the District’s attendance policy and attend every day of virtual instruction, absent a valid legal excuse.
  • Your child must be logged in to virtual learning throughout the entire day, according to his/her class’ schedule, including having their web-camera on live and participating in their academic schedule as if they were receiving in-person instruction.
  • Your child must complete and submit all required coursework, as assigned by their teachers.
  • Your child must maintain adequate academic progress throughout their virtual learning, or your child will have to return to school.
  • Your child and anyone present during virtual instruction is prohibited from altering, reproducing, videotaping or audiotaping the virtual instruction, or utilizing the teacher’s or any other student’s image, likeness or voice, nor shall they publicly disseminate, reproduce, distribute, or otherwise publicize the virtual instruction on social media or any other platform.
  • If the District determines your child(ren) is not complying with these requirements, your child(ren) may be required to return to in-person instruction, as identified in the District’s Reopening Plan.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this letter, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you.

Dr. Mary Yodis
Superintendent of Schools

Healthy food

Free School Meals Program Extended by USDA

Wynantskill UFSD would like to let families know that all students are now eligible for free school meals due to the USDA extending its free summer meals program.

The USDA recently announced it was extending the program until December 31, or until available funding expires, to help ensure children have access to school meals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, students who purchase breakfast or lunch at school will not be charged. Student account balances will be maintained until the USDA funding expires.

Families who may qualify for the Free and Reduced Price Meal Program are also encouraged to submit applications for the 2020-21 school year. Families who qualify can continue to receive meals at no charge through the end of the school year. Please contact Lori Audi at laudi@wynantskillufsd.org or 518-283-4600 ext. 22 for an application or questions.

Join Us for Open House

Save the Date: Virtual Open Houses

Gardner-Dickinson School will hold Virtual Back-to-School Open Houses Monday, September 28 through Friday, October 2.

We will share information about how families can join the Open Houses virtually as soon as details are finalized.

Thank you.

Soccer ball

Fall Soccer Canceled Due to Safety Concerns

In an effort to keep our students healthy and safe, Wynantskill UFSD has decided to cancel the fall soccer season. We know some families may be disappointed but we think this is the best decision given the risks due to COVID-19.

This will only impact the girls soccer team as there was not enough interest this year to field a boys soccer team. Many other districts have made a similar decision, including districts in the Wasaren League, Foothills Council, Western Athletic Conference and some districts in the Colonial and Suburban Councils (Lansingburgh and Bethlehem).

“I am concerned about potentially exposing our students to COVID as they would be coming into close contact with students from eight different districts over the next four weeks,” said Superintendent Dr. Mary Yodis. “We want to continue our focus on providing a safe and healthy school environment for our students here at Gardner-Dickinson.”

Caution: Gaiters and Face Shields

CDC Does Not Recommend Gaiters or Face Shields

Caution: Gaiters and Face Shields

We would like to share with families that the use of gaiters or face shields are not recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Their effectiveness in preventing the transmission of COVID-19 is unknown at this time and is being evaluated. Students may wear a face shield in addition to a mask if they choose.

If families have children who can not wear a mask and can only wear a gaiter or face shield, please contact Superintendent Dr. Mary Yodis at 518-283-4600 ext. 10 so we can make accommodations.

Cloth face masks or face coverings that cover the nose and mouth and fit the face snuggly are recommended. The district has disposable facemasks for students who need them.

Read our Face Mask and Cloth Face Covering Protocols here.

Nut Free School

GD Is Now a Nut Free School

Dear families,

To help ensure the health and safety of all our students, Gardner-Dickinson School is now a peanut and tree nut free school due to the serious allergic reactions many children experience.

We understand this may be a challenge for families but with the increased safety measures due to COVID-19, with students eating at their classroom desks, we need to ensure a safe environment for our students.

Please avoid sending food in with your children that contain any of the following:

  • Almond
  • Beechnut
  • Brazil nut
  • Bush nut
  • Butternut
  • Cashew
  • Chestnut
  • Coconut
  • Filbert
  • Ginko nut
  • Hazelnut
  • Hickory nut
  • Lichee nut
  • Macadamia nut
  • Nangai nut
  • Pecan
  • Peanut
  • Pine nut
  • Pistachio
  • Shea nut
  • Walnut

Again, we apologize for any inconvenience but food allergies are a serious and potentially life-threatening medical condition. One in 13 children in the United States has a food allergy. Every three minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room in the United States. Please help us create a positive school environment for our students where they feel safe.

If your child has a food-related allergy or sensitivity, please make sure to let School Nurse Tricia Gibbs know by calling 518-283-4600 ext. 18. Ms. Gibbs can also answer any questions you may have.

Thank you.

Dr. Mary Yodis, Superintendent

Tricia Gibbs, School Nurse

Dr. Yodis with student

Dr. Yodis Appointed District Superintendent

Dr. Yodis with studentThe Board of Education is pleased to announce that it has selected Dr. Mary Yodis to be the next district Superintendent. Dr. Yodis was appointed at a September 9 Board meeting.

While the Board met several great candidates in its search process, Dr. Yodis’ leadership, organization and financial skills during the summer preparing to reopen school in September, along with the work she has done for the past eight years as school principal and the love she has for students and the community, made her the clear choice.

“Dr. Yodis has poured her heart and soul into our school and district for the last eight years, thinking about only what is best for our students. We couldn’t be more excited that she is taking the next step to lead the district,” said Board President Andrew Lanesey.

Before coming to Wynantskill UFSD, Dr. Yodis served as principal at Cairo-Durham CSD for two years and was a special education teacher in grades 1-6 for 10 years at North Colonie CSD. Dr. Yodis has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Psychology, a Master’s of Science in Reading and Special Education, Advanced Graduate Degree in School and District Leadership and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.

Dr. Yodis will begin a search to fill the Principal position in the near future.

“It has been an absolute pleasure serving as building principal at Gardner-Dickinson for the last eight years. Building relationships with the students, faculty, staff and community has become more than a job, but a part of my family. I am honored to have been chosen to lead the district in the role as Superintendent and look forward to continuing to make Gardner-Dickinson a great school for our community’s children,” said Dr. Yodis.