We’re Hiring!

Are you interested in joining the GD family? We have employment opportunities available!
We are hiring on a rolling basis through December. Jobs are all for immediate hire contingent on NYSED fingerprinting clearance. Those without clearance must schedule a fingerprinting appointment through Identogo at:
We are hiring substitute teachers/aides, cleaners and bus drivers. Please reach out to Heidi Hallock at hhallock@wynantskillufsd.org if you are interested or would like more information on these positions.
Substitute teachers/aides: $102.00 per day with New York State Certification, $92.00 per day non-certified
Bus driver: Split AM/PM 4-hour shifts available. Single 2-hour AM or PM shifts are also available. AM Shifts are approximately 6:30 to 8:30 a.m.; PM Shifts are approximate 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Pay is $20 an hour plus health and dental benefits for certified bus drivers. Will train potential drivers for certification at a rate of $18 an hour. Must have a clean driver’s license.

Updated Opening Information from Dr. Yodis

Dear GD Families,

Our goal is to continue, as we successfully did last year, to provide in-person learning five days per week during the entire 2021-22 school year. The spread of the Delta variant has certainly complicated our reopening plans, but we are confident that continuing the mitigation efforts put in place last year will provide a safe learning environment. 

The recommended layered approach to mitigation strategies from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) enabled us to remain in school during the 2020-21 school year without a whole-school shutdown and with very few positive COVID-19 cases within our school community. Gardner-Dickinson will continue many of the same guidelines and strategies that were proven successful to prevent outbreaks and/or a school closure. 

The following is a summary of our reopening plans, beginning September 8, 2021 based upon the most recent guidelines and recommendations provided by the NYSDOH, CDC and NYSED in conjunction with our Regional County Departments of Health. * Please note our full updated reopening plan will be posted to the website very soon.

Multi-Layered Mitigation Strategies

Wynantskill UFSD will continue to: 

  • require parents to screen their children before bringing them to school, ensuring that they stay home and are seen by a doctor when they are sick (weekly check in required using EdVista’s email screening system coming soon). Please review the CDC’s guidance regarding what to do if a student becomes sick or reports a new COVID-19 diagnosis while at school;
  • check the temperatures of all students and adults as they enter the building;
  • promote frequent handwashing with soap and water and offering hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available;
  • clean and disinfect our building and school buses; and
  • maximize our ventilation system by running it 24 hours instead of 12. 
  • On site surveillance testing of students and staff will be implemented in conjunction with Questar III BOCES and Rensselaer County DOH when test kits are available. Parental consent is required. (more information coming soon). Review the Commissioner’s Determination on COVID-19 testing from NYSDOH.

Masks

In accordance with the Commissioner’s determination issued pursuant to 10 NYCRR 2.60, all students, personnel, teachers, administrators, contractors, and visitors must wear masks at all times indoors, regardless of vaccination status. 

Masks will be optional when outdoors on school property. 

Students will be provided mask breaks when seated in class and physically distanced 6 feet apart. 

Social Distancing

Students will remain at 6 feet of physical distance whenever possible throughout the school building. All classrooms will be set up so student desks are 6 feet apart from one another. Allowing us to continue at 6 feet of physical distance in the classroom is due to the fact that we have adequate space in the building to add additional learning spaces. We added a third section of 3rd, 5th and 7th grades by allocating additional rooms for classrooms and hiring additional faculty. Class sizes are between 15-20 with 20 being the maximum. Teachers may choose to have students work for short periods of time at 3 feet (pulling 2-3 students to the back table for reteaching) following additional  mitigation strategies listed above. 

Middle School 

No lockers to be used at this time. 

Sixth graders will use their desks and baskets. 

We are not cohorting at this time in the 7th and 8th grades, and students will move about the building for each period. Seventh and 8th graders can carry a backpack from class to class (students will have laptop computers instead of textbooks making this less of a burden). 

Transportation

All students and staff must wear face masks while riding on a school bus regardless of vaccination status. CDC guidelines permit buses to operate at full capacity. Windows and roof hatches will be open to increase ventilation on the bus. Cleaning and disinfecting will continue following each bus run daily.

Parents who plan on driving their children to and/or from school are asked to please inform Kathy Fazioli, kfazioli@wynantskillufsd.org, and/or Mike Goyer, mgoyer@wynantskillufsd.org, in our Transportation Department to assist with our planning. 

Cafeteria

In an attempt to allow students to eat safely back in the cafeteria this year instead of eating in their classrooms, we have added desks spaced 6 feet apart. We will also provide layered mitigation protocols that will include hand washing or hand sanitizer before and after meals; cleaning and disinfection between lunch periods; providing increased ventilation of seating areas and encouraging students to eat quickly and move out to recess as soon as they are done.

Special Areas

K-8 students will move to their specials and will have seating 6 feet apart as they do in all classrooms (Library, Art and Music).

Band

Thank you to our new and very talented music teacher, Marie van Maastricht. We will be offering band this fall to our 7th and 8th graders. Band students will maintain the 6 feet social distance of students during instruction with bell covers to prevent aerosol spread. 

Physical Education

When indoors, students will maintain 6 feet of social distancing during physical education instruction. Physical education teachers will prioritize outdoor activities as weather permits.

Sports

Both girls and boys modified soccer teams will be offered to students this fall. 

We are currently working with Questar III and Rensselaer County DOH to implement a surveillance testing program of student athletes in accordance with CDC recommendations. Parent/guardian consent for testing of students is required.

Remote Program

A full remote option for students will not be made available this year from our faculty and staff at Gardner-Dickinson, as we are focusing all of our efforts toward our daily in-person instruction. 

A fully remote option will only be considered for those students who have a documented medical condition that does not let them attend in-person learning. Documentation for such a medical condition will be necessary for the district to discuss out-of-district  remote options. Questar III BOCES is currently developing a program for medically eligible students, which would be taught by BOCES faculty. If you have a child that would be in need of such an alternate program, please contact Dr. Yodis as soon as possible at 518-283-4600 ext. 250 or myodis@wynantskillufsd.org.

Temporary Remote Due to Quarantine

If your child is placed under a quarantine order that has been issued from the Department of Health, he or she will receive classroom instruction from their teacher with both google classroom assignments and livestream instruction for their core subject areas. Once notified by the DOH, Nurse Gibbs will inform the teachers to reach out to families and set up the online learning model.  

Quarantine

Consistent with CDC guidance, all close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 must quarantine unless they are fully vaccinated. People who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after contact with someone who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 unless they also present possible symptoms of infection; however, they should be tested 3-5 days after exposure and must wear a mask indoors for 14 days or until they receive a negative diagnostic test result. 

Wynantskill UFSD will work closely with the Rensselaer Co. DOH to determine the appropriate quarantine orders.

Please see our contact tracing charts developed with Questar III and Rensselaer County Department of Health.

COVID-19 Vaccine

The CDC indicated that vaccination is the leading public health strategy to end the pandemic. All eligible individuals are encouraged to receive the vaccine as soon as possible. 

Currently, there are three vaccines available (Pfizer-ages 12+, Moderna-ages 18+ and Johnson & Johnson-ages 18+). If you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, please contact your family physician. If you need assistance finding where you can get a vaccine, click here

Resources

We understand your apprehension and your continued frustration with the ongoing pandemic. However, we must continue to work together, model safe behavior and best practices for our students. 

We need to continue to focus on our Gardner-Dickinson school community, which is like no other, and continue to have hope. Hope for wellness, hope for peace and hope for a successful in-person teaching and learning experience where our children are able to grow academically, socially and emotionally.  

This pandemic has forced us to adapt and function in ways we have never imagined. This will undoubtedly be another year that will test our strength, patience, and ability to plan, adapt and improvise, but I am beyond confident that we will get through it together. We did it last year, and we will do it again … this time better, this time stronger! GD Family Strong!

Thank you for your continued support,

Dr. Mary Yodis
Wynantskill UFSD Superintendent

Welcome New GD Staff

Gardner-Dickinson is excited to welcome its newest staff members for the 2021-22 academic year! In addition to School Psychologist Mrs. Mueller and Music Teacher Mrs. van Maastricht, we are excited to welcome John Lantz as our new 6th grade teacher, Haley Quinn as our new 5th grade teacher, Sara Friday as our new 3rd grade teacher, Erica Cawthon as our new 7th and 8th grade CTE and ELA AIS teacher, and Jeff Muller as our new PE teacher!

 

John Lantz

I’m delighted to be joining the Gardner-Dickinson school and community! I will be joining the 6th grade team teaching ELA and Science. I grew up in the area and graduated from Averill Park High School, so I am familiar with the Wynantskill area. I look forward to giving back to the community that I know so well. After graduating from Sage Graduate School in ’19 I spent two years teaching special education in Queensbury, NY. I’ll be teaching 6th grade as well as coaching the Boys Modified Soccer team, something I’ve always wanted to do. I am eager to bring my blend of academic knowledge and humor to the classroom to give my students the best school year yet! Parents are always free to contact me by email at jlantz@wynantskillufsd.org.

 

 

Haley Quinn

Hi, everyone! My name is Haley Quinn, and I am the newest addition to the 5th grade team! I am the third classroom teacher of the grade. I am beyond excited to start my teaching career at such an incredible school. Over the past year, I have been a substitute at Gardner-Dickinson as well as a student teacher in both 3rd and 4th grades.

I attended K-12 schooling in Averill Park. In June 2017, I graduated from Averill Park High School and attended Russell Sage College. In May 2021, I graduated from Russell Sage College with my Childhood Education Degree. During my last month of undergraduate studies, I became a NYS Certified Teacher, and I am currently pursuing my Master’s Degree in Literacy Education at Russell Sage.

The past year at Gardner-Dickinson was an amazing experience. I am proud that I was able to be a part of GD Strong, and I am sure that we will continue to strive for another 180 days in person! Thank you to the staff, administration, and community who have made me feel extremely welcomed. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at hquinn@wynantskillufsd.org.

 

Sara Friday

My name is Sara Friday, and I will be teaching 3rd grade this year. I am so excited to join the GD family! I will be teaching Social Studies and Science to all three sections of 3rd grade. I have been a substitute teacher here for the last two years, and I’m looking forward to having my own classroom! I have a degree in both Elementary and Special Education and have been a Special Education teacher in the past. I’m also a mom of two boys, one of which will be starting Kindergarten here this year.

If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to me at sfriday@wynantskillufsd.org. If you have any information that would be helpful to know about your child, feel free to send that too. I hope they are as excited as I am to start the 2021-22 school year together!

Erica Cawthon

Hi, My name is Erica Cawthon, and I am the new 7th and 8th grade CTE and ELA AIS teacher. Your scholars and myself together will explore several real-world occupations!
I got my Bachelors and Masters degrees from The College of Saint Rose. I received my Bachelors in English 7-12 and my Masters in Literacy 5-12. This is my first year here at GD, but I have been teaching for five years now. I taught at LaSalle School for Boys in Albany and Brighter Choice Charter School for Girls as well. I am tremendously excited and eager to provide your scholar with a safe, encouraging and enriched experience this 2021-22 school year!
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at ecawthon@wynantskillufsd.org.

 

Jeff Muller

Jeff Muller will be the district’s new PE teacher who will also be working with North Greenbush Central School District. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Sage and is currently finishing his master’s in Health and Wellness from Sage.

Family Drop Off/Dismissal Procedure

Welcome Back!

Thank you for signing up to transport your child(ren) to/from school this year! It really takes a village to keep the school running smoothly. Here is our current plan for drop off and pick up:

Morning drop off: 8-8:20 a.m.

Please line up in the parking lot. We will meet your car, take your child’s temperature, and they will be escorted to the sidewalk to enter the building. We will have 2-3 additional staff on hand to walk the little ones to their designated rooms. If you have a middle school child (gr. 6-8), we encourage you to arrive as close to 8 as possible; Period 1 begins at 8 a.m.

Pre-K families: You may arrive around 8:10 a.m. and pull up in the circle after the busses have departed where your child will be met by Mrs. Pytell and escorted to their room. Siblings will also be allowed to enter at this time.

Dismissal: 2:10-2:30 p.m.

Again, please line up in the parking lot. We will have staff outside who will call inside for your child(ren) to exit the building from the door on the right side of the building. We plan to have all the parent-pick up kids waiting with staff in the hallway to expedite their departure from the school.

Pre-K students will also be dismissed from this area. Ms. Glaz and Mrs. Pytell will be with them at all times.

If you have a middle school child (gr. 6-8), they will not be dismissed until 2:30 p.m. along with their younger siblings. Please plan accordingly to arrive after 2:20 p.m. so as to not hold up the line.

This is new to all of us, so I ask for your patience the first few days of school. Together we can make this work as smoothly as last year!

I look forward to seeing you all rain or shine again this year! If you have any questions or concerns, please give me a call at 518-283-4600 ext. 0 or email me at kfazioli@wynantskillufsd.org

Kathy Fazioli
Main Office

NYSDOH COVID-19 Update

Yesterday, the New York State Department of Health finally issued interim guidance for classroom instruction this school year and a Commissioner’s Determination on COVID testing in schools. 

The 12-page guidance document addresses the minimum expectations for instruction and operations. Many of our health and safety protocols will remain the same from last year – and the new DOH regulations are consistent with the most recent CDC guidance. In fact, the guidance document recommended that schools review their prior year’s plans, eliminate outdated measures, and adopt current CDC recommendations (which we had already done).

At this time, we are working together with local school districts and our county department of health to facilitate the staffing, supplies and information that will be required to implement the Commissioner’s Determination on the testing of students, staff, and contractors as soon as practicable to ensure a safe environment for our students and staff. Funding for this has not been released by the state to allow schools to fulfill this new requirement.

We will notify you of the process for providing documentation for full vaccination (to opt-out of testing) or information on testing as soon as possible. We need to remain flexible, adaptive, and patient. 

Athletics Information

Dear Grades 7 and 8 Families:

As we plan for the start of the 2021-22 school year, we are excited to be offering modified girls and boys soccer this fall season. Due to the increase in positive COVID-19 cases, placing us in a substantial transmission/orange zone, we will follow a multi-tiered mitigation approach to ensure the safety of our students, coaches and entire school community.

Students athletes committing to the team will be required to:

  • participate in a COVID-19 screening test once a week unless fully vaccinated (proof of vaccination should be sent to Nurse Gibbs).

The latest information sheet for the Abbot BinaxNOW rapid antigen test used for the athletic testing is available here.

Please fill out and return the 2021-22 consent form for COVID-19 testing for athletics to Tricia Gibbs at tgibbs@wynantskillufsd.org. Forms should be submitted by Tuesday, September 7. The athletic handbook, code of conduct, schedules and health history forms are available on the athletics page.

If you have any questions about playing on the teams, please contact Athletic Director Dan DiSotto at ddisotto@wynantskillufsd.org. If you have any questions about the COVID-19 rapid screening, please contact Tricia Gibbs at tgibbs@wynantskillufsd.org.

Thank you,

Dr. Mary Yodis
WUFSD Superintendent

School Tax Information for 2021-22

This year due to COVID-19, we will be accepting payment for taxes through the mail only.

A check or money order can be mailed with your tax stub to:

Wynantskill UFSD
25 East Avenue
Troy, NY 12180
Attention: Denise Fitzgerald, School Tax Collector

If a receipt is required, place an X in the box on your tax stub.

You can view your tax bill online here.

Include appropriate penalty if paying on or after October 1, 2021.

Checks will be returned if not postmarked by September 30, 2021.

We will not be offering drop off or in-person collection.

If you have questions regarding your property assessment, exemptions, or name/address changes, please contact your Town Assessor.

If you have questions regarding your school taxes please contact Denise Fitzgerald at (518) 283-4600.