Wynantskill UFSD

Important Update Regarding Mask Use

After meeting with regional superintendents and county Department of Health officials, the
District will be implementing temporary mask adjustments in anticipation of the expected heat
and humidity tomorrow and of additional guidance from the New York State Department of
Health (NYSDOH).

On Monday, we will provide teachers and staff with the discretion to extend mask breaks in
class while students are seated. Mask wearing can be relaxed outside during recess and
physical education while following all other COVID-19 mitigation protocols including physical
distancing. Please continue to follow all COVID-19 mitigation protocols, including social
distancing, handwashing, and the wearing of masks on buses as these have worked throughout
the school year and have allowed us to maintain our schools and offices open.

Our district is aware of the letter that the NYS Commissioner of Health Dr. Zucker sent to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky last Friday
regarding new COVID-19 guidance for the wearing of masks in schools across NYS. While Dr.
Zucker’s intent has already been publicized in various media outlets; these changes have not
been formally communicated to school districts. Over the weekend, we received an email from
the New York State Education Department clarifying that the intent of this letter was to obtain
a response from the CDC regarding differing standards for summer camps and schools.

At this time, we are awaiting official guidance from the New York State Department of Health
or the State Education Department on mask changes. We will inform the Wynantskill
community when official guidance is received. The school district will review and evaluate the
guidance before considering or making any changes to its COVID-19 mask protocols.

The health and safety of our students and staff remains our top priority as we prepare to finish
one school year and plan for another. We thank you for your patience as we await formal
guidance that will allow us to make any permanent changes to the mask protocols.

Positive COVID-19 Case in Wynantskill UFSD

Dear Families,


The Wynantskill UFSD received confirmation today that a middle school student has tested positive for COVID-19. The student has not been physically present in the building since May 19.


If you have not been contacted by Wynantskill UFSD, then no further action is required.


The county has advised the district to continue with its regular cleaning protocols. The building will be open as normal.


Due to privacy laws, we cannot divulge any further information about the positive individuals, and we ask that our families respect the positive individuals’ privacy.


We ask that all families continue to follow all safety guidelines outside of school hours including proper use of face coverings, social distancing, proper hand hygiene and avoiding large gatherings. We also remind you to please complete the daily health screening form for your child prior to sending them to school.


Please monitor your child(ren) for any symptoms of COVID-19 and report any absences and positive COVID-19 test results to your child’s school.


Thank you all for your continued support and ongoing efforts to keep Wynantskill UFSD safe and healthy. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly with any questions or concerns.



Dr. Mary Yodis

Wynantskill UFSD Superintendent

NYS Guidelines Still Require Masks on Pre-K to 12 Campuses

The State recently adopted the CDC’s Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People for most business and public settings. This guidance states that fully vaccinated individuals may resume activities without wearing masks or physical distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. 

However, the State has required all pre-K to 12 schools to follow the existing COVID-19 health guidelines until more New Yorkers are fully vaccinated, which means all individuals in schools, on school property and on school buses must continue to wear masks whether or not they are fully vaccinated. This new guidance also applies to public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes and healthcare settings.

We thank you for your continued cooperation and understanding.

Class of 2021 Valedictorian and Salutatorian Named

The Wynantskill Union Free School District is pleased to announce Elizabeth Carbone as its Valedictorian and Carley Walsh as its Salutatorian for the Class of 2021.

Elizabeth Carbone
Carbone will be attending Averill Park High School in the fall. Carbone says she looks forward to meeting new people entering high school. Carbone has played on the Gardner-Dickinson soccer, basketball and softball teams and has participated in Odyssey of the Mind. Carbone says she will miss the tight-knit Gardner-Dickinson community the most when she enters high school and has been positively impacted by every teacher she has had in her time at Gardner-Dickinson.







Carley Walsh
Walsh will be attending Averill Park High School in the fall. Walsh is looking forward to making new friends in Averill Park next school year and says she will miss all of her friends at Gardner-Dickinson who will not be going to Averill Park next year.

NYS Science Testing

Gardner-Dickinson Families,

In March, we shared that the New York State Education Department submitted a waiver to the United States Department of Education that would not require New York districts to administer state assessments due to circumstances surrounding the ongoing pandemic. That waiver has not been granted, so Gardner-Dickinson must move forward with its scheduled dates to administer state assessments.

On Tuesday, June 8th, in-person students in grades 4 and 8 will be taking the New York State Science Test. Only the written, first session of the assessment will be administered this school year. Grade 4 will begin at 9 a.m. and Grade 8 will begin at 9:30 a.m.

Tips for testing:

  • Get a full night’s rest before testing
  • Eat a healthy breakfast the morning of
  • Have a relaxing night before testing

If you have any questions regarding state assessments, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Suzann Cornell
Gardner-Dickinson Principal

Wynantskill UFSD

Wynantskill Voters Approve 2021-22 Budget, Bus Proposition, Re-Elect Board Members

Wynantskill Union Free School District residents have approved a $10,148,898 budget for the 2021-22 school year and the purchase of up to two school buses. Two candidates were re-elected to the Board of Education. 

The 2021-22 budget was approved by a vote of 113 (yes) to 29 (no). The tax levy increase is 1.72%, which is within New York State’s Property Tax Cap.

The budget will focus on developing technological infrastructure within the district, enhancing security in the building and expanding the ELA curriculum.

Residents also accepted a proposition to purchase up to two school buses that would not exceed $171,680 by a vote of 117 (yes) to 26 (no).

Keith Hirokawa and Darcy Mack were re-elected to the Board of Education. Both Hirokawa and Mack were elected to a three-year term expiring June 30, 2024. 

“I’d like to thank the Wynantskill voters for coming out to support our 2021-22 budget and re-election of two members to our Board of Education,” said Superintendent Dr. Mary Yodis. “I am excited to  continue the opportunity to work alongside both Mrs. Mack and Mr. Hirokawa, as we update our technological infrastructure, enhance our security and expand our core curriculum areas in the coming year.”

To learn more about the budget, visit www.wynantskillufsd.org/district/budget-taxes/.

Hydration in Warmer Weather

As we enter the warmer weather months, students are highly encouraged to bring water bottles to school. It’s vital to remain hydrated in the heat.

As a reminder, water fountains cannot be used in the traditional method due to COVID-19. Students may bring refillable water bottles to school with them and fill bottles at the fountain.

Preventing Tick Bites on People

Tick exposure can occur year-round, but ticks are most active during warmer months (April-September).

Before You Go Outdoors

  • Know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, or even on animals. Spending time outside walking your dog, camping, gardening, or hunting could bring you in close contact with ticks. Many people get ticks in their own yard or neighborhood.
  • Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings. Alternatively, you can buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. EPA’s helpful search tool
  • Avoid Contact with Ticks
    • Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
    • Walk in the center of trails.

After You Come Indoors

Check your clothing for ticks. Ticks may be carried into the house on clothing. Any ticks that are found should be removed. Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. Cold and medium temperature water will not kill ticks.

Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, and daypacks.

Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease and may be effective in reducing the risk of other tick borne diseases. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it is a good opportunity to do a tick check.

Check your body for ticks after being outdoors. Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, including your own backyard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks:

  • Under the arms
  • In and around the ears
  • Inside belly button
  • Back of the knees
  • In and around the hair
  • Between the legs
  • Around the waist

Thank You, WPTA!

The G-D staff would like to extend its warmest appreciation for the Wynantskill PTA. The WPTA sponsored a teacher appreciation taco luncheon. Staff members loved the food, decorations, appreciation signs and had an amazing time together filled with laughter. We thank you!