Annual Wax Museum Show

Each year, students at Gardner-Dickinson research famous New Yorkers and transform into them. Since we were unable to hold the annual show onsite for students and parents, this slideshow was created.

Positive COVID-19 Case in Wynantskill UFSD

June 17, 2021

Dear Families,

The Wynantskill UFSD learned today that an elementary student has tested positive for COVID-19.

We have been in close communication with the Rensselaer County Department of Health (RCDOH) to determine any necessary follow-up. The district is assisting the RCDOH with contact tracing efforts using attendance records.

We encourage you to offer your full cooperation if you are contacted by a representative of the RCDOH or the district. If you are not contacted by a representative of the RCDOH or the district, there is no further action needed on your part and you may continue your usual schedule. If at any point you or someone in your family is directed to quarantine, please respect what you are being asked to do in the interest of public health. People in quarantine need to stay home, separate themselves from others in the home, monitor their health and follow directions from the local health department.

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

We ask that all families continue to follow all safety guidelines outside of school hours including proper use of face coverings, social distancing and proper hand hygiene.

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

District Calendar Clarification

We are writing to clarify our website’s district calendar. 

There has been some confusion surrounding an entry on our website’s district calendar. The calendar previously read that our last day of school (June 24) would be an early dismissal day. That entry has since been removed; June 24 will be a full day of school for all grades.

While it was originally planned to be an early dismissal day, the district used this time to push back the start of the 2020-21 school year in September and therefore must make up for this time. 

We apologize for any confusion.


Revised Mask Guidance Effective June 8

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo indicated that the state would relax its mask mandate for schools when students are outside for recess or physical education.
Effective today, Wynantskill UFSD will implement this policy change for outdoor activities, including sports. Masks will still be required indoors and on buses for all students and staff for the rest of this school year along with other COVID-19 mitigation protocols including social distancing. Updated guidance, released late last evening, indicates that no student, teacher, staff member, or visitor may be prevented from voluntarily wearing a mask outside on school grounds. We will communicate any changes to protocols impacting summer school and the start of school this fall when this guidance is available from the state.
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.

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.

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

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.