Tips for Celebrating the Holidays Safely

The CDC has released updated guidance on how best to safely celebrate the holidays. Some important highlights include:

  • Protect those not yet eligible for vaccination (such as young children) by getting yourself and other eligible people around them vaccinated.
  • Wear well-fitting masks over your nose and mouth if you are in public indoor settings.
  • Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Outdoors is safer than indoors.
  • If you are sick or have symptoms, don’t host or attend a gathering.
  • Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have a close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

See the full guidance here.


Reminder – Covid-Testing Consent Form Due Oct. 29

Please note that we sent home a consent form with your children on October 14 regarding Covid-19 testing, which we are required to offer by the NYS Department of Health. You can also download the form here. We anticipate this testing will begin by early November.

We ask that you complete and return the form to Gardner-Dickinson’s main office in-person or with your children by October 29. The original communication regarding this matter can be viewed here.


Letter Regarding Covid Testing Consent and Form

Dear Families,

Wynantskill UFSD is now required by the New York State Department of Health to test unvaccinated staff and to offer testing to unvaccinated students whose parents or guardians consent to this weekly testing.

We will be offering general testing in the near future to comply with this state requirement as well as expand point-of-care testing for students who are displaying COVID-19 symptoms.

General surveillance testing will be used to detect asymptomatic COVID-19 infections in unvaccinated students and staff using a rapid antigen test. Point-of-care testing will be conducted using rapid molecular testing involving the same shallow swab as the rapid antigen test. This will provide a quick result in the case of a student or staff member who began presenting symptoms while at school.

Today, we will be sending home a hardcopy of the consent form with your children; we are asking parents and guardians to please indicate their consent for these tests. You may consent to one, both or none. Please return the form by sending it in with your child or dropping it off in our main office by October 29, 2021.

We anticipate that both surveillance and point-of-care testing will begin early November. Members of our school staff along with Questar III BOCES nurses will oversee all testing, which involves gently swabbing the inner part of the lower nostril.

Regular testing will help protect everyone against COVID-19. Thank you for your continued flexibility, resilience, and patience as we work together to contain the spread of this virus.


Mary Yodis
Superintendent of Schools
Wynantskill UFSD


Download copy of testing consent form here. 



Fond Farwell to a Beloved Staff Member

We bid a fond farewell to Bob Hurd (“Mr. Hurd,” as the kids know him) – who will be retiring from Gardner-Dickinson as a recess monitor. Though he says he has loved every minute of his eight years at GD, he feels it is time to officially retire and enjoy some time for he and his wife. Asked what his favorite part of the job was, he replied, “The kids, and the staff.” He noted that he would like to return for a visit and read to the children. Farewell Bob! Thank you for everything – we wish you a happy and relaxing retirement!

Change in Parent Pick-Up Procedure

In order to improve traffic flow and expedite parent pick-up during dismissal, we will be making the following adjustments beginning tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 1:

-Parents who pick-up their student/s between 2:10 – 2:25 p.m. will do so in front of the school’s main entrance (the big loop).

-Parents who pick-up their student/s between 2:25 – 2:30 p.m. will continue to line up in the school parking lot.

Thank you for your patience!