Dear GCSD Families,
As summer winds down, I hope everyone is enjoying its last few days. Tuesday, September 6, the first day of school for all grades, is quickly approaching and we have been very busy preparing for the return of students and a new year of learning. You will see many new faces in our hallways as well as improvements to buildings, technology and facilities. This work is ongoing as many new projects are in progress, including the installation of the turf field at Guilderland High School, which is right on schedule!
Streamlined COVID-19 guidelines
One new and important change for the 2022-23 school year is the Guilderland Central School District’s guidance for COVID-19. In keeping with updated protocols issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the district has created more streamlined and concise COVID-19 guidance. You will see that this guidance follows existing and long-standing GCSD health services guidelines. As in the past, families will be urged to keep students home from school who are ill, regardless of whether their symptoms are COVID-19-related. To assist you, families will have access to free, at-home COVID-19 test kits; information about their distribution will be coming soon.
School start and end times
Another new aspect to the 2022-23 school year is school start and end times. If you follow our board of education meetings you know that much thought and consideration went into evaluating the start and end times. When it comes to transportation, the Guilderland Central School District presents some challenges because of the size of the district, the distance between our seven buildings and the traffic patterns of the area. With this in mind, new start and end times were decided upon for the 2022-23 school year.
Important updates to free school meals
During the 2021-22 school year, federal funding allowed schools to offer all students, regardless of family income, free breakfast and lunch. Because that funding was discontinued as of June 2022, school districts, including GCSD, must transition back to charging students for school meals and requiring the formal application process to participate in the National School Lunch Program. Students from households that meet federal income guidelines are eligible for free or reduced-price meals; to complete and submit an application to determine eligibility, visit the food services page on the district website.
Thank you for taking the time to read this important information. The start of a new school year is always an exciting time for the entire school community. We are eager to welcome your children back and look forward to supporting their success with renewed energy and enthusiasm. I am confident that September 6 will be the start to an outstanding year of learning, growth and achievement for all GCSD students.
Marie Wiles, Ph.D.