Dec. 21 update: rollover budget; DEI events; digital equity survey; holiday break

A message from Dr. Wiles:

Dear GCSD Families,

As we finish out the last few school days of 2022, Guilderland Central School District administrators and teachers have already begun work on the budget for the 2023-24 school year. Assistant Superintendent for Business Neil Sanders gave a presentation about the rollover budget at the Dec. 6 board of education meeting. Typically conducted early in the budget development process, the rollover budget presentation is the first of several presentations that will be made to the board.

Learning from lockdown drills

This fall all seven GCSD school buildings completed lockdown drills. Required by NYSED, these drills prepare students, teachers and staff to handle a variety of possible scenarios. After conducting the drills, building and district administrators met to “debrief” and review the findings. These meetings provided the district with the opportunity to analyze and reflect on how the drills went. Administrators learned a great deal and are using the valuable information gathered to identify areas for positive improvement, to create a learning environment where all students and staff feel supported, prepared and safe.

Upcoming diversity, equity and inclusion events

Fireside chats

The DEI Engagement Committee has begun holding “fireside chats” at the Guilderland Public Library. The purpose of these forums is to provide Guilderland community members with the opportunity to speak to members of the committee in an informal setting. Residents can ask questions, discuss personal experiences and learn more about the work of the GCSD DEI committee. In the coming weeks, the district will release a schedule of dates for the 2023 fireside chats.

Focus groups

After the holiday break, the district will hold virtual focus groups for GCSD parents/guardians in collaboration with Progression Partners, the organization that is supporting GCSD’s DEI initiatives. By participating in the focus groups, parents/guardians will have the opportunity to discuss diversity, equity and inclusion in the Guilderland Central School District. The focus groups are scheduled for the week of Jan. 9, 2023; more details will follow after the holiday break.

GHS students advocate for a board resolution educating about safe gun storage

During the 2021-22 school year, a group of Guilderland High School students asked the board of education to pass a resolution that would require GCSD to educate families on the importance of secure firearm storage. Basing their appeal to the board on research that shows safe gun storage awareness campaigns are effective in reducing gun violence, the students were successful in their efforts. The board passed a resolution on June 14, 2022 stating the district will communicate facts about safe firearm storage to district families. You can learn more about the safe firearm storage resolution here.

NYSED digital equity survey

As required by the New York State Education Department (NYSED), GCSD and all other New York schools must report data on students’ access to the internet and at-home computing devices for learning. To accomplish this task, parents and guardians are asked to complete a digital resource survey for each student in their family.

We urge all families to take a few minutes to complete the survey. By doing so, you will help ensure all students have equal access to technology as well as digital tools. In recent years, student home access to the internet has become a fundamental aspect of learning.

The survey will be emailed to each family with student information prepopulated; please look for the email to arrive by the end of the week.

Warmest wishes for the holiday season

I wish all Guilderland families peace, joy and good health this holiday season and hope you have time to rest and relax over the break. I look forward to the second half of the school year when we resume classes on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.


Marie Wiles, Ph.D.

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