Jan. 19 Updates: New COVID Cases; Grades 8-12 Fully Remote; COVID-19 Testing Underway

Please see a message from Superintendent, Dr. Marie Wiles:

Dear GCSD Families,

I’m writing to provide a few updates and reminders, please see below:

New COVID-19 Cases in the District; Grades 8-12 Fully Remote

The district learned of nine individuals testing positive for COVID-19 over the weekend and today. Two cases were connected to Guilderland Elementary and did not require contact tracing. The other seven cases are connected to Guilderland High School. Three of those cases, according to Albany County Department of Health guidelines, resulted in contact tracing; individuals associated with two of these cases have been contacted; contact tracing for the third case is underway.

Our goal throughout this school year has been to keep school open for in-person learning. I have to thank everyone who has gone above and beyond to make this possible. That said, over the past three weeks, it has been difficult to continue hybrid instruction for grades 8-12 because of staff shortages. This afternoon, we realized we could not safely offer in-person instruction to our students in grades 8-12 this week.

In order to provide some consistency to our students and staff we have made the difficult decision that students in grades 8-12 will be fully remote through Friday, Jan. 29. This plan will make it possible to keep our middle school open for in-person instruction because we can reallocate support staff to that building.

During these days of remote instruction:

  • All students in grades 8-12 will follow their regular schedule each day.
  • Our self-contained students will report for in-person instruction on Monday, Jan. 25.
  • CTE and Alt. Ed. students will continue to be transported to their programs
  • Meals for any student will be available for pick-up at GHS between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, and then again on Monday, Jan. 25. No sign-up is required.

COVID-19 Testing Underway

On Friday, Jan. 15, the Guilderland Central School District began COVID-19 surveillance testing at Guilderland Elementary School.

Testing will continue in all GCSD elementary and middle schools between Wednesday, Jan. 20, and Monday, Feb. 1. We are currently reassessing the plan for testing at GHS given the transition to remote instruction. Approximately 20% of our in-person school community members who provided consent will be tested, as long as they are not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Testing results — number of tests administered and number of positive results — will be shared on Friday, Jan. 22, and then again on Monday, Feb. 1.

Equity and Diversity Committee Meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m.

The district’s new Equity and Diversity Committee will hold its second meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m.  The Jan. 20 E&D meeting will be livestreamed on the GHS Media YouTube page and the Committee will be taking public comments. If you would like to submit a comment or question to be read during the Public Comment section of the agenda, please send an email to superintendent@guilderlandschools.net with “Public Comment” in the subject line. Topics raised will be added to future agendas of the committee of the subcommittee, as appropriate.

Thank you for your continued partnership and flexibility. Have a good evening.

Sincerely,

Dr. Marie Wiles
Superintendent of Schools

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