Jan. 22: Five new COVID cases; PBES remote for the week of Jan. 25

New COVID-19 Cases 

Last evening and today the district learned of five new COVID-19 cases. There are two cases associated with the high school; one of those cases, which involved the transportation department, required contact tracing. There were also two new cases at Pine Bush Elementary School and one at Westmere Elementary School. Both cases at Pine Bush required contact tracing, which was completed following Albany County Department of Health guidelines. All of those individuals have been contacted and the Department of Health should be following up with them.

Because several Pine Bush staff members have to quarantine, there is a significant staffing shortage in that building for next week. Therefore, all PBES students in grades K-4 will transition to remote-only instruction starting Monday, Jan. 25, through Friday, Jan. 29. Students will return to in-person learning on Monday, Feb. 1.  

Results from COVID-19 Testing in GCSD Schools

Thank you to those families who consented to have your child(ren) participate in the voluntary COVID-19 surveillance testing that started last week at Guilderland Elementary and then continued throughout the district this week. Our district is not currently required to test for COVID-19 in our schools, but being aware of the positivity rate in our district provides us with the data we need to keep our community safe and our schools open.

So far, we have tested 289 students and staff. We have received one positive test result which equates to a 0.3% infection rate. Our goal is to test 20% of our in-person students and staff. We are just about one third of the way there.

The following is a breakdown of the results:

  • Altamont Elementary School: 27 tests completed, 0 positives
  • Guilderland Elementary School: 25 tests completed, 0 positives
  • Lynnwood Elementary School: 27 tests completed, 0 positives
  • Pine Bush Elementary School: 27 tests completed, 1 positive
  • Westmere Elementary School: 30 tests completed, 0 positive
  • Farnsworth Middle School: 86 tests completed, 0 positive

Testing will continue in our elementary and middle schools through Monday, Feb. 1. The high school will begin testing faculty and staff next week; student testing will begin during the week of Feb. 1 when they return for hybrid instruction

2021 Budget Thoughtexchange for Parent/Guardians and Community Members

As we are developing the budget for next year, we need your input. Don’t forget to participate in the Thoughtexchange specific to our parents/guardians and community members. The exchange closes next Friday, Jan. 29.

Link to the parent/guardian and community version: https://my.thoughtexchange.com/167123334

Thank you for your continued efforts to follow all of the necessary health and safety protocols both in school and out of school.  It makes a difference!


Marie Wiles

Superintendent of Schools

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