Mar. 10 update: UPK information; budget Q & A and focus groups; FBI informational session; DEI fireside chat

A message from Dr. Wiles:

Dear GCSD Families,

On Monday, Mar. 13, the Guilderland Central School District will begin accepting applications for the 2023-24 Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program, which is funded by New York state. UPK is a free program open to Guilderland families with children who will be four years old by December 1, 2023. Limited spots are available. All Guilderland families must apply and participate in a lottery to secure a NYS-funded space. Please visit the district website for a complete description of how to apply for the lottery, required documentation and other pertinent details.

Budget development information

At the Mar. 7 board of education meeting, Assistant Superintendent for Business Dr. Van Alstyne and I presented the draft of the 2023-24 school year budget to the board and the Guilderland community. On Apr. 4, the board will adopt a budget that the Guilderland community will be asked to approve on budget vote day, Tuesday, May 16.

Budget Q & A session, Tuesday, Mar. 14

On Tuesday, Mar. 14, the district will host a question and answer session on the budget. Members of the Guilderland school community are invited to submit questions by emailing or attend this workshop session in the Large Group Instruction (LGI) room at Guilderland High School. Questions from the in-person audience are welcome. The budget Q & A session will be live-streamed on the GHS Media YouTube channel.

Budget focus groups, Mar. 20-21

GCSD will hold virtual focus groups for the Guilderland school community on Monday, Mar. 20 and Tuesday, Mar. 21. These sessions will give community members a forum to provide their feedback and input regarding the draft 2023-24 general operating budget. There will be four sessions: two sessions for parents and guardians of elementary students, one for parents and guardians of middle school students and one for parents and guardians of high school students. The sessions will be limited to 20 attendees to allow for group discussion, so registration is required. To register, please complete the attached Google form.

FBI sextortion informational session, Thursday, Mar. 30, 6:30 p.m.

Area school district parents, guardians and students are invited to attend an informational session hosted by the FBI on the rising issues of online safety, security and sextorion. The in-person safety session will be held on Thursday, Mar. 30 at 6:30 p.m. at South Colonie High School. Grade 7-12 parents, guardians and students of any area school district are welcome to attend. Presentations will be led by members of the FBI’s child exploitation and human trafficking task force and Adam Morris, Ph.D., a child psychologist from the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital, part of the Albany Med Health System. Adults interested in attending are asked to complete this form in advance.

DEI fireside chat, Mar. 21, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

The DEI Engagement Committee is holding a series of “fireside chats” at the Guilderland Public Library, with the next chat scheduled for Tuesday, Mar. 21, 12:00-1:00 p.m. The purpose of these forums is to provide Guilderland community members with the opportunity to speak to members of the committee, ask questions and discuss personal experiences in an informal setting. You can view the schedule of the upcoming fireside chats on the district website.

Thank you for your continued support of the Guilderland Central School District. Have a wonderful weekend.


Marie Wiles, Ph.D.


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