Mar. 31 update: school safety; district holds budget events; DEI Committee seeking new members; side-arm cameras update

A message from Dr. Wiles:

Dear GCSD Families,

Please take a few moments to read through these important and timely updates:

Statement on recent school shooting in Nashville; update on GCSD safety practices

There really are no words to capture the horror of yet another senseless school shooting, this time in Nashville, Tennessee. We know that news of horrific acts like this can severely traumatize both students and adults, leaving many with a broken sense of security and feelings of uncertainty. I want to assure the GCSD community of the district’s steadfast commitment to the safety and well-being of each and every one of our students and our staff. In recent years we have invested in numerous safety and security enhancements to improve the district’s physical and technological infrastructure. Some of these improvements include:

  • Installation of protective film on exterior entrance door windows at all buildings to prevent glass from shattering (video demonstration);
  • Improved camera system with enhanced recording and viewing features;
  • Districtwide radio system with a direct tie to first responders; and
  • LED displays/public address speakers in student occupied spaces for shelter in place, lockouts and lockdowns.

More details on GCSD’s safety measures and improvements can be found in this article on the district’s website.

Board to adopt 2023-2024 budget

The Board of Education will vote to adopt the district’s budget for the 2023-24 school year this Tuesday, April 4. The proposed budget addresses the priorities of key stakeholders–including a continued focus on reducing class sizes–while maintaining fiscal responsibility in the wake of rising costs. Detailed information on the 2023-24 proposed budget can be found in a recent website story on the draft budget presentation Assistant Superintendent for Business Dr. Van Alstyne and I gave at the Mar. 7 board of education meeting. You can also review questions and answers from recently held information sessions on the website.

DEI Committee recruiting new members

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee is currently recruiting new members for its fourth year of work, beginning in September 2023. We are seeking three students, one parent, three staff members and one community member to fill eight open positions. The purpose of the DEI Committee is to provide direction, support and oversight for the district’s work to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive through its policies, practices and programs. The attached letter provides details on Guilderland’s DEI Committee and how to become a member. Additional information can be found on the DEI page of the district’s website.

Side arm cameras installed on GCSD school buses

Over the last several months, the GCSD transportation department has been working with Albany County and Bus Patrol to install stop arm cameras on our school buses to enhance the safety of our students as they ride to and from school. The cameras automatically capture stop arm violations, such as when a car passes a stopped bus with its red lights flashing. The cameras also record relevant details for law enforcement such as license plate numbers. To date, 99 GCSD school buses have been outfitted with these cameras. During the period of time when cameras were being installed, no fines were issued for those who violated the law. However, that grace period will end on April 4, 2023; fines will be issued to violators beginning April 5, 2023.

Thank you for your continued partnership and support in our efforts to provide a safe and welcoming learning environment for each and every one of our students.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Marie Wiles Ph.D

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