March 1 update: UPK registration; new Transportation Director; social media intelligence learning session; budget update; FMS and GHS musical productions

A message from Dr. Wiles:

Dear GCSD Families,

I hope everyone enjoyed last week’s winter break and utilized the opportunity to refresh and recharge. Although it seemed like spring arrived earlier in the week, that was quickly dispelled by the return of frigid temperatures. Despite the cold weather, things are heating up throughout the district with musical productions, new staff, UPK registration budget development, and a presentation for families on social media intelligence.

2024-25 UPK registration now open

The Guilderland Central School District is offering Universal Pre-K (UPK) for the 2024-25 school year. UPK is a free program open to Guilderland families with children who will be four years old by December 1, 2024 (children who have birth dates between December 2, 2019 and December 1, 2020). Registration for the program will run from today, Friday, March 1 through Tuesday, March 26. For more details about the program and to download the application, visit the district website.

Craig Lipps joins GCSD as the new Transportation Director

The Guilderland Central School District is excited to announce Craig Lipps as the district’s new Transportation Director. Mr. Lipps started his role this past Monday and has over 18 years of experience in school transportation. He began his career as a school bus driver and has moved up the ladder over the years to Transportation Director. You can read more about Mr. Lipps in a story on our website.

GCSD presents a learning session for families on social media intelligence and well-being

On Wednesday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m. GCSD and the PTA will co-sponsor a virtual learning session for families on digital and social media intelligence and well-being. Led by Chris Vollum, a widely-recognized educator on social media platforms, this session will assist GCSD families in supporting their children as they navigate the stress, anxiety and well-being related to the online content children engage with daily. Mr. Vollum will provide a demo on the popular social media applications Discord, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, to equip families with the knowledge and tools to understand how their children interact online. To register for this event, please complete and submit this linked Google form by March 15. The district will follow up prior to the event with a link to attend the meeting.

Budget update

Assistant Superintendent for Business Dr. Andrew Van Alstyne has continued his informative series of budget presentations, which provide detailed information about the GCSD’s 2024-25 budget development. His two most recent presentations include information on Governor Hochul’s Executive Budget Proposal for 2024-25, Foundation Aid and the district’s tax levy limit. Detailed summaries of these presentations can be found on our website, in addition to links to the Board of Education meetings. Next in the budget development process is the Superintendent’s Budget Presentation on Tuesday, March 5 during which the Board and community will learn about the proposed spending plan for 2024-25. There will also be a budget workshop Q&A on Tuesday, March 12.

FMS and GHS musical productions

This weekend, “FMS Mask is presenting Legally Blonde, JR, The Musical” in a three-performance run in the Cafetorium at Farnsworth Middle School. Next weekend, March 7-10, the Guilderland Players will present “Something Rotten!” in the Guilderland High School auditorium. If you’re looking for a fun, entertaining way to spend an evening, these student performances will not disappoint!

Marie Wiles, Ph.D.

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