Oct. 12 update: new DEI staff; Israel-Hamas war; status of capital projects

A message from Dr. Wiles:

Dear GCSD Families,

Recently the Guilderland Central School District welcomed two new members to the diversity, equity and inclusion team, Derek Westbrook and Leah Werther. Mr. Westbrook joins GCSD as the Director of DEI and Mrs. Werther as its first DEI teacher on special assignment. They’ve wasted no time, having already led workshops with all eighth-grade students that focused on the importance of respectful speech and how to engage in productive dialogue. Mr. Westbrook and Mrs. Werther will play a critical role to make Guilderland schools a place our students deserve, a place that is free from hate.

The Israel-Hamas war

With each day, news of the Israel-Hamas war grows more horrific, with far-reaching effects. We have become aware of a threat circulating on social media referencing tomorrow, Oct. 13. The district has been in contact with the Guilderland Police Department regarding this matter. They have confirmed that there is no immediate, credible threat to the Guilderland Central School District or the Capital Region. This threat is not directed towards GCSD however, out of an abundance of caution, there will be an increased police presence at and around all of our buildings. All staff have been notified of the situation.

We recognize the tragic events surrounding this conflict have brought about feelings of fear and uncertainty that are extremely difficult for adults to process; however they are especially so for children, no matter their age. To further support GCSD students and families, following are some resources which may be useful to address any questions or concerns you or your children may have. Please remember, GCSD school psychologists, counselors and social workers are available in our school buildings to assist students who may need it. Our objective is always to provide each and every GCSD student with access to the resources and supports that are conducive to a safe, secure learning environment for all.

Status of capital improvement projects

At the Oct. 3 meeting of the board of education, Director of Facilities Clifford Nooney gave an update on the status of the two capital improvement projects currently in progress in the district. An ongoing priority for the district has been to enhance security measures while also replacing aging infrastructure and improving learning opportunities for all students. Please visit the district website to learn more about the upgrades that have been implemented.

Thank you for your continued support of our Guilderland Central School District students and community.


Marie Wiles, Ph.D.


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