October 1: weekly update

A message from Superintendent Wiles:

Dear Guilderland Families,

COVID-19 cases for the week of September 27

This week there were 10 positive cases of COVID-19. There were three cases at Guilderland High school and all three required contact tracing. There were two cases at Farnsworth Middle School, one required contact tracing and one did not. There was one case at Guilderland Elementary School that required contact tracing and one case each at Westmere Elementary School and Lynnwood Elementary School, neither of which required contact tracing. There were two cases at Pine Bush Elementary School, one required contact tracing and one did not. The principals in all six buildings worked under the guidance of the Albany County Department of Health to determine who needed to quarantine and all of those individuals have been contacted.

Please monitor your child’s social media use

Recently there have been challenges on the social media platform TikTok that have encouraged students in our area and across the nation to engage in inappropriate, destructive, lewd and violent behavior. To date, we have not seen any of this behavior at GCSD, but would like to remind families that this sort of behavior violates the district’s Student Code of Conduct and the district will take these matters seriously. We ask parents to please pay close attention to your student’s social media use.

Capital improvement project proposal puts an emphasis on outdoor spaces

On Thursday, October 7, we will ask the Guilderland community to vote on a $21.8 million capital improvement project. One aspect of the proposal is outdoor learning spaces. This past school year we learned how valuable outdoor space is. $3,344,005 of the total proposal is dedicated to improving and creating outdoor classroom pavilions and playgrounds that will provide additional safe and healthy learning facilities to encourage exploration, observation and a connection to nature. 

Playgrounds: The proposal includes upgrading or replacing playground equipment at all five elementary schools to meet appropriate ADA accessibility standards for students of all abilities. The American Academy of Pediatrics endorses the benefits of outdoor, unstructured play, citing the many cognitive, social, emotional and physical benefits, including improving the attention span of students, decreasing stress, preparing students for classwork and inspiring students to be more physically active.

Outdoor classroom pavilions: An extension of the school building, outdoor classroom pavilions will enhance students’ physical, mental and emotional well-being, in a safe, healthy environment. Learning outdoors provides a change of pace and increases student enthusiasm for learning. It can also improve the emotional, intellectual and behavioral development of students and can foster creativity, problem-solving, independence and confidence.

The proposal also includes installation of a turf field and replacement of the track, upgraded heating and ventilation systems, bathrooms, windows and security systems. These items will address GCSD’s priorities of improving the learning environment, enhancing safety and security for students and staff, and replacing or updating aging infrastructure in the district’s seven buildings. To learn more about these and other items in the proposal, visit https://www.guilderlandschools.org/capital-construction-project. The public vote will be held on Thursday, October 7, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., at all five elementary schools.

Thank you for your continued commitment to following all of our health and safety protocols.  We appreciate your cooperation and support. Have a wonderful weekend.


Marie Wiles, Ph.D.

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