Return to School/COVID-19 Resources

New routines, public health and school procedures and practices will all be part of returning to school this year. These general resources provide information on what to expect when returning back to school and how to prepare students for the transition. 

Preparing for the Return to School | Social and Emotional Health | Prevention | Additional Resources| Reopening Plan | Reopening Plan Updates | Reopening FAQs

Preparing for the Return to School

GCSD Resource: For K- Grade 6: What to Expect and How to Prepare for Return to School

GCSD Resource: For Grades 7-12: What to Expect and How to Prepare for Return to School

Tips for Preparing Your Child for Their Return to the Classroom

Protect Yourself and Others

Talk to your children about their important role in preventing
the spread of COVID-19.

  • Regularly wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer
  • Wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth
  • Maintain at least six feet of distance from others wherever possible, even if wearing masks
  • Do not share items such as clothing, food, drinks and electronics
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow

Expand Your Routine

Budget extra time for your before- and after-school routine.

  • Do a daily health check and submit an attestation to your child’s school district if required
  • Check that your child’s temperature is below 100.0ºF
  • Before leaving home: wash hands, pack two clean masks and a paper bag to store your masks
  • Give yourself extra time for travel to and from school
  • Upon returning home: wash your hands and put your used masks in the laundry/hand wash them

Speak Up

Have conversations, acknowledge any feelings and encourage your
children to speak up if they:

  • Don’t feel safe, have fears or worries
  • Have questions about new routines or about COVID-19
  • Need help with schoolwork or understanding new school rules
  • Are not feeling well or notice new symptoms
  • Notice someone else who needs support


Develop and practice with your children important habits such as:

  • How to wear and store a mask
  • How it feels to wear a mask for a length of time
  • Talking and listening with a mask on
  • How to avoid touching your face
  • How to greet friends (wave, jazz hands, foot bump, invent something)
  • What six feet of distance looks like (think pool noodle)
  • Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds
  • Listening and following directions — especially for tasks like riding the bus, walking in hallways and participating in class

Remote Learning Expectations

Parents and guardians will need to think differently about how to support their children, how to create structures and routines that allow their children to be successful, and how to monitor and support their children’s learning. Some students will thrive with remote learning, while others may struggle.

Read these guidelines to help children find success in a remote learning environment.


Whether they’re walking, using mass transit, being driven in a car or riding a district school bus, getting to and from school will look different. These resources focus on how to keep kids safe as they travel between school and home.

Capital Region BOCES Video: Traveling to School Safely

Important Reminders for Students Traveling to School:

Using the School Bus
  • Wear a mask at all times, including at the bus stop. If you don’t have a mask, ask the bus driver for one.
  • Stay six feet apart while waiting at the bus stop and when boarding
    and exiting the bus.
  • Pay attention to instructions given by your bus driver or
    other staff members.
  • Don’t sit with students who do not live in your
  • Face forward at all times while on the bus.
  • Avoid touching surfaces that are often touched by
    passengers, if possible.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wash hands before leaving home in the morning and
    shortly after arriving at school.
Using a Private Vehicle
  • Put your mask on before you exit the car.
  • When being picked up, keep your mask on until you are in the vehicle.
  • Be familiar with and follow your school’s recommendations for safe drop-off and pick-up locations.
  • Stay socially distanced whenever possible, including as you enter and leave the school building.
  • Wash your hands before leaving home and once you arrive at school.
Walking to School
  • Wear your mask when walking with others you do not live with.
  • Avoid walking in large groups.
  • Stay socially distanced whenever possible, including as you enter and leave the school building.
  • Wash your hands before leaving home and once you arrive at school.

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Social and Emotional Health

The mental health wellness of students and staff is a high priority as schools look toward reopening. Learn more about the district’s plan for social and emotional well-being.

Guilderland Central School District Social and Emotional Resources

Guilderland Central School District Support

Find contact information for GCSD counselors, psychologists, and social workers.

Additional Social and Emotional Health Resources

CDC Web page: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Coping with Stress. Information and resources to help you and your children cope with stress. 

CDC Video: COVID-19: Parents Supporting Children

New York State Office of Mental Health

OMH Emotional Support Line: 1-844-863-9314

The Emotional Support Line provides free and confidential support, helping callers experiencing increased anxiety due to the coronavirus emergency. The Helpline is staffed by volunteers, including mental health professionals, who have received training in crisis counseling.

New York State OMH website: COVID-19 Resources. Resources resources on managing anxiety in difficult times, Coronavirus-related guidance for healthcare providers and how to volunteer to help.

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Read more about the district’s health and safety plans for the 2020-21 school year. 

CDC Video: COVID-19 Stop the Spread of Germs

Hand Hygiene

CDC Webpage: Handwashing Clean Hands Save Lives. This webpage has a variety of posters for small children to teens to raise awareness about handwashing.

CDC Video: What You Need to Know About Handwashing

Johns Hopkins Medicine Video: Hand-Washing Steps Using the WHO Technique

Masks/Face Coverings

Resources to understand best practices for selecting, wearing and caring for face masks.

CDC Webpage: How to Select, Wear and Clean Your Mask. Overview on the do’s and don’ts of choosing a mask, wearing one and how to clean one.

Capital Region BOCES Video: How to Wear a Face Mask

CDC Video: How to Wear a Mask. A short video, with no sound, on how to properly wear a mask.

Social Distancing

CDC Poster: Keep Space Between You and Others. Download and print this poster to remind kids how and where to social distance in school.

CDC Social Distancing Webpage. An overview of what social distancing is and why and how to practice social distancing.

Respiratory Hygiene

CDC Poster: Cover Coughs and Sneezes. Download and print this poster as a reminder for kids to help stop the spread of germs.

CDC Poster: Don’t Let Your Germs go for a Ride. Download and print this poster to remind kids to cover their coughs and sneezes.

Identifying Symptoms

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC Webpage: Symptoms of Coronavirus. Resources, including a Coronavirus Self-Checker to learn more about symptoms of COVID-19. 

CDC Poster: Stay Home When You Are Sick. Download and print this poster as a reminder of when to stay home.

CDC Video Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019. This 21-second animated video shows typical Coronavirus symptoms.

Additional COVID-19 Information and Resources

Albany County Department of Health

Albany County Department of Health
Phone: 518-447-4580
Mon–Fri: 8:30am–10:00pm
Sat & Sun: 8:30am–6:00pm

NYS Department of Health

New York State Department of Health
Call NYSDOH hotline at 1-888-364-3065 (24 hours) or fill out this form to ask a question about COVID-19

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

World Health Organization


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