Superintendent’s Letter: Return from holiday recess

A message from Superintendent Wiles, updated Jan. 3

Dear Guilderland CSD Families,

As we prepare to return to school tomorrow for in-person instruction, I would like to take this opportunity to communicate a few important points.

Return to in-person instruction

Our current plan is for students to return for in-person instruction tomorrow, however this could change in the future as the situation evolves. Because of the record number of COVID-19 cases in Albany County and the high transmission rate of the omicron variant, we are closely monitoring circumstances and may need to adjust our plans. Should this occur, the district will immediately inform you of any change to the plan presently in place.

At-home COVID-19 test kits

As has been reported in the media, New York State is making thousands of at-home COVID-19 test kits available to school districts statewide as a resource to schools and families. Test kits were delivered to Capital Region BOCES over the weekend, however GCSD has not yet received its allotment. We anticipate taking delivery of the test kits tomorrow. Please watch for a communication regarding how the COVID-19 tests will be distributed to families.

The purpose of these test kits is to monitor the spread of COVID-19 within our community as part of our ongoing effort to maintain in-person instruction. Tests can be utilized whether or not a student is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. 

COVID-19 testing and reporting positive results

Please note that any positive COVID-19 test results from an at-home test must be reported to the Albany County Department of Health and to your school nurse and your school building administrator. When using an at-home test kit, please be certain the brand is on the FDA-approved list.  In addition, a photo of the test kit box and a photo of the test result must be submitted when reporting the test results. 

If your child has a symptom of COVID-19, they should be tested at home using a rapid test or at a clinic, a doctor’s office, a testing site or at the GCSD testing facility. Anyone with a positive test result should isolate and contact the Albany County Department of Health and your school nurse. For more information on testing, quarantine and isolation please visit Albany County’s website.

A negative COVID test is NOT a general requirement for a return to school after the holiday break. 

No change to quarantine and isolation protocols

Finally, there has been significant attention given to the CDC’s change to the length of the isolation period for fully vaccinated healthcare workers and other critical workforce. It should be noted this change in guidance does not affect the isolation period for public school students. GCSD continues to work under the guidance of the Albany County Department of Health to make determinations about quarantine and isolation for individuals who come into contact with someone who is positive or presumed positive for COVID-19. For more details, please visit the GCSD website.

In addition, I urge families to please keep students home from school when they are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19.

Thank you for your continued partnership and support as we work to keep GCSD students in school for in-person instruction. I look forward to the return to school tomorrow.


Marie Wiles, Ph.D.

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