A Note About COVID-19 Communication

Communication of COVID-19 Positive Cases Being Streamlined with a Daily Email

To the Niskayuna Central School District Family,

As our area experiences an increase in COVID-19 cases, we want to address how we communicate positive cases in our school community. In particular, our plan is to streamline our communication of confirmed cases with a daily districtwide email on any days that we are aware of positive cases.

Given that any individuals who need to quarantine based on potential exposure in the school setting are contacted by either the district or the local health department as soon as possible, we have determined that the potential confusion and information overload of multiple messages a day outweigh the benefits. We plan to send these daily messages after school has ended for the day (approximately 3-4 p.m. or later, depending on the circumstance).

We remain committed to transparency as it relates to COVID-19 and our schools. Please note the following:

  • Individuals who need to quarantine as a result of potential exposure to COVID-19 at school will continue to be contacted as soon as possible, either after we receive clearance from the local health department or by the health department itself.
  • Ideally, waiting until toward the end of the day will provide us time to determine if we can appropriately staff any affected school(s) or if any decisions about all-remote learning need to be made.
  • On days when we are not aware of any new cases, there will not be an email.
  • We do realize that there are situations when people may find out about positive cases before an official notification has been made by the district. That has always been the nature of this situation. Our goal is to be the most clear and accurate source of information about what is happening with regard to school.
  • One exception to the daily email will be when we find out information later in the day or the evening that affects the school schedule and in-person instruction for the next day.
  • Mass notifications on weekends are likely to only occur when there is information that families need to know, such as when it affects in-person instruction at the school.
  • Information about positive cases will also continue to be posted on our website. This will also be streamlined, with a link in the yellow special alert bar at the top of each web page and under the “News” section beneath the picture on the district homepage.

We are so proud of the way our community has come together in these past several months to promote health, safety and learning. Our overarching goal is for in-person learning to continue, and we are following all of the necessary health and safety precautions outlined in our reopening plan, including mask-wearing, social distancing and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting. Please help limit the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and adhering to guidelines related to gatherings.

In Closing: We Are a Compassionate Community

As an additional note, we ask everyone to remember that COVID-related situations have the potential to create isolation and a feeling of disconnect from our community. We want to reassure you that it’s natural to want to obtain more information, but encourage you to be mindful of the impact that speculation or social media communication can have on those that are already facing isolation as a result of this situation.

Thank you for your attention to this information and everything that you are doing to make this school year the best it can be. We are all in this together, and we are grateful for your partnership.

Sincerely,

Cosimo Tangorra, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools