Niskayuna is going back-to-school!
Our school district looks forward to a full return to in-person education in September, providing all academic programs and a wide variety of extracurricular and athletic offerings. Consistent with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics and Guidance issued by the New York State Education Department (NYSED), the district will use a “layered mitigation plan” with protocols such as mask wearing, cleaning and hygiene, contact tracing and quarantining, ventilation and disinfecting, food services and COVID testing and vaccination access.
What does “layered mitigation” mean? This refers to tiered and overlapping health and safety measures designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19, as well as the recognition that different measures may be needed as the rate of community transmission of the virus changes in one direction or another.
The intent of this plan is to maximize all of the benefits that Niskayuna students and community members get from education and activities within our school district while doing everything that is necessary to safeguard the health and safety of our students, staff and community.
How We Expect to Start the Year: Key Points
- In-person learning every day for students K-12 with full-length instructional days.
- Exploring K-12 virtual learning options for students with a documented medical need with regional school districts through BOCES.
- All students and staff will wear masks indoors; Masks will be worn outdoors when students and staff will be within 3 feet of each other.
- We will maximize student activities while maintaining focus on health and safety.
We can expect the plan to change as conditions change, and we will do everything possible to keep our community informed at all times.
More Information About…
Current Back-to-School Health and Safety Protocols
The current level of community transmission of COVID-19 in Schenectady County is High. The following protocols apply when the level of transmission is high.
Social Distancing Indoors
3 feet distancing to the extent possible
Social Distancing Outdoors
3 feet (Masked when students and staff will be within 3 feet of each other, including recess)
Required by all at all times regardless of vaccination status, except when eating and distanced
Required for all when students/staff will be within 3 feet of each other, including recess; not required when individuals will be 3 feet or more apart
Facemasks on Buses
Required by CDC order
Hygiene: Handwashing/Hand Sanitizer and Respiratory Etiquette
Strongly Encouraged and Expected
Cleaning and Disinfection
Daily Routine Cleaning
Enhanced disinfection of moderate- and high-touched surfaces
Ventilation and Air Quality
Increased fresh air circulation (mechanical systems and windows)
Contact Tracing and Quarantine
Pursuant to DOH regulations – 10-day quarantine
Vaccinated and asymptomatic individuals do not need to be quarantined but per CDC guidance will get tested 3-5 days after exposure and wear a mask indoors in public settings for 14 days following exposure or until negative test result
Random COVID-19 Surveillance/Screening Testing
Working with BOCES to plan for screening testing per CDC’s recommendation that 20% per week of unvaccinated students and staff be tested
Staying Home When Sick
Yes for all students and staff
Pursuant to Collective Bargaining Agreement for Use of Sick Days or Paid COVID Sick Leave if applicable
Return to School/Work Protocols (following COVID Symptoms)
Yes – Resolution of symptoms and proof of a negative COVID test
Return to School/Work Protocols (following COVID positive)
Yes – 10 days after initial onset of symptoms and fever free for 24 hours and symptoms have improved
6 feet distancing to the extent possible
Recess, Playground and Physical Education
3 feet distancing and masked
3 feet distancing required when not engaged in the core activity
Music and Performing Arts
Singing/instrument playing require 3 feet of distancing, masked and bell covers
Vaccination required for high-risk sports
Awaiting further guidance related to screening testing for unvaccinated participants (for sports other than high-risk)
Masked at all times; 3-feet distancing required when not engaged in the core activity
No spectators at indoor events; two spectators per student-athlete at outdoor events
Compliance with all New York State Public High School Athletic Association and Suburban Council protocols
Community/Outside Group Use of School Facilities
No outside use of facilities allowed
Official business only
Monitoring Community- and School-Based Transmission
Ongoing; weekly benchmark