Health & Safety Protocols Remain as Masks Become Optional

Dear Niskayuna families and staff,

Thanks to our collective efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the statewide universal mask mandate for schools was lifted as of today, March 2, 2022.

Mask wearing in schools is now optional. Every family’s situation is unique. As a community, we will respect each person’s choice as to whether or not they will wear a mask to keep themselves or their family healthy.

Health and safety guidance from the state and local health departments related to COVID-19 continues to evolve. While the latest state guidance removes the mask requirement, the following health and safety protocols remain in place:

  • Physical distancing of 3 feet to the extent possible will continue. 
  • Regardless of vaccination status, if a student tests positive for COVID-19 they must isolate for a full 5 days. Students may return to school after day 5 if they are asymptomatic or if symptoms are resolving. 
  • For days 6-10 following a positive test, students are required to wear a mask in school, including on the school bus.
  • If a student has been exposed to COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status it is highly recommended they wear a mask for a full ten days following that exposure.
  • State and local health officials continue to recommend testing for COVID-19 following a possible exposure. COVID-19 tests are available at each school building and at the district office to anyone who wants one.
  • All staff and students should continue to follow our protocols when experiencing symptoms, testing positive or being exposed to COVID-19. Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home from school, regardless of vaccination status or recent infection, until tested and/or isolated for 5 days.

What To Do When…

  • An individual tests positive for COVID-19
  • An individual is experiencing COVID-like symptoms (testing requirements)
  • An individual has been exposed to COVID-19

As always, we remain committed to keeping our students in school, while providing a safe learning environment for all. We will continue to follow multiple mitigation strategies to prevent the spread of illness in our schools and on our buses. This includes physical distancing, enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures and improved ventilation, in addition to providing free at-home COVID-19 testing kits to our families and staff.

We will also continue to notify staff and families if we learn about a positive case in a school building. 

We remain in close contact with state and local health officials and are committed to providing staff and families with clear, updated information on the latest health and safety guidance. Thank you for your continued partnership as we work to keep our students and staff healthy, and our students in school. 


Juliette Pennyman, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent of Schools