Updates from the Nov. 5 Niskayuna High School Lockdown

6:30 p.m. update – Dismissal procedures beginning; Message from Niskayuna High School Principal John Rickert

After their check of Niskayuna High School, the Niskayuna Police have determined that students can be released and we have initiated our dismissal procedures.

Student drivers and walkers are gathering in Blatnick Gymnasium and will be released after the buses have departed.

Students who are not walking or driving are beginning to board buses that will bring them home.

Please note that this process might take some time in an effort to make it as orderly as possible.

We again thank everyone for their patience and cooperation, and thank the Niskayuna Police Department and several area agencies for their work today and ongoing partnership.

Please see a message below from Principal John Rickert to Niskayuna High School Families.

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Dear Niskayuna High School Families:

I want to thank you and our students for your patience and cooperation during today’s prolonged lockdown. I want to recognize that this was likely a difficult experience for many of our students and our school community in general.

The school district and police undertook the precautions and procedures necessary to investigate the threat that was brought to our attention. However, we know this was not easy day for students and we will do everything we can to support them.

Although police are continuing a criminal investigation into what took place today, they have assured us that school can resume on its normal schedule tomorrow. Classes will be in session. In their search of the school, police did not find anything in connection with the threatening note.

We will make Tuesday as normal as possible for students, while also providing support as needed.

School counselors and social workers will be available to work with any student who would like to talk about the situation.

During morning announcements, I will make sure students are aware that support is available and encourage them to talk to any adult who they are comfortable with in the building. I will emphasize how seriously we take their safety.

We also would like to share a resource with you from the National Association of School Psychologist that has some tips for talking with children – https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources/school-safety-and-crisis/school-violence-prevention/school-violence-prevention-tips-for-parents-and-educators

Anytime we have situations such as this one, we review what happened to identify what can be improved. Our District Safety Committee meets this week, and debriefing the lockdown will be on its agenda. Following that meeting, there will be a public forum to discuss this situation. We will let you know when that is scheduled.

In closing, we thank the Niskayuna Police Department and several area agencies for their response and work on this today and ongoing partnership. There is nothing more important than the safety of our students and staff. We thank them, and you, for today’s cooperation and patience.

Sincerely,

John Rickert
Niskayuna High School Principal

5:10 p.m. update – Police nearing end of check of the building

At this time, Niskayuna Police are nearing the completion of their room-by-room check of the high school. Once this is complete, we will initiate dismissal procedures.

When we are able to dismiss students, they will go to one of two places: Drivers and walkers will go to the Blatnick Gym. All other students will go to the Bus Loop and board a bus for home.

Once the buses have departed, walkers and drivers will be released.

As a reminder, parents should not come to the high school campus, and students will not be released to parents.

We will let you know when students are being released.  However, given the need to do this on an orderly basis, this is likely to take some time.

Thank you again for your patience and cooperation today.

3:50 p.m. update – Police continuing to procedures to check the building

This is an update on the situation at Niskayuna High School today, Monday, Nov. 5. It is 3:50 p.m.

Niskayuna Police are continuing their procedures to check the building room-by-room, which must take place prior to releasing students. Given the size of the high school, we want to let you know that this is going to take some time. We do not currently have an estimate of how long.

As a reminder, parent vehicles are not allowed on campus at this time.

We will provide updates as they are available, including dismissal procedures once it has been determined that students can be released, through e-mail, text, phone and the website.

There are no afterschool or evening activities at the high school or the middle schools today. The middle schools have dismissed on a normal schedule, but there are no late middle school buses.

We understand that this is a frustrating situation, and we thank you for your patience and cooperation.

2:20 p.m. Update – Dismissal to be delayed; Afterschool student activities canceled for MS & HS

This is an update on the situation at Niskayuna High School. It is 2:20 p.m.

Dismissal will be delayed today and there will be no afterschool/evening student activities at the high school or at the middle schools today and the High School PTO meeting has been cancelled. There will be no middle school late buses.

The high school remains on lockdown in response to the note found today. The police are there checking each classroom, which needs to take place prior to initiating dismissal.

Per our procedures and the advice of police, students will not be dismissed while the high school is on lockdown and the police investigate. Parents should not come to the campus.

We will provide an update on high school dismissal procedures as soon as possible via this e-mail address, text and the website. Middle school will use normal dismissal procedures today.

Niskayuna High School on lockdown (1:05 p.m., Monday, Nov. 5)

At approximately 1 p.m. today, Monday, November 5, Niskayuna High School went into lockdown based on a threatening note that was found by a student. At this time, the Niskayuna Police Department is on the scene to assess if the threat is credible. Per our procedures and the advice of police, students will not be dismissed while the school is on lockdown and the police investigate. We will provide an update on dismissal procedures as soon as possible via this e-mail address, text and the website.