Niskayuna Reopening Plan

A Message from our Reopening Task Force

Introduction

We are committed to the health and safety of all members of our school community and providing our students with the very best education possible at all times. 

On Monday, July 13, 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that school districts in New York can establish plans to reopen for in-person schooling in September if COVID-19 infection rates stay at 5% or lower in a given region. Additionally, he said determinations will be made by region about opening and closing schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. If a region is in Phase 4 and has a daily infection rate of 5% or lower over a 14-day average, schools in that region could hold in-person instruction. If daily infection rates exceed 9% over a seven-day average, however, schools in that region would not reopen.

In anticipation of the 2020-21 school year and guidance related to reopening schools, in June of 2020, we formed a community-wide Reopening Task Force. Approximately 385 members of the school community worked on 23 subcommittees in areas related to reopening. Their efforts were guided by subcommittee co-chairs and a steering committee that met weekly. Given the magnitude of this task, the fluidity of the situation, and the implementation details that remain, the work of the Task Force will continue through August and the start of the year.

This plan represents our Niskayuna Reopening Task Force’s best effort to provide for the health and safety of all members of our community while prioritizing in-person instruction for students. If the Governor allows on-site learning to take place in September, our plan calls for a combination of on-site instruction and at-home learning (in-person/hybrid model) with the schedule varying by grade level and student need. We also have a plan for all-remote instruction if that is required, and note that families may choose to have their child(ren) remain in a remote (“all virtual”) learning model.

This plan includes procedures that will be followed in all schools within the Niskayuna Central School District: 

  • Birchwood Elementary School
  • Craig Elementary School
  • Glencliff Elementary School
  • Hillside Elementary School
  • Rosendale Elementary School
  • Iroquois Middle School
  • Van Antwerp Middle School
  • Niskayuna High School

The health and safety of our students, our staff and their families is our top priority. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

It is possible that we may need to alternate between in-person and remote learning throughout the year due to recommendations and guidance from our partnering agencies, and stay-at-home orders from the Governor. The level of infection, the spread of the virus and response to the disease in our community will be at the forefront of our decision making as we move to open our schools.

Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr., will serve as the district’s COVID-19 Coordinator. Dr. Tangorra will work closely with our local health departments as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. He will serve as a central contact for schools and stakeholders, families, staff and other school community members and will ensure the district is in compliance and following the best practices per state and federal guidelines. Dr. Tangorra can be contacted at (518)  377-4666, ext. 50706 or ctangorra@niskyschools.org. This information will appear on the website and in back-to-school materials that address COVID-19 protocols. 

Given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, this plan is subject to change. As that happens and as further details are developed, we will communicate the information to stakeholders as quickly and clearly as possible.