Niskayuna students are masked up and back in the building for classes

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NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Students at Niskayuna High School walked through the doors Thursday with their books, sports equipment, and masks. The return to full in-person learning comes with excitement, and an understanding that COVID-19 regulations have to be followed.

“I think we’re all looking forward to a more wholesome learning experience this year,” said Vera Amirbekian, a junior at Niskayuna.

Senior Baylee Fingerhut agreed, adding “I’m definitely excited. I couldn’t really sleep last night, but I’m really excited for today.”

The district is following a tiered mitigation plan that depends on the level of community transmission in Schenectady County, currently considered “high” by the CDC.

Right now, Niskayuna CSD is strongly recommending vaccines, social distancing of three feet will be followed to the extent possible, face masks are required indoors, and outdoors when social distancing isn’t possible.

If the level of community transmission changes, so will the district’s approach to protocols. The intent of the tiered approach is to find and maintain a balance between prioritizing health and safety of students and staff, while also supporting their emotional and mental needs.

Principal John Rickert said the trick this year is to stay nimble and flexible, with eyes on CDC recommendations and guidance from Schenectady County.

“To have them all back here, and to have them with the people who want to work with them and help them grow and develop,” Rickert said, “that’s what it’s all about.”

News10

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