COVID-19 Test Consent

Dear Parents, Guardians and Caregivers,

As you may know, Governor Cuomo has detailed a COVID-19 micro-cluster strategy that focuses on geographic zones or communities.  Once the infection rate in a zone or community meets a certain threshold, it can be designated as a “yellow,” “orange” or “red” zone.  With each of these designations, the community and school district within the zone, would be required to take certain actions. 

While our school community has done a remarkable job to maintain a healthy environment, the infection rate continues to climb in the areas around us.  As such, we want to do what we can now, so that, if the time does come and we are identified as a “yellow” zone, we are prepared to take the action necessary to keep our schools open for in-person learning.

What happens if our community becomes a “yellow” zone?   It would not mean that our schools would be forced to close or that we would need to discontinue in-person learning. The Department of Health is requiring that in order for schools to remain open to in-person instruction, while in a “yellow” zone, 20 percent of in-person teachers and students would need to be tested for COVID-19.  Our goal would be to do just that and to continue to offer in-person instruction.

How can you help? At this time, we are simply preparing for the possibility that our community will enter a yellow zone.  Since your child attends school in-person, we are asking for you to provide consent for your child to be tested in school so that we have it on file, if needed.  We are asking in advance so that our plan is in place and we would be positioned to jump into action, to minimize the impact on in-person learning.

Here is what you need to know:

The test itself is simple, quick and non-invasive.  Although a nasal swab is used for this test, it is a shallow swabbing, done very quickly. It has been described as not much different than someone picking their nose. As indelicate as that description may be, it seems like a relatable example in the school population. It is not the PCR test that has been uncomfortable for many to endure. A certified or licensed medical professional (CNA, LPN or RN) will administer the test and provide the results.


We will not test your child without your consent and prior knowledge.  If you have not consented to a test, your child will not be tested. Those refusing to consent to a test will NOT be excluded from school or required to be remote learners.  Although we hope that all students will participate, it is not a requirement.

We will test 20 percent of our in-person population. The district will randomly sample from the list of those who have given consent to testing.  We will rotate through our schools and be as efficient as possible with the testing of our students.

We will notify you by email at least the day before your child is tested.

Testing will be organized and quick.  Students and staff selected for testing will be retrieved from classes at their testing time and be brought to a large space in their respective schools. They will be given the test and immediately returned to their class. This will be a very quick process to minimize the amount of time students are out of class. 

Due to the daily screening that we already conduct, everyone who attends in-person is presumed to be negative. Taking the test doesn’t change that. If a positive test result does occur, the student will be asked to report to the health office and procedures followed.  You would be contacted immediately and provided with instructions to pick up your child and follow up with your physician.

Please consider providing consent for your child to be tested.  You can complete the form and return it to your child's school or click here.  It is titled COVID-19 Test Consent.

Thank you in advance for considering participation.  If you have any questions, submit them through Let’s Talk on our district website. 

I wish you and your family continued good health and appreciate your diligence in following COVID protocols.

 

Sincerely,

Andrea Tote-Freeman
District Director of Pupil Services

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