Yellow Zone Testing Program Information
An easy, comfortable testing program is here and we’re hoping you will participate.
As mentioned in previous letters, the State of New York is requiring us to take action as a district within a geographic “yellow zone.” Although the school community has done a remarkable job in maintaining a healthy environment with presumably no school-based transmissions and a very low infection rate overall, our greater geographic region is seeing an increase in infection rates. Due to this local circumstance, the Governor issued Executive Order 202.68 requiring precautionary action in communities located in a “yellow zone,” including mandatory testing of students and school personnel in compliance with Department of Health guidance.
DOH guidance requires that schools open to in-person instruction in yellow zones test 20% of in-person students, teachers, and staff at least once a week, for as long as the school remains in a designated yellow zone. It continues to be our goal to be open to in-person instruction. Therefore, we must comply with this order from the state.
Here’s what you need to know:
- We will not test your child without your consent and prior knowledge.
- The test itself is non-invasive, simple, and quick. 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. The video linked above demonstrates just how simple this test is.
- We will test 20% of our in-person population per week. We will notify you by email at least the day before your child is tested.
- 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 most, if not all, students will participate, this will not be required.
- The District will randomly sample from throughout the list of those who have consented to testing. We will rotate through buildings and be as efficient as possible in the testing of students.
- Students and staff chosen for testing will be retrieved from classes at their testing time and be brought to a large space in their respective buildings. They will be given the test and immediately returned to their class. We will make this a very quick process so as to minimize time out of class. Due to the daily screening, everyone in person is presumed to be negative. Taking the test doesn’t change that and participants continue to be presumed negative. If a positive test result occurs, the student will be asked to report to the nurse’s office and the procedure for isolating in the nurse’s office and contacting the family for physician follow up will be followed.
- We’re hoping for your consent! Please click here to access the testing consent form and indicate if you consent or do not consent for each child who is receiving in-person instruction. Similar to the daily screening form, you will have to consent for each of your children separately.
- Due to changes in this process and our desire to be as efficient with your time as possible, we will be changing our daily health screening process once again, so that you only need to fill out the screening on days that your student is scheduled to physically be on campus (even if your child will be absent that day). Remote learners do not need to fill out the health screening.
- Questions? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you an answer as soon as possible.
Thank you in advance for watching the video and considering participation. We’re hopeful that everyone joins in this effort but respect your decisions with regard to your child’s health.
Best wishes for continued good health and please continue to take the steps you have taken so well in keeping every healthy.
Stay healthy, monitor your symptoms, practice good hand and respiratory hygiene, stay distanced, and stay masked.
Kevin McGowan, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools