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Dear Alma Families,
We are excited to launch an in-school testing program to increase safety and dramatically reduce disruptions to scholar learning due to COVID-19 this year. This program has two components:
1. Symptomatic testing for scholars who show symptoms of COVID-19 at school
2. Test and Stay for scholars who may have been exposed while in school but are not showing symptoms.
Join us for an informational Zoom meeting about this new program at 5:30 pm on Monday, Sept. 13!
Each of these is a quick, non-invasive nasal swab that is collected under the supervision of a school nurse or trained health provider. Unlike COVID-19 tests of the past, these are not uncomfortable and are easy for children to do themselves.
Children only participate with permission from a parent or guardian. It is important to us that you are fully informed regarding the process and that we can answer any questions that you might have in advance of asking you to sign the consent form. Note that if you sign the consent form, you are consenting to both types of testing through the rest of this school year.
Symptomatic testing is used when a scholar is showing symptoms of COVID-19 during school; scholars should not come to school if they are feeling sick while at home. Some symptoms of the virus look identical to other illnesses like the cold or flu, and this test tells us whether a symptomatic scholar has COVID-19 or not. This is a rapid test, and we receive the results of this test within 15 minutes. If a scholar has minimal symptoms and tests negative, they can remain in school.
Test and Stay allows scholars who have had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 while at school to stay in school if the scholar is not showing symptoms. Instead of needing to quarantine and miss school, these scholars will take a daily rapid test while they remain in school as long as they are not symptomatic. Scholars participate in Test and Stay for at least five days after they may have been exposed.
If a scholar tests positive for COVID-19, they must follow the CDC-recommended quarantining protocols that we already have in place.
Although scholars who are vaccinated are much less likely to spread or contract the virus, it is important for us to create an inclusive environment for both vaccinated and unvaccinated scholars.
To participate in the program, you must sign this consent form on behalf of your scholar. There is no charge for participating. To learn more about our COVID-19 testing program, please watch this short informational video. If you have additional questions regarding the program, please contact Alma’s Chief of Staff Emily Darrow at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would prefer to complete a paper copy of the consent form, please contact the front office of your child’s campus.
It is our hope that these measures will work together to keep our schools safe and your scholar(s) in school. Thanks again for your support during this challenging time. We are thrilled to have your children back in the classroom!