Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians,
We are excited to be offering the “Test to Stay” (TTS) program at our schools. Our district is now able to offer a range of free COVID-19 testing tools for students and staff at all district schools.
These testing tools are intended to help identify COVID-19 cases quickly and early, and then to respond to positive cases, while keeping as many kids in school as possible. Our aim is to limit disruptions to in-person learning and activities, while continuing to do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19.
All testing is voluntary and will require consent.
Surveillance testing is a weekly testing program using on-site PCR nasal swab tests.
We are conducting weekly PCR testing at school for the following individuals:
• Vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals
• Age 5 and older
• Students and staff only
Response Antigen Testing (TTS)
Response testing includes both rapid antigen testing and PCR testing. These tools will be used in response to a positive case within the school community.
• An antigen test is usually very accurate and uses a nasal swab. The results of antigen tests usually take about 15 to 30 minutes. Only unvaccinated students, ages 5 and up, who are identified as close contacts will participate.
• Students will have an antigen test every day upon arrival at school.
• Parents/guardians will be required to drive their student to school and wait for 15 minutes for their student’s test result. Individuals who test negative may remain at school.
• Each school will provide parents specific directions for where to go on their campus for this testing.
• Students in TTS may only attend school and on-campus school-sponsored activities that do not involve students from another school campus. Otherwise, they are expected to quarantine, meaning they should not participate in other activities (i.e. go to the grocery store, spend time with friends and others, etc.) outside of the household.
• If you do not consent to participate in TTS, and your child is unvaccinated, they must quarantine for 14 days, or have a negative PCR test at day 7 or later in order to return to school and other activities.
In-School PCR Response Testing
We may administer in-school PCR response tests in the following situations:
• Testing students/staff with symptoms after they have tested negative using an antigen test or in the absence of an antigen test.
• Testing a large number of students or staff members in order for them to leave quarantine.
• Testing vaccinated close contacts of COVID-19 cases between days 3 and 5 after exposure.
• Testing in response to a large number of cases or outbreak in our school community.
Please note that sharing of information about your child will only be done for public health purposes and in accordance with applicable law and policies protecting student privacy and the security of your child’s data.
Universal Consent for Response Testing: Obtaining Consent for Testing
The AOE has created one universal consent web form for all forms of response testing (Test Types 1 to 3) (antigen, PCR and any potential new testing technologies).
Consent for Surveillance Testing will continue through the CIC website https://www.cic-health.com/vermont and must be given separately.
We are extremely grateful to our committed families and staff who continue to show great flexibility and resilience as we work together to contain the spread of this virus. If you have questions regarding the COVID-19 Testing Program, please reach out to Chris Bowles at email@example.com, (802) 851-1291.
Florence M. Kelley, RN, BSN
District COVID-19 Coordinator
CDC recommends everyone 5 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and free. Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. Visit vaccines.gov to find vaccination providers near you.