As we enter into the winter season amidst the ongoing pandemic, our chief priorities remain the same since we released our reopening plan for the 2021-22 school year:
- Keep students in school, in-person, at 100% capacity
- Safely maintain in-person learning for all students
- Maintain the offering of co-curriculars, extracurricular activities, and athletics for students
With the uptick of COVID-19 cases, and taking into consideration the burden quarantine can have on students and families, Schuylerville CSD will be taking part in the Test to Stay (TTS) program beginning within the next week. We will be using tests supplied to us by the county and state in order to carry out this initiative. The exposed person who is allowed to remain in school through TTS must still be quarantined outside of the regular school day, including:
- On weekends/holidays when the five-day TTS period is still active
- After school/evenings
Students participating in TTS are allowed to continue to ride the school bus following all existing guidance, including required masking.
What does test to stay mean?
If a child has been in contact with a positive student, in lieu of putting quarantined students at home, test to stay allows students to stay in school as long as they have no symptoms and test negative three times during a five-day period following exposure, with parent permission. Tests will be administered on days 1, 3, and 5 of quarantine. Per Saratoga County Public Health Services, the quarantine period for exposed/infected individuals has been reduced from 10 days to 5.
How will this work for our students?
Normal contact tracing will take place. Administrators and nurses will contact families of students who are considered in close contact. The family can agree to have them tested regularly in school as an alternative to having to quarantine during school hours. Students would arrive at school and report directly to the nurse’s office for testing. A negative test will keep students in school. If a student tests positive, the parent and/or guardian will be required to pick up their child and quarantine their student.
Who is eligible for this?
All K-12 students that would be placed in quarantine because of a classroom or transportation setting exposure, with the exception of family members in the same household, are eligible. Parents will always have the right to quarantine instead of test. (see below for more information regarding eligibility.)
Summary of Saratoga County Eligibility
For eligibility to receive a modified quarantine order that allows in-person instruction, a student must meet all of the following criteria:
- Has not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and under a quarantine order issued by Saratoga County Public Health Services
- The exposure occurred:
- During instruction at school or during bus transportation to or from instruction
- During an extracurricular activity, including athletics
Students whose exposure occurred outside of school instruction/extracurriculars or outside of bus transportation to/from school are not eligible. Students with household exposures (e.g. siblings) are also not eligible for the protocol.
- The infected student and the exposed student must have consistently and correctly worn well-fitting masks during the exposure.
- Have not developed any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 at any time since their exposure.
- Parents of participating students whose household contacts have signs or symptoms of COVID-19 should not send their child to school and instead contact the school nurse.
- Correctly wear well-fitting masks in school at all times, other than when eating or drinking. When these individuals cannot be masked, they should maintain 6 feet of distance from other individuals, whenever possible. Maintaining 6 feet of distance is required when eating or drinking inside.
- Have an FDA authorized rapid antigen test administered each school day by an appropriately trained school employee or healthcare provider and receive a negative result prior to reporting to class. On days when school is not open (e.g. weekends, holidays), testing is not required.
- If the student’s qualifying exposure becomes known during the school day, the child must receive a negative antigen test result before departing on a school bus.
- If the student’s qualifying exposure becomes known outside the school day, the student must receive a negative COVID-19 viral test (e.g. rapid antigen, PCR) before boarding a school bus the next school day. Parents/guardians may also choose to drive the student to school for their initial test.
The student has a parent/guardian who agrees to:
- Conduct active monitoring (explicitly asking the student about signs and symptoms of COVID-19) each day before and after school.
- Immediately contact the child’s healthcare provider if any signs or symptoms develop.
- Refrain from sending the participating student to school if any signs or symptoms develop in the child or anyone in the home.
- Promptly pick up their child from school, should they test positive or develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 during school instruction.
- Keep the student at the location specified in their quarantine order when not attending in-school instruction.
Close contact with a positive case
- If a person has close contact with someone that tested positive for COVID-19, but does not have symptoms and
- Has received a booster vaccination OR
- Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months OR
- Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months:
The person does not need to quarantine, but should wear a mask around others for 10 days. The person should also get tested on day 5, if possible. Day 1 is the day after the last day of exposure to the COVID-19 positive person.
2. If a person has close contact with someone that tested positive for COVID-19, but does not have symptoms and
- Is not vaccinated OR
- Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago, but have not received a booster vaccination OR
- Completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago but have not received a booster vaccination
The person should quarantine for 5 days even if the person that tested positive did not have symptoms or you or they had a mask on. Day 1 of quarantine begins the day after the last day of exposure to the COVID-19 positive person. If you remain asymptomatic, you can leave quarantine after 5 complete days, but should continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days. You should get a test on day 5, if possible.
As we prepare for the implementation of the Test to Stay program, we’d like to have parent permission on file in the nurses’ offices for students, if the situation arises when they need to utilize TTS. If you would like to grant your child(ren) permission to participate in the TTS program, please read the linked permission below (PDF) and then fill out the Google Form to give permission.
- Test to Stay Parent Permission document (PDF) *Please note: if you would like a hard copy of the TTS parent permission document, please call your child’s school building’s main office and one will be sent home.
- Google Form Parent Permission
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We thank you for your support in our continued efforts to keep our students in school in a healthy and safe environment.
Dr. Ryan Sherman
Director of Pupil Personnel Services