Argyle CSD Yellow Zone COVID Testing Information

Argyle CSD Yellow Zone COVID Testing Information
Posted on 12/22/2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students, 

Please Note:  As of December 21, 2020, Argyle CSD has NOT been designated as a “yellow zone”.  Should Argyle CSD be designated as a “yellow zone”, the district will formally communicate a testing plan to families and employees.

The Argyle Central School District is committed to the health and safety of our students and staff while also staying open for in-person instruction for as long as we are able to do so in a safe, responsible manner. 

When a region is designated as a “yellow zone”, schools are required to test  20% of in-person students and staff for COVID-19 as a requirement to stay open for in-person instruction.  

If the results of this testing demonstrates that the positivity rate of those tested is lower than the yellow zone’s current 7-day positivity rate, we will not be required to continue testing.

More information on zone designation can be found here: Governor Cuomo’s Micro Cluster Strategy

In the event that our area is designated a yellow zone, the District has partnered with Adirondack Health & Wellness to conduct the COVID-19 Rapid Testing onsite and during the school day.

Prior to testing, parents/guardians must provide consent for their child(ren) to participate in the school-based COVID-19 testing; You can provide consent for your child(ren) by clicking here: Student COVID-19 Testing Form

To help us prepare for testing should our area be designated as a “yellow zone”, please review the school-based testing information and frequently asked questions and consider giving consent for school-based COVID-19 testing by filling out the Consent for Student COVID-19 Testing Form by Monday, January 11, 2021. 

Upon consent, your child may be randomly selected to receive a free COVID-19 Rapid Test. Students participating in remote instruction do not need to fill out this consent form. 

Testing is not mandatory and no one will be excluded from school because they choose not to be tested.  However, if we do not receive consent from at least 20% of students and staff, we would be forced to shift to fully remote instruction. 

We will keep you informed of any developments and plans for COVID-19 testing at our schools should our District be designated as a “yellow zone”.  Please call the school or email Info@Argylecsd.org

Sincerely,  

Michael Healey

Superintendent of Schools 



COVID-19 Testing In Microcluster Zones FAQ

 

Common Questions Regarding COVID-19 Testing in Micro-Cluster Zones – Yellow Zone

Please note: as of December 21, 2020, Argyle Central Schools have not been designated as a "yellow zone."

What test is being used and who is administering the tests? 

Argyle CSD will use the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Rapid test approved and supplied by the NYS Department of Health.  The Binax test is a non-invasive, COVID-19 rapid test.  The test will be administered here at school and by trained medical staff from Adirondack Health and Wellness.  There is no cost to families or staff for the testing.

How are the tests administered? 

Tests will be administered by a medical professional from Adirondack Health & Wellness to students for whom we have received consent. All testing will happen at the school and under supervision of our school nurse(s).

The testing process involves using a small swab, similar to a Q-Tip, to swab the front of the nose. This is the simple, quick, shallow nasal swab test that can be administered in under a minute;  results are available in 15-minutes, and positive case individuals, if any, are immediately notified. 

This short video from our partners at Adirondack Health and Wellness demonstrates what a typical test experience at school will look like.

How do I consent to have my child(ren) tested at school?  

Parents will receive Consent for Student COVID-19 Testing Form to complete and return. It is important that parents complete a separate consent form for each child.  

The form is available here: Student COVID-19 Testing Form and will also be available on our school website starting December 22, 2020.    

If my child attends school remotely, do I need to provide consent?

No. The testing is only for in-person students and staff.

How many people need to be tested to keep schools open? 

Schools are required to test 20% of in-person learners and school staff in a yellow zone.  

For Argyle, that means we need to test roughly 100 people over a two-week period. If we do not meet the testing requirements, it is our understanding that will be required to  switch to fully remote instruction.  

What is the process for selecting students for testing? 

We will create a confidential database that includes the names of all eligible students and staff members. Taking into account consent to test, we will randomly select the students and staff to be tested.  

Can I be present when my child is tested? 

Parents and guardians may not be present for testing during the school day as we must limit the number of people within our school buildings.  

However, parents and guardians who wish to be present during their child’s test can take advantage of an after-hours option that will be offered at the school.

Can my child return to class while awaiting test results?

Yes. Based on daily responses to our Daily COVID Health Screenings, any staff or students who are in attendance are presumed to be healthy. It is possible, however, that asymptomatic individuals will test positive. Please continue to complete the daily screening form and  be sure to stay home/keep your child home if they are not feeling well and are showing symptoms noted on the Daily COVID Health Screening Form

What if I prefer to get my child tested offsite? 

You can get your child tested by your healthcare provider or at any testing site.  In order for those tests to count  toward the 20% threshold, results need to be provided to your school nurse within a week. If we are designated a yellow zone and it is your intention to test offsite, please notify the school nurse and indicate when your child will be tested. 

If I do not consent to testing, will my child be forced to switch to fully online instruction?  

No, your child can continue to be part of the in-person learning model as long as we have enough volunteers to meet the 20% requirement. Meeting that benchmark will get tricky over time if the majority of people do not agree to testing.  

If I don’t consent now, will I have an opportunity to reconsider? 

Yes. Depending on the number of parents who consent, we could have to solicit more volunteers to test in future weeks.  If that happens, we would send another email asking new families to consent. 

Can parents or family members get tested too? 

No, schools only receive enough tests to accommodate 20% of our school population, so unfortunately, we cannot test family members.  

What happens if a student tests positive? 

If your child tests positive, someone from the school will notify you and you will need to pick-up your child.  In addition, we share that information with Washington County Public Health Services, who will contact you to discuss next steps. 

Is it possible that schools will still have to switch to fully online instruction?  

Yes. If cases continue to rise, we may need to switch to fully online instruction. In addition, if a significant number of staff are placed in mandatory quarantine, this could require the district to temporarily shift a class or school building to online instruction. 

When will the testing start?

If we are designated a Yellow Zone, we will notify you with dates and specific details for where and when the testing will take place if you/your child are randomly selected.