Frequently Asked Questions
What test will be used? Is it painful?
The test will use a “short swab” (similar to a Q-tip) that is inserted into the front part of the nose for five to ten seconds. We understand that some students may be nervous about testing, but the test is not painful and should not be uncomfortable for your child. The test should take no more than two minutes from start to finish.
Will all tests be done by a trained tester, or can some students self-administer tests?
All testing will be facilitated by a healthcare professional. Students and staff members will not be allowed to self-administer tests.
Are students escorted to the testing area in a group or one-by-one? Will more than one student be waiting in an area to be tested?
Students will be escorted with any members of their class who are also being tested. Social distancing will be maintained at all times. Face coverings will be worn at all times, except for the very short period when a student must remove their covering to allow for collection of the test specimen.
Can parents accompany their children to be tested?
Unfortunately, no. To maintain the classroom pods and reduce the risk of COVID-19 being introduced into the building, parents will not be able to accompany their children during the test. We understand that this may feel scary, particularly for younger children. Our trained staff will ensure the testing is performed swiftly, gently, and in a positive environment for all children.
How long is the testing process expected to take?
The cotton swab is in the nose for five to ten seconds, so the entire process of explaining the test to the child and then swabbing them generally takes only minutes.
How long will my child be out of class?
The testing will not take long. We do not expect any child to be out of class for more than 15-30 minutes total from the time that they are picked up at their classroom until they are escorted back to class.
My child is not comfortable communicating in English. Will interpreters be available to explain the process to students who are multilingual learners? If so, how will this be arranged?
Every testing partner will have policies and procedures for how they provide services to individuals in their preferred language. Please communicate with your principal in advance if you have specific concerns.
What if my child cannot be tested due to their documented disability?
If your child has a documented disability and testing would impair your child’s mental or physical health due to that disability, please contact your school
Will all students be tested?
All district school students participating in blended learning in grades 1-12 may be included in the random sample.
Who will be testing my child?
A trained individual will conduct the test. Testing will be provided by trained healthcare professionals.
How will the testing work?
Once a week, one of these providers will visit your child’s school with a list of randomly selected in-person students and staff to be tested that day. The testing provider will set up in a designated area in the school. Staff from the school or the testing team will visit the appropriate classroom to retrieve students from that class who have been selected to be tested that day; those students will be escorted to the testing area, tested quickly, and then escorted back to their classroom.
ol to discuss how to proceed.
If I get my child tested elsewhere, can I share those results and be released from in-school mandatory testing?
No. To have an accurate understanding of each school population, testing for this program must be performed on a single day, in the school building, and by one provider. If your child is tested at an outside location and they test positive you must keep your child home and report that test to your principal. However, no outside test can be counted in the weekly survey.
How often will my child be tested?
Testing occurs at each school on a weekly basis . Your child will not be tested more than once per week unless they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or have close contact with someone who is confirmed positive for COVID-19. Some children may be chosen for weekly testing more than once during the school year.
How can I help prepare my child for the test (especially for younger children)?
You should talk to your child about testing. We encourage you to tell them that the doctors, nurses, and other health professionals at school need to make sure they are healthy, so they are going to do a test for the virus by rubbing a small cotton swab inside the front part of their nose. Remind your child that it’s okay that the school performs this test and that it’s quick, safe, and gentle.
Are staff being tested?
Yes, we are asking all staff and students in school buildings to participate in the testing program.