We have made the decision to adopt the new DESE testing protocols after tracking the decline of cases within our community, considering the strain the current measures are placing on our resources, and mapping out how we plan to further normalize our response to COVID’s presence in our lives. It was also important for us to consider that 80% of students and 95% of employees are now fully vaccinated, as well as the benefit we receive from the state providing us with free testing by opting into their programs. You’ll find a timeline of implementation and details of the program below.
New Testing Protocols
Pool testing will continue once a week on Mondays. If a pool comes back positive, we will continue with our current strategy and reflex test with Binax Now rapid test to determine the positive individual.
*New* Every two weeks each student and employee will receive a box containing two at-home rapid tests. Families are instructed to use one test a week on Thursdays for surveillance testing. These tests will be an additional safety measure and can quickly be completed at home weekly.
If a student or employee tests at home using a rapid test and the results are positive, they should notify the Health Office. With this program, we are obligated to notify the state of any positive cases.
We will continue to rapid test any symptomatic students while at school.
*Change* We will no longer implement “Test and Stay” for students who aren’t fully vaccinated.
*Change* We will discontinue contact tracing when a positive case is found in school.
However, we will continue to communicate positive cases within a grade level, but students will not be identified as close contacts.
Only students who have tested positive and are completing their 10 days will be required to mask outdoors.
*New* If you have a positive case in your household AND your child is vaccinated, they are able to continue coming to school as long as they remain symptom-free. They must test on Day 5 (rapid or PCR).
If you have a positive case in your household AND your child is not vaccinated, they are required to stay home, test on day 5 with a PCR or rapid test, and then they can return if they have negative results.
Timeline of Implementation
February 1: Testing supplies will be handed out to employees
February 3: Employees begin rapid testing from home every Thursday
February 8: Testing supplies handed out to every student
February 10: Students begin rapid testing from home every Thursday
Video Instructions on Rapid Testing
If you’re unsure of how to self-administer a rapid test, please refer to this video explaining how to use the at-home tests.