Dear BH-BL Parents,
As we all continue to navigate our way through the ever-changing COVID-19 requirements and guidance for schools, we also continue to make changes and modifications to our internal practices and procedures. One change that could be coming our way soon is the implementation of COVID-19 rapid testing in our schools. You’ll remember from early December that school personnel have been preparing for this eventuality. For instance, we added a section to the Qualtrics Screening survey that allowed parents to sign their children up for the in-school rapid testing. Our healthcare staff and other personnel were trained on how to administer the rapid test and we’ve created procedures for informing parents of their children’s test results. While we await guidance from Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Health Department about when rapid testing in schools should begin, we want to be sure we continue to communicate with you in a consistent manner.
Beginning next week, the district will send a daily “COVID-19 Update” email to all parents (and staff) at the end of the work day (between 4 and 5 p.m.). The email will contain the number of new confirmed cases, if any, within the district, the building associated with the positive cases, as well as any other COVID-19 related information we need to share with parents and staff. IF any confirmed case requires mandatory quarantine of other students, school personnel will contact parents and staff members separately. The daily “COVID-19 Update” email will replace the email letters sent to parents from our school principals. Additionally, if schools are required to begin in-school rapid testing, the daily update email will also include the number of students and staff who were tested that day.
Remember that only a certain percentage of students will need to be tested within a predetermined time frame to reach the benchmark set by the state. Once the testing begins, your child will only be tested if you have given prior consent. Consent would have been given on the daily Qualtric Screening from Dec. 7-11. Student and staff names will be randomly generated from the consent list. Parents will be notified in advance through an email from their child’s school principal when their child will be tested. If you did not give consent but would like to now, please contact Dan LeClaire at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list. The in-school rapid tests are considered non-invasive because they do not require deep-sinus swabs and are therefore painless. Please refer to the On-site Rapid Testing Fact Sheet. On-site rapid testing only applies to hybrid students. Schools are not required to test fully-virtual students.
COVID-19 reporting information can also always be found on our website, www.bhbl.org. Simply click the “Confirmed COVID-19 Case Updates” link in the gold navigation box at the top of any page to access the information. If you have additional questions related to COVID-19, please contact the district’s COVID-19 Coordinator Sharon McTygue at email@example.com.
Tara Mitchell, District Communications Specialist