TEST TO STAY
We are one week into our Test to Stay Protocol and have already had 40 students who have been able to safely stay in school, sports, and activities after being identified as a close contact to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The purpose of this update is to clarify which activities outside of the school day qualify students for the Test to Stay option. In general, Test to Stay will only be accessible when exposure occurs during an activity that takes place at a school building AND is run by district staff or is under district control.
Should a COVID-19 exposure occur during an activity where Test to Stay is not offered, students who are directed to quarantine/isolate by the health department will have access to a quarantine teacher. The role of the quarantine teacher is to coordinate with the classroom teacher(s) to ensure that students are prepared for a return to their regular schedule.
Test to Stay Available
- District athletic teams
- District clubs
- After school athletic programs
- The MyTime after school program
- The YMCA after school program
Test to Stay Not Offered
- Club sports (even if practicing at district building)
- Outside daycare provider INCLUDING program at the Vaughan Center
- Scout meetings, Young Rembrandts and other non-district run events that use our buildings
- Church or outside organization meetings
Should you wish for your child to participate in School District 129’s Test to Stay Protocol, please acknowledge that you give “consent” by completing the form linked below. Please note that this protocol is only available to students who are placed in quarantine on or after October 4th.
**This protocol is subject to change based upon the state's directive.**
What is the goal of the Test to Stay?
The goal of Test to Stay is to allow students to participate in in-person learning as safely as possible while lessening the burden of quarantine on students and their families.
How does it work?
Using the Test to Stay Protocol, a student who is identified as a close contact during school (or a SD129 extracurricular event) can avoid quarantine by testing on days one, three, five, and seven after exposure as long as they are consistently and appropriately wearing a mask, are asymptomatic, and continue to test negative.
If my child is vaccinated, do I need to worry about “opting in” to this protocol?
No, you do not need to opt in. At this time, vaccinated students are not required to quarantine if identified as a close contact and therefore, would not need the Test to Stay option.
What type of test will be used in combination with Test to Stay?
SD129 will be using BinaxNOW. This fast-acting antigen test is approved by the FDA and delivers results in 15 minutes. To participate in test to stay, students must be tested at the district using our testing process.
Who will be administering the COVID tests during Test to Stay?
Trained SD129 personnel will be administering the COVID tests.
What is the process for my child to be tested during Test to Stay?
COVID tests will be conducted at your child’s building when they arrive. To minimize disruption to your child’s learning, parents may want to consider bringing them slightly early to school those days. If your student rides the bus or drives themselves to school, they should go to designated location, which will be communicated to the parent when they first arrive at school.
What if the testing day of 1, 3, 5, or 7 lands on a weekend?
We will not be conducting testing over the weekend. Your child would need to test that Monday (or Tuesday if that Monday is a holiday). This is still a calendar day process and weekends will not increase the number of tests a student must take. As an example, if a student is identified as a close contact on Wednesday, day 1 is Thursday, day 3 is Saturday (no test), day 5 is Monday, and day 7 is Wednesday.