November 8, 2021
Dear Slate Valley Families,
We have seen an uptick in COVID cases over the weekend impacting our students, staff and families in Slate Valley. Our schools have either started Test to Stay or are planning to this week. For those schools that started it this morning it went very well. If you plan to have your child participate in this program if they are a close contact PLEASE REGISTER your child ASAP as it makes it much easier for us if they are already in the system. This is a large undertaking and we are short on staff so your cooperation is greatly appreciated. We want our students to be safe and participate in in-person learning.
For more information on TTS please read below.
We are getting ready to begin the antigen Test to Stay (TTS) program. Your school will notify you when they are ready to begin which will be at the earliest November 8th but by November 15th. Please note that we can only staff this if we have manageable numbers of quarantined students. If we have hundreds, then this program may be difficult to staff. That being said, we will continue to do our very best. The TTS program is activated when a student or student(s) are identified as a close contact to a confirmed case of COVID-19 inside school. The intention of the TTS program is to allow students that would otherwise be required to quarantine to remain in school. A detailed description of this program can be found on the Agency of Education Test to Stay website and you can also take a look at how the program will work in this flowchart. More details on what testing day will look like are included below.
Next Steps (Very Important to Read and Follow all of the Directions below.)
A student can only participate in Test to Stay if their parent/guardian has given consent. If you would like your child to participate in the response testing, including the antigen Test to Stay program, please complete the Consent web form as soon as possible.
Vermont will be using SimpleReport to report the results of antigen tests. This reporting system allows for parents/guardians to receive their student’s results instantly.
How the Test to Stay Program works:
Test to Stay is only for unvaccinated students who are close contacts of a positive case that they encountered at school. If you choose to participate, you will need to be available to pick up your child from school should they test positive any morning during the 7 day period. Details pertaining to the procedure will be communicated by the individual schools. This program replaces the need to miss school days, but students are still under quarantine and are expected to quarantine when at home, including on the weekends.
If you have consented for your child to participate in the Test to Stay program you will receive a notification if they have been identified as a close contact of a positive case. In most cases, Test to Stay will start the next morning and your child will receive a rapid antigen test before the beginning of school. Antigen testing will continue until seven (7) school days after the last exposure. If the last day of testing falls on a weekend, then the school will do a final day of testing on Monday morning.
If your child tests negative, they may remain at school and participate in school-sponsored activities. But only if the activities are with students from their own school. They can not participate in games or other activities that would mix them with another school.
If your child tests positive, they will be considered positive for COVID-19 and will need to enter a period of isolation for 10 days. You will receive a letter with specific instructions if this should occur.
If your child develops symptoms at any point, inform the school, seek a PCR test right away and keep your child at home and away from others.
Your child does not need to be tested on the weekends, but should quarantine from the community, meaning they should not participate in other activities, go to the grocery store, or spend time with friends and others outside of their household.
It is important to note that this Test to Stay program is only for attendance at school or on-campus school-sponsored activities during the regular school week. Your child is expected to quarantine for all other activities, aside from medical appointments, until seven (7) days after last exposure. While participating in Test to Stay, your child may not attend school activities that involve students from other schools, such as sport or scholastic competition.
This is not a self-administered test like the surveillance testing. Trained school personnel will administer the test for anyone 14 years of age or younger.
During the entirety of this Test to Stay protocol, you or a designated person should be available to provide transportation home should your child test positive.
If your child travels by bus, you or a designated person should plan to be available daily in case your child needs to be picked up. If your child receives a positive antigen test result, they will need to be picked up from school as soon as possible and will not be permitted to take the bus home.
If your child travels by car, you or a designated person may wish to remain at school until the rapid test results come back (approximately 30 minutes).
During your child’s quarantine (while participating in Test to Stay):
You should watch for symptoms, even if mild, of cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, fatigue, muscle pain or body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
Your child should not leave home, except to attend school, on-campus school-sponsored activities, or to get medical care.
You should call ahead before visiting a health care provider or emergency department with your child to notify them that your child is in quarantine.
While at home, your child should stay apart from other people in the household, especially anyone who is at increased risk of getting very sick, like people who are older or have health conditions. Other household members, including siblings attending school, do not need to quarantine unless they develop symptoms.
If at any point your child develops symptoms:
Do not send your child to school.
Make an appointment with your provider to be evaluated and get a PCR test.
If your child is having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the hospital.
If your child doesn’t have a provider, call 2-1-1 to be connected to a clinic in your area.
People with mild illness can usually treat their symptoms at home: help your child get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take fever-reducing medication or other over the counter medicines recommended by their provider.
If you have questions, please contact your school nurse.