Message to Families: COVID Testing for Students

I trust this note finds your student(s) enjoying the start of this epic new school year bountiful in learning adventures and opportunities.  We are so pleased to welcome our students, staff, and families on our continued journey together.  To that end, we know that layered protection strategies are critical in keeping our schools open for in person learning and both co- and extra-curricular activities running.  I appreciate you and your time and attention to this important correspondence as we protect our learning environment.  

We remain committed to health and safety for our Northshore community. We know that keeping Northshore School District school buildings open depends on awareness of and immediate action on any COVID-19 concerns in our buildings. To do this, we need students in our buildings to get tested as recommended by the Washington State Department of Health. Evidence has shown that someone who is infected with COVID-19 can be asymptomatic and still transmit the virus to others. Through regular testing and contact tracing, our goal is to stop any spread so that our schools remain open.

On Monday, September 20, the District will begin COVID-19 testing. Testing will be conducted weekly at each of our school buildings over the course of three days. Students in grades K-12 will be tested. We will use a testing process similar to the one used last spring. In this letter, you will find details about this easy, minimally invasive test, the prioritization of privacy, the process, and a link to an opt-out form. Please know that if you do not opt your student out of testing, they will be tested each week for COVID-19. 

We ask you to review this information carefully and join us in our commitment to keeping our Northshore community safer. 

Pool or Batch Testing – self-administered with a trained adult observing

Pooling—sometimes referred to as batch or pool testing or pooled testing—means combining respiratory samples from several people and conducting one laboratory test on the combined pool of samples to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The test provider that is currently being used is CIC Health.

Privacy

This type of testing provides privacy for each individual. If further confirmatory testing is required, every individual’s privacy will be protected throughout the process, including during contact tracing as we work to minimize the spread. Over the past year and a half, the District has protected the privacy of families and staff members who have reported their own COVID illnesses in an effort to protect our community.

Testing Process

The test will be self-administered by each student and adult in the classroom, while a trained teacher or a school-based COVID supervisor observes. Instead of the “long swab” that goes in the back of the nose, this test is a short, small swab (like a Q-Tip) that goes just in the front of the nose. 

Batch Test Results

Our plan is to provide test results within 48 hours. If a cohort’s result is negative, those students and staff will continue in-person learning. If a positive test is found in the sample, everyone in that sample will be notified of the need to quarantine and engage in 100% remote learning for 14 days from the date of the test or until a confirmatory test shows a negative result. Contact tracing could result in a student who opted out being required to quarantine.

Confirmatory Test

The cohort where a positive test is found will be asked to complete a confirmatory test. Everyone will receive at least a 24-hour notice with time and location and other details for the confirmatory test, which will be at Pop Keeney Stadium (9809 NE 188th St, Bothell, WA 98011). Families are welcome to seek their own confirmatory PCR test. They will need to provide an official document from a credible provider on their letterhead that has the date of the test, student’s name and a clear negative result. If all confirmatory tests for that cohort return negative, students and staff may return to in-person learning.  

The confirmatory test is important as it allows the District to conduct contact tracing and notify those who have been exposed. This will help minimize the spread of COVID-19, especially with the more infectious variants present in our region.

You can view the District’s dashboard with general information on the number of confirmed cases and number of individuals quarantined by building.

How to Opt Out

Families who wish to opt out of batch testing may complete an opt-out form. This form must be completed no later than 10 a.m. the day before a student’s school is scheduled to be tested (see schedule below). Please know that if you do not opt out of testing your student will be tested weekly. The opt out form asks for you to enter your student’s ID number. This can be found on each student’s identification card above the barcode, as well as on the student’s report card. You can also view it by logging in to ParentVUE or by contacting the school’s main office. If a student is opted out of testing, but their classroom cohort or first period class has a positive COVID test result, they may still be required to quarantine for 14 days.

Weekly Testing Schedule Beginning September 20

Monday: Bothell High School/Adults Transitioning to Independence Program, Innovation Lab High School, Secondary Academy for Success/Adult Transition Pathways Program, Canyon Creek, Canyon Park Middle School, Crystal Springs, Frank Love, Maywood Hills, Shelton View, Skyview Middle School, Westhill

Tuesday: Inglemoor High School, Kenmore Middle School, Northshore Middle School, Arrowhead, Kenmore Elementary, Lockwood, Moorlands, Woodmoor

Wednesday: North Creek High School, Leota Middle School, Fernwood, Kokanee, Ruby Bridges, Wellington, Woodinville High School, Timbercrest Middle School, Cottage Lake, East Ridge, Hollywood Hill, Northshore Networks, Northshore Family Partnership, Sunrise, Woodin

Thank you for your continued support in keeping our Northshore community safe; together all things are possible.  

Warmest regards, 

Michelle Reid, Ed.D
Superintendent

 

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