JD School Board presents test program to stay – Eagle News Online

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JAMESVILLE-DEWITT SCHOOL DISTRICT – After being approved as a limited-service lab, the Jamesville-DeWitt School District is now taking one more step towards tracking the spread of COVID-19 with a pilot testing program to stay.
The Onondaga County green light allows the district to verify whether unvaccinated students have been infected when establishing “close contact” with anyone who has encountered a confirmed case of the virus.
If an unvaccinated student approaches within six feet of a person with COVID, at school or outside for a cumulative total of 15 minutes in the 24 hour period, that student should undergo a BinaxNOW antigen test administered before school hours with the consent of a parent or guardian, said Superintendent Peter Smith.
In order to remain acceptable in school and attend in-person classes once the program is introduced, an unvaccinated student exposed to COVID would have to produce negative rapid test results for seven consecutive school days while remaining asymptomatic. During this time, the student would be prevented from participating in any sports, clubs, performing arts or any other campus activity sponsored by the school outside of regular educational practices.
District administrators currently cannot determine vaccine status among the student body on their own, but they can rely on a system used by school nurses to track this information.
In addition to being a licensed limited-service laboratory, the district is working on submitting a protocol to the Onondaga County Health Department detailing testing locations, testing times, supervisory staff, and plans for testing. action linked to its program.
While he expressed his appreciation for the test-to-stay program as a strategy to combat student exclusion, Smith said at the JD school board meeting on December 20 that he considered the omission of the supervisory testing initiative for teachers and staff as a limitation.
As it stands, positive COVID cases among faculty will be met with orders to stay home for 10 days. Teachers and staff also each benefit from a number of quarantines before their absences begin to reduce the number of sick days allocated to them.
According to Smith, the district has must-have but “never ideal” arrangements that allow other teachers and teaching assistants to take over in the event of an instructor’s absence related to the quarantine and a shortage of substitutes.
He said the set of cases could potentially increase with the emerging variant of Omicron, but that there is not yet an automatic “tipping point” set that would cause the county to cancel the testing option for. stay or would encourage the district to switch to virtual learning. .


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