SHIELD Testing Starts Monday, September 27

Across the District, 74% of students have opted into SHIELD testing. We are thankful to be able to provide this additional layer in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in our community! In collaboration with our testing partner, Med-Call, our weekly screening tests begin for students the week of September 27.

Staff testing will begin on or before October 11; staff will be able to sign up through PowerSchool starting the week of October 4. 

The Schedule 

  • Mondays: Westbrook and Glen Grove

  • Tuesdays: Henking and Hoffman

  • Wednesdays: Attea and Springman

  • Thursdays: Lyon and Pleasant Ridge

An important note: Students and staff must not eat, drink, or brush their teeth an hour before the test. School schedules have taken this fact into consideration, but we want to make sure that you are aware of it as well. 

Good information for Students: What Testing Will Look Like

The SHIELD test is a highly accurate PCR test that requires only a small amount of saliva from an individual and provides results within 24 hours. This video shows what testing will look like; for our PK-2 students, we have created this story to share the details of what’s expected on SHIELD testing day

Test Results

Parents will receive results from the school principal, nurse or other designated staff member if their child tests positive. No news is good news (a negative test)

Med-Call will send test results to principals (typically within 6-24 hours of testing). Families will not receive notification of a negative test result. Principals (or a designated staff member) will call the families of students who have tested positive and explain the procedures and timeline for returning to school, and tips for managing the child’s health, and that of the family. 

Quarantine Instruction

The principal or staff member who contacts the family also will explain the steps for accessing the remote instruction. Beginning Monday, students in grades 3-8 who are in quarantine will be able to Zoom into their classroom (on a one-way basis) to watch and hear their teacher giving direct instruction for lessons. Students will then have a schedule to meet with their building’s grade center quarantine teacher to get their questions answered or any clarification or re-teaching needed. Students in K-2 will continue to work only with the grade center teachers for quarantine instruction. In addition, building teams will develop an individual plan for each student to ensure a smooth transition back to in-person learning at the end of quarantine. 

Test to Stay

Also starting the week of September 27, students whose families have opted in to SHIELD testing can "test to stay" if they are close contacts within the school setting (not at home or through outside sports or activities) when it is confirmed that both the positive individual and close contact were masked properly at time of exposure. (Exposure at lunch when students do not wear masks does not qualify for test to stay.) 

The close contact will test on days 1, 3, 5 and 7 days after exposure to a positive COVID case. The tests are conducted by school staff in the school infirmary using the BinaxNOW test, a rapid test that uses a nasal swab to collect the specimen. If the student remains without symptoms (monitored at home and by the school) and continues to test negative, they are able to stay in school; they do not have to quarantine. Students who remain in school during their test-to-stay period will need to maintain physical distancing and masking at all times for the full 14 days; for classrooms where masking is strictly adhered to, physical distance of 3 to 6 feet is acceptable, including on transportation when windows are opened and/or HEPA filters are used. Physical distancing of 6 feet should be used in the lunchrooms when masks are removed for 14 days. Staff will ensure that students can continue their in-person learning as smoothly as possible within those constraints.  

Parents who wish to change their decision about testing will have an opportunity to do so in PowerSchool at the end of October (we are not able to make changes at this time). We will send out a notification when that window is open. We will continue to update the Health & Safety Protocols page of our website with FAQs and other information about SHIELD testing. If you have questions about testing in your child’s school, please contact your principal.