eNTERING THE SCHOOL BUILDING
Use the instructions and links below in order to know how to safely enter our ICHS school building. In order to ensure the safety of all of our students, school staff will follow these guidelines to stop the spread of COVID. Your cooperation in these matters is deeply appreciated.
For more information from the Department of Education, visit this page.
you must be screened before entering the building
online health screening
You can find the online health screening at healthscreening.schools.nyc. When you do the screening at home, you or your child just need to provide the results of the screening either by showing the email on a smartphone or a printout of the results before entering the school building. All students will receive an oral thermometer in their first week of in-person instruction in case they need one to check their temperature.
paper health screening
If you or your child is not able to pre-screen using the online tool, you may use the Paper Health Screening Questionnaire and have your child bring the completed form to school and show it upon entry. Your school will provide you with printed copies so you can complete the questionnaire at home. If you or your child forgets or is unable to pre-screen, someone will be available at your school's entrance to assist your child in completing the form and checking your child’s temperature.
you should not attend in-person classes if:
In order to keep everyone healthy and slow the spread of COVID-19, students will not be able to attend in-person classes if they have:
Experienced any symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever of 100.0 degrees F or greater, a new cough, new loss of taste or smell, or shortness of breath within the past 10 days, OR
Received a positive result from a COVID-19 test that tested saliva or used a nose or throat swab (not a blood test) in the past 10 days, OR
Been in close contact (within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes) with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, OR
Traveled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days
COVID TESTING PROCEDURES for schools
continue safety procedures
It’s up to all of us to keep our school communities and families safe by wearing face coverings, keeping our distance, washing hands frequently, and getting tested!
WHERE TO GET TESTED FOR COVID-19
Help us keep our schools open and school communities healthy by getting tested for COVID-19. It’s safe, free, and easy for everyone, regardless of immigration or insurance status. To find a testing site near you, visit nyc.gov/covidtest.
PRIORITY TESTING FOR STUDENTS
Students in 3K through twelfth grade can get priority testing at 22 Health + Hospitals testing sites throughout the school year. To find a location near you, visit schools.nyc.gov/covidtesting.
Random testing in schools
Beginning in early October, we will begin testing a random sampling of students and staff in every school. This is essential to keeping your family and school community healthy and safe. We’ll be sharing much more information and a link to a parent/guardian consent form in our next family update.
full letter about procedures from the department of education
testing procedures at school and consent from families
We are so excited to welcome you back into our school building! As we begin this new school year, the health and safety of all students and staff remains our top concern. That’s why many things in our school buildings will look different this year, from face masks to physical distancing in every classroom to disinfecting every school, every night. We are taking all of these steps to ensure that our schools remain safe, our students and staff stay healthy, and that you feel confident sending your children for in-person learning.
Today we are writing to ask for your help with another important element of our health and safety work: testing our students and staff for COVID-19. Keeping school buildings open depends on helping us stay aware of and take immediate action to address COVID-19 concerns in our buildings. That’s why we have partnered with NYC Health + Hospitals, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the NYC Test & Trace Corps to arrange for testing of NYC DOE students and staff for COVID-19 infection.
Frequently asked questions about testing and consent
What happens to my child if I do not provide consent?
We strongly encourage families of all students participating in-person learning to provide consent. The more students that participate, the better our ability will be to monitor COVID-19 transmission in our school communities. This testing is essential to keeping your child and your child’s school community safe and healthy, and ensuring the school building can stay open and in-person learning can continue. You and your child always have the right to refuse testing. Families who do not provide consent may be required to participate in remote-only learning.
How long is my consent in effect?
Your consent will remain in effect until September 30, 2021. However, you can withdraw consent at any time.
How do I withdraw consent?
Notify your child’s school in writing. Your school will designate a contact to receive these communications.
Will all students be tested?
All district school students participating in blended learning in grades 1-12 may be included in the random sample.
Who will be testing my child?
A trained individual will conduct the test. Testing will be provided by, among others, school nurses, City staff, and our partners: SOMOS, Bio Reference Laboratory, and Fulgent Genetics.
How will the testing work?
Once a month, one of these providers will visit your child’s school with a randomly selected list of students and staff to be tested that day. The testing provider will set up in a designated area in the school. Staff from the school or the testing team will visit the appropriate classroom to retrieve students from that class who have been selected to be tested that day; those students will be escorted to the testing area, tested quickly, and then escorted back to their classroom.
What test will be used? Is it painful?
The test will use a “short swab” (similar to a Q-tip) that is inserted into the front part of the nose for five to ten seconds. We understand that some students may be nervous about testing, but the test is not painful and should not be uncomfortable for your child. The test should take no more than two minutes from start to finish.
Will all tests be done by a trained tester, or can some students self-administer tests?
Some of the test kits can be self-administered. Self-administered means that you can open the kit and follow the directions for inserting a small swab (like a Q-tip) into the front of both nostrils. In schools with these kits, some older students in may be able to self-administer their test if they choose, under the supervision of a testing provider or school staff member.
Are students escorted to the testing area in a group or one-by-one? Will more than one student be waiting in an area to be tested?
Students will be escorted with any members of their class/pod who are also being tested. Social distancing will be maintained at all times. Face coverings will be worn at all times, except for the very short period when a student must remove their covering to allow for collection of the test specimen.
Can parents accompany their children to be tested?
Unfortunately, no. To maintain the classroom pods and reduce the risk of COVID-19 being introduced into the building, parents will not be able to accompany their children during the test. We understand that this may feel scary, particularly for younger children. Our trained staff will ensure the testing is performed swiftly, gently, and in a positive environment for all children.
How long is the testing process expected to take?
The cotton swab is in the nose for five to ten seconds, so the entire process of explaining the test to the child and then swabbing them generally takes only minutes.
How long will my child be out of class?
The testing will not take long. We do not expect any child to be out of class for more than 15-30 minutes total from the time that they are picked up at their classroom until they are escorted back to class.
My child is not comfortable communicating in English.
Will interpreters be available to explain the process to students who are multilingual learners? If so, how will this be arranged?
Every testing partner will have policies and procedures for how they provide services to individuals in their preferred language. Please communicate with your principal in advance if you have specific concerns.
What if my child cannot be tested due to their documented disability?
If your child has a documented disability and testing would impair your child’s mental or physical health due to that disability, please contact your school to discuss how to proceed.
If I get my child tested elsewhere, can I share those results and be released from in-school mandatory testing?
No. To have an accurate understanding of each school population, testing for this program must be performed on a single day, in the school building, and by one provider. If your child is tested at an outside location and they test positive you must keep your child home and report that test to your principal. However, no outside test can be counted in the monthly survey.
How often will my child be tested?
Testing will occur at each school once per month. Your child will not be tested more than once per month unless they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or have close contact with someone who is confirmed positive for COVID-19. Some children may be chosen for monthly testing more than once during the school year.
When/how will I know if my child has been chosen for testing?
You will be notified by your school about two days before your school is scheduled to be tested. By consenting, your child may be included in the random sample for the testing day. If your child is tested, you will be notified after school that day.
How can I help prepare my child for the test (especially for younger children)?
You should talk to your child about testing. We encourage you to tell them that the doctors, nurses, and other health professionals at school need to make sure they are healthy, so they are going to do a test for the virus by rubbing a small cotton swab inside the front part of their nose. Remind your child that it’s okay that the school performs this test and that it’s quick, safe, and gentle.
Are staff being tested?
Yes, we are asking all staff and students in school buildings to participate in the testing program.
When will results be available?
Results will be available within 48-72 hours after the sample is taken.
When will I receive my child’s results?
In most instances, parents/guardians will receive results no more than 48 hours after the specimen arrives at the laboratory. You will be able to log into an online portal to access your child’s results. If your child tests positive, you will also receive a call from the provider who completed the testing.
What happens if my child tests positive?
You should keep your child home from school and contact their physician. Additionally, the Test & Trace Corps will contact your family to provide resources, connections to care if you require support, and to discuss how to keep your child and other household members safe. The school will also be notified to ensure steps are taken to protect other members of the school community. The Test & Trace Corps will provide your family with resources and will monitor your family for symptoms for 10 to 14 days.
Will overall results from testing across a school be shared with the school community?
Yes, but names or any other identifying information of the children or staff who test positive will not be released.
Will the DOE/City ensure that my child’s personal information remains confidential?
Any information related to in-school testing is confidential and protected under the New York City Health Code and other local, state, and federal laws. We will store information securely, and only DOE and city staff will have access to test results by name and other personal information.
Where and how will test results be stored?
Results will be sent to two places: to the State and City Departments of Health, where all communicable disease results are sent; and to the Test & Trace Corps and associated City staff to facilitate closing of classrooms or school buildings and to support contact tracing as necessary to ensure we protect all students, staff, and family members. These entities operate under strict privacy and confidentiality protocols.