Dear North Colonie Families,
As part of his winter strategy for confronting COVID-19, Governor Cuomo announced a “micro-cluster initiative” designed to identify and stop the spread of the virus. Using data related to daily COVID testing and hospitalization rates from state and local departments of health, the Governor’s office will be designating regions of the state and the schools that operate in those regions as red, orange, or yellow zones. Each of the zones comes with requirements; mandated school-based COVID-19 testing is required for schools in yellow, orange or red zones to continue with in-person instruction. More information about the zones and corresponding requirements can be found here.
In North Colonie, we have been preparing for the testing requirement should the Governor designate our schools or district in a yellow, orange, or red zone. Through a partnership with Albany County Department of Health and the New York State Department of Health, the district has secured 3,200 rapid tests to screen our in-person students, faculty, and staff for COVID-19 and we are completing the training necessary in order to offer those tests on-site.
If we are in a yellow zone, we would need to test 20% of our students, staff, and faculty who are randomly selected from those who have given their consent within a two week period. If the results show that the school’s infection rate is less than the region’s, the school does not need to conduct further testing if we remain in a yellow zone.
If we are in an orange zone, we have one month to test 20% of our students, staff, and faculty who are randomly selected from those who have given their consent. Once a person has been tested, they will not be tested again unless we have multiple rounds and have exhausted the total pool of people to be tested.
If we are in a red zone, we have one month to test 30% of our students, staff, and faculty who are selected from those who have given their consent. Once a person has been tested, they will not be tested again unless we have multiple rounds and have exhausted the total pool of people to be tested.
It is important to note, if we are unable to test the required 20% or 30%, the district will have to transition to remote learning until we can reach the required number.
In North Colonie, we will only be testing those in-person students, faculty, and staff who consent to the testing. Students and staff members who have given consent will be randomly selected for a test. The rapid test we have is the BinaxNow rapid antigen test, which shows results in 15 minutes. The nasal swab test will be administered by registered nurses.
- Watch a video to learn more about the test here.
- A video demonstration of the test being administered can be seen here.
If your child is selected for a test, you will be notified via email by the building principal at least 48 hours prior to the test administration. On the day that a student is tested, he or she will be greeted by school personnel at their scheduled time and they will remain in the testing location until results are available. If your child is randomly chosen to be tested, the results will be shared with a parent/guardian the day of the test. If your child’s test result is negative, you will receive an email from the building principal at the end of the day. If your child’s test result is positive, you will receive a phone call from the building principal immediately. All test results will remain confidential.
If a family prefers to have their child tested outside of school, test results must be provided to the school within 7 days from the date of specimen collection. The specimen collection must be done after the date that the geographic area in which the school is located was designated an orange or red zone.
Please let us know if you give consent by filling out this form. All forms must be completed by Wednesday, Dec. 23.
Translated forms can be found here and dropped off at the district office.
Families can also follow the instructions posted here on how to translate a Google Form into any language available on Google.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we navigate the Governor’s mandates and this testing process. If you have any questions, please reach out to your child’s school principal.
D. Joseph Corr
Superintendent of Schools